Thursday, 28 May 2015

Bicycle donation (2014-15)

Group for Rural Activities is a students' club aimed at working to understand and promote welfare of the rural sectors of our country. Bicycle donation camp is one of the activities that we regularly conduct to this end. Our institute is full of cycles which are unclaimed and can be donated after some repair. We make efforts to round up such bicycles, get them repaired and donate them to needy students in remote regions. In order to get the cycles repaired we collect fund from the professors on campus by way of door to door fund collection. We take pride in what we do and we hope that somebody somewhere benefits in a significant way from what we do. 

Details of cycles collected: We coordinated with the Hostel council and Hall Managers of each hostel. We finally collected from hostel 1, 2, 4 and 9 have given us 3, 16, 2, 7 bicycles respectively (Total =29 = 28+1 (donated by faculty)) for donation to the students. However, we found one bicycle missing from the collection of cycles, before transporting it for repair. 

Details of the shop where they were sent for repair: The repair shop was chosen to be near the school. This was done to get a cheaper repair of cycles and keeping in mind that had it been repaired from here, there might have had damages during transport of repaired cycles. The name of the cycle shop is “Mahesh Cycle Mart Yashvantnagar, Vikramgarh”. The brief expenditure on each cycle repairing is attached with the report. The total repairing cost came out to be Rs. 22,185. 

Details of transportation: Transportation of cycles from IITB to repair shop took Rs. 6,250. Transportation of repaired cycles from shop to school did cost Rs. 500. 

Details of the school where the cycles were given: From our previuos contacts, we contacted to the principle of the school, and donated to Smt. K. J. Jogani High School, Bhopoli”, in Vikramgarh taluka, Palgarh district. This is a school mainly for tribal students

Details of the camp: 24 of us (list of student went for the trip is attached) left for Bhopoli in a bus on the morning of 17th January 2015 in a Bus. We reached the school by 10:30 AM. Having arrived in the village, we first visited the school to meet and interact with children . It was quite an unexpected welcome that they gave, for I didn't expect that the entire school would be made to come out of their classrooms to become part of a welcome gathering. Many of the school teachers including the principal were out of the school for election training, still the school authorities had arranged a warm welcome for us. Following which we went into the classrooms to interact with the kids there. Then we had lunch at the house of a teacher in the school.


After the donation we divided our group of 17 people into groups of 2-3 and interacted with the students in the classrooms. They told us that after 10th they have to go to some other village for 12th. Only a few boys are willing to study after 12th. The girls students told us that they are coming to school because their parents are sending them. After the 15-20 minutes interactions we left the school for Lunch and had some group discussion among ourselves thereafter for some time to share our experiences.

This year, GRA endeavoured to spread technology developed in the CTARA department for improving the efficiency of the local chulha in the village we visited. The two houses which we chose to work in were selected by a teacher of the school. We set it up in two houses. Meanwhile the rest of us went around the village talking to the people there.

Post-camp Feedback Visit: Three of us (Sudhakar, Vishal and Vivek) went back to the village on 1st of February 2015 for feedback on the arrangement we had made for the chulha in the homes. They reported a reduction in smoke, wood consumption, soot deposition and cooking time. Further we then asked the teacher with whom we were collaborating to set up the arrangement in his house and record the time taken and wood consumption changes quantitatively. The results are awaited.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

GRA Summer Camp 2014 (3rd-5th May)

Group for Rural Activities (GRA) is pleased to announce GRA SUMMER CAMP 2014, which is going to be held at Bhatke Vimukt Vikas Parishad, Yamgarwadi, Tehsil- Tasgaon, Solapur, Maharashtra during 3rd to 5th of May.

