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About us

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Rural Communes

Based on the foundation of development, Rural Communes, founded in 1974 with the sole purpose of finding the right means to create livelihood for the marginalised rural individuals and empower the society through Sustainable Development.

By involving people in the process of their own development with action oriented tasks a movement begins, the movement of real development. And Rural Communes takes the initiative and the course progression with tangible methods that allow learning and manifests self-reliance.

This very value gave life to the Graduate Volunteer Scheme (GVS).  A programme initiated in 1974 to develop a meaningful and relevant form of education where graduates from all faculties had to live and work in rural Maharashtra for a period of 12 months.

This new type of education and learning process, which brought them out of the classroom, students learnt the realities of the world, problems of the oppressed class and moreover, learnt to face and overcome problems of life. Besides, it developed a sense of self-confidence in them and they also realized the effectiveness of collective efforts of people towards the solution of problems.

Creating leadership through education

The students became not only good organisers but also good leaders and local organisation sprang up. GVS won the “Commonwealth Youth Award” for 1976 for the involvement of youth in Community Development, on the strong recommendation of the Government of India.

After the students completed their period of learning with GVS, they continued to stay on in the villages and working with the people. The people in turn indicated willingness to support the students in kind. Seeing this, GVS staff also extended their support to them personally and on an ad hoc basis.

Since GVS was working under the set-up of the University of Bombay, it was unable to provide support to the students for more than a year. Therefore, it was subsequently decided by the staff and students of GVC to register an independent organization – RURAL COMMUNES (RC). Rural Communes was registered in 1976, both under the Societies

Registration Act - 1860 (No. Bom. 137/1976 G.B.B.S.D.) and the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 ( No. F - 3978 (Bom.)

Our Team

RC’s Co-ordination staff play a vital role by:
  • Formulating need based programmes and activities.
  • Active staff training
  • Providing information on relevant issues/topics
  • Participating in critical assessments; internal as well as external (of personnel and programmes)
  • Developing appropriate monitoring system
  • Translating progress report and project proposal
  • Managing crisis situation
  • Providing material on current topics and issues
  • Providing assistance in administrative management, coordination, accounting, etc
  • Promoting networking among these agencies on different topics and issues
  • Organising workshops, seminars, etc. to take fortnew ideas and concepts in the development field e.g. concepts like sustainable development, watershed development, etc
  • Formulating project proposals
  • Networking on the concepts like watershed development, environment regeneration, etc.
  • Liasoning and encouraging educational institutions like Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay University, SNDT Women’s University to get involved in specific programmes.
  • Networking on specific issues like minimum wage rate, its availability, rehabilitation’s of bonded labour, common grasslands, women’s issues.

Team composition

Salma Alavi: Director

Tushar H. Patil: Programme Manager for CEL

B.C. Patil: Campus in-charge

Vandana Patil: Field Accountant, CEL

Vaishali Gavandi: MPPC Trust

B.S. Bhoye: Programme in-Charge, Jawhar Mukhada

Lata Pujary: Administrator

Muriel Lopes: Chief Accountant

Savita Tandel: Assistant Accountant

Ms. Archana Karnik: Documentation & Communication

Mr. Suryakant Tambe: Office Assistant

Jermina Devi Tirki: Office Assistant

Milestones

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

2003-2018

Activities

Tribal Initiatives –Jawhar & Mokhada

New Site Development - RC-Chiplun, Ratnagiri

Plan Mega Watershed and 15 Micro Watershed Planning for WF-64

Hard Facts Consultancy LLP previously registered as Hardfacts Consultants Pvt. Ltd. – as RC’s Self-sufficiency Wing

Certificate Courses in affiliation with Dept. of Continuing, Adult & Extension Education in collaboration with SNDT Women’s University and SDTT, Mumbai

Revival of Graduate Volunteer Programme as Advanced Course

Objectives

Phase I - Sustainable Tribal Development – 10 villages

Phase II - Development Initiative Programme in 60 villages of Mokhada & Jawhar Taluka in Thane Dist

Detailed Micro Watershed Planning - DPR for Jawhar WF-14 comprising of 3 revenue villages – MNREGS / EGS

Ten Certificate Courses

  • Advanced – GV, Mgt., WNRM
  • Basic – VLWT, CIDP, YL
  • Participation – MFED, WWNRM & Agriculture

Certificate Courses for– Women, Youth, Small & Marginal Farmers, Landless, Civil Societies, NGOs, CBOs, Graduates & Professionals (any faculty), PRIs, Field Government Staff, etc

  • Konkan – Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg
  • Nasik – Dhule, Nandurbar, Nasik and Jalgaon
  • Pune – Satara, Sangli, Solapur, Ahmadnagar, Pune and Kolhapur

Detailed Mega Watershed Planning and 15 Micro Watershed Planning for around 80,000 ha of WF-64, Chiplun & Khed, Ratnagiri – NABARD, Pune

“Hardfacts Consultants” was recently dissolved and registered as “Hard Facts Consultancy LLP” compliant to new Company Act of 2008 – Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India on 4th June 2014.

