Centre for Research and Development Solidarity (CRDS):

CRDS was established in 2006 as part of a popular participatory action research (PPAR) with the University of Alberta, Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. As a joint undertaking with the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, the research aimed to develop knowledge for and about Adivasi-Dalit social movements in South Orissa and to provide a platform for Adivasi-Dalit small/landless peasants and forest dwellers with an opportunity to engage in a critical analysis of rural development and consider popular responses to the same. The research continues to inform popular education engagements in over 150 villages (including a widely circulated popular education newsletter, Ama Katha) in the region and has stimulated organizing activities to address food sovereignty and land and forest rights for Adivasis and Dalits in the region. CRDS is currently engaged with the University of Alberta, Canada (Faculty of Education) in a 5 year project examining "Resistance/Responses to Casteism and Untouchability in Schooling" (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada). In addition to informing the process of local/regional responses/resistances to these practices (and in accordance with the SC/ST Atrocities Act) in situ, the research process will also include local/national NGOs to inform policy advocacy initiatives at the state and national level and to encourage greater collaboration between NGOs and local organizations addressing untouchability/casteist practices in schools and communities. The research is being undertaken in 3 related phases: (1) survey development/application regarding untouchability/casteist practices in schools, including analysis of classroom texts; (2) case studies of resistance/responses at the local level (students, parents, village education committees & teachers/administrators, NGOs, community organizations); and (3) NGO involvements. Research findings will be shared in several public engagement forums, a CRDS web site and Ama Katha (popular education news letter) and in specific meetings with several NGOs. See More .......

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