Integral Rural Development
transforming village India


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Rural  Development

With an estimated 70% of her population living in villages, India can only advance if the village community is empowered. Thus the Society has adopted an integrated approach to the many aspects of community life, such as health, education, vocational training, and economic growth in the country’s villages.


Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM)

Since about 700 million people in India’s villages live below the poverty line, there is a dire need and urgency to develop, uplift and enable them to become a dynamic part of the nation’s evolution and growth.

SARVAM is developing a progressive village community model that is sustainable, replicable and scalable. More information on SARVAM is available at


SARVAM started its work with two villages in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. A dedicated and active group of people have been organised in each village to work with the rest of the community in every field of life.

SARVAM’s role is primarily that of a catalyst and facilitator, motivating and helping the community to contribute and take responsibility for creating change in their own lives. The rural development programme aims to:

  • help the entire village become a model village
  • inspire the village community to take charge of their own destiny and future
  • make a genuine difference to their way of living, thinking and being
  • research new and creative ideas to develop a sustainable, scalable and replicable model
  • create an International Centre for Rural Development and Training based on a holistic approach, which will reach out to other villages, NGOs and Government agencies

The programme covers a wide range of activities, integrating all aspects of life such as physical and economic development which uses local material and technology; empowerment of women and harmonious relationships within the family; cultural and aesthetic development; a new approach to housing, technology, water and waste management, renewable energy, sanitation and hygiene, suited to local conditions, and a new model of local governance.

Grama Pudhiya Udhayam (meaning ‘New Village Dawn’) is a monthly newspaper in Tamil, launched in February 2007. Printed in Tamil, the local language, the newspaper is managed almost entirely by the village youth, with minimal support from SARVAM. The villagers participate in growing measure in the production of the newspaper. Since much of the TV, print media, and radio comes from central or foreign sources, it is important to have media that is empowering, produced by the village about the village.



Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Rural Livelihood Generation Initiatives of SARVAM

Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM) in its poverty alleviation and economic development programmes has focused on providing better livelihood opportunities through innovative programmes of wage generation and self-employment. Some of the programmes started in September 2016 are listed in the report.

View Info | September 2016


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Scholarship Programme of SARVAM for Higher Education

To motivate the students to pursue their higher education, every year SARVAM sponsors deserving students. In the last few years, many students have been benefitted from this programme. In 2016, 105 students will benefit from this scheme and the awarding of the scholarships started from September 10, 2016.

View Info | Sep 10, 2016


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Launch of ‘New Dawn’ (Pudiya Udayam)—Sarvam’s Community Radio Station

On November 24, 2015, our much-awaited Community Radio Station— in Tamil Pudiya Udayam (New Dawn)—was launched in Poothurai village (Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu) near Puducherry. Pudiya Udayam 91.2 FM radio station is an initiative of Sarvam, which has been involved in the field of integral rural development for the past 10 years and currently reaches 15 villages.

View Info | Nov 24, 2015


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Dr Nigel Osborne’s interactions with students of SARVAM village

On October 17, 2015, an engaging and fascinating music session was organized at Satyam Community Centre in Poothurai village. Renowned British composer Dr Nigel Osborne, along with his colleagues Ms Christine Bain and Ms Emmeline McCraken, interacted with more than 75 students of English Access Program at this event.

View Info | Oct 17, 2015


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Women’s Tour Arranged by SARVAM

As a part of women empowerment initiatives taken by Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM), 350 women visited the ancient Indian cities Rameshwaram and Madurai from June 18 to July 2, 2015. This was an all-women trip which was for most women a first trip out of their village.

View Info | Jun 18–Jul 2, 2015


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

All-India English Access Summer Camp by US Consulate

The US Consulate has been sponsoring an English Access Microscholarship Programme since 2013 in the SARVAM villages for 110 students. From May 25 to June 12, 2015, the American Councils for International Education arranged an All-India Access Summer Camp in Aamby Valley attended by 6 students and 2 teachers from SARVAM.

View Info | May 25–Jun 12, 2015


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

SARVAM Summer Camp 2015—A Report

From May 6 to 26, 2015, SARVAM conducted a Summer Camp for the children that belong to the villages under their care and adoption. More than 800 children, in the age group of 6 to 17, participated in the Camp. It was for the seventh consecutive year that the Camp was organized.

