Lok Sahbhagi Sansthan is an Indian non-governmental organization founded in 2010 in rural Rajasthan as a collaboration between local development workers Rohitash Kumar Meena and Gopal Singh and American student and development advocate Derek Vigil.
Rohitash Kumar Meena and Gopal Singh have worked as development workers for 19 and 18 years, respectively, and have worked on a wide variety of development projects. They have helped establish public information centers and dairies in villages. Rohitash and Gopal have also worked to implement integrated development projects that aim for sustainable agricultural development. These projects included tree planting and protection campaigns, the deepening of water wells, and the development of various water harvesting structures to keep the water table at a reasonable level. They have also been active in rights-based work, helping spread awareness about the government of India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), Right to Information Act (RTI), and various programs for families living below the poverty line. Throughout this time, they have established and facilitated women's microfinance groups in Rajasthan. These groups have served as a vehicle for women's empowerment, as they provide women economic agency and a venue for discussing women's rights. Rohitash and Gopal are committed to promoting women's rights as a core development issue.
Derek Vigil is an American physics graduate student at University of California, Berkeley with an enduring interest in and passion for development work. He first went to India in Fall 2007 through the University of Minnesota's Studies in International Development (MSID) program. While there he met Rohitash and Gopal for the first time and became acquainted with many of the issues surrounding development in rural Rajasthan. He has since returned multiple times and grown in his understanding of the issues and his passion to help address them. During one of these visits the idea arose to start a new NGO based around microfinance, technology dissemination, and environmental management. Out of further discussion and planning came Lok Sahbhagi Sanstha. Derek leads the sister non-profit organization of LSS in the US, Friends of Lok Sahbhagi Sanstha, which is based out of Colorado and was established in 2011 to raise funds and awareness for the work of LSS.
Derek Vigil-Fowler is an American clean energy researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), having obtained his PhD in Physics from University of California, Berkeley in 2015. He first went to India in Fall 2007 through the University of Minnesota's Studies in International Development (MSID) program.
While there he met Rohitash and Gopal for the first time and became acquainted with many of the issues surrounding development in rural Rajasthan. He has since returned multiple times and grown in his understanding of the issues and his passion to help address them.
During one of these visits the idea arose to start a new NGO based around microfinance, technology dissemination, and environmental management. Out of further discussion and planning came Lok Sahbhagi Sansthan.
Derek leads the English-language grant-writing process, and also raises awareness of LSS’s work in the US. He also provides high-level input on the direction of the organization and the execution of various program.
Rohitash kumar Meena
Rohitash kumar meena has 19 years of work experience in development sector. He has worked extensively in projects related to water conservation, women empowerment, health and awareness, community mobilizing etc.
He obtained his M.A in Hindi literature from University of Rajasthan and thereafter started working in development space.
He was project coordinator for project on importance of water management by youth in jaipur district where he encouraged and brought awareness of water conservation and management among students and young people.
He was a major contributor to school sanitation survey and also a survey on understanding the concept of FPO by farmers conducted by livelihood solutions, Delhi in Rajasthan(Jaipur & Bikaner District) and Madhya Pradesh(Mandsaur district).
In 2010 he cofounded LSS along with Derek Vigil and Gopal Singh. From then onwards he is continously involved in monitoring various projects and works related to this NGO. He acts as a liason between work involving government intervention and its associated schemes with this organisation.
Also, he currently manages the Rajasthan forestry and biodiversity project phase II of Jaipur North divison, Rajsthan.
HR/Accounts Manager & Project coordinator
Gopal Singh has 18 years of work experience in development space. He has worked extensively in projects related to Disability survey, Natural resources management, Organic agriculture, SHG (Self Help Group) formation etc.
He was District Human rights monitor of jaipur district for the project - Access to justice of peoples watch.He cofounded LSS along with Derek Vigil and Rohitash kumar in 2010.
He obtained his M.A in Sociology from University of Rajasthan and thereafter started working in development sector.
Along with working for RTE (right to education) he also undertakes field work and is helping in construction of toilets under the sanitation project SAMMAN of LSS.
He manages the HR and Accounts section of LSS along with field work related to various projects associated with LSS.
He also acts as mentor for the incoming AIF Clinton fellows and other Interns and volunteers joining LSS.
Shyam singh has been working in development space since past 20 years. He has worked extensively in projects related to Watershed development, Forest management,
He was Local capacity for peace (LCP) trainer for the LCP project under CASA of jaipur district and also as a District coordinator(Alwar & jaipur) for Farmers producers organisation under Access development services.
he has also worked as project coordinator of FPO survey and partcipatory rural appraisal, socio economic analysis monitoring and evaluation.
He even worked as FPO consultant under IFFCO Kisan sanchar helping in formation of many FPOs. Also he helped designbusiness plans of FPO under access development services.
He obtained his M.A in History from University of Rajasthan and thereafter started working in development sector.
He extensively undertakes the and manages the field works related to all the projects associated with LSS and is also involved in report making and documention of work.
AIF Clinton fellow 2017-18
Naveen is a B.Tech Agricultural Engineering graduate from University of Agricultural Sciences Raichur, Karnataka, class of 2014. Naveen previously worked in the Corporation Bank (Govt. of India) as Assistant Manager. He resigned from his banking career in May 2017 and pursued Yes Foundation Media for Social Change fellowship in New Delhi from May 2017 to July 2017, where he was placed in an NGO working towards empowering disabled through skill development and education. Now, he is placed with us as an AIF Clinton fellow 2017-18 for 10 months to help our NGO with various projects.
He is the key person in technology upgradation of LSS including website and other initiatives on ground.