By AP interns Sujeet Kumar and Paresh Jain with Suresh Khatri.

Training by Initiatives of Change (IofC) for 24 Project Directors and senior staff of the    Society for the Eradication of Rural Poverty (SERP), Andhra Pradesh state at the IofC centre, Asia Plateau in Panchgani, Maharashtra. May 16 to 19, 2012

Opportunity Potential of SERP:  A means of reaching 11 million poor families through as many women members of the 1,0500,00 Self Help Groups (SHGs) under SERP. 

 On their return from Panchgani participants met their CEO who messaged the organisers from his phone:

B Rajashekhar, CEO SERPB Rajashekhar, CEO SERP“Just had a feedback session with the Directors. Each & everyone had a very transformative experience & our objective in organizing the program has been achieved 100%. Thanks to you & your team. Will now plan for the remaining batches.”  

What they found at Asia Plateau:
As they indicated in the feedback forms:

  1. The program has met my expectations: Fully = 22, Partly = 2.
  2. I will be able to practice what I have learnt here (in my job):
    Fully = 21, Partly = 3.
  3. I will be able to implement what I learnt here (in personal life):
    Fully = 21, Partly = 3.

“I realise I have become too casual towards my responsibilities. I want to go back to my earlier passion of planting trees, which I did as Municipal Commissioner.”

“I have decided to change myself. I will be polite and cordial with people, I will be open to learning from others and implementing good ideas I may get from anyone, and I will encourage people to sit and listen to their inner voice.”

“I found this training to be touching and practical. There will be visible change in me.”

What happened at Asia Plateau?

Hearts were won by the ambience and personal care they were enveloped with at Asia Plateau. Heads were won by the simplicity and eminent applicability of the change message through personal sharing.

The message was that change around us is best brought about by changing oneself first. Essential in this is correcting aspects of one’s past by letting the light of absolute purity, honesty, unselfishness and love into the corners of our past. This so that we bec

ome free of these blocks to then daily seek and write down the inspiration and direction that comes from deep inner listening, for at least 20 minutes before the start of the rush of our every day.

“It was all arranged for me to marry my maternal uncle’s daughter, but at the last minute I refused the marriage and instead married another because a relative planted a suspicion in my mind that the uncle had his eyes on the property I was to inherit. Now I feel I need to open up to my maternal uncle and apologise to him and his daughter for the hurt I would have caused them.”

“My grandfather favoured me by leaving his prime property in his will for me. I have 14 cousins, who could have also been given shares of the property by my grandfather. Although they have not made an issue over it, I feel it could divide the 72 members of the next generation of our family, which I would not want. I am thinking of ga thering my cousins and having an open discussion with them for coming to a joint decision in the matter.” (The next day he announced his resolve to go ahead in obedience to his inner voice, despite sharp opposition from his mother when he phoned her)

“I often have friction with my wife and nag her. I will be more understanding towards her.”

“I am going through an inner-conflict which is saying to me I must change myself.”

B Lakshmi , a professor at ASCI , Hyderabad , participant of the March programme for ATI trainers coming as facilitator for the SERP programmeB Lakshmi , a professor at ASCI , Hyderabad , participant of the March programme for ATI trainers coming as facilitator for the SERP programme

 “For the first time in 2 years I felt like praying. I have decided to support my colleagues by giving them training in use of IT.”

 “I will give up my bad habit of postponing things, which increases my tension. I will form a habit of having regular quiet times.”

“ I will apologise to my mother, who I did not bring to our home for one and a half years. I will change my anger and be kinder to colleagues. I have decided to sponsor the education of a girl child in my village.”

“I have decided to listen to my inner voice every day. I will balance my job and family life. I will be less self absorbed and be more open minded.”  

“Normally I am very restless and a bad listener. I also speak very little. But here my inner voice was activated and I could sit through with complete interest in session after session from 6 AM to 9 PM. You people are fantastic! I have decided that on returning to work I will talk one to one with my staff and see how they respond.” 


1. Jayesh Ranjan attends IAS program - Jan 2010. 

Women from different SHGs in Kurnool district, Andhra PradeshWomen from different SHGs in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh

(Thereafter writes article for 'Disha', which inspires Kiran Gandhi)

2. Ravindra Rao, Sudhir Gogate and Kiran Gandhi make first visit organised by Jayesh Ranjan to witness SERP work in Kondapur area of Nalgonda dist - August 2010

3. Kiran meets B. Rajsekhar and Usha Rani in Hyderabad with Jayesh Ranjan - Jan 2011


Vijaybharathi, Suresh Khatri, Appal Raju , Kiran Gandhi and B. Lakshmi met with 37 women from different SHGs in  KURNOOL district , ANDHRA PRADESHVijaybharathi, Suresh Khatri, Appal Raju , Kiran Gandhi and B. Lakshmi met with 37 women from different SHGs in KURNOOL district , ANDHRA PRADESH

4.Usha Rani (Director, Institution Building) attends an HEL at Asia Plateau with her team - March 2011

5. B. Rajsekhar attends IAS program - November 2011

6. Appal  Raju, Suresh Khatri, and Kiran Gandhi, with B.Lakshmi of ASCI who came for the programme for ATIs, make a second visit to witness SERP work in Kurnool dist of AP - April 2012  and identify training needs

7. First SERP directors' program at Asia Plateau - May, 2012

8. Second programme fixed for end June, 2012.


1. A second batch from the Project Directors level will come to Panchgani from June 26th to 29th, 2012 as part of all the 200 getting the full IofC training at Asia Plateau.

2.  It is proposed to carry out a model training project for Community Coordinators of Vizianagram, to be subsequently replicated with suitable modifications across Andhra Pradesh. It is proposed to train a group of carefully identified internal trainers from SERP for delivering the IofC message to all of Andhra's 1.1 crore SHG women members via training of its 5500 Community Coordinators. 

Kiran Gandhi, B Rajshekhar and Appal Raju at the SERP headquarters, HYDERABADKiran Gandhi, B Rajshekhar and Appal Raju at the SERP headquarters, HYDERABADSociety for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) is an autonomous society of the Department of Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh. The SERP is implementing Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP), a state wide community driven rural poverty reduction project to enable the poor to improve their livelihoods and quality of life through their own organizations.

IKP aims to cover all the poor households through 5500 Community Coordinators in the 22 rural districts of Andhra Pradesh with a special focus on the 30 lakh poorest of the poor households lifting up them out of poverty to a life of dignity where social ills like caste-ism, communal divisions, women's rights issues, education, etc are resolved.


SERP_Report_HEL.pdf1.12 MB