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Culture & Tradition


  • Ensure efficient local, social and political structures allowing communities to build the future of their own territory.
  • Ensure people to be in a position to upgrade traditional skills, know-how and culture.
  • Encourage utilization of natural resources to develop human resources to meet societal needs.


  • Documentation and research of the different material features and intangible assets which belong to a particular community
  • Set up a process ensuring the transmission of knowledge, know-how and culture from one generation to the other
  • Awareness programs to strengthen people’s pride and beliefs in the value and vital importance of their own cultural identity
  • Initiate awareness programmes on sharing of knowledge and know-how to the entire community
  • Trainings on capacity building to further enhance cultural values
  • Encouragement to members who are capacitated to train others
  • Holding an exhibition once a year in important and commercial places on traditional products, to build a market platform
  • Create awareness amongst the community members to assert their culture and skills and get recognition



  • Encourage self employment of educated/uneducated youth.
  • Encourage young people to take responsibility in the development of the community.
  • Empower young people to think beyond formal education and take interest in the culture and history of their community


  • Form Youth groups, recognized by the communities from various areas or one particular area, which will conduct surveys and researches on the history and identity of their own communities and other social issues and document them through films, articles, recording for mass publication
  • Encourage groups to launch common new cultural and economic activities
  • Organize different programmes targeting the talents of young people



  • Enhance the use of locally made materials for self sustenance.
  • Enhance local, national, international markets.
  • Encourage the use of alternative know how and economical activities without eroding Traditional skills.


  • Action based research on skills, market potentiality.
  • Analyze the utility and feasibility of the creation of syndicates or cooperatives for the buying of inputs or the selling of outputs, the construction of community go-downs or seed banks.
  • Form groups of people with specific skills to control quality, pricing for fair wages and fair price.
  • Create awareness among consumers about the value of the product and their rights.



  • Ensure people have access to appropriate technical, legal information.
  • Ensure the rights of the community are not violated economically, politically or socially.
  • Ensure that women participate in decision making at all levels.
  • Empower the communities to adjust their existing social structures to new conditions and problems.


  • Initiate workshops with the communities to assess the appropriateness of their own social structures as well as the structures at more general administrative levels to address their specific problems and issues.
  • Policy and social action based research and analysis.
  • Initiate programmes and campaigns to empower communities to advocate for their rights.
  • Initiate programmes for policy analysis with communities.

Projects & Workshops

With the passage of time, Grassroot has thrived; with its roots in the field of health, and empowerment. This can be witnessed through the extensive works at the community level for the last three years. People at large are progressing towards change and learn to express their needs in the field of health and have changed for their development process.

Moreover, through various activities carried over the years, the skills of the team have been ever increasing in quality & quantity, which is encouraging and empowering, as their capacity to contribute to change is enhanced.
East Khasi Hills District is one of the pilot districts in implementing the Community Monitoring Programme under NRHM. In this District, Grassroot is one of the NGOs that is facilitating the Programme. The NGO started the programme in November 2011 in the three blocks of East Khasi Hills District in Meghalaya. These include the Mawryngkneng Block, Laitkroh-khatar-shnong Block, and Shella Bholaganj Block.

Under each block the works covering the 9 PHCs, 17 Sub-centre and 45 villages falls under the jurisdiction of each PHCs. The Programme was to form as many committees, with the different VHSNCs (Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee) and PHCs to enable an empowerment mechanism amongst the communities to monitor the functioning of the health services in the villages. The activities includes need assessment, orientation programme for the block level of each PHCs and VHSNCs, formation of Community Monitoring and Planning Committee for the selected PHCs and Villages, data collection, awareness, Jam Samvad or public hearing for the 3 blocks. Grassroot responsibility is to facilitate and monitor the health services which are being provided to them by the Government.

Till March 2012, Grassroot team of Community Monitoring managed to form 9 PHC committees and 46 VHSNC committees. These committees in turn will be trained to fill a report card where in the report card, they can grade green for good, yellow for average and red for non-functional of the health services respectively.

These report cards will be then submitted to the government for improvement of the existing Health Centers. The total number of the three Blocks of 9 PHCs and 46 Villages Committees has been formed and strengthened. Data collection and interaction was conducted with the villagers, patients and staffs of the PHC and Sub-center about health services included both Infrastructures and services available. Within this program on data collection and assessment; challenges after challenges at all level as this program is new to all our stakeholders. However, with the commitment of the participants the programme was successful. After the data are analyzed and reviewed, a public hearing was organized to share the gaps and changes that need to be addressed with and by the communities.
TI Migrant is a Targeted Intervention for Migrant Population, supported by the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) through the Meghalaya Aids Control Society (MACS). The main objective of the project is to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst the migrants and their spouses. Our first step towards this is in Ri Bhoi District, Meghalaya; keeping in mind the large number of migrants residing and working in the area where industries are growing at large.

