I. Introduction

II. Legal Profile of the Organization

III. Thematic Profile of the organization

1- Vision and Mission

2- Aims and Objectives

3- Core Values and Principles

4- History & Development

5- Organization Believes

6- Geographical Profile

7- Target population

8- Programs & Activities

9- Achievements & Awards

IV. Governance & Management

1- Constitution & Structure of the organization

2- Governance

3- Management & Supervision

4- Planning & Decision Making

V. Finance

VI. Institutional Policies

VII. Personnel Profile

VIII. Other statutory Credentials

IX. Organogram

I. Introduction

Samata is a social justice organization working for the rights of the tribal “Adivasi” people of Andhra Pradesh, India and for the protection of the natural resources and ecology of the Eastern Ghats (hills). As a social action group Samata focuses on community based development action with the objective of assisting tribal people in obtaining development and infrastructure facilities like education, health care, drinking water, housing etc., creating awareness about tribal people’s rights and empowering them against exploitation.

Samata started working in a small tribal hamlet in 1987 with a group of tribal and rural youth, to mobilize tribal communities against exploitation by outsiders and by the government. Samata was formally registered as a non-government organization in 1990.

The “Samata Judgment'' (AIR 1997 Supreme Court 3297) has been a historic judgement in favour of the tribal communities. The experiences through the case proceedings lead Samata and other like minded organisations to form an alliance for better networking and information sharing.  

II. Legal Profile of the Organization

 01   Name of the NGO  Samata
 02   Address  Door No:1-98, Pedamallapuram, Sankavaram Mandal –   533446, East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India
 03   Establishment  Registered Under Indian Societies Registration Act XXI, of   1860, with Registration No.554, dated 13th, August, 1990
 04   Organization Status  Non – Governmental, Not for Profit, Non religious, Non   political
 05   Level of Action  Regional, National
 06   Founders  Ravi Rebbapragada, Lotha Subba Rao
 07   Name of the Chief Functionary & their Qualification  Ravi Rebbapragada, PGD in Rural Development, Madras   Christian College



1- Vision and Mission

Our vision is to help build an India in which tribal and scheduled castes, adivasi groups, the poor and other disadvantaged minorities can fully participate in a healthy Indian democracy, enjoy the benefits of economic development and retain their rights, their culture, and their history.

Our mission is to advocate for the voiceless, to hold the government accountable to its promises, to enable minorities to fully achieve and exert their rights, to promote sustainable development while defending against environmental abuses and to aid the human development of the disadvantaged. We believe the best way to achieve our mission is through adherence to nonviolence, community empowerment and adherence to the democratic process.

2- Aims and Objectives                                                

Samata is a social action group working on issues of human rights and environment, particularly in the context of indigenous (tribal/Adivasi) communities specifically in the Eastern Ghats of southern India and also in tribal areas across India. Samata’s primary focus in the last three decades has been on empowering the tribal people to assert and protect their constitutional and traditional rights over their natural resources and traditional livelihoods. Samata’s focus of work is on community based development action with the objective of assisting tribal people in obtaining development and infrastructure facilities like education, health care, drinking water, housing etc., creating awareness about tribal people’s rights and empowering them against exploitation.

3- Core Values and Principles

We believe in the possibility for development that advances the cause of social justice instead of undercutting it; in the ability of communities to develop and interact with the environment sustainably instead of exhausting natural resources and destroying ecological systems; in the capacity of tribal communities for self-government and their right to control their own land and resources; in the power of an organised and informed community; in the wisdom and the necessity of pursuing our mission through peaceful and democratic means.

4- History and Development

Samata started as a small community action group in a small tribal village in East Godavari district in 1987 and was formally registered in 1990. Our long journey of 32 years has taken us from the tribal villages to district headquarters, the state capital Hyderabad and then the national capital Delhi and internationally. Little did we know that our aim to assist the tribal communities in gaining their constitutional rights will be an enriching journey.

In the initial stage, we organised the tribal women's thrift societies(self-help groups), grain banks for farmers, schools in remote hilltop villages, community access to welfare schemes (Social Forestry / Joint forest Management), legal-aid and land alienation. Our work made us popular with the tribal communities and, in a short time, became a National level organisation with a solid grassroots presence after winning the Samata judgement.

