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Rural India: Blossoming in Neglect?

VAF organized its First Conference in Pune from 28th – 30th August 2018. Research work done by VAF across eight themes was presented and discussed with larger fraternity. In order to reach and benefit a wider audience and stakeholders, we share all the papers presented during the conference as given below.

Conference Themes

Download working papers/presentations

Current status and barriers to digital inclusion

Simplification, transparency, avoidance of unnecessary meddling bureaucracy, the speed of response and very quick and huge reach are some of the key advantages of the IT-enabled services offered to society at large. Central Government has mandated Digital Inclusion platform to promote the above. This session had presentation related to the current situation of Digital Inclusion in its complexity in different parts of the country.


Current status and barriers to digital inclusion in rural North East Region

Digital financial inclusion – Role of banks and other financial institutions

Extent of digital inclusion in Sundarbans region of West Bengal

Extent of digital inclusion in Telangana

Progress towards digital inclusion in rural Gudibande of Chikkaballapura district

Status of internet use among young entrepreneurs in towns adjoining major cities in Rajasthan

What has been the progress in digital citizenship and digital inclusion for rural poor women in Tamil Nadu

Synthesis paper for the theme

Gaps between opportunity sets available to rural youth vis-à-vis their urban counterparts

Post liberalisation, India witnessed an increase in the rural-urban inequality in terms of income, living conditions, access to various facilities, etc. This session explored the gaps in opportunities related to education and livelihood among rural youth vis-à-vis their urban counterparts.


Exploring the access to opportunities in terms of education and health among the rual youth in Rajasthan

Exploring the opportunity gaps regarding educatin among the rural and urban youth of Mandla

Gaps in Education opportunities available to urban and rual youth

Opportunity gaps in rural and urban India – in context to two districts in Assam

The inequality of opportunitites for rural and urban youth in education and livelihoods

Synthesis of the theme

Incentives and motivation for women taking leadership roles in collectives

Women’s collective organisations take many forms: SHG’s, “Mahila mandal”, co-operatives for undertaking or supporting an economic activity, Nari Sangh for advocating gender justice. While membership entails attendance in periodic meetings and participation in collective activities, leadership role entails much more significant investment of time and energy. This session presented several insights from the research on incentives and motivations which drives individuals to take leadership in collectives.


Synthesis Paper for the theme

Understanding the incentive for the Leaders in women collectives


Beyond Leading Explicating collective leadership in community-based organizations through social network analysis

Contemplating ‘leadership’ in models of women empowerment thinking of transformative alternatives and possibilities

Role in promotion of leadership in collectives of women self help groups,cluster and federations

Synthesis paper

Health impacts of headload carrying and other domestic chores of women

Whither social enterprises?

In the recent decade, social enterprises (SEs) have emerged as new actors in development arena, globally. SEs are mission-focussed organisations run on enterprise principles thus aiming to promote both public and private good. The focus of this theme is to discuss the growth and management challenges of SEs engaged in the agricultural sector. The session had presentations on reflections of practitioners and a panel discussion on several case studies.


Essay on social enterprises and social entrepreneurs – Review of global, Indian and Bharat lanscape

Incubating Social Enterprises – ISEED IRMA’s expereince

Learning about Social Entrepreneurship

Summary of disucssions


Incubating Social Enterprises – ISEED IRMA’s experience

Learning about Social Entrepreneurship

Motivation for social enterprise research and a review

Research and knowledge building on social enterprises – TISS experience

Mainstreaming the Margins: Understanding the issues of the marginalised in eastern states of India

To cite:

<Name of the authors> (2018),  <Title of the paper>, Conference on Rural India: Blossoming in Neglect? VikasAnvesh Foundation, Pune.


Disclaimer: All the papers shared here are working draft.


Conditions behavior and consequences of bathing practices of rural women in India

Changing baskets of consumption in rural areas

Current status and barriers to Digital Inclusion

Interaction with Social Workers covered in the book Gems of Purest Ray Serene published by VAF in 2017

Health impacts of headload carrying and other domestic chores of women


Does the Development Discourse Ignore Women as Individuals?

Incentives and Motivations for women taking leadership roles in collectives

Mainstreaming The Margins

Gaps in opportunity sets available to rural youth vis a vis their Urban counterparts

Whither Social Enterprises?

Social and Economic impacts of water harvesting structures

Political Economy of Labor and Migration in India: Exploring the understudied dimensions of precarity in work

Team Photo