This area has been a residence for Nomadic tribes. The Nomadic tribes have been an integral part of the Indian society yet a neglected one. Their problems are not only food, clothing and shelter but also the treatment meted out to them by the mainstream Indian society.The traditional source of their income like forest produce, singing, acrobatics, dramatic performances etc. becoming more and more difficult to cater therefore now the only solution is to educate them, help find new vocations or teach them to adapt traditional skills to the needs of modern times. Bhatake Vimukta Vikas Pratishtan(BVVP) has been tackling all these issues since last 22 years.

For more about Nomadic Tribes:

Bhatake Vimukta Vikas Pratishtan has established Residential schools at 6 locations and 18 tent schools in 32 different communities/tribes across Maharashtra imparting education, imbibing good values,giving healthy and stable life to more than 1000 children.They have also started educational and cultural activity centres in the place of nomadic settlements which moves accordingly with the shift of tribes.

For more about BVVP :

This camp will be a unique opportunity for us to understand another facet of our diverse society, their problems and possible solution model. We'll have detailed interactions with local people and try to learn about BVVP's
working model, factors responsible for their success and their future planning.

If you want to attend you can fill this form :

You can also contact any of the following person for more information

Pankaj Mandal  7738486583
Vishal Insan  8879346174
Vishvendra Poonia  8097426535
Tulika Gupta  7738985916

A must watch to know farmers situation in rural India

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Winter Camp 2013 (Dec 27- Dec 29)

Group for Rural Activities (GRA) is organizing a winter camp from 27th Dec 2013 to 29th Dec 2013 to Pani Panchayat(PP) and Nimbkar Agriculture Research Institute, NARI (Mahrashtra){NARI}.
PP is a group of social entrepreneurs, committed to sustainable development of the village through equitable water distribution,organic farming and capacity building of land and human resources. It is a cohesive group of rural and urban youth, successfully implementing a replicable model of “development movement” in Purandar Taluka of Maharashtra.Late Shri Vilasrao Salunke, an Electrical Engineer was always deeply concerned about natural resource management issues in rural areas. 

Visit for more about Pani Panchayat.

NARI is an NGO and non-profit research and development institute,undertakes research and development in agriculture, renewable energy, animal husbandry and sustainable development with the intention of improving the lives of rural Indians in a sustainable manner.It was established in 1968 by Mr. B.V. Nimbkar at Phaltan,Maharashtra.Presently,it is being governed by distinguished alumnus of IIT Kanpur Dr. Anil K Rajwanshi.As director of NARI since 1981.

Visit: for more about NARI. 

We will stay there for 3 days and learn how they did all this progress,how their team works, what-what development they have done yet, theirfuture planning and a lot more.
If you want to attend you can fill this form :

For more GRA activities you can follow us :
For further quarries contact:
Vishal Kumar : 08879346174 H5/234

Pankaj:07738486583 H2/21
Ravi: 07208039146 H2/10
Tulika Gupta : 07738985916 H10/107
Kapil Surve: 09702321576 H4/67

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

सितम्बर की सुर्खियाँ !

हाल ही में हुए मुज्ज़फरनगर के जातीय संघर्ष पर प्रशासन ,पुलिस और सियासती नाकामियों और साजिशों का खेल हम सबने अभी देखा और हमने उन ख़बरों को भी सुना कि कैसे कोई इतना असंवेदनशील हो सकता है ,अपनी ही प्रजा के लिए ;कोई कार्यवाही न करने के ऑर्डर्स और फिर घर फुँकने के बाद तमाशा देखने जाना ;डेढ़ लाख से भी ज्यादा लोगों को बेघर करने के बाद ;अनेकों की आबरू और जान छीन लेने के बाद ‘लोग ‘ दिलासा दिलाते हैं कि दोषियों के खिलाफ ‘सख्त ‘ कार्यवाही की जायेगी ! काले झंडे नही तो क्या आरती की थालों से आपका स्वागत किया जायेगा ,कुंवर-सा !! फ्री लैपटॉप की लॉलीपॉप का स्वाद कब तक चढ़ा रहेगा ज़बान पर ?