In 1997, the Supreme Court verdict, better known as the Samata Judgement, transformed Samata from a community-based social action group into an organisation for advocacy and support of tribal and environment protection in the Eastern Ghats and across the tribal areas of India. The samata judgement has helped us strengthen our development and advocacy activities in the tribal regions.

5- Geography

Samata has geographical presence in all the Vth Scheduled (tribal states) states across India. The states include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

6- Target Population

Target population include- Tribal, women, children & youth, mining and other development projects affected communities, farmers.

7- Programs & Activities 

Current Activities 

1- Samata fellowship program on constitutional Values

Samata believes in the strength of the grassroots and has planned programs and activities to involve community workers as the foundation of our work. Samata has always encouraged and facilitated grassroots workers. In the past, samata had started CryNet Collective - an organisation to support many individuals, CBO's and small NGOs to establish as strong organisations. In today's context, establishing the rule of law is of topmost importance because the values in society are getting distorted due to various socio-cultural dynamics. Therefore samata felt that a focus on the fundamental values of our constitution is the need of the hour. Keeping in line with this objective, we have initiated a fellowship program across AP, Telangana, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal tribal areas. The fellowship is on the fundamental values of Justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. The fellows (men and women), while coordinating and facilitating the needs of their communities, encourage a discussion on the above values as they are the basis of our constitution. They also take up programs with children, youth, and adults to read the constitution's preamble and connect the dots to enable a vibrant discussion at all levels.

Samata supports 20 such dynamic fellows, and through them, the reach is 5,56,000 people spread across 26 districts in 5 states of India- Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkahnd, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. The fellows work with more than 30 indigenous communities including the particularly vulnerable tribal groups. So far the fellows have helped rescue close to 7000 bonded labour across the country and helped 5700 individuals get job cards under MGNREGA. The fellows have successfully helped local communities to file Individual forest rights pattas (IFR). They have helped file 5200 IFRs across the five states. The Dhimsa magazine run by one of the fellows is the only local indigenous magazine that has been running for 20 years and is also listed in the Library of Congress in the United States. So far more than 1000 publications have come out focusing on issues of tribal welfare, forests, environment, Constitutional values etc. The fellows also do training and capacity building of the women on various issues. So far they have reached more than 5000 women through various development programs. During the covid pandemic, 18000 migrant workers were helped to reach home safely and find work. 32 youth groups have been formed at village and district level. 

2- Social Animators Program

Samata also has a social Animators program specifically to facilitate the proper resettlement and rehabilitation of the displaced families from the Polavaram multi-purpose project on River Godavari.

The Polavaram irrigation project is being built at the cost of Rs. 16010.45 Crores (with 2010-11 price level) on the second largest river of India, Godavari. This large dam project accorded with the title of "Dams of National Importance" will displace over 300,000 people residing in 300 habitations across Andhra, Odisha and Chhattisgarh —including 150,000 Adivasis and 50,000 Dalits. This dam displaces the highest number of people in India's history of dam displacement.

On the one hand, The Government has completed 70% of dam construction. In contrast, only 25% of The resettlement and rehabilitation work is completed. There is a blatant violation of the rights of the tribal and Dalit populations. Therefore, samata supports various Animators to help the displaced. 

3- Samata Tribal desk

The Tribal desk facilitates various tribal communities that approach samata with their legal and administrative issues. Samata has a set of legal advisors and other experts that it consults when the need arises.

Samata facilitates negotiations at the village, and at appropriate levels on behalf of the communities and  assists the communities in matters of information and representation to the statutory authorities. Samata offers free legal advice and other documentation support.

4- Relief programs

Samata is geared up for natural disasters and other emergency relief activities. In the past, samata had supported various rural and tribal communities in floods and cyclones. The last two years of the Covid Pandemic Samata extended the following support.

  • Conducted relief activities in West Bengal. Provided dry ration to more than 2500 families in Birbhum and Pashim Bardhaman districts of WB
  • Conducted relief activities in Visakhapatnam. Provided dry ration in agency areas and slums of Visakapatnam and the tribal villages of Borra Panchayat to 1036 families. 

