Place: india, Asia
Sustainable development of small rural communities Sustainable development of small rural communities
Total Budget: € 132.911,00 | Period: From September 2011 To December 2013


HARIT PRAYAS is an innovative development ‘sustainable communities’initiative of Caritas India in 64 villages of Bundelkhand region (India). Bundelkhand region is considered as one of the most deprived region with maximum number of farmer’s suicide in India. With HARIT PRAYAS movement based process in the form of equipping community with low input cost agriculture practices and accesses to government schemes through strengthening ‘inclusive governance’ farmers suicide in 64 villages of Bundelkhand have been brought down to zero.  In HARIT PRAYAS to strengthen community understanding on sustainable agriculture practices of ‘sustainable agriculture’ have been nurtured amongst community through local folk. This all results in HARIT PRAYAS as a movement in the region and a with the impact a village in Chatarpur district of Bundelkhand has officially changed the name from Majhota to HARIT PRAYAS Majhota. 


Caritas India - India

Lead applicant

Interventions on : 1: Sustainable Livelihood 2: Disaster response 3: Natural resource Management 4: Community Health 5: Innovative education

Jhansi Catholic Seva Samaj - India

Initiative partner

Sustainable Livelihood with deprived community

Manav Vikas Seva Sangh - India

Initiative partner

Working on Sustainable Livelihood and inclusive governance

HARIT PRAYAS a community owned and managed programme with locally available low cost sustianble agriculture practices tuned with local community folk and culture has made community members from Majhota village of Chatarpur in Bundelkhand to officially change the name of village to HARIT PRAYAS Majhota

Locally based sustainable agricultural inputs  could be better understand to community through usage of local folk, farming community could able to access it easily , use it easily, and benefited from it easily. What is important is strengthening community knowledge on usage of traditional practices. It takes time and initial impact is less, but to make community belief on it, needs to brand the programme and mode of communication to communities must be local folk . In HARIT PRAYAS practices of sustainable agriculture through usage of local inputs has cut down input cost in agriculture by more than 70% and to promote this songs, jingles and prayers have been developed on practices of sustainable agriculture in local Bundelkhandi language. Today HARIT PRAYAS is not just locally known but a national level Development Brand programme.

HARIT PRAYAS as part of community culture Community members in Jhansi singing local folk on HARIT PRAYAS-which indicates how HARIT PRAYS low cost sustainable agriculture techniques makes community benefited from agriculture
Sustainable agriculture! How Sustainable agriculture has changed the life of community!
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf HARIT PRAYAS covered by national magzine On impact in Bundelkhand region through sustainable agriculture!

Farmers’ suicides in Bundelkhand are a result of several years of neglect of the agricultural sector and industrial backwardness. Neither the Uttar Pradesh nor the Madhya Pradesh government has made efforts to address the basic issues of ecological degradation, agricultural modernisation and rural indebtedness.  Bundelkhand with all the seven districts in Uttar Pradesh (UP) – Jhansi, Banda, Jalaun, Chitrakoot, Mahoba, Hamirpur and Lalitpur, and six in Madhya Pradesh (MP) – Datia, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna, Sagar and Damoh, that comprise Bundelkhand are severely affected by this malady. The official figures for farmers’ suicides in UP Bundelkhand are 568 (2009), 583 (2010) and 519 (January-May 2011). In MP, the corre-sponding figures are 5,838 (2006-10) and 348 (January-May 2011) with a large number from Bundelkhand.


ZERO DOWN FARMERS SUICIDE THROUGH HARIT PRAYAS Caritas India with its development initiative in the form of HARIT PRAYAS in Bundelkhand region has able to reduce farmers suicide up to "zero" in 64 villages of Sagar, Chatarpur and Jhansi with concept of sustainable and profitable agriculture....now input cost in agriculture has gone down to 70-80% , where as average production has increased to 35%!

1. A village (Majhota) in Chatarpur has officially changed its name to HARIT PRAYAS
Majhota. India's 1st village name on dev. prog.
2.A village ( semlapur) in Sagar is 100% CFL electrified village ( 1st in MP)
3. A village (Kota ) in Chatarpur 100% household practices 100% organic cultivation
4. A village in Jhansi, where community and panchayt banned veil system
5. A village in Jhansi where a CBO of Rajputs and Dalits formed 1st time in region and
broken all walls of caste system
6. 1st Team where in recruitment process Caritas India has been the part of process
and supported her valuable partners for hiring capable team
7. 1st development project in region where social audit of the project has been done
8. 1st project to initiate a concept of leaning cycle with other projects, community,
government officials and others NGOs
9. 1st project to be socially audited by community in India

The project directly catered 4608 small, marginalized and landless SC, ST and OBC of

