Our History

Our History

Gram Bharti traces its roots back to 1962 when a group of social activists inspired by the teachings of Gandhi, Vinoba, and Jay Prakash Narayan founded the organization. Its humble beginnings can be traced back to a single village called Goplamaran in Bihar, where it started working with 17 families from the tribal community. Today, Gram Bharti has made remarkable progress and has undertaken intensive work in as many as 750 villages, positively impacting over 30,000 families. Under the aegis of Gram Bharti, 750 Gram Sabhas have been established, with 311 villages officially declared as confirmed and registered Gram Sabhas under the state enactment. Additionally, 163 Mahila Mandals have been actively working in these villages. The activities have spread to Jhajha, Chakai, and Sono blocks of Jamui district, and partially in other districts of Bihar as well. Before Gram Bharti came into existence, the area was a barren and rocky land where stray animals used to graze and thorny bushes would grow in abundance. The Bhoodan and Gramdan programmes initiated in Bihar saw people voluntarily donating their lands. The landowners' strong belief in securing an honourable mention in the list of donors proved to be the driving force behind their generous donations. Gram Bharti provided agricultural inputs and reclaimed the land, turning it into lush green fields. The hilly lands, once barren and rocky, are now disgorging their hidden wealth in harmony with the sweat and toil of the Harijan, Adiwasi, and backward communities of the area. Experimental projects and training schemes have been implemented to educate the Harijans and Adivasis on better methods of cultivation. As a result, agricultural produce in the service village has increased by over 400 percent over the years, surpassing even the productivity of the neighbouring patches of land belonging to rich farmers. The impact of Gram Bharti's work is not just limited to economic betterment but also extends to the social and cultural realms. For the Adivasis and Harijans, the Bhoodan and Gramdan lands and the miracle of converting rocky lands into rice-producing fields have given them a newfound sense of dignity and self-respect. They now walk with their heads held high and have secured a more dignified status in society. Gram Bharti's work has empowered them to take control of their lives and livelihoods, and they are now active participants in decision-making processes. Gram Bharti's journey of six decades has been one of dedication, commitment, and perseverance towards a better tomorrow.


 “GRAM BHARTI is the outcome of the Sant Vinoba’s Bhoodan and Gramdan movement for socio economic reconstruction of rural India along Gandhian lines of truth and non-violence based on the principle of trustee-ship. 


Our journey began as a branch of SHRAM BHARTI, Khadi Gram, Jamui, founded by Dhirendra Mazumdar, the then President of Sarva Seva Sangh. Our initial focus was on training social workers and spreading awareness about the significance of Vinoba’s Bhoodan and Gramdan movement. Our attention was drawn to the three most backward and drought-prone blocks of Jamui district- Jhajha, Chakai, and Sono.


Through intensive contact programmes with Bhoodan workers via “PADYATRA,” we received land donations of 15,000 acres, of which 10,000 acres were distributed among the landless people of some 160 villages in these areas. By 1970, the three blocks came under Gramdan, and the number of gramdani villages rose to 1100. In Bihar, some Gramdani villages have been granted the status of Gram Panchayat. The first ten villages included therein belong to this area and more than 100 villages have fulfilled all conditions for the same status. 

In 1967, a couple named Shivanad Bhai and Sarla Bahan, organized relief work as Sarvodaya workers. With inspiration and enthusiasm, they went up to Billigaganpur, the remotest corner of this hilly and forest area, mainly populated by aboriginals and Harijans (Dalits) and opened relief centres to fight famine and death with the organized strength of the people themselves. J.P. himself visited the place in the hilly tract and was impressed by the couple’s dedicated work with the poor aboriginals.

At JP’s instance, Simultala was selected for creating intensive livelihood opportunities with support from Oxfam, CRS, and CASA. It requires a good deal of patience, courage, and sacrifice to deal with the problems of the poor, illiterate, ignorant, and downtrodden. But a handful of dedicated social workers, with tireless and continuous efforts, have succeeded in expanding their sphere of activities. Today, Gram Bharti, with more than 26 paid workers and thousands of part-time village workers and volunteers, is pioneering the cause of this area, striving for the establishment of self-governing Gram Sabhas with powers to work for all-round development.

Formally registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 (Act XXI) on July 30, 1977, with Registration No. 73 of 1977-78, Gram Bharti began working towards its goal in 1962. With our commitment to rural development and our tireless efforts, we have emerged as a pioneer in the field. Join us in our journey to empower rural India and create sustainable livelihoods for all.