5- Action Research & Policy Intervention

As samata services a large number of communities who require constant flow of information to support their demands with the authorities, we undertake action research to support our arguments or the communities demands. Recently Samata published an article as a chapter of the “Seminar” magazine on Extrativisam during Covid. We were part of the UPR (universal periodic review) of the government of India through the Ministry of external affairs and the NLUD (National Law University Delhi) on the rights of the tribal and other marginalised communities.

Recognising our work on tribal rights the Chhattisgarh State Planning commission has requested our Executive Director to be the chair of a working group on Tribal Administration & Governance.

Similarly during the covid pandemic various schools and law colleges have requested samata to share the experiences and sensitise their students on tribal development  and samata judgement. 

6- Education Support & Skills

Due to the long-standing connection with the tribal communities in north Andhra Pradesh, samata has a constant stream of requests from tribal students for support. Samata responds by using its network and connections and even raises financial resources through crowdfunding.

The youth in the tribal areas have government support till their high school, and after that, they have to find their way. Samata has a specific program of tribal youth counselling in which we are Targeting more than 2000 youth in the tribal districts of Andhra Pradesh and providing education and career counselling. So far, we have covered more than ten government schools and junior colleges.

7- Livelihoods support

Samata has always believed in empowering the tribal communities, and to this end, we have adopted a unique method of encouraging community-driven income generation.

  • Samata started with cashew farmers marketing initiative in late 1980 in east Godavari district linked to the social forestry project of ITDA (tribal welfare dept).
  • Samata secured a 20% share for the Borra tribal guides working at the caves in the ticket fares in the early 1990s.
  • Samata Organised the tribal vegetable growers of Sovva into an association and introduced them to retail markets of Visakhapatnam city. Today more than 600 tribal farmers access the farmer's markets in the city.
  • It has initiated the community-based tourism project in Katiki VIllage, where there is a waterfall, and it has now become a popular tourist destination. The community collects a small fare from the visitors and manages the waterfalls and the resources collected. 

8- Media

A Telugu monthly magazine independent of Samata to take the issue of people forward and thus, emerged " Dhimsa'' after the tribal dance of Paderu agency. It has been running since 1998, and the Library of Congress in Washington has given a control number. All the issues are available online through a Perma link.

9- mines, minerals & PEOPLE

Started a national alliance of communities, academicians, NGOs, and other people concerned with mining and its ill effects - mm&P ( mines, minerals & PEOPLE) evolved to be India's only and largest national mining alliance. It also has an international presence as we are the editors of The alliance is spread across 16 states and tackles various issues like Climate change, land rights, human rights, forest rights, mining, future generation fund, children and mining, district mineral fund, occupational Health, migrant workers issues, business and human rights. Today, mm&P is made up of over 100 grassroots groups and over 20 supporting organizations across 21 states in India. mm&P has developed community resource guide for the layperson to understand mining projects (community-resource-guide.pdf)

Past Activities

It would take many pages to write about the past activities of samata spanning three decades. Samata has touched upon every aspect of tribal life and their struggle to find life with dignity. Some of the highlights are listed below:-

1- Social Forestry

Facilitated and empowered tribal communities in Visakhapatnam district to execute social forestry even before the Forest Rights Act came into being. Worked closely with the Ministry of Tribal Welfare and ITDA 

2- Joint Forest Management

Empowered tribal community to be part of the Village Forest Committees for sustainable forest management. Part of Government committee on JFM 

3- Water Management

Executed various projects for safe drinking water-gravity flow drinking water, micro-hydel and watershed management in tribal districts of Andhra Pradesh 

4- Children in Mining Areas

Samata has worked extensively on the subject of children in mining areas by conducting workshops and capacity building training to educate and provide safe childhood to children in mining affected areas. Samata has also come up with a community resource guide on children in mining areas (Community Resource Guide) 

5- Crynet Collective

To create a state network of CBOs and local organizations to  empower them to access development funds and establish as a strong grassroots organization working with the communities and thus. "Crynet Collective" emerged.

6- Balamitra - joyful education project

Samata undertook a successful ten-year project of Balamitra schools. We had one main training centre and four smaller training centres and schools in 75 tribal villages. Samata developed its curriculum based on a unique system of learning in their mother tongue while using songs, dance and play to teach the basics to the students. The curriculum included traditional knowledge and insights from the tribal communities, and we had teachers from the community teaching children. The school was closed after the right education act came into force.

