Founder Chairman Vision Statement
President (Siddharth Bahhuuddesiya Sanstha): Archana P. Tayade
Human development should be the ultimate aim of any government. A society is said to have achieved this goal provided its members have a good quality of life. India has progressed on several fronts but an average Indian hasn't. His/ her quality of life hasn't changed. India ranks low in terms of the Human Development Index. Millions of its people still do not have access to basic medical care, safe drinking water, and education. A large percentage of its children are still undernourished. This is a huge problem. How could one solve this? Will an alternative framework of governance work? And what could that be?
Some like-minded colleagues and I collectively visualized a workable and replicable model of holistic human development that aims at empowering communities, supporting civil society initiatives, and channelizing entrepreneurial energy. Rural Devlopment Project Of India (RDPI) was thus born!
A public charitable trust formed 11 years ago, RDPI seeks to bring about a holistic development of communities through proactive participation of both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. It integrates economic, social, physical, ecological, intellectual and spiritual aspects in its developmental strategy in a holistic manner, thereby providing a greater meaning to the life.
While RDPI is conceived as a pan India movement, we chose Konkan, a picturesque region on the west coast of the Maharashtra state, as the initial project area. For one, development has always eluded this sylvan stretch despite a high level of literacy and abundant natural resources. Almost one-third of its population lives below poverty line
Mass migration of its men folks to the neighboring metros in search of greener pastures No impactful presence on the country’s tourist map, despite enviable scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage Perennial problem of drinking water during summer despite heavy rainfall Secondly and more importantly, the area, comprising of 1200 villages,
Two elements are crucial to the success of any model: institutionalization and creation of a committed cadre. Proactive participation of all the stakeholders is another key factor. RDPI volunteers started doing a baseline survey of all the 1200 villages to glean exact data for evolving developmental strategies. We divided the total population into six different target groups. These are:
The stratification was necessary to evolve:
1. An Project structure, which has a representative of each of the above mentioned target groups at different levels- from the smallest unit called “wadi” or the hamlet up to the block and district levels, and
A set of complimentary developmental activities for these groups.
The Projectl set up was a network local NGOs for the 40000 villages of the region, each looking after the development of approximately 10 to 12 villages in its area of operation through a hub of activities called RDPI Centre (Transformation Centre).
Representative of each target community was identified at each level- from a hamlet, village, RDPI Centre (Transformation Centre). (cluster of 10 villages) to the block and the district- to look after the developmental needs pertaining to their own group. The RDPI Centre (Transformation Centre). acted as a hub of all developmental activities for a given cluster of villages. RDPI created a voluntary structure for each target group in each village. The ultimate aim was to have at least one volunteer for each target group in each hamlet of the region. This volunteer structure from the hamlet to the district level was the link between the people and the Government. The introduction of the concept of NGO participation in such a formal structure was to ensure participation of people in the developmental process and prudent utilization of funds made available for the developmental initiatives.
The importance of the structure lies in thus institutionalizing the developmental efforts. The structure acted as a permanent pipeline through which the information about government scheme would reach the beneficiaries and feedback about its implementation from beneficiaries would reach the government. We employed certain criteria while shortlisting our NGO partners for the formation of the RDPI Centre (Transformation Centre). We formed NGO such RDPI Centre (Transformation Centre).