Founder - Chairman


News & Events

AGRI-CLINIC & AGRI-BUSINESS CENTER: AWARE has been approved as Nodal Training Institute (NTI) by MANAGE (Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare) to conduct Training in Agri-Clinic and Agri-Business for Unemployed Agricultural Graduates /Diploma Holders/similar qualification. The training is for 60 days at Pujyashri Madhavanji Agricultural Polytechnic, at Aswaraopet Campus, Khammam District.... Read more...
Integrated Rural Development Program
Economic Development
The earth has enough for every man’s need; but not enough for every man’s greed” – Mahatma Gandhi

People’s need made AWARE involve in economic development program. These programs are a necessary pre –condition for organizing the poor as they cannot resist the despotism of the landlords unless their own economic base is strengthened.

AWARE always felt that government funds should be utilized fully. However, in practice the flow of government funds are frustratingly slow and with various bottlenecks as they are technical rule oriented than people oriented. When people want milch animals, schemes are introduced to promote high breed animals, which poor cannot maintain. Such schemes are good for middle class farmers and not for very poor harjans and tribals.

Again, simply social education and awareness is not enough. The poor needs some sustenance to survive so that he can participate in the struggle. The poorest totally depends on mercy of the Landlord and Money Lender, hence AWARE decided to undertake economic development and worked in the following areas.
  • Agriculture
  • Assistance to the landless poor
  • AWARE’s Rural vocational Training centers
  • Marketing Assitance
  • Animal Husbandary
  • Basic Needs
  • Elimination of Dependency


Agriculture is the fountainhead of rural livelihood and any effort to add to Tribal and Harijan earning potential has to be firmly rooted in agricultural development. Economic development of AWARE program was consistent of training farmers in practical way. The camps were conducted with the help of Government departments in the village Mandal head quarters, Farmers training centres, Agriculture University and international research centre like ICRISAT.

AWARE economic strategies are based on the need to, not only make land productive but also prevent it and the environment from degradation by setting up viable alternative to land; AWARE seeks to diversify the source of livelihood affordable  to the Tribals and Harijans at the same time allowing  nature to replenish itself. Environmental protection and nurturing are essential part of AWARE’S objectives of creating self-sustainable rural societies.

AWARE’s foremost economic activity aim to secure intensive agricultural development through:

  • Adequate irrigation facilities such as digging and deepening of wells, installation of tube wells, (4988) minor irrigation works such as tanks (511), check dams  (196), lift irrigation (160), pump sets (4,000)etc.
  • Agriculture implements like improved plough and harvesting implements, plough bullocks, pesticide spreading sprayers were distributed
  • Agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, pesticides implements and farming animals.
  • Storage methods
  • Training programs in farming was provided.
  • Co-operative farming so that small fragmented lands can be collectively cultivated.  
The results of the well-linked synergistic strategies are impressive:
  • At the macro-level AWARE’s agricultural development programs are estimated to directly benefit nearly 40,000 land owning families.
  • Created employment for 50,000 landless poor.
  • Over 54,671 acres of land have been brought under cultivation of which 42,137 acres was brought under irrigation of two crop an year.
  • In one agricultural season, as much as 95,000 metric tonnes of food grains were grown while the second crop of vegetables and legumes produce was upto extent of 10,000 metric tonnes.
  • At the micro level, the vastly improved productivity of land has a radical impact on the individual farmer’s earnings.
  • Assured of adequate water supply and agricultural inputs, farmers from these AWARE villages are making a net annual profit of ` 3000 to ` 5000 per acre as against their earlier annual income of ` 300 per acre.
  • AWARE economic program covered 8,86,493 families.
  • 1,69,526 families received assistance to develop their irrigation.
  • Person days (person-days) generated by agriculture program is 11,33,492 annually.
Agricultural development requires costly inputs and AWARE effectively relies on the people themselves to underwrite some of the costs. The tribals constitute a rich human resource and AWARE expects the Tribals to contribute up to 30 percent in the form of free labour (Shramadan) towards the cost of development activity. Barring the principal earning member in a family, all other able-bodied adults from every family contribute free labour for community projects. In this way, AWARE ensures people’s involvement in every activity and makes the community responsible for its completion and implementation.

Chetna Sagar Dam

An outstanding example of community motivation and participation in developmental activity is the construction of a dam and a canal at Borolgutta in Aswaraopet block in Khammam district. At this site, a perennial stream of water remained unutilized, and in 1987, around 62 Tribal families, each owning five to seven acres of land, proposed to AWARE the harnessing of this water into a dam and canal so that it could irrigate 500 acres of Tribal lands in that area.

