We are a non-profit, secular organization working for the past 2 decades in Koraput, one of the poorest districts in Odisha, India. We empower the most disadvantaged members of society, especially women and children, to better their own lives through healthcare, education, governance, livelihood and disaster relief. Our participatory process motivates tribals to work together to fight poverty, exploitation and discrimination so they can one day become free and equal members of society.
Our journey began in 1993 when the tribal people of Koraput were displaced by the construction of the Upper Kolab Hydroelectric Dam. People who had been living for centuries along the reservoirs were forced to move much further uphill, where the land was not as suitable for agriculture and lacked other natural resources like forests. As a result, the infrastructure and institutions of the tribals fell apart.
The displaced people were grappling with the difficulties of starting over again when we stepped in. We motivated them to form groups to discuss issues, fight for their rights, plan for their future and regain their sense of community. Over the years, we’ve continued to add programs and build strong, trusting relationships with the communities we serve. Starting in 13 villages with only a few staff members, today we work in 276 villages of Koraput District.