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Initiatives & Programmes


Institution Building being the core competency of GRAMA, the process of forming Community Based Organisations (CBOs) under Natural Resources Management and Organic Farming activities continues. The total Self Help Groups (SHGs) as at the end of March 2019 are at 2632 with 36788 members with a total savings of Rs. 35.21/- Cr. Self Help Groups promoted by GRAMA with the concept of savings first and spending later and use of loan received for economic improvement of women is having a lasting impact on the lives of rural women.

Institution Building Activity as on 31/03/2019 - SHGs
SHGs Total Members Total Savings (Rs. in Crs)
SHGs up to 2017-18 SHGs During 2018-19 Total No of SHG (Progressive) Members up to 2017-18 Members During 2018-19 Total Members Savings up to 2017-18 Savings During 2018-19 Total Savings
1495 1187 2632 20922 15866 36788 21.13 14.04 35.21

The total number of other CBOs such as Executive Committees, Village Watershed Committees and Tank User Groups are 88 with total members of 1558 and a total savings and capital mobilisation under different programs is at Rs.29.03 Cr. The total capitalisation of all the people’s institutions nurtured and promoted by GRAMA works out to Rs. 88.74 Cr (including Rs 27.00 Cr provided by NABFINS upto March 2019), which forms a strong foundation for setting up an independent micro finance institution under the aegis of GRAMA.


Although the major development initiatives were aimed at urban and rural poor, the benefits of the financial and social security institutions in the country were to a large extent catered to middle class, upper middle class and affluent sections of the society. The Planning Commission of India’s Press Note release during July 2013 for the year 2011-12 puts the estimate of people under Below Poverty Line (BPL) at 26.97 crores. In Karnataka, as against the total population under BPL category of 1.29 crores, the people in the Rural area stands at 0.92 crores. However, the vulnerable population has been miserably left out of the fiscal benefits available under formal financial systems in the country and thereby leaving them at the mercy of informal money lending system, which has to a large extent contributed for untimely death of the farmers.

The GRAMA team has indulged in several brainstorming sessions to address this issue and working on three programmes aimed at bringing the vulnerable sections within the fiscal main stream of the country.

Savings and Credit Programme

Savings and Credit Programme as an activity in the Self Help Groups (SHGs) is taken up as an entry level as well as an ongoing activity, which has effectively catered to the consumption loans of the group members (mainly women). This programme has laid down the foundation for the Institution Building process of 2632 SHGs facilitated by GRAMA. The total savings of Rs. 35.21 Cr by 36788 members till March 2019 shows the potential of the capitalisation capability of the SHGs.
The importance of Savings and Credit activity lies in the fact that members will have the opportunity to come together at regular frequency, which will facilitate involvement of group members for a better exposure to the outside world, and participation in the political process and facilitating enhancement of negotiating skills and freeing from the clutches of informal money lending system.

Micro Finance

The demand for enhanced credit facility in the areas of meeting social obligations like marriages, family health and children education; to improve living environment by repairing the old houses and improving the sanitation facilities and taking up Income Generation Activities (IGAs) like sheep rearing and petty business was taken care by providing micro finance through NABARD Financial Services (NABFINS). Upto March 2019 Rs 56.50 Cr to 8620 members of 977 (407 + 570) SHGs/JLGs (refer to table) was disbursed. The present absorption capacity of these groups is to the extent of Rs 10.0 crores per month when all the 2632 groups are upgraded to A & B Category. Microfinance is also seen as engineering the growth of the economic activity by creating clusters of goods and services in the coming days.

Micro Finance Activity as on 31-03-2019
Number of SHGs/JLGs Number of Beneficiaries Total Amount Disbursed ( Rs. in Cr) Total Repayment (Rs. in Cr) Balance to be recovered (Rs. in Cr)
977 8620 56.50 34.00 22.50

Micro Insurance

Poverty without social security support plays a devastating effect on the individuals and families during mishaps and other exigencies like deformation and death during accidents, ill health etc. Social Security measures with affordable financial products from the formal fiscal institutions has not made a big dent in the lives of the poor.

GRAMA initiated discussion with Life Insurance Corporation to take the micro fiscal products to a bigger outreach. Accordingly, GRAMA has signed an MOU with LIC, Shimoga on 16th July 2015. As per Micro Insurance Regulations, 2005, GRAMA is acting as Micro Insurance Agent for LIC in relation to the Micro Insurance Products as envisaged and modified from time to time by IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) and instructions issued by LIC in accordance with the same. Initially micro insurance products was introduced in Self Help Groups and other community organisations and benefitted 405 people, paying 5.37 lakhs yearly premium amount paid as on 31st March 2016.

