Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM


Programme in Development Management

Exploring the traditions

By Soumya Bhat

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Aadi maasam plays a vital role in Tamil Nadu, because Aadi is a package of festivals and joy. The Aadi maasam starts from mid of July to mid of August. The festivals in Aadi maasam are

  • Aadi Chevvai
  • Aadi Velli
  • Aadi Amavasai
  • Aadi Pooram
  • Varalakshmi Pooja
  • Aadi Perukku
  • Aadi Karthigai

Likewise August month is precious for Tata-Dhan Academy; because the Academy experiences the celebration of college festival called “Heritage”. This year by virtue TDA has celebrated Heritage on the day of “Aadi pooram” at Thenkarai village.

“Heritage” is an inter college event where the students from different colleges of Madurai come and participate in different events. It is a unique event, unlike other competition, it visions to sensitize the youth about the heritage of our ancestors.

The event “Heritage” has specialty in trying to build again the exterminating heritage and culture of India. It is an opportunity to look back, enjoy, conserve and safe transfer to next generation.

Heritage 2013 was an edition to the “Heritage-2012”. The focus of the HERITAGE-2013 was “Exploring Traditions”. There were 75 students representing 6 colleges of arts, science and management and village communities of “Thenkarai” near Sholavandan. It was a two-day event which was conducted on August 9 and 10, 2013. The “HERITAGE 2013” included the events in which both the students and the village communities would participate. The PDM students of Tata-Dhan Academy would design and conduct the “HERITAGE 2013”. The different events are Loksangeet, Chintan, Lekha, Vrattchitra, Medha, Sahyog, Netratv, Varnaleka, Bhumika, Marketing and Pradarshan.

This “Adi masam” plays important role in farming, the farmers who cultivate the paddy, start seedling of paddy in this month, like wise in TDA, PDM 11 planned for “Heriatge”, PDM 12 have sown the “Heritage” and PDM 13 were seedling the “HERITAGE”.

My best wishes for “Heritage-2014”, and PDM 14 who were also the part of “Heriatge-2013”.


Filed under: Heritage

Blossoming Days in TDA

Yoga (PDM 13)

By Soumya Bhat

Days  are going very fast, in TDA.  Seniors are well placed, their farewell party over, they went too. I wish all my seniors good luck and hoping the healthy number of juniors.

At the same time our second fieldwork-2 presentation report everything finished. And immediately we have been promoted to the third term.

Academy gave us a welcome to the new term very attractively, it has been started with the “Yoga” classes, we have been taught “Yoga” for starting 2 days on 3/6/2013 and 4/6/2013 and which continues.

The event has started with the introduction of the team which came to teach us, by Mrs. A. Umarani, Director, Tata-Dhan Academy,. Then the event handed over to Dr. Ravichandran, Gandhi grama University and his team member Mr. Gangadhar. Dr. Ravichandran handled the theoretical class about The Yogas, its history and the origin, also he had deal with some of the relaxation techniques.

Afternoon sessions were taken by another team from the Gandhi museum, Mr. Sethu, Mr.Rajesh, and Mr. they taught the different asanas, and it was the practical session.

The next day also it was continued by the team members from the Gandhi Museum, Madurai, they continued the pranayamas. We are the proud student of TDA learnt warm up exercises, quick relaxation techniques, deep relaxation techniques, 6standing asanas,  3 lying exercises, 6 supine asanas, 7 pranayams. The day ends up with the words of Ms. Garima Mishra, Class Representative,  PDM-13.

We, all the students knew the importance of the healthy practices like ‘Yoga’ in the student life and hopefully we all student practicing every day.

I wish all my friends to get success throughout the year.

Filed under: PDM 13

Educating ‘Nirbhayas’… Whose ‘Karthavya’?

By Vinay Sankar

Note: The following article originally appeared in a slightly modified form as an OP-ED column in the Hindu on March 1, 2013.

