Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti is promoting and strengthening the market of artisan products, products of women entrepreneurs run rural enterprises and organic farm produce of organic farmers. To support the sale of organic products and Khadi, the institution has opened three sales outlets in Wardha, Sewagram and Seloo. The other marketing channels are the 50 rural outlets in Seloo and Samudrapur blocks that are owned / run by women SHGs members that market the organic produce. The exhibitions organized by CAPART, DRDA, KVIC and other NGOs also serve as a platform for marketing and promoting the products of SHGs and Organic Farmers. Some of the products are finding place in local Yatras, Haats, Bazaars and Melas. Magan Sangrahalaya is presently concentrating on developing a local market for the local produce.

Karigar Panchayat

Karigar Panchayat

Success of Magan Sangrahalaya’s reach under its Karigar Panchayat programme saved 200 potters from starvation. The following story illustrates how MSS facilitated preservation of their traditional market.

Ganapati, the most popular god of Maharashtra State (and all of India) is celebrated by millions using mud idols during the September festivities. During the last decade, the traditional mud idol had been replaced by the mass produced plaster of paris idols, which not only pollute the rivers and water bodies where they are immersed in large quantities after the festivities but also rob the traditional mud-idol artisans of their livelihood. In Wardha town itself, 200 artisans were on the verge of starvation due to the loss of their traditional source of income. Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti worked closely with these artisan members of the ‘Karigar Panchayat’ movement to mobilize the community, religious groups and governmental infrastructure and local business groups.

Enlightening all stakeholders about the ecologically unsound and indestructible plaster-of-paris idols and encourage the naturally disintegrating and environment-friendly mud idols which have bio-friendly solvent properties, resulting is non-degradation of water bodies during the immersion process. This was a remarkable achievement which led to re-instatement of traditional artisans’ craft and revival of their livelihoods not only in Wardha but also a large part of Maharashtra State that followed this initiative.

We must work towards the upliftment, development and progress of artisans.
Artisans should play a complementary role in environmental conservation and enhancement.
Karigar Panchayat must form honest, brave, healthy and progressive relationship with the society.
Karigar Panchayat should transcend the village peripheries to facilitate and strengthen the culture, art, science, wisdom and spiritual values of the entire nation.
All the decisions of Karigar Panchayat should be through consensus.
With a collective effort, Karigar Panchayat members should get rid of their ill habits, addictions and unhealthy customs.
Karigar Panchayat should form a sound understanding of policies, laws, projects and schemes impacting the artisans and disseminate them this information that leads to appropriate interventions for the benefit of the artisans, the society and the environment.

From the Chairperson

Dr. Vibha Gupta, Chair Person

Dr. Vibha Gupta is the Chairperson of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS). She assisted her father, Dr. Devendra Kumar, in founding the Centre of Science for Villages in 1978 and has been working since then in developing appropriate technologies for rural population in areas such as renewable energy, rural artisans, housing, sanitation, forest and agro-based rural industries, health and women-oriented technologies. Qualified as an economist, Dr. Gupta earned her PHD from IIT, Delhi, with a focus on ‘Transfer of Technology Amongst Rural Women’. She also took her postgraduate degrees in Social Science in Canada and the Netherlands and is a recipient of a number of national and international awards, apart from being a member of various national committees.

Refusing lucrative jobs nationally and internationally, Dr. Vibha opted to work for the emancipation of rural folk living in our villages, especially for the women of Rural India. With her unique combination of high academic training, grounding in Gandhian philosophy and close linkage with the villages and grassroots movements, Vibha brings in the inspiration, administration and successful implementation of programmes foe enhancing entrepreneurships in rural India. We interviewed Dr.Gupta regarding her work pertaining to rural women and her philosophy of life. Presented her are a few excerpts from her interview….

Q: Why did you choose to work in this field of rural development and that too in a place which is considered as one of the poorest area in India?
I hail from a Gandhian background as my father spent his entire life to convert technologies into trades and processes into professions to create sustainable livelihoods for the millions of rural folk subsisting below the poverty line. My father bring my inspiration, I choose this filed to make his dream come true – the dream of bringing a smile on the countenance of the people living in the mud hut, especially the rural women, who are the most deprived lot.