  यह कितना दुखद है कि ‘ज़िम्मेदार ‘ तो इसे अलग अलग नाम देकर छोटी सी दुर्घटना ठहरा रहे हैं पर जिन दो लड़कियों के साथ ईव-टीजिंग  की घटना से यह सब शुरू हुआ ;उन्होंने अपराधबोध महसूस करते हुए वह जगह ,वह स्कूल ही छोड़ दिया कि उनकी वजह से इतने लोगों की जिंदगियां ख़राब हो गयीं ;दोषी कोई और और ताउम्र सज़ा भुगते कोई और !

    आजकल संसद की गतिविधियाँ जिस तेज़ी से हो रही हैं वो सबको चकित करती हैं पर आँखें भी खोल देती हैं क्यूंकि इस मानसून सत्र में एक ख़ास बिल सिर्फ पंद्रह मिनट में पास हो गया !! अरे जब सब एक ही बिरादरी के हों तो कैसी असहमति और वैसे भी ‘शुभ’ काम में देरी कैसी ! ‘तुम’ आदेश दे दो तो क्या हुआ ;हम हैं जो इस पर कानूनी ठप्पा लगायेंगे और हम सबने वह कर दिया (थोडा बहुत आम जनता के भले वाले कुछ बिल भी पास कर दिए न ;और क्या चाहिए ?) अपराधी वोट नही दे सकता पर देश चला सकता है ....ये तो बड़ा वाला कनफ्यूज़न  हो गया कि आखिर देश को घाटा किस से ज्यादा होता तब जब चुनने वाला ही अपराधी है तो आने वाला प्रतिनिधि भी कोई शरीफ नही होगा या तब जब हत्यारा हत्या के खिलाफ कानून बनाएगा ,रेपिस्ट एंटी रेप बिल बनाएगा ,भ्रष्ट भ्रष्टाचार के खिलाफ संसद में बोलेगा !! सोच लीजिये कि वो क्या बोलेगा और क्या करेगा ? वैसे इस घटना की चर्चा से याद आया कि आगामी चुनावों में आप वोट डालने जायेंगे न ? और सोच समझकर अपने इलाके के उम्मीदवारों के बैकग्राउंड को समझकर वोट डालियेगा प्लीज ...क्यूंकि आपका ये सोचा समझा हुआ वोट ही देश चलाएगा !

बस एक फैसला ....और सारे देश की उम्मीदें थोड़ी देर के लिए ही सही जाग उठीं पर क्या हरेक को न्याय मिलेगा ?क्या ‘मट्टू (प्रियदर्शिनी ) ,जेसिका के हत्यारे और भी ऐसे कई रहीसजादों से लेकर हर अपराधी पर नकेल कसी जा पायेगी ;इस ढीली न्याय व्यवस्था के साथ –फ़ास्ट ट्रैक के अलावा स्पीडी जस्टिस डिलीवरी प्रोसीजर के लिए जो भी जतन किये जाने चाहिए और पैरोल की प्रथा  ;जुवेनाइल रिमांड होम्स की ओर ध्यान (देश के ऐसे ऑब्जर्वेटरी होम्स में बेहद बुरे हालातों से सुधरा नही बल्कि एक और भी खतरनाक और खूंखार अपराधी बहार निकलता है ); क्या अपने मुवक्किल  के बचाव के चक्कर में व्यक्ति को ये भूल जाना चाहिए कि वो किसी प्रोफेशन में रहने से पहले एक ज़िम्मेदार नागरिक हैं ;क्या कुछ भी अनर्गल प्रलाप करने का अधिकार मिल जाता है तब आपको ;क्या ऐसा नही लगता कि विवेक और बुद्धि का विसर्जन कर दिया है ऐसे लोगों ने ;क्या ऐसे ज़िम्मेदार पदों पर बैठे गैरजिम्मेदाराना हरक़त करने वालों को फटकार नही पड़नी चाहिए ?