Many of the migrants encountered by grassroot are from states like Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and others. These migrants came from remote areas where education, health are not their primary concern. Therefore TI found it necessary, to target these migrant to give them awareness and to educate them on how to prevent themselves from getting infected with HIV and also to make them aware of their basic health.

Targeted Intervention on HIV/AIDs was implemented in Ri-Bhoi District on the month of July 2014. During the project work almost 30-50 advocacies were conducted with both the government stakeholders as well as the non-government. Through these advocacies we received positive responses and co-operation which has helped us in building a good rapport with the migrants workers. Moreover, we had also registered 2356 migrant workers out of the total target (10,000). The percentage of testing had also increased where 1 migrant worker were found to be HIV Positive.

Earlier the percentage of condoms usage was very low but now it had increased day by day to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. This was a great achievement for TI to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. In order to reduce their misconceptions; activities like Street Plays, Mid media Events, Role Plays and many others were screened and organized about the basic facts on HIV/AIDS. Besides, other programmes like awareness camp, counseling, FGD, GD and many others were a part of the activities during the project work.
RNTCP (Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme), East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya is a short term project on DOT Provider. The role of the organization is to identify, train and supervise the volunteers to provide DOT services. This will enable the patients to get proper medication within their own village and to get accesses for regular treatment.

The Madanryting UHC including the 6 villages under its jurisdiction were covered in this project.
GRASSROOT is now expanding a new program on “Community Development Initiative Programme where we have selected Shella Bholaganj Block as one of the project area, Nongthymmai-Mawsmai and Mawblang are the project area. The project is a collaborative effort of RWWS Manipur. Moreover, to strengthen and improve more on the project the organization has networks with the different CSOs, CBOs, Women & Youth Group and other Community Committees.

CONCEPT OF CDI Community Development initiative is a project which is going to facilitate the advocacy program on relevant policies and schemes in the villages through awareness, capacity building, training of local community leaders, women and youth. The communities will reap the benefits of the advocacy through their sole engagement in the processes thereof. The community members in general are the main internal and external actors who will effectively be trained on different policies and scheme thus strengthening them to actively engage in right base work and lobbying.

OBJECTIVE 1. Empowerment of Local community to protect local resources and sustain their livelihood.
2. To involve the Youth actively in advocacy through the use of media tools.
3.To involve Women actively in creating a more aware community.

ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED 1. Baseline study on community Development in the selected villages:- Through the study we have learn that implementation and information of the people regarding Govt. scheme is lack behind, Some people knew the scheme but there is no information on how to access and what entitlements available for the beneficiaries. Community feel the need to improve and increase the numbers of beneficiaries, role and responsible of the service delivery, Quality implementation and transparency.
2. Orientation program on community Initiative Development and 3. FGD at the village on Community Development:- Through the program many participants feel the need to have a program on community development as they feel that knowledge and information is necessary for each and individual to fight against poverty and to access all the benefits that has been sanction and allot to them, the participants express that this program is also focus on preserve the traditional culture e.g (land and natural resource) in this program it motivate them on have to have bring living standard to the community.
4. Two Days Training on community Development:- In these two days training participant get an opportunities to interact and learn different ideas and knowledge from the resource persons on different topic that related to their community Development, The topic were on Legal Right, Low cost technology, Entrepreneurship, Land and natural resource, role of women and youth in the society, Health development activities and livelihood program.

Community Development Initiative
During Training Program
During Village Orientation
National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) was started in April 2016 as an initiative with the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority(MUDA) to reduce vulnerability and poverty in urban households. Grassroot is involved in hand holding 50 SHGs in the municipal area. Grassroot will facilitate enhancing livelihood opportunities through linkages with allied agencies.
It started in January 2015 with mawsmai,mawblang and nongthymmai villages of East Khasi Hills under shella bholaganj blaock to create a community based team for rights based advocacy. the team of grassroot facilitates in building awareness,strengthening local governance and women's groups.
Street-plays to create awareness on Violence Against Women, Facilitating Legal Aid linkages and services for women of violence.

