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Gangadevipallyused to be like any normal village in India with multiple social, economic, and politicalproblems. The village lacked basic necessities such as potable water, health facilities, educational institutionsand adequate employment opportunities.The people were desperate for external assistance but they could not obtain this from the government or other organizations chiefly because they lacked unity among the community members and cooperation among the leaders. The villagers lived with unrest and hopelessness.

A committed leader Mr. Kusam Raja Mouli was not comfortable with his village situation. Hewanted to bring about a significant change in the village, visualizing a situation where unity prevails,  people cooperate and participatein initiating innovative activities using local resources rather than dependingon externalassistance. He realized the importance of peoples commitment and  participation for sustainable community development. He shared his dreams and convinced fellow leaders and throughthem the total community that something needed to be done.

As an initial step, they succeeded in banning the sale andconsumption of alcohol after a few years of sincere efforts. This immediately resulted in a peaceful atmospherein thecommunity. To provide better services to the village, the leaders approached BalaVikasa,a reputed Warangal-based NGO working with community driven development for the last three decades, for assistance in solving the drinking waterproblem. UsingBalaVikasa’s models of Asset Based Community Development, the community was mentored in uniting themselves in identifying, mobilizing  and using locally available resources and capacities to build thefoundation blocks of their village.

At the suggestion and strong motivation of BalaVikasa, the community came forward to contribute  money, time and labor in completing the water project, which provideda permanent solution to their needs. This success boosted the villagers to dream and work together. This spirit of unity, innovativeness, committed leadership,active participation and contributions of the community has changed the destiny of thevillage. The local and state government also provided key resources and assistance: they established an Outreach Center that accommodates 100 people to share the success models with other village-level authorities. Sanitation programs were also initiated through government schemes. Now every citizen of the village is proud of their achievements and living withdignity and security.

Gangadevipally village is now setting new trends in community development and  inspiring people from all walks of life. The innovative approaches in sustainable community driven development atGangadevipally village are attracting thousands of visitors every year from different sectionsof the society not only from India but from many other countries.

20-08-2007: Bharat RatnaRajiv Gandhi for ‘Best Gram Panchayat’ awarded by National Government, handed over byKerala Governor R L Bhatia.

Achievements
100% alcohol prohibition
100% house tax collection
100% houses have toilets
100% usage of toilets
100% family planning (all families have only two children)
100% participation in savings’ groups/schemes
100% literacy
100% drinking purified water
100% child labor free
100% children attend school
From 1995 – 2006, women were chief elected representatives

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