JJVS evolved over a period of time viewing and analyzing poor socio-economic status of the tribal groups in south Rajasthan. By looking at the miserable and poor conditions of these groups, some young and enthusiastic people from the area decided to work for the upliftment of these people and so JJVS was initiated from village Vali, situated 55 km from Udaipur.
At JJVS, the team members believe the best way to improve the socio-economic status of communities is to encourage people to determine development issues on their own. JJVS believes in the potential of each individual and in the community as a whole to develop solutions to these problems.
The work of JJVS is spread over the entire Tribal Belt of Sarada, Salumber, Girwa, Jhadol and Dhariyawad Tehsil of District Udaipur, India. Jagran has determined to organise the local tribal groups for their better livelihood and work for the protection and development of environment. JJVS is working in the field of Integrated Rural Development, promotion of Traditional Health System and Involvement and Advocacy for the social issues having a definite bearing of the life of people.
Jagran has come forward with a strong faith that its efforts will uplift the socio economic condition of those people who have been neglected and denied their rightful share of the society for centuries. The Organization has decided to work jointly with the people inviting them to participate actively in solving their own problems. JJVS wishes to support their reasonable demands and decisions and encourages them to discover and utilise the available natural resources. Jagran trusts that the spread of education will help them to overcome their deep rooted superstitions and social evils.
Jagran visualises the establishment and strengthening of a social order and system, where the basic needs of all are fulfilled, economic inequalities are removed, individuals and society have access to create thinking and democratic decision making, social status is equal, and where the power is exercised by all in a responsible manner for the common good.
Jagran believes that such social order, based on human dignity, should emerge from the people themselves; concretely it means a first distribution of resources, their regeneration and growth in which opportunities are created for all. They succeed in such creating a social order that requires the elimination of exploitative factors from society through their programmes that created social awareness and organisation of people for their rights through peaceful means.
Jagran Jan Vikas Samiti is a grass roots organization which directly translates into ‘People’s Awakening and Development Society’. Founded in 1985, Jagran was established as a local NGO within Udaipur by a group of people directly related to social organisations’ work and local people. JJVS was founded in response to the poor socio-economic status of tribal communities in southern Rajasthan. Becoming its own establishment, and later officially registered in 1987, Jagran Jan Vikas Samiti began its 3 decade journey of social change in the village of Vali.
Approximately 50 kilometers outside Udaipur, the Vali village was where a group of social activists came from. Concerned with the poor living conditions faced by local tribal communities, they organized the entire community together and began a process of service and program development. Starting with no funds, the team of activists brought the community together on their first project and what later was come to be known by as “A hand full of grains.”
Based out of a single household, a bed sheet was laid across the ground and one by one families contributed a single hand full of wheat on top of the bed sheet. The harvested grain was originally used to support local services and traditions within the village of Vali. Primarily supporting cobblers and poets within the community, recipients received a helping of wheat in exchange for their services across the village area. This later become a monthly routine by farmers and the wheat began supporting a new wave of projects.
The villagers began selling the wheat and hosted programs for a Women’s Day Celebration with the money. Believing in gender equality and the rights of women, JJVS used this day to promote and educate villagers about the need for women’s rights. As income earned from the wheat accumulated and new funds began coming in from government and private organizations, JJVS began new project development for education, food and health security, employment, drought, and local governance and social justice.
Since 1985, JJVS has gained international recognition as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) successfully and sustainably implementing project initiatives within Traditional Health and Community Development. Receiving funding from foundations like the Ford Foundation, CARE India, CASA, Ministry of Environment & Forest Govt. of India and more, JJVS had expanded project interventions and has supported the livelihoods of over 2.4 million community members across Udaipur.
Looking toward the future, JJVS has acquired 20 bighas of land (approx 3 hectares), located 100 km from Udaipur, which is now being developed to house a hospital, training centre, hostel, and an old age care centre. A small herbal garden and specialty plantation is also being cultivated on the same land.