Starting in 1990 as a voluntary effort in remote regions of Chohtan, SURE today works in the desert districts of Barmer and Jaisalmer, two of largest and backward districts of India. From the beginning SURE has focused on strengthening rural livelihoods, strived for dignity and well being of vulnerable and marginal communities, especially women and people with different abilities. Interventions in improving agriculture, conservation of Thar Parkar breed of cow, ensuring food, fodder and water security have attempted to sustain a judicious relation with fragile ecology of the Thar. Motivation to pursue our goal, sustain the vision and mission owes a great deal to the acceptance by rural communities who have always reposed their faith in us. They have participated in development initiatives of SURE with a sense of ownership and accountability. We have been fortunate to get support from well meaning and pro poor people in the state bureaucracy and development agencies. Developing and sustaining of these programs has been made possible by altruistic and relentless work over these years. What began as a voluntary movement of a small number of people is today transformed into an organization with more than hundred staff and hundreds of community volunteers in villages of Barmer and Jaisalmer.

These remote districts of Thar are changing fast. Following the discovery and drilling of oil and setting up of a power generation unit, Barmer is poised for a period of industrial growth. There is an increasing talk about the vast potential of reserves of solar energy. All this modernization is sure to put further squeeze on the fragile ecology and scarce natural resources of the region. This heightened context of resource tapping and use has created its opportunities and challenges before rural communities. The largely survival economy based on fragile natural base and rustic life is volatile with possibilities of change.

At this juncture, we all fondly remember late Magraj Ji who made SURE possible and would continue to motivate us for selfless voluntary action. As in the past, it is my sincere hope that needs and concerns of vulnerable and marginal communities would guide our way forward to strengthen economy of people, and in protecting their basic rights and entitlements.

The ensuing report narrates some key features of our programme interventions over the years since the inception of SURE. I am pleased to place before the reader this journey of SURE.

(Lata Kachhawaha)
Joint Secretary, SURE