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Warm Welcome to ARM family
ARM is a Non Government Development Organisation working for the empowerment & mainstreaming of deprived village people of North Orissa with emphasis on backward rural Women, Children and Dalit communities. Striving to establish an alternative and prosperous rural social order; this mercurial organization has projected itself as the harbinger of grassroots liberty and empowerment of Coastal North Orissa for last two decades


Driven by a desire to lead full lives, live as members of a group doing things for themselves, their fellow beings and for the community as well, a handful of academicians, visionaries and professionals of North Balasore at Baliapal dewombed ARM unto the limelight in the 8th of March, 1989. Construed to extend a helping hand to the suffering mass against recurrent vagaries of nature (flood & cyclone) in the coastal district; the arms of ARM have been engaged since then in the empowerment and mainstreaming of socio-economically marginalized and vulnerable rural sections by viewing development as a process of increasing the personal and institutional capacities of members to mobilize and manage resources to produce sustainable and justly distributed improvement in their quality of life consistent with their own aspirations. Alternative for Rural Movement (ARM) has been registered as a voluntary development organization under the Society Registration Act XXI of 1860, Income Tax Act 12 A & Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 1976 and organized till date over 300 Women Self Help Groups (WSGs) across 100 remote rural villages in 16 Gram Panchayats serving a population of 1, 18,748 (21376 families) of Balasore district in the state of Orissa (India).


The “Trickle Down” Model (TDM) of socio-economic development advocated & pursued by the state administration after national independence sine (1947) found very little evidence of anything tricking down to the common masses. The failure of the model has caused concern, which set ARM’s like –minded group of activists to think about a viable alternative strategy as a matter of urgent necessity. The situation became different from the past with the rising consciousness among an increasing number of people that the existence of mass poverty and reigning socio-economic handicap should and could be changed. Hence the christening of “Alternative for Rural Movement” (ARM). It was observed that there was a need for new and innovative approaches for a more equal and just development according to the real needs and wishes of the poor population on the basis of local needs and demands not only for the successful implementation of the proposed development projects but also for their lasting effects.

It was thus felt that modernization concepts with large scale development programmes where a ‘trickle down’ effect was hoped for, but rarely achieved through ‘top-down’ planning strategies should be superceded by more poverty oriented ,participatory development concepts through small scale programmes and ‘bottom up’ planning procedures. ARM has since then been trying to project & implement a people centred development vision that looks to justice, sustainability and inclusiveness as the principles of authentic development.

ARM views development as a people’s movement, rather than as foreign funded/ Government projects and enables people to develop themselves with the minimum available resources and maximum incorporation of prevailing administrative opportunities within the existing infrastructure .Thus the three basic ingredients of popular participation as identified by ARM team of development harbingers towards a sustainable social order include “mass involvement in decision making”, “mass contribution to development” and “mass sharing of benefits of development” in consonance with various UN resolutions.

Hence, the concept of ‘mass participation in decision making and implementation’ is viewed at ARM as a system of interlocking relationships between villagers & the village level institutions that mobilize this participation and strengthen the level of institution further up to the national mainstream. Our bottom up participatory long term approach, thus, seeks to release the social energy of the people towards attaining the self – defined goals of development and ratifies the principle of planning with the people through micro planning efforts with micro planning achievements incorporating the relevant principles of poverty alternation to contribute & complement this innovative paradigm.

Where we work

ARM has its office complex at Baliapal of Balasore district in North Orissa. The Picturesque Baliapal block is costal to Bay of Bengal ridden with an array of flora & fauna which acquired natural importance presently free its National Test Range (NTR) location being postponed subsequently due to mass protest. Our activities raining from health, education, empowerment, employment, consumer rights, Natural resources utilization, environment and information technology. It promoting to getting backward rural women, children and socially economically deprived vulnerable sections are spread over 100 villages in 3 adjacent CD blocks (Baliapal, Jaleswar & Basta) of the district. Above 3900 Rural women have been activity engaged in credit and savings by mobilizing a savings of 98.6 lacs & availing matching credit of 542 lacs for their economic empowerment and gender security.
A state of the art model primary school for deprived rural children and much needed Primary Health Center have a proved as the life line of backward women, children and the area. The organization believes in local action for global transformation basing on which principles, it has popularized and commercialized organic farming , natural resources friendly micro enterprises , self employment oriented vocation for destitute women and girls as well as acting upon the protection of women/children rights and Right To Information and technology access, environment protection, rural sanitation and disaster management and disaster risk management are our other major focused areas of activities.

ARM invites you

Our liaisoning office at the state capital Bhubaneswar well linked with land and air facilities within India and abroad. ARM Baliapal is 5hours journey from Bhubaneswar and the same from Kolkata By express trains. The nearest railway station is Balasore at the district headquarter.

ARM Head quarter at Baliapal is frequented by bus communication from Balasore (50 KMs) every half an hour. Hired taxis are available at reasonable costs all the time at the Balasore railway station for express arrival at the organization and project area.

To find out an alternative strategy of rural social intervention and facilitate the NGO movement in the state of Orissa.
Establishment of an equitable social order through motivation, facilitation and self activity among backward rural communities with emphasis on women and children in the sphere of health education, human rights, economy and rural leadership.

