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Slowdown has no impact on rural India

The Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) is an autonomous body functioning under the rural development ministry.It is a major promoter of rural development in India. Director-general V. Venkatachalam spoke to Gaurav Jha on a range of issues.

business Updated: Dec 28, 2008 22:17 IST
Hindustan Times

Briefly tell us about CAPART and its activities

CAPART, an autonomous body, was established under the Ministry of Rural Development in 1986 to support voluntary organisations for implementing projects for sustainable and holistic rural development and to act as a national nodal point for development and promotion of appropriate rural technologies

What is it’s role in the development of rural masses?

CAPART works in collaboration with NGOs. Our major schemes are-public cooperation, which supports innovative projects which are not covered by government schemes. Second is organisation of beneficiaries. It is spreading mass awareness of schemes like RTI, NREGA, legal aid facilities and so on. Thirdly, it creates technologies for rural development and the fourth is action for disabled people.

What is your development model?

We work in collaboration with over 12,000 NGOs. We are basically a funding organisation. We get funds from the ministry, which we distribute to NGOs depending on their projects and finally the fund reaches the rural masses through them. The NGOs carry out the developmental activities. We have a budget of Rs 74 crore this year of which around Rs 35 crore has been utilised through these NGOs.

As you are a funding body, how do you check activities of fraud NGOs who can embezzle funds by showing false receipts?

We have a strong process of scrutiny of all NGOs through our nine regional committees who assess the activities of each and every NGO we fund. If we do not find their performance satisfactory, we blacklist them. Last year, we had blacklisted 300 such NGOs and this year, the list has increased to 800. As on December 31, 2007, we recovered nearly Rs 29 lakh from fraud NGOs.

Apart from funding, what else do you do?

We have other programmes like the Nirmal Gram Abhiyan. It is propagation and implementation of total sanitation. Gram Vikas Andolan is to build and generate mass movement on water conservation. Human Resource Development or young professional scheme (YP) is recruitment of young postgraduate students from areas of social work and business management.

How can rural India contribute during the slowdown?

The slowdown has no impact on rural India, the real India. In fact, we contribute the most to the country’s health in terms of employment, wealth and prosperity. If rural India is empowered, the urban community can live comfortably and peacefully.

First Published: Dec 28, 2008 22:15 IST