Assist India – Building Ideal Communities

Rural India

Operational Areas

ASSIST’s operational areas include more than 270 villages, spread over the rural areas of several districts in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. The main operational areas are in central Andhra Pradesh such as Guntur, Palnadu, Krishna and Prakasam, including areas near the Bay of Bengal and dryer inland areas. ASSIST’s head office is in Chilakaluripet in Palnadu District.

Andhra Pradesh is the seventh largest state of India covering an area of 162,975 km2 in the south-eastern coastal region of India. With over 50,000,000 inhabitants, Andhra Pradesh is the tenth-most populous state of India. Telugu is the official language and the mother tongue of 90% of the population. Urdu is the largest minority language. The major religious groups are Hindus (90%), Muslims (8%) and Christians (1.5%).

Andhra Pradesh's economy is mainly based on agriculture and livestock. The state has a rural population of more than 70%, and most of this group are engaged in agriculture and related activities. Rice is the major food crop and staple food of the state. Not surprisingly, Andhra Pradesh is known as the ‘Rice Bowl of India’. But many other crops are cultivated too, including all kinds of millets, pulses, chilies, sunflowers, peanuts, sugarcane, and tobacco.

Livestock and poultry are also important economic factors. Rearing goats, sheep and buffaloes is mainly done for commercial purposes, and Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of eggs in India. Fisheries contribute 10% of the total fish production and 70% of the shrimp production in India and are important economic activities too.

Although agriculture and livestock are Andhra Pradesh’s main source of income, the state has a high proportion of small and marginal farmers, who barely - if at all - manage to make a living and provide for their families. There are also many landless agricultural laborers who depend on extremely low and uncertain daily wages. It is in these underdeveloped and often deprived rural areas that ASSIST works and implements its

Comprehensive Community Development Programmes that have successfully led to sustainable development of communities since its foundation in 1985. On top of that Andhra Pradesh has a comparatively high number of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people, who as groups are too often marginalised from opportunities for development.

ASSIST’s Operational Areas

Even within the focused areas that ASSIST’s projects operate, there is a huge amount of diversity in climate, livelihoods, topography, and demographics. ASSIST’s Comprehensive Community Development approach covers broad sets of activities, run under the principle of local leadership of the development process. The details of each and every project are different, however, given the big differences between each operational location. Some examples of ASSIST’s operational areas are featured below.

Area Case Studies

Area Case Study - 1

Lime Production in Piduguralla

Area Case Study - 2

Island Communities on the Krishna River

Area Case Study - 3

Slate Mining in Markapur

Area Case Study - 4

Tribal Groups in Veldurthi