About Vanvasi

Supporting communities for democracy & peace

VANVASI – Society for Rural Urban and Tribal Initiative, established in 1983, is a not-for-profit organisation that works towards social change at the grass roots, across rural and urban India, through its Fellowship Programme. It is committed to empowering marginalized people to lead a dignified life with access to livelihood, resources, rights and justice. VANVASI supports people-oriented initiatives for alleviation of poverty and discrimination among some of the most disadvantaged communities in India. From food security to education; rights to natural resources to livelihood generation; land alienation to urban concerns; untouchability to governance, agricultural issues to labour rights, VANVASI Fellows engage in a wide range of activities including awareness raising; organizing communities; perspective training and capacity building; documentation and advocacy across rural and urban India.

VANVASI not only facilitates and supports social action, but also strengthens it through the intermediary processes of advocacy, engagement, association, capacity building and solidarity. Cross-fellowship learning through meetings and perspective building is also promoted.

Funds for the core Fellowship support are raised by VANVASI through individual donations and independent resource mobilization efforts e.g. scrap collection and other fund raising activities. Since its inception, VANVASI has supported the work of more than 122 fellows at the grass roots in 18 states across India.


VANVASI and its Fellows believe that directional social change and sustainable economic development can be achieved by empowering oppressed & vulnerable communities. By equipping people at the grassroots to build and access a society based on the values of justice and equity, a life of fulfillment, dignity and respect can be achieved for all.