Manavodaya in Sanskrit means "Human Awakening"
The organisation was founded in the year 1985 with the purpose of promoting a new paradigm in development that builds on human values and enables the poorest sections of society to participate in the process of change.
In practice, this implies a systematic process of building individual and collective awareness combined with action by people themselves based on their needs and resources.
Manavodaya’s work can be categorised under three heads
The institute conducts multiple field and academic programmes that are complementary to each other as they are based on development of new skills, knowledge and values in a participatory manner.
Most academic programmes at Manavodaya are based on practical learning from field programmes.
As a pioneer of the Self Help Groups in India, Manavodaya’ s experience and learning related to Self Help Groups formed the basis for several short and long duration courses on Self Help Groups, People Based Development, Changemakers Programme as well as Participatory Rural Development.
Several prominent institutions, governmental and non- governmental, academic and philanthropic, have joyfully collaborated in the process.
All field programmes – Social and Technical- are based on principles of Participatory Action Research implying engagement with local population, especially the weaker segments, in a participatory manner. This leads to an excellent understanding of problems and alternatives. For the same reason, it is useful in policy making and for replication elsewhere.
The technical programmes are organised in collaboration with a reputed institution of that subject. For example, the programme on Improved Sugarcane Cultivation was organised in collaboration with the famous Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow. The programme on Water Management was organised in collaboration with specialists from the Department of Agriculture.
Manavodaya has a long experience in the field of education. A primary school was started in 1989 and ran upto 1999 when it had to be closed down due to lack of space.
With the construction of a new building, the school has reopened in 2022. See more
In addition, a programme of Girls Education was launched in 30 villages in district Sitapur. See More