SRM-IST has adopted five villages (Orathur, Nattarasanpattu, Anjur, Thenmelpakkam, Pattravakkam) under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan Scheme of the Central Government that aims to develop villages, with the technological expertise of Higher Education Institutions.
SRM volunteer staff collecting household data from respondents in the village 

As a preliminary step, SRM-IST announced its participation in UBA to all Departments and accepted volunteers who were willing to take part in the baseline data collection. Both teaching and non-teaching staff helped in carrying out the survey. 

Before the survey, they were trained on the processes and survey forms. 
Dr.V.Thirumurugan, UBA Nodal Officer and Associate Director (CL), SRMIST giving instructions to volunteers from IT Dept regarding uploading survey data to UBA portal

The volunteers worked as teams with a clear plan of work and timeline before going to the village. They faced few difficulties getting complete response from the household respondents. At the outset, it was difficult to make them understand about the importance of this survey and some of the respondents did not cooperate giving information like aadhaar number, household members details. Amidst these difficulties, the volunteers completed the village and household survey. 

The volunteers from Community Medicine comprised of 11 Compulsory Rotatory Residential Interns (CRRI), 3 Health Inspectors, 4 Medical Social Workers, 2 Auxillary Nurse Midwives, 2 Office Assistants. 
The volunteer team from E&T Department SRMIST

Volunteers from non-medical field comprised of 11 Electrical & Communication Engineering staff, 15 Information Technology staff, 10 Computer Science Engineering staff, 4 Telecom Engineering staff. While the medical professionals are used to conducting such surveys in their practice, the non-teaching staff utilized this data collection experience as a unique opportunity to learn about household survey, interacting with villagers and understanding their real-life problems.

The volunteer team from Community Medicine Department SRMIST

A total of 2030 households were surveyed from all five villages. None of the villages have an elected village head. Any matters concerning the villagers are taken to the ex-panchayat heads or Block Development Officers. Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, though not in majority, reside in semi-pucca or kutcha houses with no toilets and practice open defecation. The drainage system is not closed, leaving it a breeding ground for mosquitoes and at times, pollutes the underground water table. Typhoid, sickness among children and old-age related ailments were the commonly reported health problems. Most houses do not have piped water connectivity inside house and majority rely on community water which is not located more than a kilometer away. There is collection system for household waste in few villages. Those households don’t avail this service, they burn the waste at doorstep or discard at a common point. Less than 5% of houses use chullah while the rest are using LPG for cooking. Some households rear cattle but not all have proper shelter for livestock. None of the houses had bio-gas plant and compost pits. Electricity is available in all houses with intermittent power shutdown.

SRM volunteer staff collecting household data from respondents in the village 

As per Census 2011, the total literacy rate of India stands at 74.04% which is the same for these five villages (73.9%), while the global literacy rate is 86.77%. There are school drop-outs due to socio-economic conditions. There are basic village amenities such as ration shop, primary health center, primary and secondary government schools.

Other problems raised by villagers are improper roads, no bus facility, no drainage system, no hospital close to vicinity. A situational analysis of this data and discussions through gram sabha meetings will be used to address some of their priority problems through technological interventions.

The survey data are being uploaded into the UBA portal with the assistance of IT staff.
One of our IT Staff entering Household Survey data into UBA portal

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