Institute's (DRI), Chitrakoot Project is an integrated and holistic
model for the development of rural India, based on the principles
outlines in Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya's Integral Humanism to create
a society based on the complimentarity of the family, primary
school and the local population. The Chitrakoot Project is a
self-reliance campaign that was launched on 26th January 2002
and will cover 500 villages around Chitrakoot in 2 phases. The
80 villages taken up in the 1st phase will be self-reliant by
15th August 2005, and the remaining villages will achieve self-reliance
by 26th January 2009. The Campaign has also been started in
the villages covered by the Institute in Gonda and Beed districts.
The self-reliance campaign covers all aspects of individual,
family and societal life of the villagers. The key to the
campaign is the concept of Samaj Shilpi Dampati (SSD), 'graduate'
couples that lives within the villages itself, and are responsible
for motivating and guiding a cluster of 5 villages.
Foremost among the aspects covered is income generation.
This is achieved by introducing watershed and soil management
techniques where necessary; new and improved farming technologies
through 2.5 and 1.5 acre model farms that enable small and
marginal farmers - who account for 80% of the rural population
- to look after the family needs plus save; and by increasing
Non-Farm Sector incomes through entrepreneur training and
the formation of income-generating Self Help Groups (SHGs)
that are both stand alone, and vertically integrated.
Issues of health and hygiene are the second most important
aspect of the campaign, as an unhealthy individual is incapable
of working to improve his/her economic condition. Regardless
of the manifold benefits of Ayurveda and Naturopathy - Allopathic
intervention - when the ratio of doctors to population is
in excess of 1:10,000 and the cost of medicine high is impractical.
Therefore, in issues related to health, the Chitrakoot Project
looks to Ayurveda and Naturopathy to keep villagers healthy.
Locally available herbs and nutritional vegetable gardens
are the key interventions used in this area, including a Dadima
ka Butua, a collection of 34 Ayurvedic local herbs and preparations
that can be used to treat common ailments. Where Ayurveda
is not applicable, as for example in Dentistry, state-of-the-art
facilities have been provided at Arogyadham, Deendayal Research
Institute's Ayurvedic & Naturopathy Hospital & Research
Centre at Chitrakoot.
Illiteracy and social consciousness is the third area covered
by the campaign. A 'functional literacy campaign' developed
by TCS is being conducted for the villagers by the Samaj Shilpi
Dampati, our Educational Research Centre and the 4 schools
that operate within the Project area. Ram Darshan, a unique
museum that highlights socially relevant aspects of Lord Rama's
life helps villagers inculcate human values to encourage them
to live in a spirit of co-operation and harmony with each