• To facilitate empowerment, solidarity and leadership capacities of backward rural women and the under privileged social sections.
• To sensitize, act and promote basic education, rural health, eco environment and quality of living in the problem villages.
• To restore and strengthen the advocacy of human and child rights activities of vulnerable social categories concentrating on women and girls rights for preventing social discrimination and oppression.
• To garner economic empowerment and rural self employment of socially handicapped sections through credit and savings, eco friendly sustainable agriculture, micro enterprises and establishment of a value chain based marketing network.
• To conduct information networking, need based research, documentation and create a data base on all aspects of a prospective rural socio economy.
• People centered development vision
• Social justice, sustainability and inclusiveness as the principles of authentic development.
• Views development as a people’s movement.
• Enable people to develop themselves
• Ascendance in nurturing ,enabling and conserving dimensions of female consciousness
• Mass sharing of benefits of development
• Mass contribution to development
• Sensitivity & responsiveness to the aspirations of common people
• Creating and sustaining an atmosphere of growth and social change
• Honesty and integrity in thought & action
• Result oriented approach

I Strategy of Intervention
The planning, monitoring and evaluation wing of ARM focuses on the following points before formulation & implementation of any transformative efforts.
Strategic area
o What capacity we have
o What problem we are addressing
o About which critical issues we respond to
o What we can & cannot do
o About the scale of our work
o How we operationalise our vision & core purpose.
Programme area
o Planning and establishing the system for maintaining our work
o Allocating resources
o Getting the right people for the right work
o Developing, supporting and managing people in the implementation process
o Reviewing how things are progressing.
Organizational area
o What sort of finance, management, communication and the likes of support system we need to advance our work ahead
o How we organize power, people and the work in order to be effective and fair.
o Identification & procurement of financial & other resources we need
o How we administer the organizational vehicle which carries our strategies and work forward
o Who leads on what and how leadership is developed in the system.

II Broad segments of ARM activities
The whole range of ARM activities fall into the following four broad segments.
a. First generation: Relief and welfare activities involve the direct delivery of services to meet an immediate deficiency or shortage experienced by the beneficiary population, such as needs for food, clothing, shelter or health care on the wake of communal rights, natural disaster and necessity of welfare services.
b. Second generation: Capacity building activities revolve around community development to empower people to meet their own needs better through self reliant local action. This involves a whole village development effort in the villagers, realizing their own potentials through education, organization, participation in activities via sub group (SHG) structures such as women, children, farmers or Below Poverty Line people.
c. Third generation: Sustainable development strategies look beyond the individual community and seek policy and institutional changes that facilitates sustainable and inclusive local development in collaboration with major national / international agencies towards broad based local control over resources.
d. Fourth generation: People’s movement strategy focuses our attention on promoting public consciousness with an alternative action plan for adequately mobilizing the voluntary action on a national scale.
III. Activities outline
• Community education and capacity building
• Rural Health Management
• Women empowerment and child rights
• Poverty alleviation and economic empowerment
• Natural resource Management and environment promotion
• Disaster management and community rehabilitation
• Developmental partnership and networking

IV Details of activities

 Empowerment & mainstreaming of backward rural women, divorcees, destitute and dalits through promotion of SHGs, women rights, gender equity and legal assistance.
 Awareness and action on mother and child health, reproductive child health ,nutritional care, immunization, family planning, HIV/AIDS control, Public health management through traditional system of herbal medicine cum Primary Health Care.
 Socio economic development of poor and vulnerable rural women folk through credit and savings, vocational self employment and micro enterprise promotion.
 Joyful primary education of poor and dropout rural children with emphasis on sports, culture, arts/craft and science activities
 Mainstreaming, empowerment and economic self employment of risked rural girls against illiteracy, child labour, gender abuse, girl trafficking and HIV/AIDS threats
 Concerted community effort for Environment and sanitation improvement through social forestry plantation, bio promotion of local flora and fauna, organic farming, waste utilization and recycling, household toilet installation, drinking water provision and natural resource utilization.
 Focused development of specific backward sections like indigenous people, coastal fishermen communities as well as Scheduled Caste (SC) & Scheduled Tribes (ST) for their livelihood progress and prosperity
 Introduction and popularization of organic farming, bio composting, bio control and herbal garden among the backward village communities along with self employment training on post harvest technology, value addition, agro processing & agri business management
 Promotion of Consumer rights and Protection of Consumer interest against social exploitation through awareness, education and legal action
 Developmental partnership ,expertise and resource exchange ,Networking & consultancy for empowerment, strengthening and mainstreaming of grass root level under equipped people’s forums & community Based Organization
 Maintaining an organizational resource centre, developmental information data base and imparting information technology training for the development stakeholders of the district
 Community based disaster management drive through disaster preparedness ,disaster risk mitigation ,relief and rehabilitation, infrastructure promotion with emphasis on disaster taskforce groups organization and Village Development Committee (VDC) strengthening and empowerment
 Food security and employment of disaster affected/ vulnerable rural communities through village approach roads ,construction of irrigation channels ,embankments and water harvesting structures ,shelter support ,high rise platforms under Food for Community Development (FFCD) & Cash for Work (CFW) programmes.