7- Health

As samata always worked in interior tribal pockets away from the main roads, we had trained Nurses as part of our local teams to take health care to the last mile. Those days three decades back, there were no roads, no medical facilities except the malaria worker. Samata has organised medical camps and reached out to the tribal communities during the rainy season when viral fevers are rampant. The government has improved its outreach, and we have ambulance services. 

8- Key achievements & Awards 

The executive director of Samata served as a member of:

  1. Currently appointed as the Chairperson of a Working group on Tribal Administration and PESA under the Chhattisgarh State Planning Commission, Govt of Chhattisgarh
  2. The law & Policy sub-group under the Planning Commission of India for the 10th five-year plan, Govt of India
  3. The tribal empowerment committee for the 12th Five-year plan, Govt of India
  4. The joint committee by the government of India on the forest rights act, Govt of India


1- Constitution & Structure of the organisation

The constitution of samata is based on the Articles and memorandum of association. Samata was registered as a society on the 13th day of August 1990 ( 554/90) at Kakinada ( East Godavari). The Governing board and the executive Director decide the structure of samata as per the needs of the various projects from time to time.

2- Governance

The General Body is the highest decision-maker. The governing board directs the Organisation, and the implementation is through the secretary cum executive director and the team of Samata. The Executive Director presents the annual report to the General Body and the plan for the coming year. The General Body meets once a year, and the governing board meets four times a year. If any urgency arises, then a general body meeting with special resolution can be called. The Organisation Submits board meeting minutes, the decisions/resolutions, audit, and narrative reports to the registrar of societies annually for the renewal. Similarly, the Organisation complies with the statutory process of the Ministry of Home Affairs in terms of the foreign contribution annually. The duly appointed auditors file the Organisation's tax returns to the Income-tax department.

 S.No  Name of the legal Representative  Position
 01  G.V. Ramana  President
 02  K. Chinnaya  Vice-President
 03  Ravi Rebbapragada  Secretary
 04  Lotha Subbarao  Joint Secretary
 05  C.H. Rajulamma  Treasurer
 06  Anupama Bhupathi  Member
 07  C.H. Sunita  Member
 08  G. Ubayya  Member
 09  M.V Ramana  Member

3- Decision making, Management & Supervision

Samata employs a democratic and open discussion before arriving at any decisions. The team and the Executive Director manage and supervise through regular interaction between different actors involved.

4- Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation

Planning is done from bottom to top for any activity or project to accommodate the communities' needs to bring about ownership of the communities and the team members involved. The Monitoring and evaluation also consist of the team and the community members participating openly and transparently. The results are shared back with the communities and all involved.


Annual Budgets

 S.No  Financial Year  INR
 01  2020-21  91,93,942
 02  2019-20  41,88,382
 03  2018-19  79,17,945

Present Funding Sources 

 Category  Donor
 International  Both Ends, Indo Global Social Service Society, Terre Des Hommes, Paul Hamlyn   Foundation, Nava Jeevan  Bala Bhavan
 National  Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives


The organisation has developed and adopted the following policies

  • Equal Opportunity Employment
  • Non-Harassment / Non-Discrimination Policy:
  • Open Door Policy for redressal of workplace concerns
  • Professional Conduct
  • Discipline policy
  • Health and Safety
  • Employee benefits
  • Accounting and Internal control Policies
  • Travel Policy


 Category  Men  Women  Total
 Admin staff  03  00  03
 Program staff  04  01  05
 Support Staff  02  02  04
 Total Staff  09  03  12


  • Samata is registered under Andhra Pradesh Public Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 with registration Number No. 554 of 1990 dated 13th,August 1990
  • The organisation has registered under FCRA Act vide registration number 010170084, dated 3rd August 1994
  • Samata has obtained exemption under Section 12 A of the Income Tax Act with the registration number Hqrs.No.III/40/2000-2001, The 80G registration vide Hqs III/2/Ren.80G/CIT/RJY/1-11
  • The organisation’s Pan No is AABTS9858F, Tan No is HYDS04860C