The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Gram Bharati Samiti (Society for Rural Development/Indian NGO - recommended by the Mitsui & Co. Asia Pacific BU)

Environmental recovery through tree planting and restoring traditional water control systems in arid regions of Rajasthan, India

Activity grant

Project Description

In semi-arid areas of Rajasthan, India, rapid deforestation caused by overgrazing, excessive logging for firewood, and overexploitation of natural resources has led to a range of problems such as a decrease in rainfall, soil degradation, and desertification. In order to conserve and restore the forests and their ecosystems, first a water storage framework needs to be established by constructing and maintaining dams, and repairing reservoirs. Then 100,000 trees and fruit trees need to be planted on sand dunes and eroded gorges to provide a local source of fuel and food, prevent soil erosion and runoff, and halt the advance of desertification. In this way, traditional techniques can contribute to tackling the urgent issue of water shortages, and preventing soil erosion and desertification.

Preservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2010 - March 2013
Grant amount
6,875,000 yen
Activity region
Rajasthan, India
Weeding around seedlings being cultivated for planting

Overview of the Organization

Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Secretary and Executive Director
Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Secretary and Executive Director
Establishment purpose
Gram Bharati Samiti(GBS), or the Society for Rural Development, was established by a group of social activists, Gandhi-style campaigners, and environmentalists in April 1984 and officially registered in Jaipur in July of the same year with the comprehensive mission of 'establishing a society based on humanitarian, democratic values and ecologically balanced habitat'.
Main area of activity
10 full-time staff members, 29 part-time staff members, 240 full members
Annual operating budget
4.18 million yen in 2007, 5.50 million yen in 2008, 6.44 million yen in 2009
Recent activities
  • (1) Environmental conservation and improvement
    The main focus of GBS activities is developing arid areas to prevent desertification, and improving quality of life for rural people by stabilising sand dunes, storing rain water, restoring native plant species, and raising awareness and providing education regarding environmental issues.
  • (2) Empowering women
    GBS operates a program for developing the capabilities of women and children which involves tackling health and human rights issues such as social and economic independence for women in rural areas, human rights awareness, and childbirth. It also works to protect them from abuse, sexual violence, human trafficking and rape.
  • (3) HIV and AIDS prevention
    As the most prominent NGO in tackling HIV and AIDS-related issues in Rajasthan, GBS provides a range of interventionary programs including consultation, education and raising awareness of the subject, STD treatment, and care and support for people living with AIDS and HIV.