The Birmingham Fair and Autumn Fair- Grassroot represented Meghalaya in the Birmingham Spring Fair(4th Feb – 8th Feb), National Exhibition Center, UK and The Autumn Fair(16th Oct – 23rd Oct), India Expo Centre, geater Noida, New Delhi, where it showcased Meghalaya’s handmade products such as eri, muga, mulberry silk shawls, stoles and furnishings of various sorts from Garo Hills and Ri-Bhoi District, under the Department of Sericulture, Meghalaya.
Climatic Change Study - Grassroot was involved in a study of ‘Climatic Change’ under the ‘International Center for Integrated Development, where it conducted brief studies in and around Shillong, interviewing people about their understanding of the ‘Climate Change’.

Meghalaya Election Watch - In and around the same year Grassroot under the Association of Democratic Reforms, New Delhi ran a campaign on the right to vote through the Meghalaya Election Watch. The study was done by analyzing the affidavit of the candidates.

Minimum Wages Act – Grassroot along with thirty other different organizations took part in the campaign for hiking the minimum wage in the state.

NEDFi Meeting - Grassroot team member attended a meeting organised by North East Development Financial Institute to discuss on the possibility of enchaining skills of the producer vis a visa exporting their goods.

Youth Development – Grassroot along with Seng Samla Wahingdoh organized a youth development programme to educate the youth in various fields in order to attain more developed youngsters.
Community Radio with Gyan Vani, Mawlynnong village - GRASSROOT in collaborating with IGNOU to mobilize community members and to raise issues on a platform of community radio was initiated.

Political Rights Campaign - GRASSROOT and the National Election Watch conducted another study on the affidavits filed by candidates for the Member of Parliament to the 16th Lok Sabha election and also for the bye election to the Meghalaya Assembly for the then 17 laitumkhrah constituency.

Environmental Day Commemoration – Working aloside NEDFi and the Social Work Department St Edmund’s College, GRASSROOT in the environmental campaign supported the No-plastic campaign and launched environment friendly bags with a personal pledge on each.

Human Rights Day - Grassroot along with VHAM, NEEDS, WMPA and IIHR came together to enhance the knowledge of human rights violation and its impact by organising music concert called ‘rock your rights’.
Human rights In-Still –Grassroot along with other organisations commemorated as Human Rights Day on the 10th December by allowing pictures to speak louder than words. These pictures were exhibited for two weeks for all to see.

Awareness Programme on Tuberculosis – Working with Dr Khongkliam of Pongtung Village PHC, Grassroot conducted a one day awareness programme on Tuberculosis which was held at Pynther village, with an objective to equip communities with knowledge based information about and on TB.

Political Rights Campaign – Grassroot had a meeting on political rights campaign with Toki Blah and other responsible persons from different background was held at Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong.

Domestic Violence Act 2005/ Prohibition of Child Marriage Act,2006/PCPNDT Act State Level Meeting - Grassroot took part in the meeting organised by Impulse NGO Network and Women Power Connect an interactive State Level Meeting.

Export Awareness Workshop - This workshop was organised on the scope and opportunities from North East States of India.

Project Management Workshop, New Bongaigaon, Assam - The workshop was organised to impart the skills meant to plan project better, and for proper implementation.

1st Peace Building training - Peace Building Training aimed at assisting young and elderly people of different communities irrespective of caste, creed and religion to develop a Culture of Peace based on Justice.

State Level Seminar 'Revisiting Social Work Education and Profession' – The seminar focussed on the challenges faced by theNorthEast in the field of social work and how to understand and practice the theory in the field.

Shillong CMS VATAVARAN - It organised a Panel Discussion on Climate Change’ that aims to bring on board the policy makers, researchers, public and private sectors and the civil society.
Video and Photo Documentation - The workshop aimed to train the youth to create an album that speaks about organisation and its work or to make a small movie for advocacy purposes.

Human Rights Programme, Guwahati - Trained participants with human rights laws, Humanitarian Laws, International Criminal Justice system and so on. Download the Grassroot Newsletter [Volume 1]
Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme – Under the Christian Medical Association of India this training was conducted to sensitise NGOs to register for Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme.

Feminist Counselling - Participants were trained on definition of Violence, type of violence, counselling, quality of a counsellor and principle of feminist counselling.

Health Camp - GRASSROOT in collaboration with MSCWO organized a health camp cum awareness program in Mawpyrthuh village. The objective is working together with other FNGO for the welfare of the people.

Health Camp - GRASSROOT joined hands with SYNGKHONG RYMPEI THYMMAI along with Doctor Passah assigned by DMHO to organize a Health Camp in Mawmuthoh village which is at a distance of three kilometers from Smit. There were 274 patients who benefitted from the camp.