View Info | May 6–26, 2015


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English Access Microscholarship Program Graduation Ceremony

The graduation ceremony for the US Consulate–sponsored English Access Micro Scholarship Program was held on February 22, 2015. The English Access Program was being conducted by Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM) for the last two years.

View Info | Feb 22, 2015


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Various Educational and Training Events for Women

The initiatives by Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM) for women development and empowerment continued during the period. A training session and a motivational programme for women were conducted in December 2014.

View Info | December 2014


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Inauguration of the Toilet Block for SARVAM Children

Rotary Club of Pondicherry Port and Inner Wheel Club of Pondicherry funded the construction of Toilet facilities in Poothurai village, and the inauguration ceremony took place at SATYAM campus on December 28, 2014.

View Info | Dec 28, 2014


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A Visit from US Consulate RELO Officer to SARVAM

Ms Diane Miller, Regional English Learning Officer (RELO) from the US Consulate in Delhi, visited SARVAM to observe first-hand the progress of English Access Program on November 9, 2014.

View Info | Nov 9, 2014


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Various Activities of SARVAM

Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM) continued with various educational activities at the villages under their rural development programmes, which included ethics and public-speaking workshops, participation in competitions and thanksgiving for volunteers.

View Info | October 2014


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM


Recently, the Government of India started the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’—CLEAN INDIA CAMPAIGN to make our country clean and healthy. SARVAM, a rural development initiative of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, has been actively involved in a ‘Clean & Hygiene’ campaign for the last 9 years.

View Info | Oct 2, 2014


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Access Program Coordinators’ Workshop

From September 2–4, 2014, a training program was conducted at Bengaluru by Regional English Language Office (RELO) for the Coordinators of their English Access Microscholarship Program, a collaborative educational program of US Consulate and rural development organizations such as SARVAM.

View Info | Sep 2–4, 2014


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Activities at SARVAM

Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM) continued with various educational and women empowerment activates at the villages under their rural development programmes, which included Scholarships for Students and Training and Health Camps for Women.

View Info | July–August 2014


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Visit of SARVAM Students to the United States

Two students from villages under SARVAM went to US for 21 days under the US Cultural Immersion Institute 2014 Program. SARVAM is also one of very few rural educational initiatives in India selected for US Consulate’s English Access Microscholarship Program.

View Info | Jun 5–26, 2014


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Children's Corner—SARVAM Summer Camp

From May 6 to 27, 2014, a Summer Camp was organized by the facilitators, coordinators and volunteers at SARVAM. A meeting ground for fun and learning and an outlet for creative and physical energy during summer vacations at school, the Summer Camp is fast becoming a highlight for the children in the villages.

View Info | May 6–27, 2014


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Training Programme for Women by Indian Bank Self-Employment Training Institute

A 21-day rural self-employment tailoring training programme was successfully completed on March 17, 2014, conducted by Indian Bank Self-Employment Training Institute (INDSETI) at a village under SARVAM.

View Info | February–March 2014


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Water Purifying Unit Inaugural Function

On February 14, 2014, Mr Ashok Barat, MD and CEO—FORBES & COMPANY LIMITED, with 43 senior executives, visited Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, for a first-hand exposure to various projects of the Society.

View Info | Feb 14, 2014

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Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Fulbright Scholars Visit to SARVAM

On 27 October 2013, four Fulbright English Teaching Assistants visited the SARVAM village centre Satyam, and participated in taking a few English classes as a part of the English Access Micro Scholarship Program.

View Info | Oct 27, 2013


Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Inauguration of ‘English Access Microscholarship Program’

The official launch of the US Embassy English Access Microscholarship Program in collaboration with Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM), a unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, at Poothurai village, Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu.

View Info | Sep 28, 2013

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Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

Exhibition and Sale of Ashram Products to Raise Awareness about SARVAM

An exhibition and sale of Ashram products was organized at Cadbury's corporate office on occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2013.

View Info | Jun 5, 2013

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Integral Rural Development - SARVAM

SARVAM Summer Camp 2013

For the fifth consecutive year, from May 6 to 28, 2013, a Summer Camp was organized by the facilitators, coordinators and volunteers at Sri Aurobindo Rural & Village Action & Movement (SARVAM). A meeting ground for fun and learning and an outlet for creative and physical energy during summer vacations at school, the Summer Camp is fast becoming a highlight for the children in the villages.

View Info | May 6-28, 2013


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