In 1988 a group of social activists, led by Bhabani Sankar Mahapatra, Manoj Satapathy and Manasa Kumar Rout, initiated a total sanitation programme for the Kondh tribe in the Athmallick Block of Angul District. In the same year it was registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act, by which time its operational area had extended to 50 villages in four Gram Panchayats of the same Block.
VIRD is a non-political, non profitable and secular organization works on community development from a holistic approach. It operates in the most marginalized communities in four districts of Orissa working in partnership with people who, because of their caste, religion, culture, gender or economic status, have traditionally been excluded from the social, political, economic and cultural mainstream. Disempowered, they are highly vulnerable to extreme poverty, inequality and to oppression. VIRD’s vision – to assist the people in organizing themselves in a new social order – has spread and is shared by about 2, 50,000 people who are now actively involved with the movement through its programme initiatives and its many networking partners.