Escaping Poverty: The Ralegan Siddhi Case

48 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2010

See all articles by Aasha Kapur Mehta

Aasha Kapur Mehta

Former Professor IIPA

Trishna Satpathy

Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC)

Date Written: September 1, 2008


Poverty remains to be the most important development issue facing India with an estimated 301.72 million Indians (27.5 percent) living below the poverty line in 2004-2005. In 1975, Ralegan Siddhi was just another drought prone, poverty stricken village, but it has had much success in poverty reduction since then. Ralegan Siddhi's success is not just a story of change as a result of access to water. This paper provides evidence of the remarkable economic, social and community regeneration in Ralegan Siddhi, due to a strong, selfless, ethical and accountable leadership as well as its replication in Hivre Bazaar. Ralegan Siddhi and Hivre Bazaar are outstanding examples of holistic development and sustainable poverty reduction, with a large number of rural households successfully moving out of poverty without slipping back below the poverty line. The dramatic transformation in these villages and the improvements in the quality of life of the entire village community need to be understood, analysed and replicated.

Keywords: Best practice, poverty reduction, Anna Hazare, watershed, equitable

Suggested Citation

Mehta, Aasha Kapur and Satpathy, Trishna, Escaping Poverty: The Ralegan Siddhi Case (September 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Aasha Kapur Mehta (Contact Author)

Former Professor IIPA ( email )

Indraprastha Road
New Delhi, 110002

Trishna Satpathy

Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) ( email )

Humanities Bridgeford St. Building
Oxford Rd.
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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