Social Educational Development Centre : SSVK : An Initiative in Grassroots Mobilization, People's Action and Coordination of Voluntary Efforts For Policy Advocacy, Development Environment & Social Change. marquue
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  1. Network of Community Organisations, under the banner of Lok Shakti Sangathan (LSS), now spreads over 1709 villages. Approximately, 162’355 families stand mobilised under this initiative. It has contributed greatly towards enhancing the self-esteem and self-worth of these families.
  2. The popular acceptance and practice of `Gram Kosh’ (villagers’ own fund through fixed monthly contributions and its development as a revolving fund for the benefit of the members ) in all these villages has been a major achievement for the organisation particularly in terms of its enabling capacity for self-help. As on date the Lok Shakti Sangathan has a collectively generated internal resource pool of approximately Rs 1,87,80,150/- (Rupees One crore eighty seven lakhs eighty thousand one hundred and fifty only). It has not only reduced the dependence of its target group members on the local money lenders but also enabled them to sustain many a struggle for their rights.
  3. SSVK’s  leadership development initiatives at the community level have led to the Lok Shakti Sangathan being instrumental in the formation of 1039 SHGs in the districts of Madhubani Saharsa , Supaul and Darbhanga
  4. SSVK’s target group has been able to sustain struggles and wrest victories on issues related to just wages, control over land and water related productive resources, access to governmental development and welfare programmes and redressal of issues pertaining to victimisation by the local administration and dominant elements within their village set up.  LSS members, have successfully struggled to lay claim to 947 acres of land and 52 ponds with a cumulative area of 197 acres and struggle to gain control over another 1215 acres of land and pond area continues.
  5. Deeply committed to the cause of environmental regeneration and ecological sustainability, the organization has not stayed content with laying claim to land and water resources but has gone beyond to the regeneration of these often degraded  resources through shramdan (voluntary contribution of labour).  Land and pond user committees of the poor have been set up for productive and sustainable management of land and water resources brought under control. These committees have helped in regeneration conservation, construction and innovative use of the assets that were mostly acquired in a highly degraded state.
  6. Sustained environmental awareness campaigns have been carried out to increase green cover in the intervention area and for promotion of sustainable agriculture wherein the focus has been on promotion of traditional seeds and crops with emphasis on rational usage of fertilizers (preferably organic manure) and irrigation.
  7. SSVK has conducted 5 CAPART sponsored `Training of Trainers’ programme wherein 2 trainers each were covered from 300 NGOs. Furthermore it has trained over 700 Social Animators and 120 Social Organisers. Many of these trained animators came from the organisation’s target community and were subsequently instrumental in setting up community based organisations now part of the `Lok Shakti’ umbrella. They still stay very active in mobilisation, organisation and the petition, protests and struggles of the poor without ever having drawn any stipendary support from the organisation. They share their linkages with the organisation in terms of guidance on perspective and strategic choices.
  8. Members from its target group have been elected to various tiers of the Panchayati Raj. The organisation has been instrumental in setting up of a Panchayat Adhikar Samiti to ensure the effective devolution of powers to the Panchayati bodies. Training and mass awareness camps for effective functioning of the Panchayat bodies have been carried out which have promoted more responsible functioning on the part of elected representatives and also contributed to informed participation by the target group members in the gram sabha meetings. The organization convened a conference in November 2005 to pass a set of 22 resolutions on desired reforms in the Panchayati Raj Act, the most notable amongst which was the submission of a memorandum to government for  50% reservation for women in Panchayati bodies which in fact was done three months prior to the Government  of Bihar taking a policy decision on it.
  9. Through its health intervention it has appreciably improved the health status of its target group on indicators pertaining to infant mortality, maternal mortality, child mortality, incidence of malnutrition. Particularly sustainable gains at the community level have been the creation of a pool of trained TBAs capable of conducting safe deliveries and that of health promoters with skills of ante-natal and post natal check up and diagnostic abilities for addressing minor ailments occurring in the community. Attitudinal and behavioural change as reflected in improved dietary practices and the wide scale adoption of ORS as a response to diarrhoeal outbreak have been the other notable gains
