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, , , , ,

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

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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,

A “Field Day” with Villagers

As part of the “Communication With Community” course, the PDM 12 batch had a “field day” with the Kezhamatayan villagers on Sunday evening, 31 July 2012. Prior to that, there was a rigorous two-day training in which activities ranged from tuning our vocal chords, to making puppets and staging a puppet play, to writing a script for a street play, to actually performing a street play!

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Filed under: PDM 12, ,

Budget Watch and Dialogue, 2012-13

By Sandeep Kumar

The annual Budget Watch and Dialogue on the Union Budget with Development Perspective has been organized by the Tata-Dhan Academy for the last six years. The dialogue is conducted on the same day that the Finance Minister presents the Union Budget in the Indian Parliament, and includes a pre-budget discussion and post-budget reflection.

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Filed under: Development Dialogue, General TDA, PDM 11, PDM 12, Uncategorized, , , ,

Building development perspectives from cultural events: Holi festival celebrations in TDA

By Shanti Gupta

Tata-Dhan Academy is an institute which provides opportunities for students to visualize their professional life as development managers. But the lessons we learn don’t all come from the classroom or the field–sometimes, even a traditional celebration helps bring new perspectives for the development professional.

India culture and heritage is incredibly rich. At the Academy, the students in PDM 11 and 12 represent both northern and southern states, providing an opportunity to experience and learn more about this rich culture. For example, in the northern states, Holi, a festival of colours, is widely celebrated. Last year, with PDM 10, we had a good celebration, and building on this, we decided to celebrate with some value addition. This year, for example, we did Holika Dahan and an ethnic lunch.

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Filed under: General TDA, Non-Academic, PDM 11, PDM 12, , , ,