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What is SEEDS?

Sustainable Economic and Educational Development Society (SEEDS)  is a tax-exempt 501c(3) nonprofit organization registered in the US. It promotes sustainable advancement of  the people, focusing primarily in the state of Orissa, India.

SEEDS began as a registered student organization at the University of Texas at Austin, and is now incorporated in the state of Oregon, USA. This article provides a glimpse into our organization.

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Philosophy And Aspiration

SEEDS philosophy is rooted in our wish to promote educational and economic progress and development for the common folks particularly in Orissa, but in the developing world in general. We, in principle, also would take stand against social evils and injustices whenever possible. We hope that these, in turn, would indirectly bring about and foster the other important ingredient -- political consciousness-- among the people.

We do not believe in simple, conventional charity. Rather we believe in working as perhaps catalysts and facilitators of development --- the exact roles for people near or on the field will naturally differ from those of volunteers who are abroad. Fundamentally, we support and promote the sort of development that is

  • SUSTAINABLE (long-term, self-supporting, environmentally non-predatory),
  • EQUITABLE (fair and just, more for the needy), and
  • DE-CENTRALIZED (not imposed from above, grass-roots, native solutions, free-thinking).

Our financial support is only catalytic; we largely rely on selfsufficiency-promoting loans and strategic/technical help to the beneficiaries. We hope this  will eventually grow into a movement of  "participatory consciousness for sustainable & equitable development" among non-resident Indians and Orissans worldwide.
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When Did It Start

It started in March of 1993 in the wake of shocking news of inhuman misery and deprivation in the famine-affected region of Orissa, as a result of extensive discussion on a electronic medium called ORNET. Initially, it was informally called "Kalahandi-Bolangir Initiative". The effort was organized into an independent group in April, 1994. The group was formally named as "Sustainable Economic & Educational Development Society" (SEEDS), reflecting its broader focus and philosophy.
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Brief, Concrete Objectives

We seek to be conscionable agents of sustainable, non-violent, democratic and equitable development in Orissa and elsewhere. Towards this end, we see the need to educate ourselves and other non-residents, to raise monetary contributions and ideas from among us to catalytically help development workers and ordinary people to help themselves achieve their freedom from hunger, deprivation, ignorance, and exploitation -- the many socio-economic & political ills. We donot have delusions of any quick, grand changes by a few of us, but we hope the movement grows among more people to steadily but surely proceed towards that lofty goal. The two facets of our goal:

  • We serve as ambassadors/messengers of the SEEDS philosophy. This is the awareness part. We bring to light people's suffering and inequity to help alleviate/eradicate the problem. Mobilize youths and others outside Orissa who will be forward-looking in this respect. Serve as an incubator for new and viable ideas of development.
  • We try to financially and morally support/adopt some small-scale, grass-roots development projects in Orissa, and later, beyond. This will give us

a.       first-hand knowledge about the issues of progress

b.       volunteering opportunities

c.        concrete milestones to achieve, and more.

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Organizational Structure

The structure and operation is DEMOCRATIC, EGALITARIAN and NON-SECTARIAN. At present, a few individuals have been asked or have generously taken upon themselves to provide primary leadership, coordination and to perform day-to-day, related work. A subset of these people can be contacted for more details. The SEEDS core set of volunteers and members is a dynamic list of people.

   The board members.

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Activities, projects, reports and newsletters


New/Current Projects


·         Rural Math Talent Search   (For much greater details, please visit

o   Examination

Students who have been supported and trained over the years

o   Latest Report on Math Camp

o   Why the rural focus?


·         Computing for the Masses: an enabler for enduring development

o   Fundamentals of A Low-cost Computing Model

o   Story from a field visit

o   A guide to replicating this model


·         Mahila Shanti Sena

o   Peace Brigade

o   2009 Project Report

o   A success story


·         Miscellaneous

o   Northern Orissa Flood 2007

o   LED Lighting for Rural Poor


o   An Approach to Microcredit for Women

§  How was it done?

§  Current Report and conversation with BISWA Micro Finance

·         Older implementation scorecard (

·         Older Updates from Biswa MFI


·         Addressing a gap in microfinance: Nano-Finance for the forgotten



Please donate your time, thought and/or money to the projects and activities of SEEDS. You could join for greater interaction with us. You can also become a voting member by paying yearly dues and staying involved with SEEDS activites (yearly dues for US members is $150; for others, please contact a board member). Your contribution as a member, or though targetted donations to specific projects, or via your general patronage is greatly needed and appreciated. Treasurer's address:

  Treasurer, SEEDS

 9819 Big Willow Ln 
 Houston TX 77064

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More about SEEDS and its projects

Transparency is a hall mark of SEEDS. In that spirit we are providing basic information to empower the public and to enable the SEEDS volunteers reach for their potential in making a positive difference. Careful thought and near-zero overhead underscore our financial approach to funding projects.

Our Constitution

IRS-501c3 status

Articles of amendment

Chapter Guidelines



2004 Status report

A ‘04 project story

Photos from Our visit to Humanity, KVP, and Gopalbadi projects

Forms for applying for sponsorship of a development activity

grant_application html form

grant_appl. text form

More of recent projects and their details

A 2003 report presented in Orissa

Micro-irrigation (MILP) and micro-credit-related projects





Irrigation and womens' SHG projects in rural Bolangir





Other Projects

Bamboo plantation Project in Sambalpur

About partner ngo BISWA

Rebuilding cyclone-razed schools in Ganjam






Candle Making project in Dhenkanal


Dalijoda Aurobindo school in Cuttack 

rebuilt school photo1.JPG

Letter from school

Gopinath Juba Sangha project in Khurda

Betanoti project in rural Mayurbhanj

brief report

site visit

Gopalwadi School Project at Koraput (2nd picture from a site visit)

ASRA hospital and cyclone projects in rural Cuttack


Humanity's water harvesting, food-for-work and related projects in Bolangir


important communication



letter on Oct52002.rtf

Kalahandi Bikas Parisad Project in Kalahandi


Srijagannath Rural Development Org. Project

impact analysis

Some Old Reports



A few typical "site" reports from volunteers

site report1

site report2

site report3

site report4

Some old publications







Social entrepreneurship

Some Ideas on Social Entrepreurs: Fellows


Long-range Strategic Plan for development

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