Our Philosophy

“Rural Self- Reliance (ग्रामस्वराज, Gram Swaraj)” and “Holistic Welfare of All (सर्वोदय, Sarvodaya)” – two key principles of Gandhian philosophy are core to our thought process and work. The trust was established on this and it is extremely relevant now more so than ever.

How do we adapt to the current times and challenges we as humanity face with these principles?

On one side, technology is creating a huge disruption and has immense potential for a very democratic access to information, resources, government and in turn new opportunities, connections, collaborations and markets for ALL. On the other side, climate change with random, extreme, sudden weather and related events is creating a huge disruption to agriculture, water, and our soils leading to challenges for our livelihoods and food and in turn our existence. Small landholdings especially with division of land over generations and families have added to the challenges, and migrations to urban centers have left women in charge of extended family, land and living.

In such an environment, the concepts of swaraj and sarvodaya take a new and urgent meaning.

  • Can we ensure the benefits of technology reach ALL?
  • Can we enable people to be financially secure, food secure, health secure?
  • Can we empower our people to work as a collective to be sustainable by aggregation and in turn achieving scale and revenue?
  • Can our people come together as a inclusive community to take charge of their local resources and make them resilient to climate change?
  • Can we all become more self reliant ?

We believe we all can, and we will.

Our Audience

We do not discriminate on the basis of religion, community, gender, age, sexual orientation and marital status, we are for equal opportunity and access.

Our Values

Our People

The Team

Pravin Mankar

Pravin brings in over decades of experience in microfinance, community banking, and inclusive economic growth approaches. He has been associated with the Gram Swaraj Seva Trust since the year 2002

The Board

Sheshrao Mankarji

Founder & Trustee
Mr. Mankar, is a well-known social worker and international development expert with 40-year's experience in the field of community-based livelihood interventions. He worked with Maharogi Seva Samiti (India’s first organization working for leprosy patients founded by the Gandhian worker Mr. Manoharji Diwan), then moved to ASSEFA (Association of Sarva Seva Farms) in the year 1981. Mr. Mankar later founded Gram Swaraj Seva Trust (GSST) in the year 1998 to carry out development activities for the progress of rural community.

Pravin Mankar

Trustee & Executive Director

Mr. Madhukar Bhange

Mr. Bhange brings in 35 years of experience in the field of rural development and microfinance. Earlier, he worked with ASSEFA for several years as a Project Director and then founded SAGRAS-an organization involved in implementing livelihood programmes in Yavatmal district since 1998. GSST cherishes the continued engagement of Mr. Bhange due to his long-standing expertise in the development sector.

Mr. Vasant Chopade

Mr. Chopade is a progressive farmer and was a Gramsabha Secretary from Sindivihiri village. He has been associated in the development programmes of GSST in Arvi and Karanja blocks. He was mostly involved in strengthening village level community institutions and has employed participatory approaches for bringing out change in the lives of the poor. Mr. Chopade’s expertise on participatory approaches makes him one of the mainstay of GSST’s community-based livelihood program..

Mr. Punjabrao Kumare​

Mr. Kumare is a Gramsabha leader from Mahadapur village of Karanja block. He has been associated with GSST in implementing various programmes such as strengthening village level institutions, natural resource based livelihood interventions for small and marginal farmers in Arvi and Karanja blocks. He played an instrumental role in setting up community-based lift irrigation programmes and is a Chairman of Jawahar Adivasi Upasa Jalsinchan Sahakari Sanstha.

Mr. Uttam Thakare​

Mr. Uttamrao Thakare is a retired Government servant. He worked as an accountant with the Agriculture Department of Government of Maharashtra. He is a progressive farmer from the Bahulgaon village where he organized small and marginal farmers from the neighbouring villages and conducted Shetkari Melava as well as training and capacity building programmes for the grass roots through government schemes.

Smt. Kaushal Boraje​

Coming from Saheli village and holding a prestigious representation at GSST, Smt. Kaushal Borje has been associated with GSST since the year 2002. Smt. Kaushal has organized scattered women from villages to form vibrant Self Help Groups. Smt. Boraje is a Chairman of Sanyukta Mahila Samiti of Saheli village though which she has been bringing change in the livelihoods of the women members through participatory approach.

Registration & Certification

Societies Registration Act, 1986:MH/102/98
Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950:F-3435 (Wardha)
Income Tax Act, 1961:410005/12A/98-99/G-562 Nagpur
Income Tax Act, 1961:CIT-II/NGP/Tech/80G/G-14/2010-11 Nagpur