Champions of Community Driven Development
43 years of providing exemplary leadership in pursuing sustainable development
Andre Gingras, a French Canadian diplomat and development expert, and Bala Theresa Gingras, an Indian philanthropist, established SOPAR (Société de partage) in Canada in the year 1977 to support community development works in India. Their unbridled desire for social upliftment combined with their visionary, inclusive and sustainable development approaches saw their efforts bearing fruit steadily and exponentially. The extraordinary amount of work and the impact being created led them to set up Bala Vikasa as a sister concern in India in the year 1991, to steer the work much more effectively from their home turf.
Their dynamic leadership has been the foundation on which Bala Vikasa built itself to be one of the most successful community development organizations in India impacting over 5 Million rural people belonging to 6000 villages from 6 states of India.
They have ensured that Bala Vikasa is always relevant and responsive to the changing needs of the development ecosystem. The People Development Training Center (PDTC) and Bala Vikasa International Center (BVIC) are necessary interventions made in that direction.
The Gingras couple founded PDTC in Warangal in the year 2002 to introduce Bala Vikasa’s successful CDD approaches and development models to development practitioners from all over the world. By delivering structured training modules based on Bala Vikasa’s field experience and developing insightful research publications, PDTC is greatly enhancing the efficacy of development practice and strengthening the development ecosystem globally.
The founders always saw the role of businesses as integral to all sustainable development efforts. With the emergence of themes like Social Entrepreneurship, Responsible Business, Corporate Sustainability, Business Responsibility and the like, they found it to be the right time to engage actively with Businesses – small and large.
This resulted in the setting up of BVIC in the year 2014 as a one-of-its-kind institution to promote responsible business practices, foster social innovation, drive social businesses and empower micro entrepreneurs. With a state-of-the-art facility in Ghatkesar, Hyderabad, BVIC delivers a number of result-driven programs designed for diverse stakeholders of the business ecosystem.