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Gandhi Research Foundation
 

Ba-Bapu150


"The village of my dreams will contain intelligent human beings. They will not live in dirt and darkness as animals. Men and women will be free and able to hold their own against anyone in the world."
(Letter from Mahatma Gandhi to Jawaharlal Nehru, October 5, 1945)

Gandhi Research Foundation (GRF) is an International Centre for Gandhian study, research and dialogue. Its core objective is to preserve and promote Gandhiji’s philosophy and legacy based on truth, non–violence, peaceful co–existence and the spirit of conservation. The campus of Gandhi Teerth was established by Mr. Bhavarlal H. Jain, Founder of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL) on 25th March 2012 at Jain Hills, Jalgaon. Bade Bhau, as he is affectionately known, was deeply influenced by Gandhiji’s principles, which he embodied in his daily life. Along with the late Chairman, Justice Chandrashekar Dharmadhikari, Bade Bhau stressed the crucial relevance of these Gandhian values, especially in the present age burdened as it is by violence, political dictatorship, materialism and immorality, all the while, lacking in true spirituality. Hence, at GRF, we aim to inspire the minds and influence the lives of individuals by articulating as simply and forcefully as possible, the seminal aspects of Gandhian philosophy. We also engage in empowering the lives of people living in rural India.

Commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi in 2019, GRF and JISL together have launched a comprehensive rural transformation initiative, covering a set of 150 less developed villages across 14 states of India. This initiative is named as "Ba–Bapu150", honoring both Kasturba (Ba) and Gandhi (Bapu).

The initiative draws inspiration from Gandhi’s vision for an ideal community. He spoke about ‘village republic’ – gram rajya – that is, an empowered self–reliant cohesive rural community. This community, he stated, would rely on neighborhood strength, and be using optimized tools, instruments, systems and structures, so as to make rural life, particularly the economic life vibrant, productive and sustainable. Such a community ensures fair and equitable life for all, especially the weak and the humble.

Having faith in the immense potential of the rural people, this initiative is to enable them to identify the gaps (information, knowledge, skill, system and structural gaps), to bridge them appropriately through an organized convergence and participatory engagement, thereby orchestrating a multi–disciplinary transformation in villages, for the benefit of all.

In order to make this a reality, GRF and JISL would like to partner with leading development institutions across public sector, private sector and civil society that represent ‘best practice’ in their respective fields, and leverage their knowledge, experience and resource bases for the good of these villages.

Vision: Sustainable, self–reliant, empowered and transformative rural communities with prosperity and peace for all.

Mission: Transforming villages into vibrant, productive and self–sufficient communities, by empowering villagers with knowledge, skill and entrepreneurial talent, employing appropriate tools and systems, through participatory engagement and true realization of their inherent potential.

Objectives:
  • Enabling villages to be organized communities of mutual aid and cooperation.
  • Equipping them with modern appropriate knowledge, techniques and skills.
  • Engaging them to converge with national resources in equitable terms
  • Empowering them to become socially and environmentally cohesive community.
  • Endowing them with modern hard and soft infrastructure.

Thematic Areas:
  • Sustainable Agriculture value chain
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Watershed and water conservation
  • Sanitation
  • Health
  • Value education

Methodology
  1. Organizational: Our approach will be institution building (including Village Youth / Women Leadership Group; Farmer Producer Organization; JLG / SHG Clusters), so that farmers and entrepreneurs could achieve the threshold of development.
  2. Networking: Specialized partner organizations (knowledge, technical and resource partners) are being engaged to provide access to ‘best practice’ knowledge and experience to priority areas, and leverage program resource (people and/or funding). Convergence with key government initiatives will be sought to optimize resource allocations for infrastructural and watershed investments, operations and maintenance, and to sustain long–term effectiveness.
  3. Participatory: Essentially a people’s endeavor, ensuring pro–active participation of all stakeholders, especially the villagers, in conceptualizing, designing and implementing the development design / schemes.
  4. Optimized: Using appropriate tools and technology to optimize socio economic activities.
  5. Professional: Structured approach: interventions, be it decision–making, program designing, or funding arrangement, are subject to careful technical appraisal, results measurements and risk assessments. Overtime, the experience and knowledge–base of BaBapu will expand across portfolios that are analyzed along both village– and thematic dimensions.
  6. Village Level Volunteer (Gram Sevak): will be the key person who will help transform the villages. Our village worker or Gram Sevak has to make significant commitment to be a resident and part of the village. An effort will have to be made to help the Gram Sevak develop a viable economic activity for self and the family.
  7. Phasic: The 150 villages are being selected across 14 states along clusters of each 5– 15 villages, with approximately one third villages located in Maharashtra.
   Transformation intervention will be initiated in phases:
   Phase – I : Initiation and Design Stage (2018), including village selection, partner mobilization and initial community engagements
   Phase – II : Pilot Implementation Stage (2018–2019), focusing on the first group of 30 villages across 3 clusters in the Jalgaon District of MS
   Phase – III : Scaling Stage (late 2018–2023), taking the lessons, models and partnerships to all 150 villages
  8. Monitoring and Evaluation
  a. Implementation Risks During program design, a detailed analysis will be performed regarding the implementation risks and challenges, specifically with regard to operational, stakeholder, strategic, financial, and/or environmental & social risk areas. For each risk area, the analysis will assess following factors:
   i. Likelihood (High, Medium, Low)
   ii. Description and Potential Effect
   iii. Mitigation Factors & Measures
  b. Results Measurement The program will adopt a rigorous results measurement framework, based on the Theory of Change and leveraging best practice experience from specialized development agencies (e.g., IFC, Tata Trust). Indicatively, following framework will be applied:
   i. Output Indicators (including targets)
   ii. Outcome Indicators (including baseline/ targets/ achieved by date)
   iii. Impact Indicators (including baseline/ targets/ achieved by date) Independent mid–term evaluation is projected for late 2019 to allow for timely correction of program goals and indicators.

Governance A Supervisory Committee is expected to be formed with partnering organizations to provide overall program governance of Ba–Bapu150. Governance is supported by the eminent Board of Directors of GRF that brings profound perspectives, understanding and leadership. JISL is building further program leadership with its vast expertise in modern agriculture techniques and machinery, its national and global networks, and its strong commitment to sustainable rural development.

Exit Plan As the villages reach the threshold of development, and are equipped enough to handle their endeavors, Ba–Bapu150 team will gradually disengage itself from the particular intervention. Thereafter BBI presence will be marginal, just enough to give them moral support, consultation and advisory.

Budget Uses and Sources:The program budget will be prepared along specific priority themes in collaboration with the respective partner organization(s). Funding of specific activities will be provided by a range of potential sources, such as:
  • Corporate CSR (including partner organizations)
  • Philanthropic foundations (both national and international)
  • Government programs
  • JISL
The budget for general program management and overheads (including administration, communications, M&E, etc.) will be funded by JISL.