GRAVIS at present

Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS) or Center of People’s Science for Rural Development was founded in 1983 by a group of Gandhian development activists in the Thar Desert of India. The organisation was formed in order to organise rural development activities in the remote parts of Thar Desert. The organisation has great faith in working on issues related to human development, equality and rural empowerment with active participation of communities of the region where in functions. In the beginning, it started its work in a cluster of 20 villages of Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. At present, GRAVIS works in more than 1700 villages of 10 districts of the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India, and in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh States covering a population of about 1.6 million people. .

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The philosophy of “Sarvodaya” – all rising, but the last person first – is the foundation for GRAVIS’ strategy and approach to their work. Accordingly, GRAVIS works for the collective ascension of men, women, and children, regardless of economic situation, caste or religion. GRAVIS works toward the rehabilitation of the rural community, enabling village ownership and control over its environment, institutions, and relations.

GRAVIS focuses its efforts on the restoration of dwindling natural resources and on the promotion of marginalized groups. It believes in blending the traditional wisdom with new techniques to create long-term, sustainable and cost effective means for improving the lives of rural inhabitants. In order to achieve its overall goal of creating self reliant village communities, it strives to involve the local communities in its programmes and interventions, train and build their capacities further and develop community ownership.


GRAVIS’ actions focus on poor, backward and marginalized section of Thar Desert communities with particular emphasis on women, children and elderly. GRAVIS has a deep concern for the development of children, women empowerment and gender justice. Accordingly, the participation of women has been ensured in all the programmes and activities. Major programmatic areas for GRAVIS include promoting education, improving health status, water security, agriculture and forestry and training, capacity building and human rights.  GRAVIS focuses on social development issues such as adolescent health, hygiene, child health, nutrition, girl child education, water and sanitation. The organisation has deep faith in developing appropriate partnerships with groups, organisations, government agencies and individuals with similar ideologies.


Aims and objectives of GRAVIS


  • To work for integrated development of humanity without any discrimination of caste, religion or sect.
  • To empower village communities through activities related to agro forestry, water, livestock development, khadi, cottage industries, housing, education, health with emphasis on poorer and weaker sections of society in order to reduce economic and social disparities and create a self reliant and decentralized community system.
  • To train youth, women and field workers in programmes related to integrated development.
  • To generate awareness among rural communities particularly among poor, so that the poor and underprivileged people could take benefit from development schemes.
  • To conduct researches and studies in order to make development programmes more effective and to ensure people’s participation in those programmes.
  • To help disabled, destitute, widows, elderly and other neglected people and to work for their development.
  • To provide relief during calamities and other emergencies.



Our programmatic areas of work include:

  • Water security
  • Education
  • Agriculture and animal husbandry
  • Healthcare
  • Research and advocacy
  • Community mobilization


Our accomplishments till date:

  • Formation of over 1,000 Village Development Committees (VDCs), over 2,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women and Village Funds (VF) in over 1,200 villages in order to develop leadership and self reliance among rural communities. Overall, overt 3,800 CBOs
  • GRAVIS has set up over 100 schools for primary education for the needy children. A total of over 8,000 children are enrolled in the schools. School children are linked with mid-day meals scheme and outreach health services. In GRAVIS schools, a strong focus is given on education children on environmental issues, health and hygiene and sanitation.
  • Construction of over 7,800 taankas (for drinking water storage), over 5,900 khadins(for agriculture), over 300 village ponds and 550 beries (for drinking water storage) for water harvesting. The activities have benefited over 75,000 households.
  • Set up over 300 seed banks, over 5,200 fruit orchards, 46 community forests, 7 demonstration farms, 67 fodder banks, 963 compost pits and over 5,000 hectares of pastures land.
  • Organisation of a community based health programme benefiting 500,000 people. GRAVIS has also set up a fully equipped rural hospital of 60 beds and has developed a network of over 600 Village Health Workers (VHWs).
  • In over 1,000 villages, GRAVIS organizes health activities aiming on reproductive health, nutrition, geriatrics, eye care, malaria control, TB control, prevention of HIV/AIDS and Occupational Lung Diseases (OLD).
  • Organisation of emergency drought relief measures including supply of drinking water, food grains and fodder in over 1,000 villages during drought years.


Please visit the webpage of GRAVIS – for more details.