Over 20 years, Action Village India (AVI) has developed strong long-term relationships with six organisations all working for non-violent change in rural India. The partners all adhere to Gandhian traditions and philosophy, but work in different ways on the issues which appear to be the most pressing in the areas where they are active.
Since the liberalisation of its economy started in 1991, India has experienced rapid economic growth and is now seen as an economic threat to the West. But the rosy picture of economic growth hides the serious problems faced by hundreds of millions of rural people and growing inequalities and instability in rural areas.
Increasingly, AVI's partner's programmes aim to provide disadvantaged communities with an alternative to migration to urban areas and the option of remaining in their homes by: accessing government programmes, starting economic development and women's development programmes, making people aware of their rights, and ultimately opposing projects and policies that threaten their livelihoods, culture and existence. Current programmes include women's employment and health (Tamil Nadu), organic farming (Kerala), girls' education (Jharkhand and Bihar) and land rights (Orissa).
Action Village India has two part-time staff. Its income comes largely from individual donations and trusts, with 10% raised by the Madras Café at WOMAD each July.