Thursday, April 7, 2011

Working with Grassroutes Journeys

It has been a great journey so far.
Left the corporate job in April 2010, with lots of enthusiasm. Basic premise was to be able to design scalable solutions to improve rural livelihoods.
Spent one year roaming across different parts of India (From Madurai to Wardha to Rishikesh).
Met individuals and organizations working towards similar goals (From Gandhigram, Dhan to NGO’s to Religious organizations)
Upgraded myself on Theory of Social Development work through Trainings, Courses and lots of relevant books (Enrolled for courses as Micro ventures of Tata Dhan, MA in Rural Development – CSW, Social Entrepreneurship thru EDI).
Now i seem to understand the issues with better perspective.
Currently working with Grassroutes, and feel that we can implement corporate practices in Social Organizations as well. There seems to be a good scope to experiment and tune lots of concepts (From operations management, Cash Flow, Sales, Social Media marketing to project management) for this sector.
Feel lucky to have found this organization and connect with the wonderful team here.
The existing team
  1. Inir my Boss, is a great guy to work with, gives lots of responsibilities and is focused to improve livelihoods of Rural communities through Rural Tourism. Has got lots of awards for his work in the social field.
  2. John. Our Operations and Sales champ. Is Happy-go-Lucky person. Who incidentally is also “Ex-Wipro”. Has worked for 5 years with Wipro before deciding to jump into social field. (Seems to be some coincidence in Wipro’ites joining Grassroutes) .Very disciplined and hard working.
  3. Darren. The youngest in the team. Full of Energy (Is a National level Hockey player), discipline and self control.
About the Organization
We are Motivated by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Primarily we endeavour to reduce poverty through Rural Tourism.
The way the organization operates is
  1. Take Loan/Grants from Other organizations.
  2. Tie up with NGO. Identify Villages with low income levels.
  3. Explain the Village community benefits of rural tourism. Take their concurrence.
  4. Train the Villagers as Guides, cooks, Service providers, etc. Training on communication skills, operations, Checklists, Quality processes etc.
  5. Sales and Marketing for the village trips.
  6. Distribute the Revenue amongst the stakeholders
    1. 40% – Villagers and Community
    2. 30% – Debt repayments
    3. 30% – Towards Marketing, Salaries and Administration overheads of Grassroutes.

So far Grassroutes has setup two villages, and plan to reach 200 over next 10 years.
We endeavour towards Connecting Urban World to Rural Communities and ‘Unveiling Hidden India’.
Each trip enables people to explore their roots while indulging from over 101+ Activities
  • Agriculture: Ploughing, Harvesting, Sowing, Chaffing…….
  • Authentic Village Experience: Local Cuisine, Sleep in Village Homes, Village Festivals…….
  • Live the Rural Life: Draw water from well, Milk the Goat, Chop Wood……..
  • Rural Games: Sling shots, Swings, Tyre Race……..
  • Learn: Warli Art, Paper Mask Making, Optimal use of Natural Resources, Simplicity, Local Customs…….
  • Village Sports: Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Wrestling……..
  • Explore Nature: Trek in Mountains, Swim in River……..
  • Relax: Bird Watching, Watch Sunrise, Meditate in Hills, Laze in Shade on the Hills…….
And by the virtue of your holiday experience, enable the Village community to
  • Improve Livelihoods and Reduce Migration
  • Improve self confidence and preserve Local Culture
  • Maintain Bio-Diversity

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