Established: 1983 ; Founder Late L.C Tyagi
Based on Gandhian ideology, Gravis stands for Gram Vikas Vigyan Samiti. It is a non-governmental organization that works for the rural water issues in the drought-afflicted Thar Desert of North-western India. Since inception, Gravis has worked on specific projects to provide clean drinking water, raise agricultural productivity, build a school, and provide healthcare.With the development of locally innovative solutions Gravis has tried to resolve the issue of water scarcity in desert Rajasthan.
Vision: Working with Desert Communities for the Empowerment of the Poor.
Methodology: Gravis’ works is based on the following pillars:
- Community Participation
- Inclusion of people from all sections of society
- Capacity building & skill development of the staff and beneficiary community
- Blending science and local traditions & knowledge
- Community ownership & Self Reliance
- Networking & partnerships with relevant stakeholders and organizations
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Gravis works in Rajasthan which contains 5% of India’s population, but only 1% of its water.Water security is at the forefront of Gravis’ efforts and thus promotes more traditional methods of water security by designing following structures.
Taankas ( Underground water storage tank) : These cylindrical tank gather rainwater from rooftop and ground and have a capacity to store between 18,000 and 20,000 L of water. Since 1985, Gravis has built 5,952 taankas where 0ne taanka can support a family of 10 for 4-6 months of the year and it costs only Rs. 12,000-16,000 (US $300-400) per taanka.
Beri (Percolation Well) : These underground water storage percolators gather ground water during monsoon season. Till date, Gravis has built 563 beris which can store up to 500,000 L of water and is sufficient to meet the demands of 10 families for a year. Depending on size, it costs between Rs. 3,000- 15,000.(US $50-300).
Naadi (Man-made pond) : Naadis are formed in natural depressions in the land and use an embankment to hold the water. The capacity of a pond can range from 700 to 40,00 cubic metres. Till date, Gravis has worked to desilt 253 ponds
Bio-Sand Filters : This technology uses local materials to filter and clean drinking water & costs between Rs. 500 to 1,000 ($10-20).
Bunds (Embankments) : In order to avoid contamination of ponds, bunds are constructed around households to redirect unclean water away from the naadi.
Toilets : Gravis has begun building toilets which contain waste and allow villagers the privacy they deserves.
Till date, Gravis has set over 90 primary schools and many of them are now run by village communities independently. Currently work in progress for expansion of the Dr. John B. Elstrott Elementary School located in the village of Dayakaur, Rajasthan.
Gravis donates bicycles to students (especially female) who wish to attend secondary school.
GRAVIS Hospital : As the only professional medical institution in the area, GRAVIS Hospital serves over 200,000. The building was established in 2000 with the help of various donors and agencies and is now fully equipped with: 4 full time doctors, 4 specialists, 70 beds, 2 operating rooms, team of nurses, pharmacists, technicians, administrators, and ambulance drivers.