Outcome

Empowerment and Comprehensive Sustainable Development Of Adivasi Communities in Jawahar-Mokhada

National Programme on Promoting Conservation of Medicinal Plants & Traditional Knowledge and Enhancing Health and Livelihood Security

Hard Facts was initiated by Rural Communes to provide professional services, development planning, appropriate scientific technological interventions and capacity building by the team of Interdisciplinary Experts, technical institutions & organizations. Benefits to the rural poor resulted through Enterprise development for livelihood, food, water, agriculture and climate change &environment security.

Skills for Micro Finance & Enterprise Development –152 beneficiaries

Youth Leadership-Motivated Youth & Women recommended by the communities, local CBOs, self-help groups and women’s groups.

Skills for Women in Water & Natural Resource Management -119 beneficiaries

Sustainable Agriculture Advanced Level– 132 Beneficiaries

Skills for Conservation Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge and Sustainable Agriculture–260 Beneficiaries

Comprehensive Watershed Development

NABARD – Shedashi – Wavoshi Watershed - 1780 ha. of 5 revenue villages & 19 tribal hamlets & follow-up programmes – women development

SDTT, Mumbai & CAPART, New Delhi – 4780 ha. of Amba Valley – 6 revenue villages & 24 tribal hamlets

NABARD – Bhatsa Dam Catchment Area of Shahapur – 5835 ha. of 8 revenue villages and 15 padas along with State Social Forestry, Pune & local communities.

In-situ conservation (along with SFD) and Community Mobilisation & other allied activities in 13 different agro climatic & forest type zone – UNDP-MoEF

Community Knowledge Registers & Home Herbal Gardens in Amba MPCA and its surrounding villages – UNDP-MoEF

PBRs for Chavani & Khandas villages of Raigad Dist – TRTI & Ministry of Tribal Affairs

Biodiversity Assessment of Amba Valley along with Kalpavriksh

1992-2003

Activities

1. A. VLWT – One year Village Level Workers Training(VLWT) Programme for Activist of NGOs / Communities – Certificate Course affiliated to SNDT University under Continuing Education

1. B. Specialized Skill Training & Capacity Building Courses for Watershed Development, Gender Empowerment, Appropriate Rural Technology Skills, etc.

2. Comprehensive Sustainable Development Programmes for Local Communities – Awareness, Capacity Building, Local Organizations, Technical & Management Skills, etc.
100 tribal villages in Pen, Khalapur & Karjat Tribal Block- Raigad
70 tribal villages in Jawhar, Mokhada and Shahapur Talukas of Thane District

3. Conservation of Medicinal Plants & Empowerment of Local Communities for Natural Resource Management along with State Forest Dept. in 13 forest sites located in different eco-zones of Maharashtra.

4. Support to Ex-RC groups and grassroots level NGOs

Objectives

Since 1982, 15 batches of 25 students per year has been completed.

Initiated dialogues with S.N.D.T. Women’s University and got recognized as a One Year Certificate Course from the year 1994-1995

The regular follow-up & specialized skills development workshops have been organized on a regular/need based basis.

Strengthening village level organizations by specialized skills, knowledge, experiential learning for collective actions for Sustainable Development. Help Ex-VLWT students to form and register local organizations for Sustainable Development with initial 1 – 2 years support

The regular follow-up & specialized skills development workshops have been organized on a regular/need based basis.

Need based activities in order to empower the communities for collective action

A Model for In-situ Conservation was developed with a strong participation of the State Forest Department and Local Communities.

Awareness, Local Organization, Documentation, Data Base of Medicinal Plants & a Sustainable Model for Natural Resource Management

Outcome

95% of these ex-VLWT students are very active and few of them after initial help, have formed their own local organizations and registered independently.