Q: What is the vision and mission of MSS?
Our vision is to empower the people of rural India trough the micro-enterprise route to create sustainable livelihoods. And, our dream is that every villager has work in hand, has a roof over his or her head and does not sleep hungry. As you know, India’s 73% population lives in villages, of which 80% are farmers and 20% are artisans, of these 50% are women. These subgroups are in dire need of alternate means of sustenance, given the market forces and today’s economic policies. Magan Sangrahalaya Samithi’s mission is to address these critical needs by creating sustainable, low-cost, environmentally sound and socially just interventions.

Q: How is CAPART helping MSS archives its mission?
CAPART has been and is extending tremendous support in fulfilling our mission trough its projects that we are implementing in 120 villages of Wardha District of Maharashtra, especially in terms of watershed harvesting and rural enterprises. CAPART – funded Watershed Management and Development project has helped us bring water to ten arid villages by recharging their groundwater aquifer and rejuvenating the natural resources base through implementation of appropriate rainwater harvesting technologies. Now, there is water in every home and every field, whereas previously there was none. This intervention has also helped mobilize 2000 farmers to do natural farming, saving a total of Two Crore rupees annually on chemical fertilizers, resulting in an increase of 25 to 50% in the crop yield. Regarding the Rural Enterprise project of CAPART, it has helped us from around 600 Self Help Groups (SHGs) with more than 10,000 women members. In fact, we have set up 34 rural micro-enterprises that provide subsidiary employment to 1000 rural women.

Q: What should be CAPART’s role in strengthening the grassroots movement?
CAPRT, with its vast network of 4000 voluntary agencies including Technology Resource Centres, Support Voluntary Agencies, specialized technical teams, should work towards evolving alternative innovative models of sustainable development and helping multiply and replicate them across the nation.



Gandhiji settled in Maganwadi, Wardha, after his departure from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. He named this Ashram after Maganlal Gandhi, his close associate and a rural scientist who had been his right hand in all the earlier three Ashrams but who suddenly died while working, at his behest, in Bihar in 1928.

Dedicated to the cause of village industries Gandhiji founded the All India Village Industries Association (AIVIA) by a resolution of the All India Congress Committee on 26th October 1934.

Towering national personalities like Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, renowned humanist and international scientists like Shri.C.V.Raman and Prof. Jagadish Chandra Bose, Shri P.C.Ray and prominent industrialist Shri G.D.Birla were part of the advisory board of AIVIA.

Gandhiji himself as the chairman, with Kumarappaji as the secretary of AIVIA, undertook the foremost all India movement of revival and expansion of various rural industries, Khadi and artisans based crafts. AIVIA evolved, developed, and disseminated rural industries as well as trained several organizations and artisans.

On 30th December 1938 Gandhiji innograted Magan Sangrahalaya – The very first museum of Rural Industries and Khadi. He wanted it to be a dynamic window on evolving technicques in rural industrialization and a centre of education for the common person to impart information on new modes of production which could help the poor of the land.

Dr. Devendra Kumar, a young Oil technologist, joined AIVIA from 1949 to 1952 as a scientist and undertook the onus of providing momentum to the noble cause of helping those below the poverty line by empowering them with the tool of science and technology.

In 1978, Devendra Bhai (which was his popular name) made Magan Sanghralaya his base and took up the mission to create a new awareness pertaining to Gandhian values among the scientists, technologists, economists, sociologists and experts in various disciplines all over the country. Here he set up the Center of Science for villages. His entire life was nothing but a relentless pursuit to provide a human face to technology with the dream that no one slept hungry and every citizen of India became self sufficient and lead a life of dignity and honor.

The main objective of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS) is to bring to the fore indigenous skills of the village artisans, stemming from the accumulated traditional knowledge, and facilitate its interaction with the recent knowledge of science and technology. To innovate technologies that could be converted into sustainable business opportunities at the grassroots level.