Health Camp - The students of St. Edmunds Social Work Department in collaboration with Grassroot, organized a free health camp on the 18th of October 2012 at Lad Mawphlang village. The programme became successful with the help of Doctors, staffs of Laitryngew PHC and Grassroot members.

Environment Day - The Environment Day programme was held at Mawsahew PHC.100 tree saplings was planted at the PHC vicinity under the Department of Cherrapunjee Ecological Project Restoration of Degraded lands under sohra plateau, Govt. of Meghalaya.

Total Awareness Campaign - To strengthen its rapport and cooperation with the villages that fall under the project area, Grassroot in collaboration with State Council for Science Technology & Environment (SCSTE) organized ‘Total Awareness Campaign’ at Ringer Village.

Trip to Rajasthan on ‘Access to Justice’ – Organised by Impulse NGO Network, Shillong different comparisons of the PRI with the Local Dorbar were made but not trying to change the whole Dorbar Systems that already existed. Thus bringing more improvements like allowing women to take part in decision making and also playing a role in the Dorbars.

Slow Food Festival – Working with Social Work Department of St. Edmund’s College Shillong and in collaboration with various organizations and social agencies. Grassroot participated in this programme with the support and collaboration of the various villages like Ladmawphlang, Laitmawsiang, Sohra, Umphyrnai Rngi who contributed with their locally available resources such as wild vegetables which have medicinal values. Locally available snacks such as pukhlein, putharo, phandieng were the highlights of the stall.

Malaria Training for ASHAs in East Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills – Working under Voluntary Health Association of India in collabrotation with VHAM, StateVector Borne Diseases Control Programme and District Malaria Offices Grassroot took part as field facilitator training ASHA for Malaria programme.
Legal Awareness Workshop - Grassroot realized that working towards empowerment of the community can bring a change in the society in the long run. This is through sensitization of the people at large. In this regard, a one day legal awareness workshop was organized for the different members of the dorbar under shillong jurisdiction, women’s group, and youths of Shillong.

International Women’s Day – Working with the Social Welfare Department in collaboration with The Meghalaya State Commission for Women & Partner NGO’s

Release of Animation - As part of the organisation’s endeavour to preserve our oral tradition, an animated film on ‘The Peacock and the Sun’ was released on the 15th December 2012. The objective was “to encourage young minds understand where their roots are”. The animation was made possible through a scholarship which was won by Mayfereen Ryntathiang, President, Grassroot, through the Million Kisses Foundation, USA and a small funding from the World View Impact, London and Shillong.

State Level Training to NGO Partners on RNTCP Schemes under Public Private Partnership – Organised by CMAI and State TB Control Society the objective of this training programme is to learn about various schemes implemented by RNTCP.To sensitize NGOs to register under RNTCP schemes.

State Level Training Programme on SJSRY/Proposed NULM, Social Sector Convergence with various Schemes – Under the Indian Institute of Enterpreneurship and the sponsorship of the Ministry of Housing and Urban poverty Alleviation, Govt of India, Grassroot was able to attend the Programme to understand the concept of SJSRY/Proposed NULM and Social sector convergence-convergence with various schemes, to discuss about the implementation approaches of different elements of SJSRY and Proposed NULM and to discuss about Social sector Conergences-convergence with various schemes for poverty alleviation like SJSRY/NULM, JNNURM, RAY etc. Download the Grassroot Newsletter [Volume 3] Download the Grassroot Newsletter [Volume 4] Download the Grassroot Newsletter [Volume 5]


In 2007, GRASSROOT was sponsored by NEDFI to showcase Meghalaya’s hand-made products at The Birmingham Spring Fair, which was held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), UK’s biggest yearly retail event. With over 50 countries around the world, participants are more than excited to exhibit their products hand-made or otherwise, local or imported. It is one of the spaces/platforms that boost the companies or individual’s name and fame. The areas/pavilions ranged from gifts to home and garden to accessories, to toys, to greetings and many more. The areas/pavilions are filled with retailers, visitors who are interested in importing the products they liked best from the different countries present. Grassroot took with it, Eri and muga silk from Ri Bhoi District and Garo Hills.

In the same year, the organization was again invited to the 23rd edition of the prestigious Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair in India. With 75,000 sq. meters of prime display area at INDIA EXPO CENTRE, NEW DELHI GREATER NOIDA EXPRESSWAY Showcasing thousands of products from more than 1800 leading Indian manufacturers and exporters of handicrafts and gifts. It has been acknowledged as one of the largest handicrafts and gifts show/ fairs/ Trade show in India, a rare convergence of art, craft and traditional skills, and an ideal meeting place of buyers from across the world.