Kota village 100% household practices 100% organic cultivation India's leading Hindi news paper Nai Duniya has covered the story of Kota village (Charpur district, Mp, India) for 100% organic practices of agriculture by 100% households.
A village (Majhota) in Chatarpur has officially changed its name to HARIT P A village (Majhota) in Chatarpur has officially changed its name to HARIT PRAYAS Majhota
Decreased Migration! With HARIT PRAYAS in Chatarpur migration has decreased !
../file-system/small/docx ../file-system/small/docx HARIT PRAYAS village HARIT PRAYAS village-1st village in India named on a development programme
../file-system/small/doc ../file-system/small/doc Process documentation of HARIT PRAYAS Involves all major steps in designing HARIT PRAYAS!
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Social Audit of HARIT PRAYAS India’s largest circulated Hindi daily news paper “Dainik Bhaskar” has covered it as a story of change in development sector and importance of social audit of development project in bringing out the change in development sector
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf veil system stopped in HARIT PRAYAS village In one of the HARIT PRAYAS project village named Pathari (Jhansi), villagers ( including members from Mahila Mandals & Farmers club) along with the Panchayat have taken official decision on 7th/09/2012 to "ban the veil (Ghunghat) system" in the village ( attached find the official letter signed by the village community and panchayat) , this could be probably taken as one of the biggest change in the Bundelkhand region; because if we consider the situation of Bundelkhand region, veil (ghunghat) system is one of the highly dominated system by men and society on women to cover their face and hide their identity in front of male members, outside the house, in from of old people…..and many women pass their life without opening their face
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf village ( semlapur) in Sagar is 100% CFL electrified village ( 1st in MP) BIGGEST EVER CHANGE IN ENERGY CONSERVATION THROUGH HARIT PRAYAS INITIATIVE OF CARITAS INDIA! A HARIT PRAYAS PROJECT Village in MP become 100% CFL electrified with HARIT PRAYAS effort!

The project directly caters 4608 small, marginalized and landless Schedule Caste-SC (47%), Schedule Tribes-ST ( 29%), and Other Backward Caste-OBC (24%) households with focus on women Headed Households. The deliverance of the project is through Community Based and CommunityManaged Organizations, (CBMOs) and other stake holders as Krishi Vigyan Kendera (KVK), NABARD and Panchayats. It has implementation period 1 Jan 2011 to 31st Dec 2013 i.e. 36 months.

In Bundelkhand region Caste system is quite strong and uplifting poor and marginalised SC and ST is quite difficult. Also SC & SCt community have quite less portion of agriculture land and they give their land to higher caste people -mainly because they are not able to meet input cost in agriculture.

Women ( specially widows) are the most vulnerable in the region and have hardly any access to land .

With HARIT PRAYAS scenario has changed-Both socially and economically!

Communities of HARIT PRAYAS Jhansi Communities-Poor SC farmers (Ahirwars) how attached with HARIT PRAYAS
Women farmers in HARIT PRAYAS villages Women farmers in HARIT PRAYAS villages
../file-system/small/doc ../file-system/small/doc Baseline report Chatarpur Analysis of baseline findings of 20 villages of HARIT PRAYAS Chatarpur
../file-system/small/doc ../file-system/small/doc Baseline report Jhansi Analysis of baseline findings of 20 villages of HARIT PRAYAS Jhansi
../file-system/small/doc ../file-system/small/doc Baseline report Sagar Analysis of baseline findings of 24 villages of HARIT PRAYAS Sagar (Madhya Pradesh)
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Bundelkhand communities & HARIT PRAYAs Impact of HARIT PRAYAS on marginalised communities in Bundelkhand

In HARIT PRAYAS to implement to programme we have involved following people & Institutions :

  1. Community Based & Managed Organisation(CBMOs)-Community colectives
  2. Local Panchayat ( government body) as supporter of the programme
  3. Technical agriculture institute (KVK) and Bank (NABARD) as supporting agriculture partner and banking partner
  4. Qualified local language speaking Programme coordinators and Local youths as the community staff in the programme
  5. Local youths as the volunter in the programme.
  6. In terms of Resources involved in the programme was mainly Human resource and resource on capacity building. 

Vinod Pandey from Caritas India has spent 625 days in field with community and lived the life of common farmer to understand scenario and brought change through regular interaction with team and community


HARIT PRAYAS team of Chatarpur HARIT PRAYAS team of Chatarpur
HARIT PRAYAS Team of Chatarpur an Understanding of HARIT PRAYAS team!
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Community Based Organisations and HARIT PRAYAS How Community Based Organisations involved in Implementation of activities in Villages !
../file-system/small/doc ../file-system/small/doc Team and their specific role in HARIT PRAYAS A monitoring document on Team and their specific role in HARIT PRAYAS

Highly backward region without ant accesbility to reach to communities/villages: To overcome this In each village we have created volunteer base and also in every village we have established a Village Information Center managed by a village volunteer. Twice in a week meeting with all village volunteers in the cluster office of the programme -near to the project villages.

