| Development as Unleashing Potential Efforts : the Bhagavatula Charitable Trust (BCT) of Yellamanchili in Andhra Pradesh (1995) |
|Section 1 BCT and its activities|
Money, or lack of it, was a big problem and the search lead to a German organisation called EZE (Central Protestant Agency for Development Assistance) which asked him to form a trust. The seed money came from Dr Rao’s father who said "I know nothing of what you are talking. But I have trust in you. Take the money and name the Trust after the family." Bhagavatula Charitable Trust (BCT) was registered in November 1976.
Its main function, as perceived then, was that of funding conduit for rural development drawing upon the resources of the government, the banks and as well as other funding organisations. Other functions envisaged were to attract highly qualified and highly placed individuals into development of villages, to generate and coordinate local efforts towards achieving common purposes in a concerted manner, to facilitate villagers’ access to credit, appropriate technologies and expertise and to render account to donors.
First two years were spent in rehabilitation work: 150 acres of salt tracts in Marripalem were retrieved under the auspices of BCT and used to rehabilitate 85 families; through a donation of 1000 MT of rice from CARE and transportation support from OXFAM, BCT was able to provide for approximately over 8 lakh man days of work involved in reclamation of sand-cast lands; with incentive deposits of Rs 2.5 lakhs from OXFAM, Canara bank was induced to give loans worth Rs 8 lakhs to more than 2000 small farmers, artisans and women and thus brought banking services into the area for the first time.