Development of Panchayats


Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘The Future of India lies in its villages’. Current government data of India, while recogizing that fact that India is a country of villages cites the fact that about half of India has poor socio economic conditions. With further discrimination which are based on caste and gender, much needs to be done to develop the Panchayat models of government and bring in inclusive spirit in the way India’s villages develop.

SECT is closely involved on the ground in the integrated development of the panchayats. With focus on self and local governance, the prioritised needs of a set of panchayats are being taken up and built in collaboration with M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and Elango Rangaswamy, an Ashoka Fellow. A key focus of the initiative has been the capacity building of Panchayats with the help of Elango’s Panchayat Academy.


The “Aloka Vision Program” initiated and supported by Carl Zeiss, aims to change the landscape of vision care in such areas through an entrepreneurial network, technology, innovation, quality spectacles, and raising awareness about the benefits of clear vision.

Through this initiative, Local entrepreneurs are
trained in basic eyecare, screening of people, dispensing of spectacles, as well as in entrepreneurial skills.Using technology,
the Aloka entrepreneurs will be connected to an optometrist, which ensures high quality screening and service to the rural and rurban customer. Zeiss’ technology solutions ensure smooth refraction and vision test, instant order placement,
ophthalmological support, and transparency across the entire value chain.

Though Zeiss doesn’t expect any returns, Aloka is not designed to be a philanthropic activity but as a sustainable venture for all involved, especially for the entrepreneur


With the help of Mauna Dhwani Foundation (who is one of our NGO partners), approximately 16 people have been trained as Aloka Vision Entrepreneurs in two batches. They are currently in the process of receiving their certifications.In the process of the training, the initiative did eye testing for close to 350 people in multiple locations in Balasore, out of which around 43 spectacles were provided at a subsidized price to the people who were identified with eyesight issues.


VKF serves as an advisor to Zeiss, helping them find sustainable initiatives through which they can improve rural healthcare, we explored the possibility to synergise with them in Balasore district, where our partners Odisha Nirman and Yuva Vikas work.

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