2022 - 2023


We are driven by our commitment to equity and dignity for all.

We are driven by our commitment to equity and dignity for all.

"I am delighted to note that the year 2022-23 was a good year for Gram Vikas. The progress made in deepening the engagement with our community partners is very heartening. The maturing of the Water Secure Gram Panchayat programme and the Safe and Dignified Migration programme is noteworthy. Odisha is witnessing substantial changes in the economic, social and political spheres. Aspirations of the communities we partner with, particularly those of the youth, are changing in tune with the times. The changes in the larger legal, political and resource environment in which we operate also pose several challenges. The challenge before Gram Vikas will be in finding ways to match the aspirations of the communities, and balancing the demands of the larger environment, while ensuring that the core principles of equity and inclusion are not diluted. I am confident that Gram Vikas will continue to face up to these challenges and grow."

Joe Madiath


“In 2021-22, we initiated the development of a comprehensive approach to our community work. This year, our efforts came to fruition by successfully establishing robust systems for planning, implementing, and monitoring the Water Secure Gram Panchayat and the Safe and Dignified Migration programmes. One of our primary goals during the year involved enhancing our collaboration with elected representatives across the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions. The Village Poverty Reduction Plan is a cornerstone of this initiative, facilitating a comprehensive planning process and serving as a blueprint for multi-sectoral demand identification and advocacy. We commenced our initiatives in the Education and Youth focus area towards the end of 2022-’23. We undertook several initiatives to strengthen the organisation in the fifth decade and build a base for its continued relevance and effectiveness. I am honoured to present this year's annual report for the year from April 2022 to March 2023.”

Liby T Johnson

Executive Director

Read the messages from the Chairman & Executive Director

Gram Vikas achieved notable recognition in 2022 for our efforts in community development and climate resilience. We won the 10th Earth Care Awards 2022 for our work on building community institutions and local capabilities for long-term water and natural resources security in the Thuamul Rampur block of Odisha's Kalahandi district. The award, presented by the JSW Foundation and The Times of India group, recognised Gram Vikas in the Community-based Climate Action category, highlighting our role in enhancing community resilience against climate change challenges. The Global Centre on Adaptation's Local Adaptation Champions Awards selected our work in Kalahandi as among the five global initiatives in the Capacity and Knowledge category, recognising interventions that strengthen local knowledge and skills for climate resilience. The book “Anchoring Change: Seventy-Five Years of Grassroots Intervention That Made a Difference”, published by HarperCollins, featured our contributions as part of showcasing the experiences of 24 organisations across India that have significantly contributed to social change in the country.

We reached 11,92,221 households in 8195 villages through our work in 2022-2023.

Our interventions are guided by our Movement and Action Network for Transformation of Rural Areas (MANTRA) approach. It initiates sustainable development processes in villages with water and sanitation as an entry point. Built around the core values of 100% inclusion of individuals and households in the village, MANTRA enables complete ownership and cost-sharing by the community, social and gender equality, and sustainability. This ensures that the benefits are shared equally among all irrespective of sex, caste, creed or economic status.


Fostering community-led water resource management and gender equity

The Water Secure Gram Panchayat (WSGP) programme, initiated by Gram Vikas in 2021, targets comprehensive community-led water resource management and sustainable, gender-equitable development in rural communities. Addressing challenges like water scarcity, climate change, and insufficient community capabilities, WSGP integrates various domains such as village institutions, water, sanitation, health, livelihoods, and technology. The program's multi-dimensional approach fosters collaboration between citizens and local governments, empowers women in decision-making, and utilises technology for natural resource productivity. With a goal to cover 1000 Gram Panchayats in Odisha and Jharkhand by 2030, WSGP focuses on four key components: Equity and Resilience, Sustainability, Safety, and Prosperity. These components aim to achieve significant outcomes like effective village-level development interventions, increased economic status of marginalised households, improved health and nutrition, and enhanced livelihood opportunities through smart resource management. As of March 2023, WSGP is operational in 71 Gram Panchayats distributed over nine districts in Odisha and one district in Jharkhand.


