Promoting and Nurturing Gram Sabhas
TBS begins its engagement in most new villages by promoting Gram- Sabha (village council). The Gram-Sabha is an informal body comprised of representatives from each household in the village. It is obligatory for all households to attend the Gram Sabha meeting held usually twice a month except during the harvesting season. If necessary, an emergency meeting can be called. There is no single leader or a core group that oversees the management of the system. Instead, all households take active part in the working of the Gram Sabha and all decisions are taken by consensus. The Gram Sabha is a platform where all people can sit together and discuss openly; unlike in panchayats where political interests hamper the process.
Active involvement of the villagers has led to natural resources used as a regenerative input for various socio-economic and ecological developments. The gram sabha settles disputes within the village and organizes peaceful demonstration when the need arise. It pays special attention to the role of women and youth by establishing groups so as to give them responsibilities to maintain the development process.
The Gram Sabha develops a Gram-Kosh (Village-Fund) to ensure financial independence of the village institution in the long run. TBS is trying to link this Gram-Kosh with larger development funds such as Lead Banks, Government schemes and other financial institutions. The Gram Saba in the long run is a sustainable source of mobilization.
People’s participation is a prerequisite for any developmental activity. TBS does not undertake any activity unless the villagers agree to contribute maximum resources in term of voluntary labor. The villager’s involvement gives them a sense of ownership and ensures further continuance of the process.
An important factor inspiring villagers to participate actively in the process is the revival of their traditional water system, with which most of them are familiar. The role of TBS is that of a catalyst and motivator.
Promoting Community - Based Organizations
Establishing, fostering, and fortifying community-based organizations is an important component of TBS’s strategy for making a system for sustainability in the developmental processes being undertaken in the area. TBS works as an enabler who shapes germane potentialities, processes, and arrangements; so that people become capable of carry forwarding the developments docket that they themselves have determined.
Community-based organizations such as Gram Sabhas, Forest Conservation Committees, Water conservation committees, Women Self-Help Groups (SHG), Women groups for natural resource management and River-based organizations are some of the organizational forms that have been nurtured.
Grass root level Activists
Beginning from the organization’s origination TBS believe that for unvanquishable development process, it needs to develop an excellent cell of human resource for grassroots work. TBS’s in-house educated and actuated personnel boost livelihoods at the grassroots level. They work on an ever-expanding scale in sectors as diverse as agriculture, natural resource management, health, and women empowerment, each of them playing a key role in TBS’s grassroots development programs and expansive outreach.
TBS undertakes self-evaluation exercises. While meetings are held every month, emergency meeting can called any time. Here too, one of its main foci is on motivating people. It stresses a great deal on professional way of doing things but with a humane approach.
The members of TBS are scattered in the field leading simple life with the villagers, so that they are one with them in their day to day problems and help them in finding indigenous solutions.