Accomplishments of ARM to date

• 315 no. of Women Self Help Groups have been formed with total 4340 no. of rural backward women availing leadership skills, legal awareness and assistance and socio economic benefit through their collective efforts.
• Monthly savings to the tune of 98.6 lacs have been generated and credit of 542 lacs been mobilized by 292 Women Self Help Group members through rural savings and credit Endeavour.
• 1318 no. of women have become self reliant through 475 rural women micro enterprise groups with our assistance under women self employment initiatives.
• Active participation of women in Gram Sabha and Palli Sabha with active participation in decision making process placing demands of their problems and issues in concern with their village ensuring equal wages.
• 67 No. of Village Health Committees have been organized in 68 remote rural villages under Safe Motherhood and Child Survival Programme.
• Maternal Mortality Rate has been reduced from112/1000 to 72/1000
• Infant Mortality Rate has been reduced from 657/100000 to 397/100000
• Total no. of children immunized to date: 6316
• 2529 no. of the innovative Nananda Bhauja Club members constituting 1320 eligible women and 1209 adolescent girls are taking care of RCH activities in 20 remote rural villages.
• Total no. of adolescent girls have been incorporated into our mainstreaming process: 560
• Scholarship support for 200 poor and meritorious children, Art/craft/dance and music based extra curricular activities for 160 talented students as well as Teachers Training for 60 primary school teachers have been extended under School Child Resource Development Centre (SCRDC) project.
• 1468 no. of children of poor and underprivileged families have got primary education through ARM Model School project intended for school dropouts and non school going children of dalit and deprived backward communities.
• School drop out rate has decreased significantly from 66 % to 12 % in this remote coastal area since we started educational intervention in 1997.
• 1895 illiterate and backward rural women have been covered under village adult women literacy drive with their empowerment and economic rehabilitation.
• 5618 no. of women and risk girls have been empowered, trained and sustainably engaged themselves in different vocational self employment activities being protected from drudgery ,child labour and women trafficking threats.
• As consequence of our regular awareness drives in health, legal and literacy the level of consciousness among villagers have developed significantly.
• 30 no. Village Development Committees have been established.
• At present 25. Farmers Clubs have been working in 25 villages in the block.
• 22 no. of village roads, 10 Km. of river side embankment have been constructed under FFCD programme
• 3 Km. irrigational Cannel has been renovated and 126 ha. of land have been irrigated round the year.
• 15 No. of village ponds have been renovated for multipurpose uses.
• Livelihood support for 1495 flood affected vulnerable community people.
• Sheltie construction of 275 units among 275 homeless.
• 4 no of HRP with 32 Toilets and 12 Tube wells.
• Extending rural health awareness, action and daily treatment of mother, children and sick people from 16 villages (population-19638) through organization’s PHC under National Rural Health Mission.
• We have got recognition from the Govt. of Orissa Ministry of Women and Child Development as best Facilitator in the District of Balasore.
• We have been received Certificate of Appreciation towards our excellent contribution in Women Empowerment Activities in the district of Balasore for the Year 2007-08

Best Facilitator Awards to ARM, Baliapal.

Under the state sponsored drive to select best Facilitator NGO that is contributing the most towards SHG movement of the district ARM, has been selected as the lead voluntary organization who have contributed the most towards organizing Women Self Help Groups. The selection has been done through a complex block to district level selection sampling procedure under the norms of ‘Mission Shakti’ project.Mr. Rajendra Kumar Rana the Coordinating Member of ARM has been identified and awarded by the Chief Minister of Orissa on the occasion of International Women’s Day as the best facilitator of grass root SHGs of the district in terms of the number of SHG organized, amount of savings deposited, amount of loans availed by SHG members and quantum of women self employment through micro enterprise promotion. To date ARM has been able to organize a large chunk of backward rural women, 315 Women Self Help Groups mobilizing a deposit of Rs.98.6 lacs whose members have availed a matching loan amount of 542 lacs from nearby financial institutions against their deposit. All it has been result of constant endeavour, selfless action and never die attitude of the Coordinating Member and its team of staff activists and volunteers.

Women empowerment activities of ARM has been awarded

Gender equality and women empowerment has been the mainstay of ARM interventions since its inception. Starting from women rights, gender abuse, legal aid to oppressed divorcees & destitudes.ARM has been vocal in organizing the dalit and deprived women of rural areas to come forward and demand their share of living in the contemporary male dominated social order. Bottlenecks like reproductive health care, mother and child health promotion, women literacy and self employment, girl child labour,girl trafficking and HIV related problems have been singularly identified and handled by ARM team of gender activists for which the deprived women mass of the area have been mainstreamed to a greater extent .Considering all these track record of this labourious and mercurial NGO,the Collector of Balasore district has issued a Certificate of Appreciation to ARM on its women empowerment and gender advancement achievements

Alternative for Rural Movement(ARM)
AT/PO: Baliapal,Dist: Balasore,State: Orissa,INDIA
Pin Code: 756026
E-mail: , , ,


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