Gandhiji settled down in Maganwadi, at the Magan Sangrahalaya premises, Wardha, after his departure from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. He named this Ashram after Maganlal Gandhi, his close associate and a rural scientist who had been his right hand in all the earlier three Ashrams but who suddenly died while working, at his behest, in Bihar in 1928.
The advisory board of AIVIA constituted of towering national personalities like Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, renowned humanists and international scientists like Dr. C V Raman, Dr. J C Bose, M A Ansari, Satish Chandra Das Gupta, P.C.Ray, Prof. San Higginbottom, Major-General Sir Robert Mc Carrison, Dr. Purushottam Patel, Shri V. Patel, Dr. B.C.Roy, Dr. S. Subbarao, Dr. Rajabally, Dr. Jivraj Mehta, Jamal Mohamed Sahib, Shri Ramdas Pantulu Shri S. Pochkhanawalla and prominent industrialist – Shri G.D.Birla.
Gandhiji and Prof. JC Kumarappa (The great Gandhian economist) spearheaded the all India movement for revival and expansion of various rural industries and artisan-based crafts. Under the able leadership of Kumarappaji, the AIVIA evolved and developed traditional industries and established many new rural industries in various parts of India. The institution conducted a number of training courses for technical personnel and master craftsmen from all over India to run these cottage industries.
Dr. Devendra Kumar, popularly known as Devendra Bhai, a science graduate from Lucknow University,(Uttar Pradesh) and an Oil Technologist from the famous Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, joined the All India Village Industries Association (AIVIA). Devendra Bhai helped his Guru Kumarappaji for six years in research and innovative experiments in numerous village industries. He also edited and translated Kumarappa’s books as well as a series of articles in Hindi language.
The main objective of CSV is to bring to the fore the indigenous skills of the village artisans, stemming from their accumulated traditional knowledge, and facilitate its interaction with the latest knowledge of science and technology. Its mission is to innovate technologies that could be converted into sustainable business opportunities at the grassroots level.
Though Devendra Bhai is no more in this world, his daughter – Dr. Vibha Gupta – is carrying forward the torch by creating sustainable livelihoods in Rural India through technological interventions. She worked with Devendra Bhai since 1978 and was appointed the Chairperson of the Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti, in the year 2000.