With its focus on ‘Rural prosperity for India’s growth’, Bhagavatula Charitable Trust is a non-profit, non-sectarian social service organization involved in transforming rural Andhra Pradesh. Established in 1976, our four-decade-long journey has centered on diverse aspects that impact development and enhance the quality of life for people in rural Andhra Pradesh, especially in the Visakhapatnam district.
Working with a participatory approach, our integrated rural development programs nurture change agents within villages and create a paradigm for replication both nationally as well as internationally.
Founded by Dr. BV Parameswara Rao, BCT has conducted over 100 pilot programs, a few of which have become models for replication across the country. These include women's self-help groups (precursor to DWACRA and SHG), rural banking, wasteland development, development of literacy primers etc. Today BCT continues to focus its energies on education, livelihoods, support to specially-abled, agricultural communities and rural entrepreneurship models.
BCT is registered under the 1860 Societies Registration Act with number 412, and registered under FCRA during the year 1984 with number 010350014.
Dr. BV Parameswara Rao spent his growing years in the village of Dimili and Visakhapatnam. Greatly influenced by the knowledge he saw in common simple villagers, he went on to do his PhD in Nuclear Sciences at Penn State University. However, as his heart still lay in India, he returned soon after and began to live at his native village. Seeing the plight of the people in his neighbourhood, he started the first pilot project of setting up a school with public participation. Soon, Bhagavatula Charitable Trust started operations, and Dr. BV Rao went on to lead many projects, with many even becoming models for replication across India.
His expertise and dedication were sought by both global and national organizations. He therefore associated with the World Bank, National Literacy Mission, and even played a key role in starting the ILP, DWCRA and other projects.
A true example of how one small step can impact a large change, he was also chosen as The Week Magazine’s ‘Man of the year’. A simply-clad man who placed the villagers’ wisdom in high regard, Dr. Parameswara Rao left the mortal realm on June 9, 2019. While the void cannot be filled, his lessons, wisdom and conversations linger on, along with the exemplary work that continues to make the world a better place.
A unique Janmabhoomi project is taken up in Dimili. Dr. BV Parameswara Rao plays a catalytic role in getting each and every villager to contribute both cash as well as labour in building the Bhagavatula Somanna High School. With the Foundation stone laid by Governor Khandhubhai Desai and Education minister Sri PV Narasimha Rao, the High School was inaugurated by India President Sri VV Giri and AP Chief Minister Sri PV Narasimha Rao.
BCT registers as one of the earliest NGOs in India to work on integrated rural development.
Discussions take place at New Delhi on India’s way forward for rural development between Dr. BV Parameswara Rao, India Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi, Sri Rajiv Gandhi, Sri Bunkar Ray of Tilonia and Dr. Robert Mc Namara, President World Bank.
The Week magazine felicitates Dr. Rao as ‘Man of the year’ for his exemplary pioneering work in village development.
BCT starts Community based rehabilitation of people with disabilities in collaboration with MIBLOU, Geneva and Sanchar, Kolkata.
BCT Child Literacy and Training Programme starts as part of rehabilitation of child labour in collaboration with International Labour Organisation (ILO).
BCT establishes the first-of-its-kind residential model high school, which offers rurally-biased, skill-oriented, value-based education.
The Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is sanctioned to BCT, to enhance and improve the agricultural outcome for villagers.
Dr. BVP Rao conducts a padayatra in rural Visakhapatnam. This is a campaign for skill-oriented, value-based, self-reliant and village-biased education.
BCT conducts a unique 21- day ‘bhajana yagnam’ and brings together over 50,000 villagers.
BCT starts the Rejuvenation of folk arts
BCT starts the Industrial Training Institute (ITI), which runs under the CTS scheme of NCVT and can train up to 100 students
BCT partners with Tech Mahindra Foundation to establish BCT Tech Mahindra Foundation SMART center (BCT TMF SMART center) in Dwarakanagar, Visakhapatnam for training peri-urban youth on IT enabled services and Customer Relations & Sales. In consecutive years, 2 more SMART centers are set up.
BCT launches Farmer Field Schools in 5 villages. Also, the Prerana initiative is started in tribal Paderu, in collaboration with Vibha foudation, USA and Sikshana foundation.
Dr. BV Parameswara Rao, Founder of BCT, passes away at the age of 86.
The Grameena Incubation Center (GIC) begins operations in rural Visakhapatnam. Set up under the Technology Incubation for Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0), it is supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), New Delhi.
Former Chief Secretary to Government of Andhra Pradesh, he has been BCT President since 2017. He brings a vast experience of administration as well as insights into both rural development as well as administration
An M.S (IIT Madras, India), PhD (Dalhousie, Canada), DRDS, FAPAS, he has been Director & Dean (Engineering Research and Industrial Consultancy), Gayatri Vidya Parishad Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (GVP-SIRC) & GVP College of Engineering. He is also Executive Director, CASTLE - Centre for Advancement of Science, Technology, Law and Engineering and was also Director (R&D) and Member, Board of Management; VIT University, Vellore.
Heading the organization since 2009, he has been in the field of grassroots development for 26 years now. With the experience of working in Global Fortune 500 company, at BCT, he has handled many projects in education, skilling, livelihoods, rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, community development,women empowerment. He founded the Grameena Incubation Center (GIC) with an aim of developing entrepreneurship and creating access to appropriate technologies. GIC also aims to build an ecosystem for rural start-ups.
A former banker, she has been Consulting Advisor on CSR to a few organizations. She has been in the field of banking and finance for more than 3 decades.
A development professional with more than 38 years of experience in managing non-governmental organizations. He holds a Master’s degree.