Swamy Ramananda Tirtha rural Institute (SRTRI) was inaugurated on 3rd December 1995 by the then Prime Minister of India Shri P.V.Narasimha Rao in the august presence of then union ministers Dr.Jagannath Mishra, Shri Madhavarao Scindia, H.E. Krishna Kant, Governor of A.P., Shri N.Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of A.P., Dr.Aram, M.P., etc. for proactive rural development initiatives in the state based on the ideology envisaged in the National Policy on Education (NPE) 1986. The policy basically observes “The new pattern of the rural university will be consolidated and developed on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s revolutionary ideas on education so as to take up the challenges of micro-planning at grass root levels for the transformation of rural areas”. In his inaugural address Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao stated “at Pochampally a massive, magnificent movement called Bhoodan Movement was born. Vinobaji passed from that place to so many other places. He went along the road and many people joined him, we all joined him. Later on it became a country-wide movement. That place, we have chosen to have the Rural Institute which will blossom into a big Rural University later”.
Late Dr.Vavilala Gopla Krishnaiah, veteran freedom fighter and Ex. M.P., was the first Chairman to the Institute. The Governing Body consisted of Dr.M.V.Rao, V.C., ANGRAU, Sri C.V.Chary, Chairman, Bhoodan Yagna Board, Sri Yadlapati Venkat Rao, M.P., Smt. C.S.Ramalakshmi, IAS, etc. Prof.T.Navaneeth Rao, former V.C., O.U., succeeded as the Chairman to the Institute in the year 1998 and was key instrumental for development of the Institute to a greater scale.
The Institute in its first decade of service had taken up several skill development, research and other activities. To quote some of its activities in its early years of inception:
- The Institute studied the functioning and deliverable of several nationally repute organizations in the filed of rural development and employment generation such as IRMA IRMA-Anand, Gandhigram Rural University-Dindigal (TN), Mahatma Gandhi Gramoday Vishwavidyalala-Satna (MP), Rural Technology Institute of Gujarat-Gandhinagar, National Institute of Design-Ahmedabad, etc. Taking the inputs from these institutions, the Institute carved a strategy for rural development and employment generation for the state.
- Undertook the study of the project “Supply of Improved Toolkits to Rural Artisans (SITRA)” and its impact on rural livelihoods across united state of Andhra Pradesh.
- Studied the functioning of DWACRA Bazaars (SHG Product Exhibitions-cum-Sale in Hyderabad) to promote the sales and marketing skills of DWACRA Women. A comprehensive report on the functioning of the bazaars was submitted to the State Government for its improvement.
- Actively involved in Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Project (APRLP) for strategy formulation, training and guidance to the stake holders of the project in the five districts of united Andhra Pradesh in its initial years of implementation.
- Compiled 500 Rural Technologies (viable livelihood options and enterprises) for micro-enterprise promotion in the erstwhile combined state of Andhra Pradesh.
- Devised and implemented specially designed training modules on enterprise promotion and marketing to members of Self-Help Groups, both women and men.
- Drafted and conducted TOT trainings on “Entrepreneurship Development” to entire Youth Welfare Officers of Youth Services Department, erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.
- Conducted EDPTraining Programs under CMEY / RYS Schemes of Youth Services Department during the years 2000 and 2006 in the districts viz. Nalgonda, Medak, and Warangal.
- Conducted comprehensive mandal-level surveys for exploring viable employment opportunities in Mahabubnagar district and submitted the report to the District Collector.
- Worked with several other line departments such as DRDA, DWMA, SC Corporation, ST Corporation, Women and Child Welfare Department, etc. in providing skill training to their beneficiaries.
- Worked with several NGOs such as DHAN Foundation, Ekalavya Foundation, ASM Plan, etc.