Income generation programmes brought increasing economic prosperity among the villages surrounding Sewagram. However, this newfound affluence brought with its own ills of greed, in-fighting and social disintegration. The villagers began to seek monetary gains as a primary focus of progress and people came together for self-serving personal interest and not as organizations of long-lasting social change.
This brought forth the realization that cultural development must precede economic upliftment to ensure effective and long-lasting social change. Prof Jajoo saw this realization as a turning point in his long journey of societal upliftment.
This quest for long-lasting change to be built upon a solid spiritual foundation among the villagers involved visiting the Swadhayay Parivar in Gujarat to learn from their practice.
Finally taking a page from Mahatma Gandhi’s saying that “My life is my message” brought this journey to its final destination. Working through MGIMS, Dr Jajoo worked closely with the villagers and called upon them to initiate discussions on wide-ranging topics on spirituality and socio-economic upliftment. Gradually over time these discussions started to bring about a change in culture among the villagers.
This quest to infuse economics with spiritual values gave birth to many social schemes in the years to come:
- 1992 - Vastra-Swavalamban-self reliance in clothing.
- 1993 - Women’s empowerment through organization of Self Help groups (Refer Self Help Groups).
- 1995 - Anti-liquor movement.
- 2000 - Anna Swavalamaban -freedom from exploitative market through organic farming for self reliance.
- 2008 - Sustainable agriculture for self reliance.