Young Changemakers of Rural India: Building Resilient Communities

“The soul of India lives in its villages."

- Mahatma Gandhi


India has 640,000 villages, which saw three revolutions since the 1970s: rice and wheat, milk and poultry. As a result, India is number one in milk production and among the top five in poultry. Smart village revolution can be next in providing holistic and integrated development.

We are excited to share that Svayamkrishi Endowment and Ashoka Innovators for the Public have come together to introduce the new framework for inspiring rural youth to be changemakers and in the long run, develop the culture of everyone embracing empathy-based living for the good of all to build models for sustainable villages and self-reliance among villagers and replicate the models across villages in India.




Our Mission and Vision:

  • To support social entrepreneurs and changemakers to build models for sustainable villages and self-reliance among villagers to spread the models across villages in India. 
  • Sustainability means that villagers can meet their human potential and flourish within the villae on a long term basis rather than needing to migrate to cities for sustenance
  • Self Reliance means that families and individuals within the village can meet their needs without external assistance. 


The Endowment meets these objectives through:

1) Identifying young changemaker role models from rural India as Ashoka Young Changemakers. 
2) Co-creating experiences to influence other stakeholders:

  • Enabling selected Ashoka Young Changemakers to conduct Your Kids sessions in their villages for adults
  • Engaging with existing Ashoka Fellows working in rural areas to get ideas on empowering their villages
  • Organising sessions in village school or platforms to inspire more young people
  • Developing media partnerships to cover their stories in local media


The holistic and integrated sustainable village development focuses on the areas such as:

  • Water Management 
  • Income Enhancement 
  • Rural Health 
  • Family Life Education
  • Information Technology 
  • Communications
  • Community Mobilisation
  • Infrastructure Building


Our Progress and Achievements:

Please refer to the status document for updates on the progress and future activities:


Learn more about the innovative models developed by Ashoka Fellows who are transforming villages in diverse parts of India and are inspiring rural youth to take action:


"With the depth of knowledge and experience, Ashoka is in a unique position to empower young changemakers in villages to bring changes leading to sustainability and self-reliance among villages through Svayamkrishi. The idea is to showcase role models of changemakers and their villages in all states and districts. Mahatma Gandhi said the soul of India lives in villages. If villages prosper, India prospers.


Along with that, COVID-19 had the most devastating impact on India and every nation on earth, and the pandemic once again reminded us that we humans could not survive without food. That food comes from villages. Unless the villages persist and become self-sufficient and self-reliant, we cannot stay. So, the work of changemakers is so critical in transforming villages to achieve Gram Swaraj with their own Svayamkrishi."

- Dr. Ratnam Chitturi

Dr. Ratnam Chitturi, Founder - President, North-South Foundation, has taken this initiative with the hope that many others will join and contribute to the Svayamkrishi Endowment to bring a sustained benefit to rural India.