Ex-VLWT GROUPS

  1. Balaji Totwad Marathwada Coordination Samithi - Nanded
  2. Motiram Pawar Lok Jagrut Shramik Mandal – Tandoli Tand – Nanded
  3. Vasant Kamble Panchsheel Co-op Industrial Institute – Sangli
  4. Gajanand Gorav Kala & Janvikas Mandal – Varsai – Raigad
  5. Adinath Umble Janata Sahayyak Mandal – Vanawal Mahabaleshwar, Satara
  6. Yashoda Wagh Jaivardan Mahila Mandal – Raigad
  7. Gurunath Pendarkar Vasudeo Balwant Phadke Gramvikas Mandal – Nanded
  8. Madhuri Gharat Azoole Sanstha – Raigad
  9. Anju Patil Jivala Sanstha – Raigad
  10. Bharat Patil Environment Regeneration Sanstha – Satara
  11. Deepak Bade Asha Welfare Sanstha – Gadchiroli
  12. Sunil Bhat National Rural Research & Development Association Centre –Jawhar, Thane
  13. Nanda Gaikwad Janwadi Gramvikas Pratisthan – Parbani
  14. Umashankar Walande Janvikas Pratisthan – Latur
  15. Pandurang Kadam Sankalp India Pratisthan – Parbani
  16. Jagdish Bhagat Navjeevan Rural Women & Child Development Sanstha – Pedeli Raigad
  17. Arun Naitham Janseva Gramin Vikas Sarvajanik Vachanalaya – Chandrapur
  18. Parsuram Shirsagar Ekta Nav Yuvak Mandal – Nagpur
  19. Rajendra Kuvale Jan Jagruti Kalapathak Manch – Gadchiroli
  1. Strong Local Organizations have been created for collective actions.
  2. RC has successfully implemented Watershed Model for High Rain Fall Area in Shedashi
  3. RC has successfully implemented the Comprehensive Watershed Development Program in Amba Valley
  4. RC has been recognized as Mother NGO by Government of Maharashtra for Watershed for Coastal & High Rainfall Area
  5. RC was recognized as a Nodal Agency initially for Watershed by NABARD – Pune
  6. RC has been conducting Capacity Building Workshops for Government Official and Local Village Watershed Committees
  1. RC-MPCC won the UNDP Equator Initiative Award for the year 2002 – at Johannesburg for active involvement of Local Communities in Conservation of Biodiversity
  2. Active participatory involvement of Forest Department and Local Communities in 13 different locations has initiated in-situ and ex-situ programmes for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

RC’s interventions specially in Crisis situations was very fruitful on many occasions.

1976-1992

Activities

GVS Promoters, Staff & Students Registered an Independent Organization – Rural Communes in 1976

Objectives

To make a platform for Ex-GVS students for collective Action & Support for 3 to 5 years

Initiated Village Activist Training Programme in the year 1982 to continue GVS type Training

Initiated & supported 10 grassroots level groups for 3-5 years and made them independent Local Organizations.

Outcome

Most of the Ex-RC groups are recognized for good sustainable development work and some of them even won National Awards.

  • Progressive Friends Circle, Mukhed, District Nanded.
  • SURYA, Palghar, District Thane.
  • Shramajeevi Janata Sahayyak Mandal, Rammalla, Koyna Nagar, District Satara.
  • Debons Agro Consultancy Services, Jaisingpur, District Kolhapur.
  • Academy of Development Sciences, Karjat, District Raigad.
  • Rural Development Research and Action (RUDRA), Vavarle, District Raigad. (Ex-M.S.W. students from TISS).
  • Jagrut Bhaubandhi Sanghatana, Margachiwadi, District Raigad.
  • Madhuban Tribal South Dharampur –South Gujarat
  • Dharohar – Bastar, Kondagaon - Chattisgarh
  • Paramparik Bastar Shilpee Parivaar (PBSP), Kondagaon, Bastar, Chattisgarh. (Tribal Traditional Artisans)

1974-1980

Activities

Graduate Volunteer Scheme(GVS), University of Bombay – supported by Ministry of Education – Govt. of India>

Objectives

To develop a Meaningful & Relevant Form of Education.>

Graduates of all faculties had to stay, work & experientially learn in tribal villages for 1 year >

6 batches of 25 students each passed out GVS>

Outcome

GVS won the Commonwealth Youth Award for the year 1976 for relevant educational & community development activities

GVS introduced Rural Development Courses in University of Bombay

GVS initiated the platform for Ex-GVS students – Rural Communes in 1976

1973-1974

Activities

Maharashtra Youth Development Co.