  10. Another significant achievement of the organisation has been in the area of primary education. A major thrust of the organisation here has been the setting up of NFE centres to kindle the interest of the target group children in education and motivation of their wards about the significance of education with the eventual aim of enrolling the children in the formal education system. With support from Swiss Red Cross the organisation had been running 20 NFE centres in 20 villages. A survey conducted in these 20 villages in 2001 found that 656 children of the eligible age group from the target group were still not attending any school. A major drive for their enrollment either in government schools or NFE centres eventually led to the number of non school going children coming down to 150 from 656 by March 2003. The organisation has also backed up its efforts of enrollment in government schools by ensuring that the various governmental schemes, like scholarships, incentives and nutrition support, targetted at the underprivileged children actually reach them. Community representatives regularly monitor these schemes. These efforts have helped bring down the drop out rate of target group children from the government schools. A survey conducted in the government schools in and around the aforementioned 20 villages found that of a total of 4339 children enrolled in these schools, 822 came from the dalit community. The CBOs are being regularly motivated by the organisation to petition the relevant authorities for improving student teacher ratio and to look into the absence of teachers from government schools.  An NFE initiative along similar lines was carried out in 35 villages of Saharsa district with support from ActionAid, India.  As part of the ActionAid supportive initiative, an innovative approach called `REFLECT’ was adopted for running adult literacy classes.  Reflect is an innovative approach to adult learning and social change, which fuses the theories of Paulo Freire with the methodologies of participatory rural appraisal. Originally developed in pilot projects in Bangladesh, El Salvador and Uganda between 1993-95, Reflect is now used by over 500 organisations in around 70 countries worldwide.
  11. SSVK has conducted state level review workshop of social organisers and social animators as well as a regional review workshop of 10 states of eastern and north eastern India.
  12. The organisation has been instrumental in the installation of 550 ( PH-6 ) & India Mark II handpumps, making of 150 modified treadle pumps; the construction of 900 low cost latrines and construction and renovation of 100 houses. These works were carried out with the assistance of CAPART(Govt.of.India),DRDA(Govt. of Bihar) and Swiss Red Cross. In line with the organisation’s overall approach of encouraging community participation and community management of these assets, these installations were mandatorily accompanied by the training of local masons and hand pump mechanics and the responsibility for  the maintenance  of these assets was vested in popularly elected village committees.  Regular drinking water and sanitation campaigns were carried out to sensitise the communities.
  13. The organisation has also been instrumental in carrying out relief operations as it works in a flood and earthquake endemic area. However, the approach has been to involve the beneficiaries not as passive recipients but as active relief workers in the running of the relief camps. Since 2002, panchayat representatives have also been involved as members in the Relief Disbursement Committee instituted by the organisation for effective implementation and monitoring of relief operations. Given its longstanding experience in the area of relief and rehabilitative interventions, SSVK, in the aftermath of the catastrophic Kosi Floods of 2008, could successfully leverage corporate, bi lateral and INGO assistance to reach out to 47975 families with relief and rehabilitation package.  The scale of coverage went way beyond what it had been able to achieve in the past.
  14. The organization, in the aftermath of 2007 floods, initiated a pilot intervention for enhancing the disaster preparedness capacities of the vulnerable communities that it works with in Ghanshyampur Block of Darbhanga district. 15 villages and 4,000 families were targeted as part of this initiative which led to creation of 55 grain banks, one each for the 55 hamlets, in which the targeted families in these villages lived. Additionally, a disaster preparedness programme was carried out  in these 15 villages through formation of Disaster Management Committees (DMC) in each village and capacity building of the DMC members as trainers in disaster preparedness. Another intervention aimed at addressing the health needs of the communities, particularly during floods, led to the creation of a trained pool of traditional birth attendants and health volunteers in all the 15 villages with a coverage of 55 hamlets.
  15. In the aftermath of 2007 floods, SSVK also entered into a collaboration with All India Disaster Management Institute (AIDMI).  This partnership which started off with emergency relief response moved on to the rehabilitative stage incorporating the following interventions:
    • reconstruction of houses damaged in the floods
    • assistance for restoration of livelihoods
    • provision of solar lanterns as a clean and viable lighting option 