The other objectives are research, development and dissemination of Khadi and village industries, agriculture, dairy etc. alongwith the display and demonstrate of their production processes.
Dr. Devendra Kumar, popularly known as Devendra Bhai, was hailed as the doyen of Appropriate Technology in India.

A science graduate from Lucknow University and an Oil Technologist from the famous Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Devendra Bhai left a lucrative job to join the Gandhian Movement in 1946. Influenced by the Gandhian economic philosophy of decentralization, he joined the All India Village Industries Association (AIVIA), of which Mahatma Gandhi was the president and Prof.J.C. Kumarappa was the secretary. Prof. Kumarappa was a great Gandhian Economist, who influenced Gandhiji to initiate the ‘Namak Satyagraha’ (or the famous ‘Salt Movement’) against the British Raj.

Devendra Bhai helped his Guru Kumarappaji for six years in research and innovative experiments in various village industries he also edited and translated his books as well as articles, which Gandhiji hailed as the best analysis of the village economy of India and called Kumarappa the ‘Doctor of Village Industries’.

Guiding people to self sufficiency
In 1952, Devendra Bhai opted to live with the landless poor of a small insulated hilly village, called ‘Machala’, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh for eight long years – to experience village life in the raw. He made a sea change in the lives of the rural people of Machala who still revere him as a saint who changed their lives by making them self-sufficient to lead a life of dignity and honour. He was also a part of the ‘Bhoodan’ movement (where big land owners donated land to the landless poor) spearheaded by Vinoba Bhave – the barefoot ‘Saint on the march’. Under Vinobaji’s guidance, Devendra Bhai acted as the state level organizer of Bhoodan and was also active in Sarvodaya and village movements.

Catalyzing policy initiatives
In 1965, Devendra Bhai was invited to become the Secretary of the National Gandhi Memorial Trust at New Delhi and was made the Organizing Secretary of the National Committee for Gandhi Centenary of which the President of India was the President and the Prime Minister of India Chairperson. He initiated a number of institutions and was connected to various national and international committees on Gandhian constructive movement. Devendra Bhai acted as a vital link between the grassroots NGOs in the Gandhian field and the policy makers at the Central Government level. He was involved in organizing important meetings with the Prime Minister and the concerned ministers on various issues. He was also instrumental in cultivating a number of scientific institutions in Delhi to orient them towards rural needs. Even the concept of having Rural Development and Appropriate Technology cells at all the IITs in India, was the brainchild of Devendra Bhai. Not many people are aware that he was the person who helped in the formulation of the Council for Advancement of Rural Technology (CART) – the erstwhile CAPART. He was a member of around 150 national Science & Technology committees.

Transforming Rural Life with Technology
In 1978, Devendra Bhai took up the mission of his Guru – Kumarappa – of taking the benefits of technology to the rural poor and initiated the Centre of Science for Villages (CSV) at Magan Sangrahalaya. Wardha. With a team of committed scientists and technocrats, CSV developed 75 technologies to convert them into business opportunities for the rural people and constructed 30,000 low-cost mud houses, 100,000 hygienic toilets, 20,000 biogas plants and trained around 30,000 rural artisans in improved scientific techniques ( like non-violent honey extraction, gum-collection without harming the trees, single-bullock driven agricultural equipment and improved potter’s wheel). In fact, he started a major artisan movement called ‘Karigar Panchayat’, creating artisan guilds in 22 states of India with a total strength of 200, 000 artisans.

Light that continues to Enlighten
Though Devendra Bhai is no more in this world, his daughter – Dr Vibha Gupta – is carrying on the torch by creating sustainable livelihoods in Rural India through technological interventions. She has been working with Devendra Bhai since 1978 and is currently the Chairperson of the Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti.

Technology Competencies

The main objective of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS) is to bring to the fore indigenous skills of the village artisans, stemming from the accumulated traditional knowledge, and facilitate its interaction with the recent knowledge of science and technology. To innovate technologies that could be converted into sustainable business opportunities at the grassroots level.

The other objectives are research, development and dissemination of Khadi and village industries, agriculture, dairy etc. alongwith the display and demonstrate of their production processes.