Micro Insurance Activity as on 31-03-2016
Number of beneficiaries during 2015-16 Premium Amount(Rs. in Cr) Sum Assured (Rs. in Cr)
405 0.537 0.742

Natural Resources Management

Environmental pollutions and destruction of forest cover has caused an imbalance in the environment resulting in scanty rainfall. Central part of Karnataka including Chitradurga district experiences untimely rainfall with drought prone conditions. Adding to this, farmers practice unscientific methods resulting in increasing the gravity of the situation. From past one decade GRAMA in coordination with Central Government, Government of Karnataka and NABARD has been implementing watershed development programmes. The watershed development concept adopted includes integrated approach of afforestation, horticulture, land treatment, animal husbandry and also cover the landless families with income generation activities to make them economically strong.

In the farmer’s land different development works like water wares, check dams, bundings etc are undertaken depending upon the land, right from the upper reaches to the lower reaches, thereby water and soil are conserved and also the fertility of the land in enhanced. The small farmers and landless labourers are given intensive training to increase their income by involving them in Entrepreneurship Awareness Programme (EAP) and Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP).

Awareness creation among the villagers, farmers, landless labourers and the members of the Self Help Groups has been implemented over a period of time through Grama Sabhas, Jathas, street plays and exposure to Watershed Development Programme. The farmers have been shown practically the different activities which reflect controlling erosion of fertile soil by constructing soil bunds; check dams, formation of water bodies, and scientific methods of enhancing the income from the farming activity. The different activities undertaken by GRAMA are reflected in Annual Reports. Till date GRAMA has facilitated treating 34243.36 hectares of land involving a cost of Rs 2513.21 lakhs benefitting 15530 people.

Watershed Management

GRAMA in association with Government of Karnataka and NABARD has taken up a massive programme of developing watershed areas in Chitradurga District. Under various watershed development programmes 34243.36 hectares of land has been treated with financial implication of Rs.25.14/- crores benefiting 15530 people in the watershed areas. The importance of integrated approach takes into account the landless labourers, women and the youth. The essence of these programmes is to ensure people’s participation right from planning, implementation and post project management. Although, theoretically post project management by the CBOs sounds good, GRAMAs experience shows need for continuous interaction with the people is necessary

Natural Resources Management as on 31-03-2019
Sl No Activity Unit Upto 2017-18 Progressive 2018-19
1 Watershed Development program Ha 34243.36 34782.87
2 Organic Farming Ha 539.51 539.51
3 Tank Rehabilitation No 68 68

Organic Farming

Organic farming is a system involving sustainable activities and promotes production of healthy, nutritious and quality products. This ranges from production of dairy products, horticultural produce, and farm products like cereals, pulses and oil seeds. The main concept under organic farming is the total elimination of dependency on chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides thereby production of sustained, conserved, nutritious and quality food and also results in long term benefit of healthy flora fauna, human beings and the entire gamut of natural resources in a sustained manner.

In this background, the Government of Karnataka, in order to encourage organic farming practices has formed an Organic Farming Policy which is being implemented from 2004-05. Pursuant to this Policy, GRAMA has been working with Agriculture Department in engaging farmers in farming organic produce and forming Organic Farmer’s Societies, establishing retail outlets of organic produce and also duly certifying their produce by recognised certifying agencies. GRAMA has so far developed 539.33 hectares involving 410 farmers with a total investment of Rs.78.56 lakhs.

Achievement under Organic Farming as on 31-03-2019
Physical upto March - 2019 (Area treated in Hectares) Financial upto March - 2019 (Rs. in lakhs) No of Beneficiaries upto March - 2019
539.51 78.56 410

NABARD-KFW CCA Project and GRAMA initiated LeWA (Land as eco-friendly Wealth creating Asset) Project

Large tracts of land in some of the project area are not cultivated as the soil is literally dead leading to negative profit to the farmers. Farmers are in a catch 22 situation where their only occupation has been farming which has now become non remunerative due to the high cost of production, less productivity, cheating at the marketplace and economically unviable due to low returns for the produce sold in the Agricultural Producers Market as manipulated by the elite market players. It is a historical blunder, although Green Revolution which brought western technological practices and education in the field of farming to meet the requirement of the time and situation, that we continued to practice the borrowed systems and use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides indiscriminately leaving the soil dead and unproductive.

The situation so created can be traced to the root cause of farmers present day pathetic condition. It is now necessary to reverse the process by rejuvenating the soil which requires longer gestation period with relatively lesser input cost. GRAMA has developed a model, which is replicable and sustainable that can be practiced by farmers particularly in drought prone areas. The model puts in place land based Income Generation Activity for the farmers to sustain during the gestation period and also specifies the input cost, processes involved including water and soil conservation, pest and weed management and also the estimated output and the management systems so that the land, which has been hitherto non-productive will be converted into a productive and wealth creating asset.

NABARD identified GRAMA to take up Climate Change Adaptation Project and Sustainable Development Plan Project, which have the same objective as of LeWA Project.