    • SSVK is also a member of  Training and Learning Circle (TLC) which is a community of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) practitioners that seeks to strengthen the interface between training and education in DRR. TLC promotes continuous knowledge exchange among training institutions, universities, and DRR organizations across India, Asia, and beyond. The overall purpose of TLC is to enhance learning through South-South knowledge and solution exchanges with a focus on addressing systemic gaps and topics in training and education. TLC focuses on supporting and developing Asia’s professional training assets for disaster risk management. The TLC Community of Practice works on system-wide issues relating to DRR training and education in India and beyond. For more on TLC kindly visit
  16. A food for work programme, supported by CASA, was utilised for the excavation of a filled up pond over which the target group had been able to gain control after a protracted struggle.
  17. A fierce critic of the state driven policy of trying to control floods through structural works, the organization has been instrumental in taking the lead in setting up the Nadi Mukti Andolan in coordination with other civil society organizations to educate and advocate on the debilitating impacts of embankments and the proposed high dams in Nepal and the need to live in synchronization with the natural riverine regime of the area. 
  18. Apart from addressing the root causes of the flooding problem, the advocacy centred initiatives of the organization have also been geared towards galvanizing state response and inclusion of the most marginalized in the relief and recovery operations initiated by the various stakeholders – most importantly the government.
  19. Working in one of the most poverty endemic pockets of Bihar, one of the most impoverished states of India, SSVK, clearly recognises the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in getting around the seemingly insurmountable obstacles of infrastructural backwardness and resource poverty of its operational area for adequately and effectively addressing its organisational mission of the effective empowerment of the socially, economically and politically marginalised people.  Since 2008 the organization has embarked on an initiative, in partnership with SEWA and with support from UNDP, that seeks to put ICTs directly into the service of the poor that it works with.  This initiative has resulted in the setting up of a community learning centre in the premises of SSVK’s North Bihar Training Cum Field Office in J.P.Gram, Balbhadrapur village of Jhanjharpur Sub Division.
    The CLCs have been conceptualised as decentralised and integrated hubs which use  a sustainable ICT based model for addressing economic and social problems of rural poor, resulting from a lack of access to needed information with each CLC catering to a cluster of villages falling in its catchment. The collaboration between SEWA and SSVK in the setting up of CLC as of now has been initiated on a small scale and the key activities being undertaken include the following:
    • Computer and self employment related training
    • Computer repairing
    • Computer print outs in black and white
    • Photo/Document Scanning
    • Bio data typing and printing
    • Writing of files on CD
    • Internet surfing for information, education and employment opportunities
    • Internet access for e-mailing
  20. Having made a small beginning, SSVK, given its belief in the relevance of ICT for rural development and its consequent familiarity with the larger picture, is confident that the not only the number of CLCs would multiply but they would also evolve to a stage where they become single window delivery mechanism for tele medicine, tele education, natural resource data, agriculture advisories, land & water resources advisories; interactive farmers’ advisories; e-governance services and weather advisories and information required for micro entrepreneurs development support.
  21. Publication of a quarterly newsletter by the name of `Lok Shakti’ for the past 15 years. Publication of `Bihar Insight ‘ a thematic compilation of news clippings on issues like floods, other disasters, health, education, gender, human rights, dalit rights, environment, food security, governance, social action and advocacy.
  22. Under the school to school cloth for work programme, clothes (around sixty thousand pieces of clothes), schools mats, bags & notebooks  and around ten thousand  sanitary napkins for women have been distributed with the help of GOONJ, New Delhi.
  23. Lok Shakti Sangathan is one of the nine Indian member constituents of the World Dignity Forum and has been an active co-participant in the conferences, public rallies and protest marches organized by it in the interest of the dalit communities.  The World Dignity Forum is a forum against casteism, racism, other forms of discrimination and exclusion. The Forum in India roots itself amongst Dalits and Dalit organisations, and consists of more than 125 social, cultural, voluntary, Dalit and non-governmental organisations. Within the country, it also endeavours to reach out to other progressive, secular and struggling sections of the society and their organisations. The key constituents of the Peoples’ Dignity Rallies at the all-India level are the National Conference of Dalit Organisations, National Forum for Forest People and Forest Workers, All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, Lok Shakti Sangathan, Lok Shakti Abhiyan, National Federation for Dalit Women, All India Backward Classes Forum and National Campaign Committee for Construction Workers.  As a constituent of this forum, Lok Shakti Sangathan organized a public rally in New Delhi in 2005 as a “Musahar Rights Day” to give the problems of the Musahar, a recognition on the national level. Ten thousand musahars , under the banner of Lok Shakti Sangathan, participated in the rally which was followed up the next day by a march to the Parliament..  This event had also the participation of dalit groups from all over the country.
