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Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS), or the Centre of People's Science for Rural Development, is a voluntary organization that takes a Gandhian approach to rural development by working with the poor of the Thar Desert and enabling them to help themselves. Since its beginnings, GRAVIS has worked with over 50,000 desert families across 850 villages in Rajasthan, reaching a population of over 1 million, and has established over 1,100 community Based Organizations (CBOs). Through extensive fieldwork, as well as numerous studies and publications, it has come to occupy a leading position amongst the voluntary organizations in Rajasthan, with national and international recognitions.

GRAVIS was founded in 1983 by the late Laxmi Chand Tyagi and his wife Shashi Tyagi. Inspired by their experience with the Sarvodaya Movement and a yearning to do their part for the poor and the underprivileged, they began their efforts in Gagadi, a village in Rajasthan located 60 kilometers from Jodhpur. The Tyagis' formal qualifications in agriculture and education, experience in social activism, and extensive exposure to life in the Thar Desert provided them with the confidence to start on a challenging journey of social improvement in the region. Hard work and a spirit of service earned them the trust of the rural community, which was vital for implementing their ideas.

Due to the tremendous effort and dedication of the GRAVIS staff, the activities of the organization began expanding quickly. This necessitated the opening of several more field centres, as well as the expansion of the liaison office in Jodhpur into an administrative headquarters. Today, at any GRAVIS centre, you will find hard-working individuals devoted to improving life in the Thar and upholding Gandhian principles. Although our field programmes have changed in their nature and extent over time, our philosophy, commitment, and approach have remained the same.

GRAVIS believes in the reconstruction of rural communities, their institutions and their environment so that villagers have ownership and control over their future.