PROJECT - I-eS (Informal Education System)- A Replicable and Sustainable MODEL

The learning environment in rural areas is not conducive for children to take to studies voluntarily resulting in school dropouts on a large scale, particularly among girl children. The learning environment in rural areas is not conducive for children to take to studies voluntarily resulting in school dropouts on a large scale, particularly among girl children. This situation is common in all rural areas. The external as well as the classroom environment acts as a disincentive for children to take to studies. An unfriendly teacher contributes to children's lack of interest in studies. Further, parent's inability to support children in their attending to homework and consequent humiliating atmosphere in the classroom worsens the situation. Few lucky ones who can overcome and reach upto college level generally lack efficiency in English, Mathematics and Computer Science thereby unable to compete with the urban counterparts.

In this context, it is necessary to develop situations for children to take interest voluntarily and the environment that needs to be created can be done with research input from educationists and child psychologists. This also calls for identifying teachers and training them with required skills.

Almost every village in the country is suffering from this kind of situation. Hence the magnitude of the problem. Therefore, there is a need to develop the Informal Education System (IES) which should be a "Replicable and Sustainable" model. In this background, GRAMA has worked with Christ University, Bangalore on 28th August 2015 to run IES at Gopanahalli village, Challakere Taluk. A replicable model is available with GRAMA which can used by any one who is keen to put in place an Informal Education System.

Human Resources Development

Strengthening of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) including Rural based Federations, Self Help Groups (SHGs), Tank Users Group (TUG), Village Watershed Development Committees, Farmers Groups etc with a view to develop them as a self sustainable grassroots level organisations is undertaken under different programmes. These informal institution members are given trainings / exposures in the various Government Schemes available to them and help them to make use of resources available within the System and become self sustainable. Capacity Building is an important factor in development and to improve the skills for which GRAMA has engaged about 34716 rural men and women with an investment of 187.08 crore till the end of March 2018.

Details of Capacity Building/ EAP/EDP/Exposure/Training/Demonstration activities as on 31-03-2019
Financial (Rs. in lakhs) No of Beneficiaries
Upto 2017-18 During 2018-19 Progressive Upto 2017-18 During 2018-19 Progressive
125.74 61.34 187.08 33203 1513 34716

Skill Development Program under PMKVY and NABARD

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is the flagship outcome-based skill-training scheme of the new Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The objective of this skill certification and reward scheme is to enable and mobilize a large number of Indian youth to take up outcome based skill training and become employable and earns their livelihood. Under the scheme, monetary reward would be provided to trainees who are successfully trained, assessed and certified in skill courses run by affiliated training providers.

PMKVY programme at GRAMA

Under PMKVY programme ‘GRAMA’ has trained women of the SHGs (Self Help Groups) from various villages in and around Chitradurga and Challakere Taluk in leather stitching. Around 337 women have been trained under this programme upto 31/03/2016 involving financial of Rs.4.05 lakhs.

Skill Development Activity (PMKVY) as on 31-03-2019
Sl no Taluk Number of batches Number of Members Fees collected (Rs. in lakhs)
1 Challakere 5 284 3.41
2 Molakalmuru 1 53 0.64
Total 6 337 4.05

Under this programme the ‘GRAMA’ with the help of ‘Labour Net’ trained women of the SHGs (Self Help Groups) from various villages in and around Chitradurga and Challakere in leather stitching. The training was for duration of one month. Around 337 women have already been trained under this programme as of now. The following are the benefits of the scheme:

  • GRAMA identifies women who already know basic aspects of tailoring. The aim of this training programme is to improve their skill of the women and help them in income generation. After the leather training course under this programme, the women have learnt to stitch bags. The ultimate goal of the NGO is to have a sustainable business model for these bags throughout the year and create income generation for these women.

GRAMA’ s Future Plans and Human Resources Development Program

GRAMA is relooking at the Capacity Building activities. After the training, it's essential to productively engage women in gainful activities. Therefore, GRAMA now focussing on identifying the products that women can produce at the comfort of their house as they have constraints in taking up job in far of places. Accordingly, negotiations with NABARD (Under their new NABSKIL initiative), Skill Development Department and CDV Global to establish a production hub and market the products such as readymade garments, handicrafts etc., The year 2018-19 could be crucial in this regard.

  • GRAMA plans to have this training for more women and make them more competent.
  • GRAMA wants to assist these women financially through NABARD finance to buy sewing machines and help them in manufacturing these bags.
  • It wants to make the villages in and around Chitradurga a manufacturing hub for bags and Readymade garments in the long run.
  • To help GRAMA putting in place a sustainable business model.
  • Help SHG members in income generation.
  • Identify various business opportunities under the training scheme and help them in implementation.
  • Marketing the GRAMA brand GRAMA Native Products.
  • Planning the production and quality control.
  • Pricing the products.