SEDS, the Social Education and Development Society, was founded in 1980 by Rajen Joshua and Manil Jayasena as a grassroots development NGO, motivated by the desire to help the poorest of the poor in the drought-prone area of Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh. In the early days, the main focus of the work was on community development by way of non-formal education and small loans to skilled target communities like cobblers, basket weavers, blanket weavers and others.

As Anantapur is the second most drought prone area in India and much of its natural resources are depleted, it soon became clear that environmental problems would have to be tackled first, if peoples’ livelihoods were to be made sustainable. Starting in 10 villages near the small town of Penukonda a scheme of pioneering work was developed which aimed to empower local communities and improve their environment. Initially small nurseries were started for homestead plantations and planting of avenue trees along village roads. Re-a-forestation and more sustainable agricultural practices were introduced. From 1990, SEDS started using a more participatory approach, through the formation of Community Based Organizations. Involving the communities more in the effort made them actual stakeholders in the development process of the region. Throughout the years the scope and area of the work increased and the fruits of the sustained efforts became visible in the greener environment and the enthusiasm of the communities.

Today, SEDS is working through an integrated rural development approach with an emphasis on women’s empowerment, watersheds, re-a-forestation and natural resource management. This is within five Mandals in the southern part of Anantapur District, in south western Andhra Pradesh namely, Penukonda, Roddam, Gorantla, Somandepalli and Chilamathur. In these 5 mandals SEDS currently supports 125 villages, being some 12000 women and their families, 980 Self Help Groups (SHGs), 120 Village Organisations (VOs) & 5 Mandal Samakyas (MMSs) .

Through its sustained efforts SEDS has made a significant impact on the lives of the people in the area and the local environment. The SEDS slogan “Towards a greener tomorrow” has become a reality.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

VTC: SEDS/Roger Griffiths Driving School.

Since the beginning of this month the SEDS/Roger Griffiths Driving School has taken off.

More and more people have become interested in driving as a driver can bring in a nice additional income to the family revenue. candidates for this course need a minimum 10th Grade certificate to enroll.

Three students have taken up the course and two more have applied. The students get daily classes, theoretical as well as practical. Basic maintenance and simple repairs are just as important as cruising down the highway.

To start off they must know all the parts of the car. The motor of a car is explained in detail to them. A practical thing comes up when they learn how to change a tire. Then it is in the classroom where traffic rules are explained and they get to learn all the sign boards.

After 45 days they are eligible for taking their driving test in Hindupur.

Friday, October 8, 2010

SEDS in the news: Award for Indian woman

Anantapur: Manil Jayasena Joshua, chief executive officer of SEDS received prestigious Information Week Edge Award at Mumbai for introducing IT based census information system for effectively catering to the NGO's target groups. She is the first lady in India to receive this award.

Social Education & Development Society (SEDS), an NGO, has partnered with Bangalore-based Wolf Frameworks India Private Limited in creating a technological data base relating to millions of beneficiaries in 250 odd villages in Penukonda mandal in the nation's second largest drought-prone district.

A cloud-based Census Information Management System (CIMS) has been created which can transform many lives. Sunny Ghosh, Director of Wolf Frameworks told ‘The Hindu' that tt took SEDS and Wolf Frameworks just 120 hours to design, develop and deploy India's first CIMS.

Manil Jayasena Joshua said that with UIDs for individuals being auto-generated, CIMS enables SEDS to track effectiveness of the programme from the mandal to individual-level.

Staff Reporter

The Hindu 07/10/10


Monday, October 4, 2010

SEDS in the news: NGO uses cloud computing platform to build Census Management system.

SEDS is in the news again and how this time. We are proud to announce that SEDS has won the prestigious SILVER EDGE award of Interop. EDGE stands for Enterprise Driving Growth and Excellence through IT. Interop is the leading business technology event with the most comprehensive IT conference and expo available. http://www.interop.com/

SEDS is the first NGO to receive this award and CEO Manil Jayasena Joshua is the first women to do so. Once again SEDS is at the forefront of breaking boundaries of emancipation and development.

Double click to read the article from Information Week