THE GENESIS OF GVK(Garhwal Vikas Kendra)

The genesis of Garhwal Vikas Kendra has its roots at the time of the movement for the separate state of Uttarakhand in the mid eighties, when many social activists came together to champion the cause of the separate hill state.  Many of these social activists thought and discussed the wider issue of hill development and pondered over the path of sustainable hill development.

Many brought forward the issue that, for generations the inhabitants of Uttaranchal had their livelihood system based mainly on subsistence agriculture and animal husbandry and that the support base of these came from natural ecosystem, which provided them with food and fodder. In earlier times there was enough water sources and fertile top soil, which managed its subsistence agriculture. Dependence on forests for fuel, fodder, timber, medicinal herbs and other forest produce were part of its livelihood system.

Many agreed that today, due to indiscriminate exploitation of the natural resources; the young and fragile Himalayan ecosystem has been disturbed. Problems of availability and accessibility to forest and forest based resources and the conflicts with forest department have compounded the livelihood problems of the marginalized people.
All these issues led to increasing pressure on land, lack of industrial and service sector development in the state along with increasing literacy and changing lifestyles has forced the people to migrate for their livelihood.
A few of these activists formed a core group to visit and go for Path-Yatras to get first hand information and experience the ground realities of development in the hill areas and the problems faced by the people. It was through these visits and yatras and the experiences gained by these social activists that the idea of a development centre or Vikas Kendra was envisaged.

It was in the year 1985 that the Garhwal Development centre or the Garhwal Vikas Kendra was opened by some of these activists. The centre operated from a small room in Dehradun and kept shifting its location in and around Dehradun due to financial and practical reasons.

It was finally Mr. Parendra Saklani, who took the initiative to register Garhwal Vikas Kendra under the society act, to continue the organization in 1988 and thus gave a formal shape to the centre.

Down the years many of these social activist had moved to different location and professions and the task of continuing the centre and its activities was left with a handful of these activist.

Though many of the old colleagues and activist did assist the organization in technical and financial terms, the task of running the centre was ad-hoc and was not streamlined, due to financial constraints. There were many hurdles and due to this, Mr. Parendra Saklani many times toyed with the idea of going to the legall profession as he was a law graduate. His heart was in social movement and hence continued with the task despite many pressures. Much relief came to him only in 1996, when Indo-German Social Service Society (IGSSS) New Delhi, gave him a fellowship to continue his work as a social activist in Garhwal.

After the initial activities on awareness generation and adovacy, the Kendra moved in the area of implementing grassroot development programs. To initiate development Program in a particular geographical area, the Kendra had to be based in some rural location and after lot of discussion and deliberations and after looking into all practical issues, it was decided to have a permanent centre at Nainbagh in District Tehri Garhwal.  This was also necessary to see the impact of the Program on the rural hill community. The Garhwal Vikas Kendra also wanted to experiment and demonstrate rural development activities and to have a training centre in their area for the concerned villages and for others in the development sector.
Today with the support of the old activist and their encouragement and the dedication of the staff and volunteers and active involvement of the many villagers in the area, the Kendra has grown in terms of its awareness activities, grassroot presence, number of beneficiaries in many development and livelihood programs.
Later when the fund sources fro various programs got broad based, the Garhwal Vikas Kendra had to go in for the registration under FCRA, Today the Garhwal Vikas Kendra is also registered under FCRA of the Ministry of Home, Government of India.

The Kendra which started in a small room but with the noble idea for rural upliftment, now has staff of about 40 and about 25 volunteers mostly drawn from the surrounding villages of Nainbagh in Tehri-Garhwal. The Kendra also has many technical persons and consultants on its panel, many of whom give their voluntary service

Today the Garhwal Vikas Kendra is supported by many state, National and International agencies. The core area remains to be Education and Health, which is focused on women and child. Most of its development programs and activities keep the issue and welfare of women and children while designing and implementing them.

While the newly formed state of Uttaranchal has come into being and the old name of Uttarakhand is now been proposed, to keep the spirit of history and sentiments, the issue of development planning, its strategies and its sustainability has not been debated, discussed and decided by the state and society.

The Garhwal Vikas Kendra always has been pondering over the issue of sustainable hill development for the larger goal of people’s welfare and their well being. This has been an unending task and the Kendra is committed to this task.


Registered Office -

Village & post -SumanKyari Nainbag,
Tehri Gahwal, Uttarakhand,
India 249186

Field Office-

Village Bhatwri, Post Shrikot,
Tehri Gahwal, Uttarakhand,
India 249186

Camp office -

Khadar, post Raipur, Dehradun.
Uttarakhand, India 248001


P. O. Suman Kyari, Nainbagh
Tehri Garhwal – 249 186 (UK)
Ph.: 01376-228420, 9458132555
E-mail: gvkindia@gmail.com
Website: www.gvkindia.org


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