PIDT started as an Action Research organization and has conducted various research that are subaltern studies. PIDT had been recognized as a SIRO under the Department of Science and Technology. The Research deals with various developmental subjects like early childhood development, health, volunteering, alternative economics, gender studies, tribal development, participation etc.
Mr. Kushwaha of Chandkur village, in PIDT’s Ghazipur project area in Utter Pradesh, is a marginal farmer. Until a few years ago, he was barely eking out his living. Income from agriculture was low and there was no subsidiary occupation to take up. He had to idle away his time after the peak agricultural season, doing nothing.
Banalaxmi Sells ‘Pitha’
Banalaxmi, a group of women living in a communetype surrounding, has expertise in food processing and preparing jams, jelly and pickles. In the olden days, people in the rural areas used to prepare ‘pitha’ from rice. As the joint family system is breaking down, this art is also being lost. Through the inspiration of Sanhati Bipani, PIDT’s collective marketing outlet, Banalaxmi decided to prepare and promote pitha like other eatables such as rasogolla, idli and dosa that are sold ready-tomake in markets to middle class families. >>
Women’s Empowerment through ‘Jaldoot’ Program
Shanti Devi and Fulia Devi are two Self Help Group members of Choti Chapra village. They both belong to very conservative and backward families. Their families did not allow them to participate in outdoor activities. During October-December, 2005, PIDT Lokshala conducted a 15-day hand pump mechanic training program for women, sponsored by the block public health department. Both of them wanted to join the training program, but their husbands and extended families initially would not allow them to participate. >>
Taking Light to an Area of Darkness
The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has granted recognition to PIDT Lokshala for conducting its ‘A’ (class III), ‘B’ (class V) and ‘C’ (class VIII) level examinations. PIDT not only sets papers and conducts examinations, but also distributes teaching-learning materials to the students in the presence of their parents and teachers to make them aware of the exam’s importance and to help integrate them in the exam preparation process. In conjunction with this, some enterprising youth, mostly erstwhile instructors and supervisors of the government’s Non-Formal Education program, have started coaching centres >>