Activities of PDS
|Tribal development programmes
The tribal development programmes of PDS focuses on capacity building and creation of awareness. About twenty tribal settlements in Idukki district benefit from PDS projects. Formation of self-help groups, cultivation of medicinal plants, collection of organic spices and tea leaves and rain water harvesting are among the major activities.
PDS organizes frequent skill training programmes for women. They include umbrella making, soap making, book binding, quail farming, rabbit rearing, plant nurseries, wool knitting, electric embroidery, screen printing and electronic goods repairing.
Rather than providing mere credit, micro-finance programmes of PDS ensures comprehensive development of enterprises - capacity development, promotion of self-help groups, facilitating linkages and collaborations and networking from part of all micro-finance ventures of PDS.
Family sponsorship programme
This is a model family support project intended to help deserving poor families in the region. The project receives financial support and guidance from ‘Save a Family Plan’ of Canada, ‘Family Care Programme’ of Austria, Akiton Erzengel Rafael of Austria, and German Sponsorship Programme of Germany. The project has successfully catered to the needs of more than 1,000 families in the region.
PDS, in association with the New India Assurance Co Ltd., provides medical assistance, personal accident coverage and fire insurance to the families in its operational area.
Watershed development programme
The activities of PDS in the area of watershed development area have received accolades from in and abroad the country. The Watershed Development Management Programme (WDMP) of the PDS implements projects and is capable of consultancy services. Conservation of land, water and biomass are the focus areas of WDMP. The Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) has selected WDMP as one of the Support Voluntary Organizations (SVO) for the promotion of its watershed development programmes in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
An early entrant into organic farming in the state, PDS has made commendable achievements in both the practical and consultancy fields. Organising thousands of farmers in the region PDS has made organic farming a mass movement. It also helps farmers in the marketing of organic farm produce. There is also an organic produce export division which purchases organic produces directly from the farmers. Organic farm products of PDS have been well-received in several foreign countries.
A tea factory employing modern methods for processing organic tea is also run by the PDS. The biotechnology efforts of PDS include a tissue culture unit where successful attempts have been made in case of plants such as pepper, vanilla, plantains and rare herbs.
There is also a well-equipped laboratory where biological control agents are developed.
Technology Resource Centre
The Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) has approved PDS as a Technology Resource Centre (TRC). The TRC at PDS imparts training to farmers in organic farming and sustainable and indigenous farming techniques.
PDS offers consultancy services to individuals and organizations in the areas of organic farming, animal husbandry, Ayurveda, micro-finance, watershed development and housing and sanitation.
Sahyadri Ayurvedic centre
Sahyadri, the ayurveda hospital and resort managed by the PDS, is situated in a scenic location near the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary. Professional ayurveda treatment in the comfort of modern amenities is the hallmark of the centre. Panchakarma, the rejuvenation therapy in ayurveda, is also offered here.