  24. The organisational Secretary has been an invitee participant in the World Social Forum Meets held in Mumbai and Brazil. The organization Secretary also visited Hong Kong on the occasion of 6th WTO ministerial level conference.
  25. Two Dalit women from SSVK and LSS were nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2005 and were among the 91 nominated from all over India. In recognition of their nomination, the Ryan Foundation awarded them with “Women of Substance Award 2004”. One of the two also received “Out Look Speak Out Award 2005”. 
  26. Since 2007 SSVK has been a part of Dalit Watch in Disaster Mitigation Bihar along with 5 networks of people,s organization and NGOs. In the aftermath of 2007 floods in Bihar,  Dalit Watch, a forum for Equity and Inclusion of Discriminated in Relief and Rehabilitation, carried out an extensive survey spread over 11  districts, 112 blocks, 716 panchayats and 2378 villages.  On the basis of data of gathered and analysed, the assessment confirmed the fact that relief distributed by the government was far short of the actual need and many villages were yet to receive them. Further, even where relief was distributed, dalits and other marginalized communities had very limited access and discrimination was extensive. This was raised in the coordination meeting between the state and INGO/NGOs. There was consensus among a few organizations to work together on eliminating discrimination and ensuring equity and inclusion in relief measures. ‘Dalit Watch’ emerged as the platform of these organizations. Members include Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Bihar Baarh Sukhad Mukti Andolan, Dalit Samanway, Lokshakti Sangathan, Nari Gunjan and NCDHR and the collective is backed by the support of Praxis – Institute for Participatory Practices. Subsequently the activities of Dalit Watch have been geared  towards the following:
    • Assessing damaged of life, habitation and livelihood of marginalized communities through rapid assessment, accessing government database, building database;
    • Building a network of cadre at panchayat, block and districts level and orientating them on rapid assessment monitoring mechanisms 
    • Monitoring state and civil society relief and rehabilitation programme by establishing block, district level Dalit watch center, bring out manual for monitoring of relief and rehabilitation packages, facilitating complaints and demands for equitable humanitarian aid. District and state level advocacy for strengthening demands from the community.
  27. Most recently, the organization has been awarded the prestigious Green Globe Foundation Award for the year 2010 (Category Extraordinary Work by an NGO) in recognition of its seminal role as a civil society organisation contributing to the causes of sustainable development which, while subscribing to the principles of social equity and justice, has also upheld the cause of a cleaner greener, and more secure world. A joint initiative of Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and the International Indian Film Academy, The Green Globe is a campaign platform to highlight the Climate Crisis besieging our world. The Green Globe Foundation is partnered by distinguished knowledge partners: the United Nations Environment Program and The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) led by Dr. RK Pachauri. The award is adjudicated by a distinguished panel of juryomprising, Mr. M.C. Mehta, Mr. Darryl D’ Monte and Mr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai.  The award was conferred on February 5, 2010 in New Delhi by Actress Ms. Dimple Kapadia and Nobel laureate TERI Director General and The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC ) chairman Dr R.K. Pachauri in an event, attended by a large number of world dignitaries including, First African woman and environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Ms. Wangrai Muta Maathai, his Excellency Jigme Yoer Thinley, the Prime Minister of Bhutan and first female Prime Minister of Norway, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtlands.  The event was also supported by environment television partner CNBC-TV 18,CNBC AWAAZ and CNN IBN .
PPT / Slides on Bihar Floods
SSVK Green Globe Award
on - CNBC TV 18

State Co-ordination cum Correspondence Office

North Bihar Training Cum Field Office

Emails & Web

Lok Shakti Bhawan,
Opp:Ajay Nilayan Apartment,
Parmanand Path, Nageshwar Colony
Boring Road, Patna – 800001

Tel/FAX: +91-612-2522077
Mobile: +91-94310 25801
               +91-99731 61483

J.P. Gram, Balbhadrapur,
Jhanjharpur (R.S.)
District - Madhubani

Tel/FAX: + 91-6273-222242
Mobile: + 91-99399 84568

E-mail (S):

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