While AWARE arranged for finances and its engineers rendered technical help, the Tribal’s build the canal. Today, as visitors walk through this awe-inspiring site, they cannot help but marvel at AWARE’s ability to bring people together.

The dam and the canal are a living tribute to what community efforts can accomplish. There is considerable pride and a sense of achievement evident among the Borolgutta residents over the visible product of their labour of love. The advantages of unity are also more fully appreciated , the growers in this area are already envisaging cooperative farming. These co-operative systems are successful with Tribals and in case of irrigation under check dams, lift irrigation and tank irrigation but not successful with Agriculture well irrigation.

Landless Poor

AWARE is constantly conscious of 40 % landless poor. Any income raise among the farmers without proportionate raise of income of landless poor not only crate disparity but also develop exploitation of the weakest. Therefore, first step was to revise agriculture wage upwards, ensure minimum wage paid. Added to this, every landless poor was encouraged to develop economy by way of goat, sheep, milch animal, duck and poultry rearing. AWARE provide interest free loans to them. In village association these people were treated on par and due representation was given. They were also encouraged to take up second occupation and hence skills’ training was introduced.


Most of the landless labourers were made to approach Government authorities for distribution of lands. Wherever possible, AWARE provided loan and encouraged these landless poor to buy at least half an acre of land. Approximately 4,57,700 landless families were given financial support.

While this assistance process is in progress, AWARE is training them with finger skills like handicrafts and cottage industries through which they make baskets, leaf plates, ropes, agriculture implements, grading of forest produce, coir, shoe /Chappal etc. AWARE  established a Kalamkari Training centre, an ancient rural art revival at Padkal, where Greeting cards are also made by the skills of the rural women. Sericulture programs are encouraged to improve cottage industries in the villages.  Almost 42 various income generating activities were introduced. Every landless poor learnt and undertook one more income generating occupation. Thus, disparity was eliminated considerably and 2,15,608 new employments were created. These families are also made to avail of Animal Husbandry schemes.

Vocational Training Centres


A promising economic activity is AWARE's work with the rural youth. The need to engage them in appropriate skills training and trades relevant to their own environment is in key inspiration behind AWARE supported vocational training.

An impressive instance of such activity is the ‘Rural Vocational Training Centre’ set up exclusively for Tribal and Harijan youth at Aswaraopet in Khammam District. Since 1980, the centre has been able to annually train 140 Tribal youth as carpenters, fitters, diesel mechanics, welders and electrical mechanics. These trades are required directly to service the needs of the rural economy and to meet the recruitment requirements of industrial plants that are beginning to come up in the neighbouring areas. Training that is conducive to employment keeps the sons of the soil rooted to their native habitat stemming the usual push towards urban migration.

Thus, AWARE tries to ensure the conservation or retention of human resources. Keeping the centre's clientele exclusively tribal and harijan amounts to reverse discrimination but AWARE has never felt shy of projecting its bias openly in favor of the Tribals and the Harijans. In fact, it made an agreement with government to run the centre conditional to the latter's acceptance that it would cater exclusively to Tribal youth.

Marketing Assistance

Marketing has always been a channel of rural exploitation. AWARE therefore encourages its target communities to set up cooperative marketing systems through which farmers can buy and sell their produce and familiarize themselves with marketing procedures and financial management. For the landless population who has no access to regular agricultural income, AWARE has set up collective small-scale cot-tage industries involving the making of baskets, leaf plates, shoes, and pottery ropes etc., even food produce including fruits and minor forest products were collectively gathered and sold at the best price.

Rural Weekly Markets Dharma Kantas:

Half the year Tribal economy depends up on minor forest produce collection and sale. The law allows tribals to gather forest produce and sell in weekly markets and there is a government forest produce procurement agency called Girijan Corporation. The Idea is laudable but seldom tribal benefit out of due to exploitation. Hence, Tribal often prefers to sell away in open market. However, there is a chain of exploitative system in the market. Intermediaries cheat them in measures and weights and merchant decides the quality rate. Ultimately, Tribal gets 30% of real market rate for their product.

To control and avoid this, AWARE introduced “Dharma Kanta” - A weighing machine kept in the centre of the market where any Tribal can come get their material weighed and  will be given a receipt and no one can challenge that weight. Merchants were spell bound. They cannot cheat any more. AWARE volunteer catch illegal transactions and hand over to police or Sandy inspector. These strong measure irked merchants and picked up fight.

The Tribal community stood strong and fought back refusing to sell goods. After a week or two merchants fell in line and agreed to buy as per AWARE rate, measure and weight. In one of the market studies, it was discovered that every Tribal got 41% more income after introduction of Dharma Kanta. AWARE maintained these Dharma Kantas initially and then handed over to Youth association who still maintains it in weekly Tribal markets.

