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The future is not completely beyond our control

It is the work of our own hands

Robert F. Kennedy

Concept of Development Education

“Education is a process of drawing out of the human potential, so that Human Resource Development takes place to the maximum extent in an individual.” Over the years, Development Education has come to be identified with the development of the down-trodden and the marginalized communities through meaningful and relevant learning taking place in their own environment using their own resources through participation modes of transaction.

Development education involves awareness building. Opening the eyes of the learner takes place gradually over a period of time he/she is being down-trodden by oppressive structures and forces. Awareness building will help the learner, to reflect upon the experience of being oppressed. For the learner, reflection leads to action. The action is to get liberated from oppression. The facilitator helps the oppressed people to break off from the “culture of silence” and begin to speak out in sharing their experiences with the fellow-sufferer and with those in authority. Development education, therefore, has a liberating potential through a process of Reflection-Action. Development education becomes Education for Liberation and Joint Action towards transformation of the communities by the people themselves. Of course, this will not happen overnight and there would be a long struggle.

Development education creates conditions for change to take place. People begin to understand the prevailing situations of the victims of oppression and exploitation. Therefore, they begin to struggle for justice. This brings people together in the struggles. This process generates immense people’s power (Human Collective Energy). When an oppressed community struggles, it is in reality in the process of experimental learning. Dialogue or sharing is the crucial methodology in Development education. True dialogue will take place between equal partners only.

Generally development education effort, in a community starts with an information campaign. We initiated information campaigns in the villages and the message is conveyed to the communities through wall posters, placards, street plays and role plays. The facilitators then visit house to house and conveyed the message through face to face dialogue. This was found to be more effective in conveying the message.

  • To promote self-employed women entrepreneurs in the villages through promotion of individual/group entrepreneurship.
  • To empower them through participatory facilitative interventions to overcome their practical barriers to entrepreneurship development and develop trade-related practical skill to organize, plan, implement, manage and evaluate actions.
  • To empower them to acquire inward-looking social skills, outward-looking social skills, occupational skills, technical skills, commercial skills, managerial skills, accounting skills, etc.,
  • To empower them through participatory consultancy interventions to provide consultancy services at their request after the project period is over.
  • To empower them through participatory networking interventions for shaping and exchange of information and develop skills, in response to management and social mobilization.
  • To replicate the project in other areas.

Micro Credit Scheme is an income generating activity which will provide continuous or seasonal employment. The schemes are both collective as well as of individual nature. Some include training in skills.“To provide opportunity for individual or the community to improve their economic conditions and to supplement income”.

The target groups are mostly agricultural laborers and have work only during the agricultural season. In the absence of adequate income and employment, adults migrate to distance places in off season in search of employment causing displacement to the families. Hence the need to create alternative and supplementary employment was considered.

The MCS activities have enabled the sangham to come together and conduct meetings. Wherever the total community is not involved, the direct beneficiaries meet and discuss issues related to the activity.

The type of MCS for each sangham has been discussed at length by the members in the sangham meetings taking the following criteria into consideration.

  1. Each sangham will decide whether the MCS should be a individual project or community based project after sufficient discussions and deliberations and the conditions that are prevailing at that time in the sangham.
  2. Balance between outside dependency related to local resources viz, skills, raw materials, production, marketing and finance control.
  3. Maximum investment per beneficiary
  4. Viability of the MCS and replication
  5. Whether the MCS involves training for the beneficiaries, if so, duration of training and the availability of instructors.
  6. To establish clearly the role of a MCS, if it will provide continuous employment or provide employment in the non-agricultural season or provide employment except in peak agriculture season.
  7. To establish a minimum wage from MCS

All the proposals that are finally accepted and approved by the sanghams have been screened by us and reviewed by a team of experts. A detailed budget for each MCS was worked out and also the economic benefits from the project in terms of increase in income, employment generation and benefits in qualitative terms. Limited MCSs were initiated by some of the sanghams up to now.

Apart from imitating the sanghams, thrift and credit schemes and MCSs, we have organized orientation and training programmes to the members of village sanghams and Mahila Sanghams and also conducted training camps for the leaders of the sanghams and for the MCS beneficiaries.

Orientation & Training for Sangham Members:

  • Perception on the role of sangham
  • Participation of members in the business of the meetings and attendance.
  • Awareness about issues discussed and resolved
  • Awareness about decision making
  • Awareness about recording minutes
  • Awareness about election of leaders.
  • Understanding and management of thrift and credit schemes
  • Understanding and management of MCSs.

Training camps for sangham leaders and potential leaders:

  • Perception on the role of sangham
  • Maintenance of sangham records, accounts and documentation
  • To articulate and express freely and confidently
  • Rational approach to different situations
  • Facilitating discussion on issues
  • Capacity to solve problems
  • Potential for resource mobilization
  • Effective and supportive leadership
  • Management of the activities of the programme
  • Management of thrift and credit schemes & MCSs

Training camps for MCS beneficiaries

  • Management of MCSs
  • Accounting and managerial capabilities
  • Monitoring and documentation
  • Liaison with government and banks for resource mobilization
  • Credit usage and effective utilization


  1. The women have learnt the importance of education and are sending their children to schools regularly
  2. Pledged to avoid child marriages
  3. The sangham members are enlightened and are able to approach the MRO, MDO and other governmental officers
  4. Familiarize in Bank transaction and are avoiding middlemen
  5. Closely coordinating with gram panchayat members and other interested groups in the village
  6. Improved awareness about health, hygiene and sanitation
  7. Taking collective sensitizing the angarwadi workers, teachers and health workers
  8. Avoiding caste discrimination, as a result sitting together in trainings and meetings
  9. Able to tell about causes of poverty and how to utilize the resources to eliminate poverty
  10. Unity among women has improved, as a result are continuing thrift and credit and using it as a revolving fund to initiate MCSs for individuals.
  11. Becoming self reliant and self sufficient by using thrift money as well as proper utilization of government resources like watershed, IRDP and DWCRA programmes
  12. Change has occurred in their personal attitude and are asking the gram panchayat about drinking water, street lights, drainage system and sanitation facilities
  13. Self confidence has increased and are planning to establish collective MCS such as Dairy Units, Poultry units, Goat and Sheep rearing units, Brick making units etc, for their livelihood and continuous employment and to supplement their income

Despite the improvement in their social awareness and thinking , their economic status need to be improved. The Mahila Sanghams in the target villages are lacking the required support to become self reliant despite the efforts make to improve their economic status. The projects and programmes from the government are not exactly reaching these groups and our intervention is necessary to promote MCSs for these Mahila Sanghams.

Attitude is little thing
that makes a big difference
Winston Churchill
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