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‘Millet Man’ PV Satheesh, Founder Of Deccan Improvement Society, Dies At 77 After Extended Sickness

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PV Satheesh was one of many icons of civil society activism in India.


The person who deserves the honour of being referred to as the Millet Man of India for pioneering work in demonstrating an alternate, ecologically sustainable agricultural meals system, died in Hyderabad on Sunday morning after a chronic sickness.

PV Satheesh was founder and Government Director of Deccan Improvement Society (DDS) that labored out of Pastapur village in Sangareddy district of Telangana, the place final rites of the 77-year-old will happen on Monday at 10.30 am.

As DDS Board member Vinod Pavarala put it, Mr Satheesh was one of many icons of civil society activism in India. His Zaheerabad-based organisation in rural Telangana efficiently championed problems with agri-biodiversity, meals sovereignty, girls’s empowerment, social justice, native information techniques, participatory growth, and neighborhood media.

The ladies’s teams, referred to as sanghams, of DDS, and their steadfast adherence to millet cultivation and natural agriculture, led the way in which nationally in providing demonstrable alternate options to the dominant agricultural paradigm.


The current efforts to include millets into the general public distribution system owes a lot to the work of DDS underneath his steerage. Years in the past, Mr Sathesh had arrange a neighborhood public distribution system, run by girls farmers, solely based mostly on millet crops.

Born on June 18, 1945, in Mysore, Periyapatna Venkatasubbaiah Satheesh was a graduate from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, and began out as a journalist. He went on to work as a pioneering tv producer for almost twenty years for Doordarshan, making programmes associated to rural growth and rural literacy within the then-united Andhra Pradesh. He performed an vital position within the historic Satellite tv for pc Educational Tv Experiment (SITE) within the Seventies.

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Within the early Nineteen Eighties, Mr Satheesh, together with a number of pals, began the Deccan Improvement Society within the semi-arid Zaheerabad area by bringing collectively poor Dalit girls within the villages, to rediscover their religion in conventional information techniques that helped problem starvation, malnutrition, land degradation, lack of biodiversity, gender injustice, and social deprivation.

Whereas Mr Satheesh led the organisation for almost 4 a long time to make it an internationally acclaimed NGO, and an inspiring instance that has motivated comparable experiments in millet revival and promotion throughout the nation, what he additionally did successfully was to create highly effective leaders from among the many illiterate girls, from essentially the most marginalised communities, who turned empowered ambassadors of change.

Because the director of DDS, PV Satheesh’s long-standing efforts resulted in bettering the livelihoods of 1000’s of poor girls throughout 75 villages in Telangana. He additionally led a number of nationwide and worldwide networks like Millet Community of India (MINI), South Towards Genetic Engineering (SAGE), AP Coalition in Defence of Variety, and was additionally the India Coordinator for SANFEC, the South Asian Community for Meals, Ecology, and Tradition, a five-country South Asian community with over 200 ecological teams.

He was previously Board Member, Genetic Assets Motion Worldwide (GRAIN), Barcelona, Spain, and was additionally a member of the Worldwide Panel of Consultants on Sustainable Meals Programs (IPES-Meals), Brussels, Belgium.

Mr Satheesh additionally used his expertise within the media to begin India’s first Neighborhood Media Belief, a grassroots media centre the place illiterate Dalit girls have been skilled in film-making, to democratise media areas, and likewise adopted it up with the launch of India’s first rural, civil society-led neighborhood radio station, Sangham Radio.

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He was a tireless employee and chief within the NGO sector who remained dedicated to his ideas and was a beneficiant mentor to many younger folks. He was not too long ago honoured in Delhi by the Individuals’s Conference on Millets by RRA (Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture) Community for his lifetime contributions in making millets a folks’s agenda.

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