अंत में हम बात करेंगे उस ड्रामे की जो वाकई में किसी की भी प्राथमिकता के क्रम में सबसे अंत में आना चाहिए पर जब चुनाव करीब हों तो (भूल हो गयी हमसे ये बात भुलाकर ) तो वोट ऐंठना तो प्राथमिकता के क्रम में सबसे पहले आता है !!

और तब इस देश के एक हिस्से के ‘प्रिय ‘खेल भगवा सियासत की बारी आती है –चौरासी कोस यात्रा वाला किस्सा –मतलब वैसे ही कितने इत्मीनान से वातानुकूलन में रहने वालों को भूखे,नंगे लोग ,असुरक्षित महसूस करती आम जनता की आवाज़ ,बढती कीमतें इन सबसे बढकर कुछ दिखाई दिया तो ये दिखाई दिया!!

  अरे ...यात्रा चाहे अपने वास्तविक समय पर हो चुकी हो या नही पर जो भी हो किसी भी कीमत पर एक वोट के खोने से डर लगता है साहब !(जैसे आज के एजुकेशन सिस्टम में मार्क्स पाना ही अधिकांश स्टूडेंट्स का उद्देश्य रह गया है वैसे ही वोट के लिए कुछ भी करना इन’जनप्रतिनिधियों ‘ के लिए ! ) पर इन सबके बीच गहरे तनाव से गुज़र रहे आम जनजीवन का क्या ?वह तो बिखर गया न ! एक दल है जो मेजोरिटी का साथ नही खोना चाहता दूसरा माइनॉरिटी के गुस्से का शिकार नही बनना चाहता और घुन बनकर पिसी वो पांच साल की बच्ची जिसकी तस्वीर अखबार के मुख्या पृष्ठ पर देख कर बेहद दुःख हुआ ,वो बूढा बाप जिसने अपने बेटे-बहू को खो दिया और दो छोटे छोटे पोतों के आंसुओं को पोंछ रहा है ....और वो लड़कियां जिनका सामूहिक बलात्कार उनकी ही माँ के सामने हुआ .....सच मानिये इन सबके सामूहिक अपराधी ऊपर से लेकर नीचे तक सब की सब हैं ......!!!

और क्या अब भी आप ऐसों को वोट देंगे .....?

इस बार हम यही कहना चाहेंगे कि आपका कीमती वोट आपकी ज़िन्दगी की दशा और दिशा बदल सकता है ....प्लीज इसे किसी के लोभ ,लालच में आकर ज़ाया मत कीजिये वरना अगले पांच साल तक फिर रोने के सिवाय ,गलियाँ देने के सिवाय कुछ ज्यादा आप नही कर पायेंगे ....!!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Trip to RANSHET Village

A group of around 19 young students from IITB  left around 8.30 a.m on 26/09/2013 from IIT,Powai to Ranshet,Dist:Pen which is located at a 2.5 hrs drive from Mumbai.
On the way, we sang the GRA Geet  "Hum Yuva hain, Hum karein muskilo ka samna.." which was quite motivational & inspirational for Bharat's Nav-nirmaan.

IntroductionRanshet is 1 of the 9 wadis (villages) where Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram social workers with the help of previous IITB students have solved drinking water problem for the villagers in the past. Ranshet village has a population of 375 & 92 families live there. It is also calledThakurwadi after the tribal community living here 'Thakurs'. Ran=forest & shet=farm. Hence the name.

Guides: After reaching there we were guided by Mahesh Ji Kale's wife SmtMansi Kale & ex-sarpanch of Ranshet,Nagu Lende Ji
 & Mansiji lived in the village for 4 years, so that they can be a part of the community & understand their 'actual problems'. In fact they educated their son up to 4th standard in the village school. After living there, they realised the graveness of the villagers 'drinking water' problem. They had to spend around 5-6 hrs a day, just to get few 'kalashis' of drinking water. Every person of the family (even children) carried water from the well (in the valley) to the uphill located village,Ranshet.

