The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India (AKRSPI) is a non-denominational, non-government development organization. AKRSPI works as a catalyst for the betterment of rural communities by providing direct support to local communities to promote activities and develop models for sustainable natural resource use and development of human resources.
AKRSPI began field operations in 1985, and it is currently active in more than 1,000 villages in four environmentally and economically vulnerable regions of Gujarat state in western India. AKRSPI also works in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar states in central and eastern India.
AKRSPI’s development approach has two main goals: (1) organizing people for collective action and (2) addressing rural inequities. Keeping these goals in mind, AKRSPI undertakes the following interventions and activities:
- Water resource management
- Soil and water conservation
- Computer training
- Non-formal education
- Alternate livelihoods for economically vulnerable groups
- Savings and credit groups
- Alternate energy
To encourage sharing experiences with others, AKRSPI has set up two training centers in the rural areas of Gujarat. The training centers train more than 3,500 villagers and government staff annually. AKRSPI has also partnered with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research agencies to influence the policies and programs of the Indian government and other market players to improve the quality of life of the rural poor.