RUCHI or the Rural Centre for Human Interests is a non-political, non-profit making organization committed to development of rural India.
RUCHI was created on the felt need to have a platform with a committed workforce to initiate the process of development at the grass roots level with people's participation.
RUCHI, began in October 1980 in a remote village in Chopal in Shimla District, Himachal Pradesh. It was formally registered under The Societies Registration Act (1860) on 16th February 1983.
Head office of RUCHI is currently located in a new complex called the Technology Resource Centre (TRC), which was founded in 1994 through CAPART, under the aegis of Ministry of Rural Development.
The TRC is situated in the small village of Bandh in Solan district. RUCHI is working in about 100 villages in the steep mountainous terrain of Sirmour and Solan districts.
RUCHI's office at Shalana village (Rajgarh) can be reached via Solan. The headquarters at the Rural Technology Resource Centre (TRC) at Bandh village (Patta), can be reached from Dharampur or Solan via Subathu and from Chandigarh via Barotiwala/Baddi (Click here for more detailed information on travelling to RUCHI headquarters)
The major thrust areas of RUCHI's approach are Natural resource management; Environment; Technology promotion; Health care; Education and awareness generation; Micro-credit and Documentation.
RUCHI transfer their functional knowledge to the people via education, awareness generation and empowerment.
We believe strongly that participatory collective action is required for sustainable and balanced community development.
Living in rugged mountainous terrain presents the village communities and the RUCHI organization with many problems and trying working conditions.
These problems serve as hurdles that can only be overcome by working in partnership with our target communities to develop practical solutions to every challenge faced by rural people.
RUCHI, by generating the desire in the underprivileged to improve their own living conditions, help these people to live a life of dignity and self-respect.
Total area 55,673 square kilometres
Cultivated area 5,83,000 hectares
Forested area 20,640 square kilometres
Total population 6,077,248
Rural population 92%
Population density 109 people per square kilometre
Overall life expectancy 63 years
Infant mortality rate 60 per 1,000 births
The RUCHI campus is situated in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh, attached to the small village of Bandh in Solan District. There's an abundance of colourful wildlife, not to mention the inquisitive village goats and sloth-like fearless cows that rule the roads.
Its rural location means that a visit to one of the project sites, neighbouring villages or towns can mean a long journey in a vehicle without air-conditioning in the sweltering heat. I quickly learnt that asking how far away a place was and getting a reply of "oh only about 15 Km" did not necessarily mean we'd arrive in 10 minutes, as it would in Wellington, due to the state of the roads which are often single lane goat treks with a cliff on one side, a cow laying in the middle of it sunning itself with no intention of moving and a large truck hurtling towards you.
The general rule around road use: the bigger vehicle wins right of way. You can expect a horn battle should both vehicles be of similar size till one gives in.