Successfully captured baseline information at Gram Panchayat, village, and household levels across 71 GPs

Reformed and formed new Village Development Committees, with ongoing capacity building for members

Strengthened village-level institutions including women’s self-help groups, children’s clubs, and adolescent groups

Developed Village Poverty Reduction Plans as primary demand plans at the habitation level

Created Water Security Plans at both habitation and GP levels

Initiated activities for afforestation, and land and water development

Collaborated with Swachh Bharat Mission and Jal Jeevan Mission for access to safe drinking water and household sanitation

Enhanced water quality management and surveillance systems at the village level with trained cadres

Improved agricultural livelihoods via farmer producer groups, coupled with the provision of weather forecasts and crop advice to bolster resilience



Gajapati, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Sundargarh




Transforming rural Migration for economic stability and better quality of life

The Safe and Dignified Migration Programme (SDMP), started by Gram Vikas in 2020, seeks to transition migration in rural areas from being distress-driven to opportunistic and aspirational, aiming for social and economic betterment in rural communities. Addressing the amplified challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme emphasises informed migration decisions, support systems for migrants, skill enhancement, and connection with administrative entities for access to entitlements and social security. The SDMP's impact is measured by improved household decision-making, increased incomes, women's economic participation, children's education, and overall quality of life enhancements for migrant families. Operating with a corridor approach, it integrates facilitation centres, helplines, community champions, financial literacy initiatives, and micro-enterprise support. SDMP is structured around three core components: Occupational Security, enhancing migration choices and skills; Financial Security, improving financial literacy and investment of remittances; and Emotional and Social Security, supporting the emotional well-being of women and children affected by migration.


Programme fully operational in Thuamul Rampur and Daringbadi blocks of Kandhamal covering around 40,000 households with 61% from SC and ST communities

Initial activities underway in Rayagada block of Gajapati and Sorada blocks of Ganjam district



Gajapati, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Kandhamal


Robust, transparent citizen institutions fostered community-led local development

In 2022, we focused on enhancing community self-governance by forming Gram Panchayat Coordination Committees. They actively engaged in local development activities, organising Aadhar Card camps, developing Village Poverty Reduction Plans (VPRP), and facilitating access to social security schemes. The VPRPs, developed at the habitation level, acted as comprehensive blueprints for community development and resource mobilisation, integrating into the Gram Panchayat Development Plan. Trained Village Institution Service Providers supported Village Development Committees (VDCs) in managing water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, and providing auditing services for village institutions. Additionally, Gram Vikas supported self-help groups, Bal Sabha for children, and Kishor-Kishori Samuh for adolescents, focusing on education, health, and cultural activities, leading to increased school enrolments and improved self-confidence among youth.


New Village Development Committees were formed in 292 villages and existing VDCs revived/reformed in 141 villages

Women are either the President or the Secretary in all the 433 villages; 33% of members of the VDCs are women

2216 leaders from 74 VDCs trained in organisation management and leadership

Systems for VISP management set up in 475 villages, with 591 persons trained and deployed as VISP; women constituted 39% of the VISP

31% of the VISP are paid on a regular basis by the VDCs

162 habitations in 13 Gram Panchayats prepared Village Poverty Reduction Plans; of these, plans of 126 habitations were approved by their respective Gram Sabhas

Village Development Committees mobilised ₹16,64,549, from Panchayati Raj Institutions for implementation of activities prioritised in VPRPs

1158 Aadhar Cards were corrected; 1692 persons identified as eligible for different social protection schemes

1441 persons assisted to complete the requisite documentation; 683 persons successfully obtained the benefits for which they were eligible

25 Village Lekha Mitra were trained and engaged for auditing accounts of Village Development Committees; 56 Village Development Committees utilised their services

7818 women leaders from 1954 self-help groups in 390 villages participated in leadership development programmes

5320 boys and girls have joined 410 Bal Sabhas in 248 villages

242 Kishore Kishori Samuh with 2912 members promoted in 145 villages



Angul, Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khordha, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Sundargarh



Village Lekha Mitra ensures transparency and financial accountability of village committee records

Kasturi, a Village Lekha Mitra, streamlines accounting practices in local village committees, enhancing transparency and community trust. Discover how this initiative not only improves financial management but also empowers youth like Kasturi through educational and entrepreneurial opportunities. Read the story.

Bal Sabha boosts confidence in children and reinforce positive behaviour

The Bal Sabha in Asanbani village is molding young minds like Saraswati Majhi’s children, instilling good hygiene practices and fostering active participation in community development. Learn about the transformative effect this platform has on children’s confidence, responsibility, and leadership skills in rural settings. Read the story.