Women had hardly any right or access to agriculture land: Community mobilisation in the form of women farming collective along with men farmers club. Given extra resource support to women farming collectives

Highly political environment in villages and at Panchayt level-We involved Panchayats as our supporting partners to get their support for the implementation

Severe low level of Information on government programmes-Established Village Information centers in villages to dessiminate information on government programmes and on sustainable agriculture practices. Linked the same with local Panchayats

100 kms! Villages are more than 100 Kms from the nearest small town.
Women farmers in HARIT PRAYAS vilages Women farmers in HARIT PRAYAS vilages
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Bundelkhand scenario -Report by Planning Commission of India (Govt. Of Indi)

In terms of Impact on Environment:

  • 56 villages out of 64 villages , 100% houseolds have adopted 100% organic cultivation practices_this has reduced emission of green houses gases through usage of chemical fertilisers
  • A village in Sagar district has become 100% CFL electrified village and reduced power consumption in village by 50%.
  • Not only 64 villages of the programme, but nearly 200 villages in the region had impact of HARIT PRAYAS and has started using local sustainable inputs in agriculture and cut down the cost in input cost of agriculture by nearly 70%
  • 100% of farmers in the all 64 villages have adopted usage of regenerative traditional seeds , rather than hybrid seeds with no re-generation capacity. 
  • Birds like "Common Sparrow" count has increased in the project villages in last three years.
  • About 5000 plantation have been done in the project villages. 
100% organic cultivation Farmers started practicing 100% organic cultivation in HARIT PRAYAS villages
Traditional seeds farmers using traditional seeds!
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Impact of HARIT PRAYAS on Sustainable Agri. How HARIT PRAYAS concept of low input cost has reached to different farmers?

HARIT PRAYAS is now a culture in Bundelkahnd region and community not just own it, but sing it, feel , play with it and practice it. With HARIT PRAYAS we are able reduce the input cost in agriculture byaverage 70% where as able to increase the production by 15- 20% and all this is through sustainable agriculture means of cultivation and with locally available resources. Today more than 200+ villages get influenced in the entire region by the impact of sustainable agriculture. On otherside we have not only focused on the input cost but also focus on how the community would move for cultivating the food grains rather than only the cash crops like soyabean , our  concern is food grains must be given priority in compare to the cash crops. With HARIT PRAYAS approach the % of food grain grown on the land has also increased by 20%. Also with this calorie per day intake for an adult in the HARIT PRAYAS project villages has increased from 1090 to 2426 cal per day.

HARIT PRAYAS reaching to more than 200 villages of Bundelkhand region Now farmers from HARIT PRAYAS Majhota ( Chatarpur) village are guiding to the farmers from the villages where HARIT PRAYAS project is not going on. They visit the non HARIT PRAYAS villages and bringing the organic revolution in the entire region. So now HARIT PRAYAS is not only limited to 64 villages of Bundelkhand region , its impact has reached to more than 200 villages off the region.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Masters in HARIT PRAYAS & Rural Innovation Probably Masters in HARIT PRAYAS & Rural Innovation)= by India’s first rural University (Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramoday Vishwavidyalaya: www.mgcgvchitrakoot.com

In order to disseminate the Innoavtions and results we have used followings

A: Amongst community:

  1. Folk songs on impact of HARIT PRAYAS
  2. Wall writings in programme villages 
  3. Community meetings
  4. Community Branding of HARIT PRAYAS through Logo
  5. Name of programme in Hindi (local language)

B:For General Public & Other stakeholders:

  1. Through reports of HARIT PRAYAS
  2. Through blog: www.haritprayas.blogspot.com ( almost everyday update)
  3. Through social media on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harit.prayas
  4. Through HARIT PRAYAS News letter in Hindi
  5. Through broucher of HARIT PRAYAS 
  7. Through HARIT PRAYAS online channel 
  8. Through learning cycle cum review meetings 
  9. Through handbook of HARIT PRAYAS 
  10. Through a NGOs network formed through HARIT PRAYAS (http://liferajasthan.blogspot.in/2011/02/rwcwnt-activities.html)


CARITAS HARIT PRAYAS SOCIAL TOURISM Promoting results if programme through making stake holders/general public to spend some time in HARIT PRAYAS field and learn from community.
HARIT PRAYAS in Hindi Name of programme in Hindi ( HARIT PRAYAS means Green Endevour)
HARIT PRAYAS logo Logo indicating agriculture component and community
HARIT PRAYAS wall writing Wall writing on HARIT PRAYAS
HARIT PRAYAS Folk song Song on describing impact of HARIT PRAYAS
HARIT PRAYAS online channe Online Channel of HARIT PRAYAS to bring field result to common public
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf HARIT PRAYAS Handbook A handbook for community ( in Hindi) and in english for General public to make clear understanding about result , budget and process of HARIT PRAYAS
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf HARIT PRAYAS broucher Broucher of HARIT PRAYAS -mainly to communicate about result and process of HARIT PRAYAS
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf HARIT PRAYAS news letter Six monthly HARIT PRAYAS news letter in Hindi
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf HARIT PRAYAS report 36 months HARIT PRAYAS report
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Report of Learning cycle meet-Aatmmanthan AAtamanthan is a platform where entire HARIT PRAYAS team , community members, government officials , Panchayat (Village Council) people come together once in 6 month and share and discuss result of programme