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Sambalpur Integrated Development Institute

Sambalpur, India
Joined September 2016
Presence in: India
Focus: Community / Customary Land Rights, Education, Livelihoods

Sambalpur Integrated Development Institute (SIDI) was established on 1st June 1990 when a group of professional trainers in the field of social development felt the need to synthesize the theory with practice. These professionals, after leaving a training based organization SEARCH in Bangalore, took up social activism in different tribal dominated areas of Odisha. The Chief Functionary of SIDI along with 4 other such professional focused their work in Jamankira Block and formed SIDI by establishing its office in the same Block due to its strategic location and connectivity with the area of their work.
SIDI’s has evolved over the period of last 27 years as a renowned organization in Western Odisha. Its process of evolution can be divided into 3 important phases:

The 1st phase of SIDI’s evolution can be termed as the period of Pehchan aur Jagrukta (Orientation and Awareness). It was the initial 4-5 years after its registration when most of the time was spent in exploration of the area of work and getting oriented with the geography and socio-political issues of the area. Needs identification, social power dynamics and issues of poverty and marginalization wereidentified. Empowerment of the marginalized communities was done by picking up the wage and labour related issues within the villages. The concept of grain banks was introduced during this phase. During this period, connectivity between the villages was very poor and the villagers had least exposure to the external world and limited awareness about the administration and its welfare programs.
The 2nd phase can termed as the period of Nirman (Development). It is, by and large; a period 8 years during which the issues related to literacy, health and economic empowerment were picked up as a priority. People wanted to explore their rights related to education and health overcoming age old mental servitude and ignorance. Moreover, the partner community displayed a keen urge for economic growth accessing livelihood opportunities. Therefore, children enrolment in the government schools, student’s scholarship, vocational training programs etc. were initiated during the 2nd phase of work. Strengthening of traditional livelihood activities related to minor forest produce (NTFPs) was also done in addition to the new agricultural activities like chilly cultivation etc.
3rd phase can be named as Nirman aur Bhagidari (Development & Participation) starting from the year 2005 which is focused on building networks, advocacy and linking with government developmental programs in the capacity of the implementing partner. The issues related to livelihood, literacy, health and capacity building of the 2nd phase are still the focus of the organization which has been top up with the strategy of strengthening collective bargain through alliance building on community rights over natural livelihood resources like NTFP and land during the third phase. Government run welfare and development schemes related to housing, employment, pensions and education is also being covered in this phase.
SIDI is playing pivotal role in the socio-economic development of the two main marginalized communities; adivasis (ST) and dalits (SC) of Sambalpur and Deogarh districts for more than 25 years. At present, SIDI has 5 core areas of intervention viz. livelihood generation, capacity building, education, health, advocacy & governance by participation. Women and children are the focus of these interventions.
Mission- Empowering the marginalized sections of the community to bring the community forward for assertion of basic rights.

People Associated With This Organization

Abhiram Panigrahi

Sambalpur Integrated Development...
Joined September 2016
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Education, Gender-based violence, Governance, Accountability & Transparency
Abhiram heads Sambalpur Integrated Development Institute, Sambalpur, Odisha, India since 1990. He led development and rollout of all projects of the organisation. Abhiram has 34 years of experience in leading multi-sectorial programmes in Health, Livelihoods, Child Rights, Education, tribal and minority development and Humanitarian Assistance. His earlier roles include, with PIPAR at Dhenkanal where he started his career as a community organiser, Training Faculty with SEARCH, Bangalore in-charge of Odisha, Maharastra and Madhyapradesh. But the urge for some meaningful interventions in the quest of social change in remote areas moved him from his involvement as a SEARCH Development Trainer as an activist to Jamankira tribal populated remote block of Sambalpur district. He started by synthesizing training inputs with actions in an attempt to make it organic. His concern and the approach pulled some local youths to form an organisation called Sambalpur Integrated Development Institute. The initial emphasis was on preparing the tribals, enabling them to participate in the political process so that they exercise control over the means of production
While working with community forest protection committees, community action groups, village development committees, and various gram sabhas, Abhiram focused on research and effective implementation of community-driven approaches towards realizing rights and entitlements. He worked with laws such as the Forest Rights Act, PESA, the Land Act, and Livelihood Program to further enable and support these organizations. Partnered with tribal organizations, individuals and associates to spearhead the campaign on Tribal Self Rule[Bhuria Committee Recommendations] and PESA in Schedule-V areas.
Abhiram holds a Masters in Political Science from Utkal University. He is committed to producing better results for these groups, whether community-based or state wide, by developing capacity, knowledge, and the pivotal realization of rights under existing laws.
Abhiram Panigrahi is the network champion (main point of contact) for Sambalpur Integrated Development Institute.

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