Community-driven approaches advanced water security and environmental sustainability

In the past year, our work in Water significantly advanced water security and environmental sustainability across rural Odisha. Partnering with governmental schemes like BASUDHA and Jal Jeevan Mission, we prioritised ensuring safe drinking water and preserving water resources in remote areas. Key achievements include establishing functional household tap connections in small, remote villages and implementing solar-powered water systems. Efforts in water quality management, household sanitation, and behavioural change towards water usage have been bolstered by community training and volunteer involvement. We actively engaged in land and water development activities, including afforestation, soil conservation, and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. Introducing water meters and water security planning enhanced resource management efficiency. Overall, these initiatives fostered a comprehensive, community-driven approach to water resource management and ecological preservation.


Constructed new piped water supply systems and augmented existing systems in 87 villages

2184 households obtained functional household tap connections

Installed solar pumps in 65 villages and trained 45 village volunteers to undertake maintenance 

2937 households completed repair or retrofitting of existing toilets

156 households built new toilet and bathing rooms

Completed household level estimates for toilet-bathing room construction/repairs for 14,000+ households  

Started Water Security Planning activities in 34 Gram Panchayats

9550 water sources identified and mapped

Detailed aquifer mapping exercise taken up by 237 trained volunteers 

Initiated Water passbook work in 40 villages

Tree plantations, and land and water development activities taken up in 1289 acres of land

15 nurseries set up to meet the demand of saplings for afforestation work

Eight fellows from the first batch of Jal Bandhu fellowship graduated in the year, four of whom have started their entrepreneurial journey by setting up their own nurseries



Angul, Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khordha, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Sundargarh



Rural communities measure rainfall for long term water security

Explore how the Gramadebati village in Odisha harnesses rainfall data using a simple yet effective rain gauge, enabling informed agricultural decisions and efficient water management. This story delves into the community’s proactive measures to address water scarcity, highlighting the significant role of local initiatives in combating the challenges of climate change. Read the story.

Young Adivasi women become microentrepreneurs to secure land, water sources and their own future

Follow the inspiring journey of Mangel and Kalindri, two young women from Odisha’s tribal communities, as they change their lives through an agroforestry microenterprise. Their story unfolds from training in Gram Vikas’ Spring Stewardship Fellowship to establishing a successful nursery, embodying resilience and entrepreneurial spirit in the face of personal and societal challenges. Read the story.


Enhanced rural microenterprises and safe migration strengthened livelihoods

A significant part of our work in strengthening livelihoods focused on building village communities' institutional and technical capacities for better market engagement and improving production systems. Farmers were trained in improved farming practices and rice-fallow farming, leading to the formation of Farmer Producer Groups based on a land-based cluster approach. In animal husbandry and fisheries, trained cadres supported efforts to promote better practices in habitat, nutrition, and disease management. Through our migration programme, we provided comprehensive support to migrant workers and their families through a network of resource centres at both source and destination locations.


276 farmer producer groups  formed with 3312 members, 17% of whom are women

1476 farmers had 70% increased production following improved package of practices

Cropping intensity increased in 140 acres of land because of irrigation coverage

116 farmers supported for goatery and poultry through Farmer Producer Groups

Commercial fisheries taken up in 25 villages

₹19 lakhs mobilised by farmer groups and village institutions from government programmes for irrigation and farm sector interventions

Supported over 4,500 workers in resolving workplace disputes regarding wages and working conditions

Nineteen active Community Champions in Ganjam, Gajapati, and Kandhamal districts

Telephone Helpline addressed an average of 200 calls monthly

Provided investment advisory services to 345 households, with 21 establishing village-level enterprises using remittance incomes

Conducted financial literacy programmes for over 7,500 individuals

Assisted 4,700 households in accessing social protection schemes



Angul, Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Khordha, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Sundargarh



Women became fish farmers to stand on their feet

Witness the inspiring journey of the women of Maa Saraswati Self Help Group in Gramadebati village, who reshaped their lives through successful fish cultivation. This story highlights their resilience and entrepreneurial spirit, from winning a pond lease bid to overcoming challenges and reaping the financial benefits of their collective effort in pisciculture. Read the story.

Migrant support centres help worker recover dues from their employer

Follow the journey of Abhiram Majhi, a migrant worker from Odisha, as he navigates challenges in his quest for work and fair treatment. This story highlights the crucial role of financial literacy, and the successful intervention by Gram Vikas that helped secure his and a fellow worker’s due wages, inspiring confidence among migrant workers. Read the story.


