India lives in its villages“, declared M. K. Gandhi at the beginning of 20th century. According to the 2011 Census of India, 68.84% of Indians live in 640,867 different villages. The size of these villages varies considerably. 236,004 Indian villages have a population of fewer than 500, while 3,976 villages have a population of 10,000+. [Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Village]

These villages are the guardians of culture and traditions in the country, with their unique flow and flavour of life, living and lifestyle. Some have changed with the changing times while some have preserved themselves. The get-together under the trees’ shade, the myriad opinions floating along with the smoke from the cheroots, the radios echoing the old film songs, the unlit homes, the zephyr from the fields, the dried wells, the early dinners, the howl of the foxes and the panicking children are just a few visual frames that slide in front of our eyes when we hear the word ‘village’.

PROJECT URVI is all about these villages, the reality that springs a million surprises. It connects the world to the villages and vice versa. It’s an amplifier made available exclusively for the people who belong to those villages and want their villages to be heard.

PROJECT URVI unleashes that rural voice of India, with its Voluntary Online News Contributors (VONCs) in each village of India, who speak about and for their villages with passion, love, care and concern. These News Contributors adopt their villages. Be its voice. Speak about it. Speak for it. We take these voices to the world through our hyperlocal news network, www.newswithchai.com.

It is not that people always share, shout and write for some help or advice. It is an inherent need of every human being to share, to appreciate, to be heard, to be appreciated, to be loved and taken care of. Our villages need it too.

We believe that someone, somewhere shall hear these voices, understand this need, appreciate, empathize, share the dream and take a step forward to make their life happen and along with them, everyone’s.

Every village in India is a treasure trove of culture and centuries of guarded wisdom, which is unrealized and untapped still. PROJECT URVI is a small step to make this happen and make sure its availability for India, today and for future generations to come, through the medium of news and broadcasting.

On this 66th Republic Day of India, ‘News With Chai’ publishes its first photo news feed from two villages in Maharashtra – Gulanchwadi of Pune District & Taloja of Raigarh district.

Ashish Kolhe, the Gram Sevak of Gulanchwadi and Munaf Patel, the Sarpanch of Taloja, have graciously accepted to be the voices of their respective villages and they’re the founding Voluntary Online News Contributors (VONCs) for PROJECT URVI in the west of India. ‘News With Chai’ congratulates them for their initiative and heartfully thanks them for championing the cause, in and through their villages.

It is just the beginning. We still have 640,865 villages.

India, here we go…