Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (Gravis)

Gravis assists the peoples of the Thar Desert in rural development and environmental conservation, focuses on sustainable development programs for alternative rural reconstruction and also mobilizes emergency relief in times of crisis. Gravis works directly on social rehabilitation rather than through economic assistance in order to create self-reliant village communities. Gravis concentrates on propagating the concept of Gram Swarajya in Thar.

Bhanwari and her taanka

Bhanwari and her taanka
Bhanwari, a Rajasthani woman sat on her taanka, looking at the glowing sun beaming through the azure sky. She broke into a warm smile and offered us a mug of cool and clean drinking water. Bhanwari had nearly died after falling on a sharp rock while water on her head. She prizes her taanka above any other possession. She joked that maybe all parents should start presenting taankas to their daughters as a dowry since that way women would be freed from ‘water-fetching drudgery’ everyday. (view small | med | large | orig)

Self-Help Group Training

Self-Help Group Training
Women attending this Self-Help Group are learning new skills that then helps them grow their income. They use this income to buy food to improve their family's nutrition. (view small | med | large | orig)

Vegetable Stall

Vegetable Stall
(view small | med | large | orig)

Taanka

Taanka
Taankas are water storage devices that are essential to provide access to water for many villages located in these arid areas. A taanka is an important element of water security in the Thar Desert region. (view small | med | large | orig)

Radha Bai with her son

Radha Bai with her son
Lack of water and frequent droughts in the Thar Desert impacts the socio-economic status of the desert community. Shortage of drinking water poses severe health risks as manifested through water-borne diseases and severe dehydration. Socially, the biggest impact is on women. They spend hours each day walking miles in search of water under extremely hot and harsh conditions. Young girls, too, need to go and fetch water, which deprives them from going to schools. (view small | med | large | orig)