Elevating sanitation and water quality practices promoted good health

Throughout the past year, our work in Sanitation and Health focus area has been pivotal in promoting safe sanitation and hygiene practices across personal, household, and community levels. The Water Quality Surveillance and Management initiative, including operations at the SUJAL Water Quality Laboratory, emphasised water testing, awareness, and community-led corrective actions. We mobilised village communities for infrastructural rectifications, with notable progress in addressing water contamination issues. Regular and targeted awareness sessions effectively reached communities with knowledge of essential aspects of sanitation and hygiene, menstrual health and nutrition.


Conducted village-level water tests in 375 villages using Field Test Kits

Mobilised communities in 212 villages to undertake infrastructure repair measures

6671 households consistently use toilets and bathing rooms

8741 households adhere to safe kitchen sanitation practices

8533 households maintain good personal hygiene

6774 households adopted measures to prevent wastewater stagnation, with 5300 of these households cultivating backyard kitchen gardens

4627 households regularly practice source level segregation of solid waste

13 villages implemented community-level non-biodegradable waste management systems

80 villages created wastewater diversion systems in schools, Anganwadi centres, and community infrastructure

274 villages regularly conducted village cleanliness drives

Saheli Diwas, focusing on Menstrual Health, was held quarterly in 24 villages

Conducted Learning by Sharing events on nutrition topics with women and adolescents in 71 villages



Angul, Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khordha, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Sundargarh



An Adivasi village learns to monitor water quality

Dive into the story of Biluamara village overcoming technological challenges to resolve water contamination issues with the help of Sanju Jani, Gram Vikas’ water quality cadre. The story highlights the importance of community involvement and water quality management in ensuring safe drinking water. Read the story.

Communities make efforts to set-up a sustainable waste management centre in the village

Self-Help Groups in Samagaitha village in Gajapati partnered with Gram Vikas to implement a comprehensive waste management system successfully. This story showcases how awareness, participatory approaches, and local leadership can lead to significant environmental improvements and inspire neighbouring villages to follow suit. Read the story.


Harnessing renewable technologies bolstered productive enterprises and clean energy access

Over the past year, we focused on promoting renewable and appropriate energy technologies in collaboration with partner communities. Notable projects include the rehabilitation and augmentation of a micro-hydro system integrated with a solar photovoltaic unit in Karnibel village. This involved significant land treatment and plantation work in the micro-hydro unit's catchment area. In Maligaon village, the successful upgradation to new 10 kWp Photovoltaic panels for the solar mini-grid increased both reliability and capacity. Additionally, we have been actively forming farmer producer groups, focusing on utilising renewable energy for farming activities, and building the capacity of local youth and women’s SHGs for the effective operation and maintenance of these renewable energy systems.


Carried out land treatment in the catchment area of the stream feeding the micro-hydro unit, and implemented plantations across five acres of land in Karnibel

Executed soil water conservation works on 10 acres of land as part of the comprehensive land treatment

Replaced older Photovoltaic panels with 10 kWp of new panels to enhance reliability and backup capacity in Maligaon

Conducted land mapping, exposure visits, and motivational activities for farmers throughout the year

Formed Farmer Producer Groups with farmers keen on using renewable energy for farm-related activities

Ongoing capacity building of local youth and women’s SHGs to ensure efficient operation and maintenance of the renewable energy systems



Angul, Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Khordha, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Sundargarh



A micro-hydro project has communities hopeful

Journey through the story of Karnibel, a remote Adivasi village in Odisha, as it transitions from isolation and power outages to the hope of sustainable energy through a Micro Hydro Power Plant. The story explores the villagers’ challenges with milling agricultural produce and the anticipated impact of the plant on their daily lives, livelihoods, and children’s education. Read the story.

Sectoral contributions and collaborative efforts strengthened communities and networks

Gram Vikas has been actively involved in providing support to communities affected by natural disasters and in the implementation of government missions, along with engaging in various educational and collaborative activities.

In response to flash floods in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts, Gram Vikas stepped in to assist the affected communities. With the support of the Yuva Vikas Foundation, we reached out to several inundated villages, establishing eight community kitchens serving meals to over 5,000 people from 1,237 households and distributing tarpaulins to 846 families for temporary shelter. Additionally, farming households received help to rehabilitate their damaged crops.

The Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department of the Government of Odisha appointed Gram Vikas as the Implementation Support Agency for the Jal Jeevan Mission in July 2021. Through the concerted efforts of our staff and volunteers, we formed Village Water and Sanitation Committees and developed Village Action Plans in 7,678 villages across four districts, enabling these communities to manage piped water supply systems effectively.

