Frequently Asked Questions

What are ‘SARVAM’ and ‘The Sarvam Trust’? How did they come along?

The Sri Aurobindo Rural and Village Action and Movement (SARVAM) is the Integral Village Development Programme of Sri Aurobindo Society, a charitable organization, recognised by the Government of India.

‘The Sarvam Trust’ came into being to address the Society’s need for a body to organize funds for the wide range of research and development activities undertaken by it.

What is the underlying philosophy which underpins the Integral Village Development Programme, and how is it relevant to the 21st century India and world?

The vision of the Integral Village Development Programme is based on the concept of integral development of the individual, the community, and ultimately the world at large, initiated and being carried forward by the people of the village themselves, in line with their natural turn of growth. Accordingly, while addressing external factors such as economic requirements and social necessities as part of traditional development process, the Village Programme primarily works towards a change of the mindset of the individuals, aiming to ignite an aspiration for progress in them. All aspects—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual—coalesce into this inner process of progress, which becomes the basis for all outer change. This transformation expands from the individual to the collective, and hence sets the foundation for a strong, stable and sustainable society.

Even as India, along with the world, is accomplishing wonderful, cutting-edge breakthroughs in science, technology and commerce, human conditions are worsening and basic human values are dangerously dwindling. Even more appalling is the fact that neither the people who are leading the community nor the ones who are part of it are attentive to these conditions or have any aspiration to revert this degradation. To make any external development all-pervasive and sustainable, it is necessary to first recourse the people to a path of inward progress. The Village Programme endeavours to help all interested members in the community in this integral journey.

Can I participate and in what way?

One can definitely participate in any of the work undertaken by The Sarvam Trust or the Sri Aurobindo Society. The options for participation are as follows:

  • Join us: Work in the projects as a paid member or a volunteer.
  • Volunteer: Participate in the various activities of the Village Programme as a volunteer.
  • Fundraise: Organize or participate in the fundraising initiatives and events of The Sarvam Trust.
  • Donate: Donate funds to The Sarvam Trust.

For more details about the various avenues and other information on volunteering, please visit the websites:

The Sarvam Trust –  Get Involved”
Sri Aurobindo Society – “Participate”

What  has the Integral Village Development Programme achieved so far and what kind of difference has it made to the community?

The Integral Village Development Programme, through its projects, has brought in radical changes in the two villages adopted by it. It has transformed the community culture by encouraging and helping the entire village to aspire collectively for their own development, and work collaboratively towards it. The impact can be seen in the following areas:

  • Education: 100% enrolment of children in schools, and 100% pass rate in secondary examination; massive infrastructural improvements; children’s development through education along with physical and cultural activities; deep involvement of parents and teachers towards the appropriate upbringing of children; basic computer education.
  • Health and Sanitation: Generating awareness and practice of hygiene; health camps and associations with premier hospitals and clinics; green and clean environment initiatives.
  • Housing: Construction and renovation of eco-friendly, low-cost houses; effective utilization of government schemes.
  • Income Generation: Loans for microenterprises; association with neighbouring industries for outsourcing of processes; enhancement of agriculture and associated units for sustained income.
  • Women and Youth: Empowerment of women by encouraging them to contribute towards family’s income, engage them in community well-being and activities, involve them in their children’s education; empowerment of youth by instilling a sense of purpose in them, engaging them in community activities, and providing technical and vocational training.
  • Communication: Launching of a village journal, managed entirely by the village youth; preparation for the launch of a Community Radio Station also to be run by the village youth.
  • Others: Developing village committees and coordination groups to discuss and organize initiatives for the village development; building village community centre (Satyam).

Is The Sarvam Trust registered in the UK?

Yes, The Sarvam Trust is registered in the UK.

The Sarvam Trust
Registered charity no 1148419
Minerva House, 26-27 Hatton Garden,
London, EC1N 8BR

Is the work done through the Integral Village Development Programme scalable, transferable and replicable?

Yes, the work done through the Integral Village Development Programme is designed and executed in ways that are scalable, transferable and replicable.

The fundamental approach of the Village Programme is to create a model for development, which can then be replicated by others independently, in its principles and not necessarily in its application—as its application will vary according to the special characteristics and needs of the place to which it is applied.

Accordingly, in its rural action initiative, the Village Programme developed Manaveli as the model hamlet, the development pattern of which could be replicated in other hamlets with appropriate adaptations. This has been a successful experiment, serving as an inspiration for its surrounding communities.

In addition, one of its primary objectives is to bring changes in the habits, outlook and mindset of the people so that they develop a deep sense of purpose and dignity, and a spontaneous aspiration for progress and development. While we develop their individual skills, they can get collaboratively organized to implement the required changes in their community. Thus, the developmental processes initiated by the Village Programme can be taken forward by the people of the villages themselves.

Is it possible to visit the villages coming under the Village Programme, and contribute to the work in terms of our time and expertise? In such a case who will look after the daily expenses of boarding, lodging and transportation?

We have been receiving a large number of requests to visit the villages adopted by the Village Programme, and to see the work being done there up close and personal. It is possible to visit these villages, but any visit has to be informed and planned with the Village Programme coordinators well in advance, considering the sensitive nature of the people of the villages and the frequently changing political and social scenario (e.g., election rallies, dignitary visits or local temple festivals) and also to avoid overlaps and conflicting schedules with other visitors.

The boarding, lodging and transportation can be organized by us, but it needs to be discussed and planned first. For further information, you may write to Senthil (our Village Programme coordinator) at [email protected]

Do you have an e-newsletter to which we can subscribe?

Yes. Please click here to subscribe

Do you have someone in UK whom we can speak to?

In order to know more about the Sarvam Trust, you can speak to Shilpa Shah at  +44 7404 618 933

Where could we order the books authored by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother?

Books authored by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother can be ordered online through the following websites:

SABDA Online: www.sabda.sriaurobindoashram.org
Sri Aurobindo Society: www.products.aurosociety.org