Holistic Development through Strong Institution Building

By auther pic. Jyoti

November 28, 2019

Holistic Development through Strong Institution Building

Easier access to water for the villagers as part of the CSR efforts of Reliance Foundation

Rudraprayag is a district in the hilly state of Uttarakhand. It is home to Luthiyag – a gram Panchayat in Takholi Block, also popularly known as Chirbatiya Luthiyag. Due to its location at such an altitude, people belonging to the gram Panchayat used to face many challenges. However, they have managed to find relief from their problems.


The determination from the proverb “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” helped Chirbatiya Luthiyag Panchayat partner with Reliance Foundation to tread ahead in their path to progress.


Kunwar Singh Kanthura, President, Raj Rajeshwari Gram Krishak Samiti says – ‘Reliance Foundation started working in the village in 2014. A committee was set up and representatives were elected.’


The villagers together with different organizations charted out the complete progress plan. The coming together of Gram Sabha and Raj Rajeshwari Village Association infused the village with new hope.


‘It was our focus to somehow unite the people who had many differences with each other and develop a strong village institution.’ – says Mr. Prakash Singh, Team Leader, Reliance Foundation, Rudraprayag.


Water Conservation –

The collective efforts of the community through ‘Shramdaan’ resulted in the construction of a pond with a capacity of 11 lakh litres. It was called ‘Prahari Khaal’, which means a pond that protects. This endeavour was praised by the Hon’ble Prime Minister as well in ‘Mann ki Baat’ (address to the nation). Along with the traditional ways to conserve water, new methods were also adopted and with ferro-cement technology, a tank with the capacity of 55,000 litre was constructed. This helped solve both the issue of drinking water as well as irrigation.


Roshani Devi, a Gram Sabha Member says– ‘Earlier we had to travel long distances to fetch water. But since the time we started collaborating with Reliance Foundation to create change, there is water in every house.’


Farming & Employment –

Shift from traditional farming to sustainable and commercial farming practices improving the living standards of the villagers


Efforts to shift traditional farming to sustainable and commercial farming practices were initiated. New methods such as soil testing to check the soil quality and use better quality seeds were adopted to enhance vegetable production. The fields were safeguarded from wild animal attacks, thereby reducing damage to crops. These interventions led to an increase in farmers yield and income.


Sankari Devi, a Gram Sabha Member says – ‘We sell cucumber, bitter gourd and cabbage. This year, I have sold Rs. 6,000 worth of cucumber.’


Health & Nutrition –

In tests conducted at the health camp, women and children were found to be anaemic. To increase nutrition levels, polyhouse based Reliance Nutrition Gardens were set up. After vegetables became easily available, there was a significant improvement in the overall health of the villagers. Earlier, vegetables would get damaged due to snowfall in the winters. But due to the polyhouse RNGs, villagers were producing vegetables even during the winters.


Open Defecation Free –

To improve the cleanliness of the village, the gram Panchayat has arranged for toilets in all the houses and dustbins on roads.


Social Awareness –

To bring about social awareness and change in the village, a group of young girls from the village have come together to form ‘Pahal Rang Manch’. They work towards creating social awareness through the medium of theatre and art.


Encouraging Sports –

The marathon organized by Reliance Foundation as an effort to encourage sports in the village


To promote physical activity and sports, Reliance Foundation and District Administration and Tourism Department together with Pahal Himalayas Self-Reliant Cooperative successfully organized its first ‘Monsoon Hill Half Marathon’ in 2018. Another half marathon was organized in 2019 attracting huge participation from the people.


The people of Chirbatiya Luthiyag also put in noteworthy efforts to improve the scenario of the village. They were working towards getting government recognition for the local school which finally happened in 2016.


Apart from this, the village women have transformed a 7 acre land into a jungle over a period of 20 years. Currently, there are plans to make it a biodiversity park.


The Progress Model –

The gram Panchayat of Chirbatiya Luthiyag is an ideal example of holistic development. The local leadership, the unity of the people, contribution of government departments and support from Reliance Foundation – all have an equal role to play in this progress. In the collective lies the biggest strength. Till the community does not unite, our village or nation won’t make progress.


Mangesh Ghildiyal (IAS), District Magistrate & Collector, Rudraprayag says – ‘The people of Luthiyag village are so well – informed that they are aware about their rights. The work that was done here with the collaboration of Reliance Foundation is quite commendable. The village of Luthiyag can function as a role model for other villages.’


If Chirbatiya Luthiyag which faced many challenges due to its location at a high altitude could transform itself into an ideal village, then other remotely located villages can also achieve this feat. All they need is commitment and determination to achieve this goal.


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Impact-Story is a series on development and CSR interventions leading to some impacts on the ground. If you have a project, innovation or intervention that has changed the lives of a few people or a community, please share a brief note at csr@ngobox.org. Our Team will get back to you after validating the information for a detailed coverage.


Jyoti, a post graduate of International Business, is working as a Senior Analyst Communication in NGOBOX and CSRBOX. A resident of Ahmedabad, she likes to spend her weekends in solitude by reading, with a steaming cup of coffee to give her company.


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