Grassroot was supported by the Directorate of Sericulture to showcase yet again the Eri and muga silk from Ri Bhoi District and Garo Hills In 2009, Grassroot initiated Community based tourism as one of the livelihood projects that the organization undertook with the support of a well wisher from Mumbai. The project is implemented in Mawlynnong village one of the cleanest villages in Asia. The project is implemented with an objective to upgrade traditional skills thus enhancing the income of the community people. The project is facilitated by ‘grass root’ but managed by the SHG working in the area.

The 5th of June has been celebrated every year as World Environment Day worldwide. The year 2009, also saw this day being commemorated by North East Education and Development Society (NEEDS) where Grassroot also collaborated. Grassroot in the environmental campaign supported the No-plastics campaign bearing in mind that Plastics are bad and highly toxic for the atmosphere. In order to reduce the use of one of the environmental menace, Grassroot launched the environment friendly bags with personal pledge on each. These bags were later given to shops to be sold to consumers at affordable prices.

10th December has also been a day where many civil societies across the globe celebrate the international Human Rights day. In December 2009, Grassroot along with Voluntary Health Association of Meghalaya (VHAM),North East Education Development Society(NEEDS),world Mountain People’s Association(WMPA), Indian institute of Human Rights Education, Chennai came together to initiate the enhancement on the knowledge on human rights violation and its impact and in taking a guided response to violations thus promoting the defense and practice of Human rights, To promote the knowledge of Human Rights for good governance within civil society organisations/CBOs, traditional institutions and government agencies and especially the masses for greater participation and representation, To enhance promotion on equal treatment in the eye of the law , To promote sharing between participants their practices on respect of Human Right and T o enable one to act as a duty towards protecting the rights of its fellow.

In 2010, Grassroot in collaboration with Small Art Project, Voluntary Health Association of Meghalaya (VHAM) and World Mountain People’s Association (WMPA) initiated the ‘Human Rights campaign in stills’ which allow not words but pictures to speak to the community louder than you can hear, listen and think. The pictures presented by local and young photographers were taken in random from subjects ranging from disability, women’s rights, children’s rights and many more.

In 2012, Grassroot initiated the food fest in Shillong to enhance the potley blend of ethnicity of groups in North East. Groups from states like Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya and Nagaland proudly showcased their delicacies.

In 2012, Grassroot was recognized as one of the organizations that initiated documentation of traditional medicinal herbs. St Edmunds College, Social Work Department invited us to the slow food fest to enable the same.

As part of the organization endeavors to preserve our oral tradition and animated film on the ‘The Peacock and the Sun’ was screened in the 15 lower primary schools of Shillong. The objective was to encourage the young kids to understand and preserve the traditional and culture by ways of animation to imbibe a sense of identity in the children’s minds. The animation was supported with a scholarship from Million Kisses Foundation,United States of Americas.

In 2013, another milestone that Grassroot initiated was the documentation of the local medicinal herbs of the khasis in Lad Mawphlang. With the efficient support of Miss Ambrosia Lyngdoh, St Edmunds College, Grassroot documented the knowledge so to enhance and preserve the knowledge of our people. A booklet is in the process whereby the copyright of such will be that of the people of Lad Mawphang.

Targeted Intervention on HIV/AIDs was implemented in Ri-Bhoi District on the month of July 2013. During the project work almost 30-50 advocacies were conducted with both the government stakeholders as well as the non-government. Through these advocacies we received positive responses and co-operation which has help us in building a good rapport with the migrant workers. Moreover, we have also registered 2356 migrant workers out of the total target (10,000). The percentage of testing had also increased where 1 migrant worker was found HIV Positive. Earlier the percentage of condoms usage was very low but now its use is increased day by day to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. This was a great achievement for TI to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. In order to reduce their misconceptions; activities like Street Plays, Mid media Events, Role Plays and many others were screened and organized about the basic facts on HIV/AIDS. Besides, other programmes like awareness camp, counseling, FGD, GD and many others were a part of the activities during the project work.




Contact Info

  • Mayfereen Ryntathiang
  • President, GRASSROOT
  • W -13/H -90, Wahingdoh Block 3
  • Shillong 793001, Meghalaya, India
  • mayfereenlyngdoh@gmail.com
  • +91 85 75 017983
  • Jareen Massar
  • Programme Co-ordinator
  • grassroot2007@gmail.com
  • +91-3642545012