In March 2023, we launched a broad information campaign to promote community-managed water and sanitation, reaching out to every village in four districts with essential messages about the Jal Jeevan Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission.

Gram Vikas maintained active memberships in networks such as the RCRC Coalition, VANI and the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, contributing to the national Working Committee deliberations and implementing projects at the state level.

Our staff contributed to the discourse on migration and rural development with articles published in the India Development Review, sharing insights from their experiences in Odisha.

Representatives from Gram Vikas participated in various significant events throughout the year, sharing their knowledge and experiences in water resource management and community-owned WASH initiatives. These events include a roundtable by Ashoka Trust, a WASH asset management event, the World Water Congress and Exhibition, and the Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage network’s annual learning exchange.

We facilitated learning visits for other groups, such as a delegation from Samaj Pragati Sahayog and officials from Chaupal Gramin Vikas Prashikshan Evam Shodh to share our on-the-ground work on water security, sanitation and migration. Gram Vikas hosted the Jagriti Yatra, the 14-day, 8000-km entrepreneurship train journey to inspire youth to become entrepreneurs, with more than 500 Yatri and over 100 facilitators, at Mohuda.

Thank you to our partners for their generous support in scaling and deepening our impact

Gram Vikas received support fromdiverse partner organisations and individuals. Their contributions have included financial resources, technical and managerial expertise, materials, and assistance in developing human resources both within the organisation and at the community level.

Partner organisations that provided financial resources for our work are ACC Limited, Association for India Development, USA, Axis Bank Foundation, Azim Premji Foundation-Philanthropy, B1G1, USA, Bajaj Finance Limited, charity: water, USA, Deloitte Foundation, Economic Law Practice, Essel Mining & Industries Limited, HDFC Bank Parivartan, HVS Foundation, ICRISAT, InterGlobe Aviation Limited – IndiGoReach, InterGlobe Foundation, Japan Star Co. Ltd., PwC India Foundation, RCRC, SBI Foundation, and Wipro Cares.

We extend our gratitude to 15 individuals who directly contributed to Gram Vikas, and the Benevity Causes Portal and the UK Online Giving Foundation for aggregating individual donations from around the globe.

Our acknowledgement to Sunlit Future, Auroville for its coordination of support from the Grundfos Foundation (Poul Due Jensens Fond), Denmark to implement solar-based drinking water projects and technical and material support for our work in renewable energy. We thank the State Bank of India – Youth for India (SBI-YFI) Fellowship programme that enables young people from different parts of India to live, work, and learn in rural Odisha. Our thanks to Rang De P2P Financial Services Pvt Ltd., and the Collective Goods Foundation for their support to the community partners with valuable credit support.

Our thanks to government and implementation partners including the Departments of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Mission Shakti, Odisha Livelihoods Mission, Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water, and Planning & Convergence of Government of Odisha; National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and National Jal Jeevan Mission, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Government of India. We acknowledge our implementation partners, Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development, Kerala, Jagruti, and Social Shapes Foundation, New Delhi.

Technical and knowledge support from many organisations and individuals helped us build staff and community level capabilities and put in place the equipment and operational systems for our work in the different thematic areas. We thank ACWADAM, AguaClara Reach, Anvic Systems,Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Pvt. Ltd., VillageRes, Zeo Detect; International Centre for Free & Open Source Software (ICFOSS), Kerala, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Gajapati, Ganjam and Kalahandi districts, Kudumbashree – National Resource Organisation, Government of Kerala, Life Circle, Hyderabad, L & T Construction Skill Centre, Cuttack, Skymet Weather Services, The Goat Trust, Lucknow, Watershed Organisation Trust; INREM Foundation, Gujarat, UNICEF, Odisha State Office; CodeFire, and Desi Technology, Bhubaneswar.

EMULUS Consulting LLP, Gurgaon, Group Relations India, Indian School of Development Management, Noida, Institute of Rural Management, Anand, LEAD India, New Delhi, Listeners Collective, Bengaluru, and TREE Society, Bengaluru, supported us in the development of internal systems and staff capacities.

Academic and research partners Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, and Emory University, Atlanta USA, helped diversify programmatic interventions and create evidence of our work.

Since 1979, over 5 million people in more than 8000 villages across Odisha and Jharkhand have improved their lives through partnerships with Gram Vikas.

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