Banwasi Seva Ashram

Over the past 60 years, BSA has established rapport with the people living in villages in the four community development blocks of south Sonbhadra. A three tier people's Gramswarajya organisation has been set up to promote people's initiative for community development at the village level, at village development centre level and at Ashram level. There are Gramswarajya Sabhas in 445 villages (hamlets) to take initiative in resolving the village disputes within villages itself, introducing social reform, promoting women's equality and development, promoting communal harmony, sharing of the responsibility, implementation of the development programmes, asserting themselves to get their decreed entitlements, and in containing corruption. The Ashram has undertaken a variety of development activities in the south Sonbhadra area, such as


  • Water and soil conservation, land development
  • Rural health service and rural health education
  • Education: schools, non-formal education, total literacy campaign, skills development, life orientation of adolescents and youth through camps
  • Employment oriented apprentice training in crafts and services needed for the development activity and for employment elsewhere
  • Women’s development and empowerment
  • Study and representation of environmental pollution problem in south Sonbhadra at different levels
  • Whole village development projects
  • Public interest litigation in Supreme Court for land rights, rights of the displaced and bonded labour
  • Securing rural entitlements
  • In addition, through the medium of Gram Swaraj Sanghatan, the Ashram has addressed a variety of social problems in the tribal villages, such as
  • Rehabilitation of people displaced due to industrialisation
  • Bondage with moneylender of land and person
  • Witchcraft and social taboos
  • Problems faced by village craftsmen and increasing unemployment
  • Gender inequality, child rights

The Ashram's policies have been successful as far as fostering confidence and handing over the responsibility for continued activity to the community are concerned. The villagers now make small independent community action plans.