History: The pucca houses here were constructed by a Norwegian Social organization. In 1985, few villagers made wine from jaggery, which was the root cause of quarrels among villagers. By 1987-88, Nagu Lende & few good men from Ranshet managed to bring a ban on liquor.Nagu mama & others faced opposition from the villagers for bringing this ban. Gradually, people started farming. 5-6 landlords of the village provided their land for free to the villagers for farming. Initially, they got loan from the Government. Later, they started collecting Rs.2/- per month from each family. After accumulating 1000/-, they deposited the money to get an interest of 200/-.

Developments: Today, the village is self-sustained and have 7-8 lakh funds with agriculture as the main occupation!!
Previously the farmers had lot of trouble finding shared vehicles for selling their vegetables in Pen & lost practically the whole day in Pen. Over a period of time, they have gained confidence & have bought a vehicle for selling vegetables.
Girls previously studied only up to 4th standard & later took care of children at home. Now they live in hostels of a nearby secondary school for pursuing further education. Nagu mama's relative has completed higher education & is now working as a air hostess.
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram is encouraging sports like kabbadi, relay, langadi & representing the villagers at the district,state & national level. Under their 'Sanskar Varg' programme, they try to carry the culture to next generation. Under their 'Arogya Vikas' programme, they try to provide medical help locally.
There is scope for utilizing wind energy here.

 Villagers are given yearly loan for farming purpose. The nearby dam water is available for farming through canals. During farming season, maximum village families shift to the low-lying farm area, with their cattle for months together. The main produce here are rice, tomato, raddish& bhindi. Villagers sell vegetables in Pen. Although they use chemical fertilizers, there is a nearby wadi, where organic farming is done under Mr.Pawar's guidance.
In Ranshet, people have a belief that cow milk is meant exclusively for the calf. So they dont do milk business. However they are planning to run a poultry farm. As of now, hen & goats are bred here & are sold on festivals.

Integrity: The older generation still have a 'mayalu' & 'man-milau' nature. We asked the villagers, if they ever felt to leave the village due to the problems. A villager replied that they never felt like leaving the village (love & compassion of the villagers). They wanted to stay back to maintain the village.
Whenever there is a marriage in any village family, the whole village comes together & they divide themselves into small groups for different activities like cooking, purchasing, etc.

Failures: Women cut forest wood in summer. This wood is stocked near every house & is used for cooking in rainy season. In the past, there were attempts to use biogas but due to insufficient organic waste it was stopped. However the villagers have a good practice of collecting plastic waste seperately & then they burn it.
Also there were attempts to run a flour mill in the village itself, but due to quarrels about 'who will run it?', this idea failed. Villagers have to go to Pen to get the flour.

Current problems: Educated youth here is working in cities because there is no money & infrastructure for running small-scale business in the village.
The old temple here was destroyed by a lightning. Villagers want to build a temple for the residing dieties, Lord Shiva & Durgadevi. The estimated expenses are 80,000/-.
The kuchha road over here, which is used for selling the vegetables in cities gets damaged in rainy season. The government is neglecting this huge-budget project.
However, personally I fear that road development will convert this village into a town & ruin the culture of villagers.
Threats: Few villagers have sold their land now. Cable TV & mobile are impacting the culture, traditional wear, people's character & thinking.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Have junoon- Be happy

A talk with discussion on how young IITians should develop a junoon for technology to solve the problems of India specially rural India. By helping the unfortunate bottom of pyramid population through technology and hence giving back to society, they can get tremendous satisfaction and happiness.
SPEAKER: Dr. Anil K. Rajwanshi
[Director, Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI)]
A man who gave up lucrative offers in the United States at a young age and decided to dedicate his life applying his training and knowledge in advanced science and technology for improving the life of rural population of his motherland. 
Biodata of speaker :

Date:  September 4, 2013
Time: 6:30 PM
Venue : HALL1, LCC