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Growing Against All Odds: Enabling rural entrepreneurs in Haripuram

Introduction Bhagavatula Charitable Trust (BCT) is an organization with a mission to make a positive impact on the lives of people living in rural areas. Started in 1993, BCT began with a focus on eradicating polio in the villages. Today, the organization has diversified its activities to include horticulture, animal husbandry, backyard poultry and other livelihood activities.

I recently had the opportunity to visit BCT's campus in Vishakapatnam which is spread over 50 acres in a secluded village called Haripuram.

An individual observing diligent laborers toiling in the field.

Promoting Agriculture and Livelihood Activities

The campus has training centres and quarters for helpers and is attached to the Kisan Vikas Kendra (KVK) with the help of the central government agricultural department. BCT is also involved in producing new varieties of seeds for farmers in the surrounding areas and distributing them through the KVK. In this program, BCT provides 1-10kg of rice or paddy seeds to the farmers. They offer a demo of fields where farmers can visit and learn about new crop varieties, cycles, and yields. This program encourages farmers to borrow seeds and start small pilot farms to test new crop varieties. If the yield is good, farmers can then take the seeds to their whole farm, but they must give the borrowed seeds back to the KVK at the end of the season. This ensures that KVK can distribute the seeds to other farmers.

During my visit, I met with several scientists who are working on introducing new crop varieties to farmers. I also had the chance to interact with the coordinators who visit over 200 villages every 15-20 days to figure out solutions and tackle problems. The challenges they face are unique to each village, and BCT works hard to provide support and resources to those in need.

Empowering People through entrepreneurship

One of the inspiring individuals I met during my visit was Ramu, a Rang De Investee. Ramu was affected by polio on both legs and one hand, which made it difficult for her to move around. Despite her mobility issues, Ramu has an undying spirit and a determination to succeed.

A Rang De team member captures a memorable moment with female shopkeepers, their vibrant shop forming the backdrop of the photograph.

Ramu was forced to discontinue her studies due to her disability, but she met BCT coordinators who helped her get treatment for her limbs under a government scheme. Although the surgeries did not give her a full recovery, BCT adopted her and gave her a residential program where she was able to learn tailoring along with her sister. With the help of BCT, she was able to earn ₹ 100 a day in her village, but she knew she had to scale up to make a better living.

Ramu moved to a bigger village where she could make ₹150-200 daily, but she still wanted to earn more. With the support of BCT, she started a fancy store to sell cosmetics, bangles, ornaments, and other items. BCT helped her set up her business by selecting the stocking-keeping units according to festivals and having a balance of fast-moving and slow-moving goods. After a few months, Ramu decided to expand her store and BCT gave her access to a Rang De loan of ₹1 lakh. She is now planning to establish a one-stop shop for every customer.

Ramu's story is just one example of the impact that BCT is making in the lives of people in rural areas. The organization is providing opportunities for individuals to learn new skills and start their own businesses, which not only benefits them but also their communities. With their focus on creating sustainable livelihoods, BCT is helping to break the cycle of poverty and transform lives. 116 Rang De Social Investors have invested ₹5.5 lakhs enabling budding entrepreneurs in Haripuram with the help of BCT. Bhagavatula Charitable Trust is making a significant impact on the lives of farmers and entrepreneurs in the surrounding villages. Their efforts to promote agriculture, education, and livelihood activities are commendable.

As we look to the future, it's important that we support organizations like BCT that are working hard to make a positive impact in our society. Through our collective efforts, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Invest today at

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