A lost childhood, a run-away mother, a broken marriage, a 13 year old son, and an elderly father to take care of. None of these deterred Jaya Rawal from continuing her education. Jaya, whose voter id shows she was born in the year 1979 and yet, she says, she is not sure of her real age. In her fragile physique, she conceals a dogged determination to continue her studies and to get ahead. It is said, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’ and that is absolutely correct in the case of Jaya. When her mother left her in her early teens, Jaya had to take charge of the family. That meant discontinuing her studies and taking care of her siblings. Her father was with the Telecom Department, but due to lack of a minimum period of service, is not eligible for pension. Presently, she does nearly four to five hours of tailoring every day, earning around Rs. 3,000 per month, to meet her family’s needs. She hardly gets to eat three rotis a day! In spite of all these and more, she wakes up at four in the morning and studies for three hours, and in the evening, she is with books for another three hours until midnight, in order to pass her Secondary School exams under the Rajasthan State Open School (RSOS) Board.

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Filed under: Development Practice Segment, Non-Academic, PDM 12, , , , ,

Cases and Stories

CaseAndStoriesOne of the elective courses sometimes offered to students at the Tata-Dhan Academy is “Specialized Writing”. In this course, students explore some of the different forms of written expression beyond the typical report, and one of the specific topics we usually cover is the overlap and differences between cases and stories.

This booklet compiles “cases” and “stories” from three students from PDM 10 (Dushasana Mahanta, Kunj Bihari Pratap, and Akhileshwar Singh), and includes illustrations by Seema Shastri of PDM 12.

Following is the Introduction to the booklet, by the course facilitator, Ananda Mahto.

Download the PDF to enjoy the cases, stories, and illustrations in their entirety.

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Filed under: PDM 10, PDM 12, , , , , , , ,

Amma’s Story… — Bada Kala

Transcribed and translated by Shweta Hegde

An interesting part of all of our field segments is getting to interact and learn from communities. There is often a wealth of undocumented culture, including songs, dances, beliefs, and stories. During my first DPS, I got a chance to hear many interesting stories. Here is one such story:

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Filed under: Development Practice Segment, DPS 1, Non-Academic, PDM 12, ,

Processes of Group Formation

By Smriti Gupta

Development Practice Segment (DPS) was a very unique experience in my Tata-Dhan Academy life. It was the first time for me to stay in a tribal area: Malwasi Panchayat, Ratlam District, Madhya Pradesh.

The objectives of DPS 1 include:

  • Building and shaping our attitudes: Learning to listen and learn from communities, adapt to any development situation, empathize with communities, and develop confidence to face uncertainties in the field.
  • Developing people-focused skills in understanding diverse development contexts and needs: Establishing rapport and building trust with the communities, understand development issues as well as organizational issues, and designing intervention approaches and strategies.
  • Converting our classroom lessons to field action: The concepts learned during our classroom segments should be applied, and new lessons from the field should be brought back to increase the knowledge-base available for forthcoming batches.

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Filed under: Development Practice Segment, DPS 1, PDM 12, ,

My actual work has started…

By Shweta Hegde

Development Practice Segment (DPS) is an opportunity work at the grassroots level to organize the community. During our earlier fieldwork segments, we focused on information collection, interpretation, and analysis. However, as the segment’s title implies, DPS is action oriented. Here, we have started our actual work!

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Filed under: Development Practice Segment, DPS 1, PDM 12, ,

Some Much Delayed Updates!

PDM 12 is back from their second DPS and are now in their final term. PDM 13 is just getting ready to develop their skills as development researchers. And, a lot has happened in between.

While we wait for stories from both batches, today, I’ll post a few pending articles that are much overdue. My apologies go out to both the authors and readers for this delay!

To start with, here is a brief slideshow of some experiences from DPS 1 for PDM 12.

Filed under: Development Practice Segment, DPS 1, PDM 12, Uncategorized

Organizing the Community and Challenges Faced

By Rajeev Rajan


Firstly, organizing community is not as easy a task as it may seem to be. Perhaps if you skip steps that would lead to the sustainability of the groups formed, it may be an easy task, but the process of forming sustainable groups is one that should be taken with a systematic set of processes. To organize the community, I felt a lot of difficulties at the time of inception. However, once I was able to build trust between the community and me, everything went a lot more smoothly. In other words, overcoming these initial problems can make your work more easygoing.

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Filed under: DPS 1, PDM 12,

Teacher’s Day Celebration

Gururbrahma, gurur Vishnu, gurur devo maheswara, gurur sakshat parabrahm, tasmasvi guruve namah.

A teacher is a friend, a philosopher, a guiding light, an inspiration. A teacher is like a candle who burns brightly to enlighten others. So I salute all the teachers.

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Filed under: Non-Academic, PDM 13,