Animal Husbandry

AWARE’s integrated approach to agriculture takes in animal husbandry also, milch animals, sheep, goats and plough bullocks are a part of the scheme that was implemented.

The Tribal’s are far away from the knowledge of any improved methods of animal husbandry, and hence training on Animal Husbandry basic veterinary is arranged periodically. The following steps are taken to promote Animal Husbandry:
  • A tour to see milch animals maintained by successful dairy farmers.
  • Training for people interested in managing milch animal.
  • Arranging finance to buy the animal.
  • Getting Insurance of the animal.
  • Daily supervision and Market support. 
After a year, almost all farmers started owning one or two milch animals. Landless poor were encouraged to maintain animals using village gracing land and growing grass at field edges. In one decade, around 3800 milch animals were managed by Tribals and Harijans through sheep rearing, goat rearing, piggery, backyard poultry, duck rearing.

About 340 youth trained at AWARE Human Resource Development Center, Bhagwatipuram in 15 batches as barefoot veterinary workers with the help of department of Veterinary Science of Agricultural University. These trained youth are working in their village as Veterinary Service Assistant, providing animal care services for a small fee.

Basic Needs

AWARE considered that it is the duty of the government to provide basic needs like water to drink, house to live, sanitation for hygiene, roads to travel, schools for education etc. Therefore AWARE did not involve in a big way to provide such basic needs. People themselves were encouraged to organize and obtain it from authorities by representation or agitation. However since drinking water was very urgent need AWARE provided 2000 drinking water open wells, tube wells etc. with 50% from peoples contribution.

Once Tribals and Harijans reached a stage of equal status politically and economically, AWARE welcomed into its fold from 1990, other communities like backward class, village service communities and even economically poor forward communities. Women were never segregated from community lines but all women considered as one group – the most deprived group of the society.

Elimination of Dependency

As a principal AWARE never encouraged anything free, it does not believe in charity or compassion. AWARE believes strongly that everyone has responsibility to help each other. Therefore is against dependence.

In AWARE’s economical assistance to the poor, it provided nothing free. It was always financial assistance as interest free loan. When the beneficiary makes of the loan and generate income, he /she should return it without interest. It is loan repayable in future. This system creates responsibility for repayment and accountability. There was criticism against AWARE for adopting this system. Politician, officials, other NGOs found fault with AWARE that contribution received is converted as loan instead of giving it free but AWARE did not mind this as it knows in long term this method is sustainable.

Though AWARE made clear that loan need to be repaid, it never used cohesive methods to recover nor ever took legal action. It always motivated, persuaded and made people to think. Whatever people paid back to AWARE credited into an account called Revolving Fund and from this further loan was given to other beneficiaries. This method made AWARE and people not depend upon donors and other financial institutions. The fact since 1996, AWARE continues its economic assistance to poor without any donations, is because of this system adopted with foresight and vision. Similarly AWARE also wants that people should never depend up on AWARE forever.

AWARE does not wish to work in any area for a very long time or want people to develop dependency on them. The prevailing situation in the villages is to look upon help and assistance from outside without realizing their own potential. In order to eliminate this dependency, AWARE has a strong conviction that it will not involve itself in a particular area for more than a certain period (ten years). Meanwhile, it encourages them to form their own organization to replace AWARE in due course and take over all the activities.

AWARE aims to work for five years in a particular area, and withdraw in a phased manner from that area in about further three years. In this period, service, societies are trained to take over the responsibilities of the welfare of the entire community. Withdrawal and handing over responsibilities to local organization is part of AWARE’s strategy in eliminating dependency. AWARE withdrawn from more than 6000 villages as on now. An international commission under the Chairmanship of Prof. Fritz Wills, conducted detailed study of villages from where AWARE has withdrawn and its impact after the withdrawal. This report is available in this web site for reference and interesting developmental study.

This is a unique system AWARE successfully demonstrated in its development work. “Non dependency of AWARE on donors and financial institution forever and non dependency of people forever on AWARE.” Sustainability is the key objective and Gandhiji’s vision.

AWARE surely welcomes international co-operation in development.  A number of International Development Organizations like Community Aid Abroad, ICCO, NOVIB, NCOS, Daikonia etc supported AWARE with funding and in its activities.  But AWARE always kept its independence of its policies and program.  It never allowed to be dictated by others.  AWARE expected and worked towards target people independence of AWARE. Therefore AWARE in its vision for Nineties has prepared an action plan to achieve financial independence as much as possible.  AWARE’s corpus fund, Revolving Fund etc which achieved its objective to a considerable extent.