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VIKALP, as the name suggests was formed to find an alternatives to the mainstream development process. Vikalp means alternatives; for the institution it is further to this: appropriate and just.

Appropriate is not a static entity but is a continuous process evolving and dissolving into the next. This is the guiding philosophy of VIKALP. It was while working with Coal India Limited, a government of India Public Sector , that Dr. P.K.Gandhi and Mr. D.R. Mamidwar, then Director of Coal India realised the consequences of development on the environment and the tribal people. It gave these a seed for thought. Both of them worked on resource integration and recycling of mine wastes for the benefits of the communities. These two were involved in the work of reclamation of OB dumps using wastes from paper industry. As the project was completed, these two realised the need of involving communities for the sustenance of the work.
Around the same time three others viz. Ms Smita Pandya (Environmental Engineer) , Mr. Amrit  Dhanwatey (Wild Life Warden) and Dr. Kharat (Director, Institute of Science) were discussing the use of science and technology education as a tool for empowerment of the villagers. All the five used to meet occasionally and the thoughts were exchanged. As a group, they called it VIKALP meaning ALTERNATIVE; they took the responsibility of hosting the 3rd Vidarbha Paryavaran Parishad (Vidarbha Environmental Conference) in 1994. The conference was held at Chandrapur the district headquarters of the district in Maharashtra in which about 80 groups (NGOs and activist groups) participated. The conference discussed a number of issues related to environment and community development. The success of the conference ignited a desire for this informal group to register as a society under society registration act 1860.


VIKALP is committed to: A self reliant, self propelled and responsible society committed for sustainable developmen

Vikalp society will work towards this by.
Involving all sections of the communities in the interventions.
Involving govt stake holders and especially forest department in the interventions.
Involving educated youths form the area and around in the programme component like education, campaign etc.
By creating a substantial volunteer base in the area and at the divisional headquarter city .

The Mission of VIKALP is to work with the marginalised and resource poor communities to empower them with knowledge and skills so that the communities take the road of development through sustainable  natural resource management practices  by themselves and the food security is ensured.