Objectives

Initiating Educational Program relevant to Indian Context

Outcome

Initiated talks with University of Bombay & Education Ministry Govt. of India

Our technical Partners

Our funding agencies

Some of the NGOs that RC works very closely by way of Networking and Actual work

NGO Partners –Agricultural Innovation

Organisation for Training and Capacity Building Courses of RC

  • Tuljai Bahudessiya Foundation
  • Centre for Experiential Learning – Rural Communes
  • Yuva Jagruti Bahuddesiya Foundation
  • Utkarsha Kalavishkar Foundation
  • http://www.tiss.edu/  
  • Saum Sanstha
  • MPCCTRUST
  • Olava Samajik Sanstha
  • http://empowherindia.org/ (previously known as Chakshu Foundation)
  • Adarsh Bahudessiya Foundation
  • Bhavani Mahila & Balvikas Sanstha
  • Lokkalyan Organization
  • Trivence Shaishanik Sanstha
  • SHG, COOPRATIVE
  • Sudhagad Hitvardhini sabha
  • Shrimati Ramabai Mahila Bachat Gat
  • Amba Khore Vikas Sanstha
  • Pragati Mahila Bachat Gat
  • Bhagyalakshmi  Bachat Gat
  • Om Shree Ganesh Bacht Gat
  • Priyadarshani Mahila Bachat Gat
  • Janvichar Sanstha Jambrung
  • Shri Ganesh Mahila Group Dhulewadi
  • Shri Hanuman mahila Bachat Gat Gorthan
  • Ekta Mahila Mandal Chilthan
  • Luxmi Mahila Bachagat Gorthan
  • Mahaluxmi Mahila gat Donvat
  • Savitribai Phule swayam sahayta Mahila Bachat Gat,Chilthan
  • Ganesh mahila SHG
  • Vaibhav Lakshmi SHG
  • Prerna mahila SHG
  • Shree Dattprasad  Mahila SHG
  • Janani Mahila SHG
  • Zashichi Rani Mahila SHG
  • Akvira Mahila SHG
  • Janai-Manai Mahila SHG
  • Navi Umed Sanstha, Behind SBI, Akhada Ward, At.Pandharkawada, Tal.Kelapur, Dist.Yawatmal
  • Srujan Sanstha, Mandurda, Post box No.1, Tal.Kelapur, Dist.Yawatmal
  • Rural Communes - Jawhar, Husen Manzil, Pachbatti Naka, Tal.Jawhar, Dist.Thane-401 604
  • Savedana Sanstha, Professor Colony, Behind Chitralekha Paper, Karaja (Lad), Dist.Vashim- 444403
  • Dhruv - Baif, Vrundavan Campus, At.Lachhkadi, Post.Gangapur, Tal.Basada, Dist.Navsai - 396 580
  • Chaitanya Sanstha, Pune, Madhuban Apartment, Rajgurunagar, Tal.Khed, Dist.Pune
  • Rural Communes - Medicinal Plant Conservation Centre, Taj Aprt., 97-1/A-8, 2nd floor, Salisbary Park, Near Advestis hospital, Pune
  • Shramik Sahayog Sanstha, At.Jathar Chaul, Vireshwar Colony, Behind Central Bus Stop (Near Pond), Tal.Chiplun, Dist.Ratnagiri
  • Apropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI), 2nd Floor, Marin Apt., shop No.13, Dhyarigaon, Pune - 411041
  • Gokhle education society, Arts & Commerce college, Tal.Jawhar, Dist.Thane
  • T.B.K. College, At.Post.Bharne, Tal.Khed, Dist.Ratnagiri
  • Mahatma Phule Arts, Science & Commerce college, Panvel. Dist.Raigad
  • Aas Bahuouddeshiya vikas sanstha, Padalse, Dist.Jalgaon
  • Shri Beleshwar Sewabahvi Sanstha , Parbhani,
  • Jay Malhar Sevabhavi Santha, Girgaon, Tal- Basmath, Dist - Hingoli
  • Adhar Garamvikas Sanstha,Kadgul
  • Samajik Unnati Yuva     Manbdal
  • Astitva Mahila Bahuuddeshiy Santha Sonala, Tal Sangrampur, Dist- Buldhana.
  • Awhan Bahuuddeshiya Samajik Sanshtha
  • Care Touch Social Foundation
  • R.C.Bhivapuri,Local CBO
  • Surjan NGO,Local SHG,MPCC Pune
  • Shree mahadev shahara trust , Local CBOs
  • Bhivpuri,- Local NGO, Janvichar vikas manch sanstha
  • CEL - Bhivpuri Cluster
  • CHETANA  Mahila Vikas, Beleshwar sevabhavi Sanstha
  • MPCC TRUST
  • Swarajya Prabodhan Sangharsh Samitee
  • Lokadhikar Sanstha

Support our Cause

Rural Communes team is able to conduct programs in training, education, technology development and rural development through financial contribution from society.

Donation to Rural Communes is eligible for 80G certification.

We are looking for your financial support for the following:-

  • Rural Communes corpus
  • Rural Communes infrastructure development (Hostel / furniture in the hostel etc.)
  • Donation for tool upgrade
  • Sponsoring technology development project.

Please send e-mail to ruralcommunes@gmail.com for bank details. If you wish to contribute for the specific cause/program, please do mention it in the e-mail.

Please send your e-mail id. And mention your PAN Number and postal address for the receipt. We will keep you updated about the progress of the work at Rural Communes