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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Disha Kathuria: SEDS from the eye of a volunteer (Health Camp)

On 17th August 2014, a health camp was organised at SEDS. It was conducted along with Partners in Aid, Australia. Children aged between 10-14 years received medical check up by efficient local doctors. About 200 children were examined and precribed suitable drugs. Here's a glimpse.
Children waiting in line to register their name and age before being sent for check up.

Lyn Pikering from Partners in Aid, Australia registering the children.

Tags were issued to the registered kids.

Anji, a student of Anand Vidyalayam seen here helping Lyn with the registration.

The chlidren were then sent to get their basic physical examination done. It included checking their weight and height. Ranga, another student from Anand Vidyalayam offered a helping hand. 

That's Nandini, my favourite girl in the whole world. Isn't she beautiful? 

Children receiving an eye-check up.  

Laborious doctors examining the village children. They found that poor nutrition and scarce availability of the right medicine is among the few causes that lead to weakness, something that is all too common here. Lack of hygeine was cited as another major reason for their illnesses.  

Natalie, Martha and Claire during the hard day's work.