Concept Note

About the Founder

Dr. Manibhai Desai, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, founded BAIF Development Research Foundation in 1967 to work on approaches and instruments for sustainable rural development.  After his demise in 1993, the team he mentored (BAIF team) continues to take his Mission forward, to contribute pioneering ideas to address emerging challenges. During 2020-21, the birth centenary year of Manibhai Desai, BAIF is excited to launch an initiative that will enable villages and communities to shape a movement for sustainable human development.


There is a great need to reconstruct villages into model villages.  The focus has to be on new and emerging enterprise opportunities and creation of jobs around them for rural youth using modern science and technology tools and sustainable development approaches.

Dr. Manibhai Desai Unnat Gram Abhiyan envisions a holistic transformation in the villages of India based on a judicious combination of the following four principles and seven pillars of development:


  1. Mantra (Ways and Means)
  2. Tantra (Solutions and Technology)
  3. Disha (Direction)
  4. Gati (Speed)


  • Youth Centrality can play a very dynamic role in shaping up the development process of the village through local entrepreneurship.
  • Resilient Livelihoods amidst climate change shocks and disruptions caused by natural calamities can serve as the pivot for societal change;
  • Sustainable Use of natural resources can result in conservation and optimum utilization of local resources;
  • Green Economy focusing on renewable energy, circular economies, biomass-based economic activity, use of ICT-based solutions to create a knowledge-oriented economy;
  • Off-farm Enterprise Promotion to generate livelihoods that are rural yet off-farm;
  • Defined Goal to ensure a clear direction towards development targets;
  • Setting Milestones to ensure and enable a measure for pace of progress.

The Dr. Manibhai Desai Unnat Gram Abhiyan will be open for participation by Community Organisations such as Gram Panchayats, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Youth Organisations and Watershed Development Committees (WDCs), and Self-help groups (SHGs). By joining the Abhiyan, the Community Organisation will have access to the knowledge and guidance, training and technology from BAIF team to take up a wide range of developmental activities. BAIF will also provide handholding support and linkage to support schemes as and when available.

For information on activities under various programs Click here