About The Organization

Shramjivi Janata Sahayyak Mandal(SJSM) is carrying out development work in Satara district since 1977. The inhabitants of this region facestiff challengesdue to the fact that it is a remote region, which is a part of Sahyadrimountain ranges. The major difficulties includelack of accessibility (communication and transportation)as well as displacement caused by Koynadam,the earthquake affected the region and more recently displacement caused due to the declaration of sanctuary in the region. The population in the regionstrugglesfurther due to lack of facilities for health, education, lack of protection from wild animals and socio-economic problems. Mainly Dhangar, Budhha and Maratha communities, which has been traditionally dependent on agricultural based lifestyle, inhabits the region. Despite being financially capable, these communitiesremain backward in the political and social scenario. Mr. BalKolekar, son of an Army Subhedar belonging to Dhangar community took an opportunity of education in military hostel and became a first graduate in this area. After his graduation, he decided not to take up any regular employment but to commit himself to work for the development of his own community for the rest of his life. With this mission, he joined Graduate Voluntary Scheme (GVS) atthe University of Mumbai in 1976. After the training he worked with an NGO, Rural Commune, which is a voluntary organisation in the field of rural development, for six months. In 1977, he returned to his native place to initiate development work with the initial assistance and support of rural communes.


To create a sustainable gender just society where people manage their own natural resources and development process through cooperation and involving themselves actively in self-governance.


To assist the rural and poor communities in acquiring basic rights and to facilitate promotion of people’s organizations such as cooperatives, village development committees, Self-Help Groups with a view to help them manage their own development process and programmes.


SJSM’s work area is spread over a total of 519 villages from remote, inaccessible area of Satara and Raigad districts of Maharashtra.


SJSM believes that the people should be the main focus of the development process. It aims at creating awareness among the people about their problems, building up self-confidence among the people through collective initiatives to be able to solve their problems. This can best be achieved by building people’s organization, which makes them capable of dealing with their own problems.

The organisation  hence gives priority to an empowerment programme based on

  • Awareness Building.

  • Training In Skill based development.

  • Creation of people’sorganization (Co-operatives) based around economic initiatives, which can be run by the people themselves.