Gramothan: Concept of Gramothan Resource Centres (GRCs)
Ekal has set up eight Gramothan Resource Centres (GRCs) in different remote places in Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, U.P, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. These GRCs serve as resource centres for about 100 villages surrounding the centre. The main aim of these GRCs is to make the village community economically self-reliant and develop villages as centres of economic activity. The idea is very similar to the idea of PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) promoted by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and adopted by Govt. of India. The main focus remains on knowledge, electronics and economic connectivity to 100 villages.
The main activity of the GRCs is to motivate and educate the villagers to adopt eco-friendly life, train farmers on organic farming and high-value crops, provide skill development training to youth and women for better livelihood, husbandry and promoting agro-based local entrepreneurship. The training to farmers is imparted for organic farming through production and use of vermin compost and organic pesticides, commercial crops, tools for packaging and marketing, water conservation etc.
Apart from training to farmers, new skills are imparted to unemployed/under-employed tribal/ rural youth and school dropouts for tailoring, computer data input, tube well and tractor repairs, electric motor winding, carpentry etc. The objective of imparting these skills is to make the youth self-reliant with rural entrepreneurial skills so as to earn livelihood in the vicinity of their villages and avoid urban migration.