The ‘UP Village Development Project’ is being implemented in three villages of Rae Bareli district, Uttar Pradesh (UP) by Prayatna. This project has a three-fold strategy that aims to facilitate the process of development in the rural contexts of India. The first component is to provide infrastructural support to government schools that includes providing access to safe drinking water and promoting holistic education through the installation of smart classes and IT labs. In addition to supporting quality education, solar streetlights will be installed at strategic locations in the villages addressing the concerns of women’s safety in community spaces. Apart from these two components, the major and long-term focus of the project is to improve local livelihoods by exploring new opportunities for both farm and non-farm activities which enhance incomes and provide a better quality of life to village community.

Inspired from the livelihoods approach that Prayatna has adopted in other parts of the country, the ‘UP Village Development Project’ also comprises of setting up of an Enterprise Resource Centre (ERC) which will support the livelihoods activities through vocational trainings, hosting community meetings and a site for demonstrating the various livelihoods initiatives to the community as part of the project. The ERC is managed directly by Prayatna’s project team based in village Ataura Buzurg in district Rae Bareli, UP. The project is being implemented in direct consultation with the Gram Sabha and in convergence with government schemes and the local administration.

The project strives to achieve wholistic education, improve community infrastructure and generate livelihoods in rural contexts, thus building a model that can be replicated in other parts of the country that reinforce positive change in backward areas. This project marks the beginning of a long-term commitment of Prayatna and Ramboll towards wholistic living.