Our Founder

Dr. Manibhai Desai, was born in Kosmada Village in Surat District of Gujarat on 27th April, 1920. As a young student, he joined Mahatma Gandhi during the Quit India Movement. In 1945, he received a letter from Gandhiji to come to Sevagram Ashram in Wardha. In 1946, Gandhiji established the Nature Cure Ashram at Urulikanchan near Pune and entrusted its responsibility to Manibhai. Manibhai was the pioneer in initiating sustainable management of natural resources for rural upliftment through the voluntary movement in India. During a span of 47 years, he not only promoted Nature Cure Ashram but also established BAIF Development Research foundation (formerly known as the Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation).

Dr. Manibhai Desai was got many Awards for his significant contribution to Rural Development followings are some of them –

Awards to Institution

  • Gopal Ratna, Gosamvardhan Central Council, New Delhi, to Ashram Shala Urulikanchan (for Gir Cows) (1962).
  • FICCI Award for Rural Development, (1978).
  • Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshamitra Award – Afforestation & Wasteland Development, 1986
  • Certificate of Appreciation, II World Buffalo, (1988).
  • Gurjar Ratna, - Vadodara Gujarat Vikas Sangh (1990).

Dr. Manibhai Desai dedicated his entire life to the upliftment of the Rural Poor. After 50 years of committed service to grassroots development, Manibhai breathed his last November 14, 1993. His mission is being fulfilled by the BAIF family.

GRISERV Interventions - The 'Big Push' to Self-Help Group
India has rich democratic and entrepreneurial traditions and has, in face of emerging rural crisis, thrown up numerous outstanding examples of communities struggling to improve their environment, some of which have shown through the dint of their hard work and persistent that dealing with 'ecological poverty' is in fact, the starting point in dealing with 'economic poverty'. There is therefore no dearth of opportunities that can and should be seized to get rid of poverty and illiteracy, improve living standards, and maintain a balance between want and waste.
GRISERV's intervention with the self-help groups has provided the much-required push towards theses actions. The Vasundhara experience in the Valsad district deserves the place on the developmental map as after the agency's interventions the women Thrift and Credit societies have almost changes to rural enterprises.
Another example of GRISERV's interventions lies in providing 600 Family size Biogas Plants clean cooking fuel to the member houses proving demonstrating example of pertinent "Big Push".
The 1,300 Self-help Groups spread in the 13 districts of the state actively strive to revolve funds and sustain their livelihoods. GRISERV is trying to set its footprints to bridge the gap between the urban rural divide.
Our efforts at the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Post Rehabilitation have achieved noteworthy success as well.
With this revolutionary vision GRISERV, has been working in the rural areas of the state extending it reach to the remotest of the village of the state.
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