Chaupal Gramin Vikas Prashikshan Evam Shodh Sansthan came into being when four people’s organizations working mainly on Right to Food in tribal areas decided to come together and form this organization. These people’s organizations had history of collaborating with each other from 2003 onwards. Representatives of these four organisations are part of Chaupal’s Governing Board and participate in the collective decision making.
It got registered under Societies Act in 2006 and received FCRA registration in 2010.
The common feature of all the four organizations is that all of them are predominantly tribal people’s organizations. All four organizations have significant focus on working with particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTGs). Other than Abhujmaria, all PVTGs in Chhattisgarh are covered substantially in their programmes. All the organizations have demonstrated strengths in community mobilization and organization aspects and have strong grassroots character. They have been very active in the Right to Food campaign for at least six years and this is the aspect that has catalysed the coming together of these like-minded groups.
The flagship intervention for Chaupal from its very inception has been on improving access of the poor to food and nutrition services. Later, mobilising communities to demand access to health and healthcare became another key intervention. Working on these entitlements helped Chaupal in creating strong organizations of the poor and marginalized. These people’s organizations then have also taken up struggles to demand employment through NREGA, health rights, prevention of deforestation and for implementation of the Forest Rights Act.
In its experience of mobilizing marginalized groups at village, Panchayat and block level around issues of access to a range of entitlements especially food security, Chaupal adopted the strategies of forming community level groups, training them to monitor basic services and in engaging with government. Chaupal focused on nurturing community level action and advocacy on basic entitlements. Its community level action has helped people to access entitlements like rations from Public Distribution System (PDS), ICDS services, Mid-day meals, health services and work under NREGS etc. Its advocacy efforts have led to more decentralised and community controlled structures of implementing food and nutrition programmes and has completely transformed the way systems like PDS function in the state.
Currently Chaupal, in Sarguja, is participating in a Five-state intervention on Malnutrition through running of crèches, women’s groups and strengthening systems.