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Society for Activating, Motivating, and Promoting Development Alternatives (SAMPDA) was registered under the Societies Registration Act XX1 of 1860 on the 13th of July, 1993. It came into existence in June 1994.

SAMPDA as a concept and form took shape the day the Barefoot ideal grew into a process. This process had, at its very core, the firm belief that its gainful growth could only be a truthful one when and if it gave rise to other such community initiatives following and believing in different ideological approaches in disparate geographical locales.

Presently, 22 organisations, including the Barefoot College, are members of the society. Founders of each of the member organisations have spent their initial years of training at the College. They subsequently chose to start working in their native states using some of the most remote, inaccessible and rural villages as their base. SAMPDA members are spread across 14 states in India, including Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerela and Tamil Nadu.

While some of the members use Social Work and Research Centre (SWRC), the others use their own names. Even though all the organisations have separate registrations, Governing Councils and sources of funding, they share the same ethics, values and objectives as the Barefoot approach. Barefoot College is akin to the tree of life… encouraging and nurturing the development of new growth. Despite the College’s desire to create total independence, the fledgling organisations still look towards the parent for varying degrees of support.

In spite of their diverse socio-political and geographical locations, the members support each other when needed, individually as well as collectively. For instance, on social action events such padyatras, dharnas, demonstrations, strikes, etc.


  • Diffusion of knowledge and information, aiming at activating, motivating and promoting the causes and welfare of the rural poor, groups, organisation and institutes.

  • To develop areas of cooperation and understanding among the different voluntary agencies, organisation, associations, institutes, groups and individuals, which are functioning in India for development of poor, weaker sections of rural communities.

  • To educate the member organisations to develop alternative, innovative, low cost, methods of integrated rural developments.

  • To undertake activities to promote the innovations and research related to the integrated rural development.

  • To work towards creating a platform for bringing Government, semi-government, autonomous and other institutes involved in integrated rural development for mutual education and exchange of ideas.

  • To educate grassroot level rural organisations in rural development.

  • To initiate debates, discussions and action on the issues concerning scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, women and bonded labourer in the light of experience of the member organisations and seek necessary changes in the policies, strategies, methods of the government aimed at equitable distribution of resources and social justice.

  • To educate the public on the activities of its members and further, to start an information services and to publish monographs, periodicals, journals, reviews, papers, pamphlets and other literature either free of cost or no profit no loss basis, in furtherance of the objects of SAMPDA.

  • To act as a channel of interchange of experiences and ideas in areas relevant to the work of SAMPDA.

  • To arrange seminars, workshops, meetings and conferences to discuss and study the problems facing any members of the SAMPDA and any other problems relevant to the work of SAMPDA.

  • To set up training centres, to assist members in research and evaluation

  • To help members with advice and other areas, in raising funds, and to act as a liaison between members, government and donor agencies (national and international) whenever and wherever necessary.

  • To establish contacts with affiliated or to affiliate with other organisations, national or international, with similar objects.

  • To evolve a code of conduct for the members and undertake all the necessary action for its implementations amongst its members.

  • To do all such other lawful acts, deeds and things either alone or in conjunction with other organisations as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects.

  • To use traditional and folk media wherever possible

  • To help build up organisation of unorganised labour and rural artisans.

All activities financed from the funds shall be conducted in accordance with the aims and objectives of the SAMPDA as started herein and no discrimination shall be permitted on grounds of religion, caste, creed or sex. Transparency should exist not only in financial matters, but also in all aspects of work.


Chandra Kanjilal
Giriraj Singh
Nilesh Desai
Rashmi and Rajnish
Satyajit Bhattacharya
Devi Lal
Moti Lal
Omana T.K
Subhash Mendhapurkar
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