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.)