Over the years since its inception has endeavored to bring change in quality of life of thousands of people mostly in poor rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan states in India through promotion of their livelihood and facilitating betterment around them.
Founded in 1993 by a group of development professionals, academicians and NGO leaders, Grameen Development Services (GDS) works for the development of the poor and disadvantaged sections of the society, with ‘livelihoods for the rural poor’ being its core sectoral theme.
Grameen Development Services (GDS) was founded in 1993 and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. GDS works with its head office at Lucknow (U.P.) and strives for the economic and social empowerment of the socio-economically disadvantaged sections of the society. GDS works in regions characterized by structural poverty and extreme social and economic backwardness. Apart from its head office, the field offices are located at 9 locations in north India region. GDS presently operates in three poor states of India; Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar and Rajasthan. In UP, the focus is on poorest regions of Eastern UP and Bundelkhand. In Bihar, GDS focuses on the extremely poverty stricken and disaster prone regions of Northern Bihar. In Rajasthan, the focus is on the drought prone Central Rajasthan.
“By the end of 2014-15, GDS took up various developmental interventions to reach about 66000 poor families living in 775 villages of 330 village Panchayats spread over 29 blocks in 14 districts of UP, Bihar and Rajasthan states directly and attained tremendous response from them.”
The target group of GDS’s interventions is the rural poor. Specifically, the target group focus by caste is on the Dalits and other backward and marginal communities; by class on those below the poverty line; and by occupation on the marginal and small farmers, landless and traditional artisans. The crux of its endeavors lies with the promotion and strengthening of the livelihoods of poor families in the region. An inclusive community approach reaching out to these families was built in all its field interventions launched in support with internal and external development players having rationale with the organization’s prime objectives.
Over the years, GDS has traveled through diverse strategies to strenuously take forward its mission in real spirit translating into practice while implementing various community based Projects at grass-root level. It has always made strenuous efforts to bring positive changes in the lives of those living as underprivileged, marginalized and deprived of mainstreaming with development measures. Initiatives were taken to accelerate the development processes leading towards end results. GDS’s volunteers and staff serving for the cause had their significant role in assessing, designing and practicing preferably keeping in mind the contextual need to strengthen the livelihood of poor families living in the operational areas.
The GDS endeavors may be broadly classified under the following activities:
- Field Based Programs and Projects
- Livelihood Resource Center
- Issue Based Networking with other stakeholders / NGOs