Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM

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Programme in Development Management

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, , , , ,

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

Student Lenses

I started teaching at the Tata-Dhan Academy in the third term of the seventh batch of students undergoing the PDM—the Programme in Development Management. During that term, I taught a class in writing and another course in spoken communication, and it was very exciting for me to be back in the classroom again after more than a year without teaching. I knew, of course, that this classroom experience was only a fraction of what makes learning at the Academy interesting, but had not yet had much of a chance to see what the students really did in the field. I also knew that although I could teach English well, I did not really know much about what happened in the field beyond what I had read in a handful of student reports or heard about in student presentations. So, at the end of August in 2007, with my knowledgeable mentor and guide, Sangeetha, I got my first real chance to let the roles of student and teacher change, and have my students teach me about their field locations during my visits to them in the field.
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Filed under: Development Practice Segment, PDM 8, , ,