Sarvodaya Sewa Ashram was established in 1950 by Sarvodaya leader Arjun Bhai to promote the ideology of gram swaraj (rural independence in terms of self-reliance and self-management), bhudan (gift of land to the landless) and sarvodaya (holistic development of the society).
SSA initially grew with the national urge to alleviate people's sufferings, safeguard human rights and enhance the socio-econoic status of the rural communities, particularly the poor and weak, including women. Its commitment for services was part of Vinoba Bhave's sarvodaya movement, gram swaraj and development of khadi and village industries, particularly in the villages of Banda district.
During the past few years, Bundelkhand has witnessed momentous socio-economic changes. This has resulted in transition from social service activities to community development and welfare, based on the needs and demands of the people. The root cause of all problems was chronic poverty. Poverty alleviation was the key to intervene in the two basic needs of life -- health and education.
With a strong belief in the essential dignity of the people, SSA decided that development has to be a process of empowerment, and to achieve this goal, people's participation had to be ensured. Therefore, to mobilise the target groups community based organisations (CBOs), basically self help groups (SHGs), have been formed.