Wishing you a great 2020
DDS Journey in 2019

2019 has been an eventful year for the Deccan Development Society. Our high point was the Equator Prize which was a great privilege for the women of DDS Sanghams who were recognized for their 30 years of work in saving the environment and addressing the issue of climate change through what the Equator Prize said as local solutions which are sustainable and nature-based. This has been a great encouragement. And even as the year was winding up we had a letter from the President of India asking us to come and meet him on 3rd January and give our views on significant solutions for community development.

Even as we note these as high points of our journey through 2019 we also see that there are so many things that we need to do and that we keep falling short in many areas and therefore friends like you and partners from our networks become so much more important in this journey of ours. We all need to meet the challenges of the years to come in the decade of 2020. It is this thought humbles us even while wishing you a great 2020.

We also want to say that we are with you in every venture that you take forward to create a happier, pluralistic and more equitable world around us. Whatever little change that we want to bring about should encompass these values and we must march forward towards that end.

Wishing you a great 2020!

Click for the journey

Preparation for Historic
Mobile Biodiversity Festival 2020
Jan 14 - Feb 15, 2020
Pastapur, Zaheerabad

20th Mobile Biodiversity Festival [Jatharas] of the year is just around the corner, starting from January 14th, 2020. This Festival celebrated over a period of one month and is carnival of the farming women wherein they decorate a number of bullock carts with seeds and other farming motives..

Click for the festival route

Video Diary 2
August, 2019
Pastapur, Zaheerabad

‘Equality to Equator’ explains how the DDS women travelled the enormous distance from their villages to ‘Equator’ to secure a prestigious UNDP award.

Click to see Video Diary

A Proudest Moment!
DDS Women Received Equator Prize 2019 in the US
September 24, 2019

In a rare honour, the women of Deccan Development Society received the most coveted UN awards- Equator Prize for 2019 in the award ceremony on September 24, 2019 held at the Town Hall in New York City. It is a matter of great pride for the entire DDS family that the non-literate, dalit, disprivileged women from DDS sanghams have received this award and are the only Indian group to have done so in 2019. The award sights DDS sangham women as “an outstanding example of a local, nature-based solution to climate change and sustainable development.” It further says “In the Zaheerabad region of India, Deccan Development Society promotes women-led regenerative agriculture and community-seed banks to empower Dalit and tribal women, promote sustainable land use, and achieve food security.” Is truly a source of joy to see the DDS Women Sanghams are on the front page of UNDP website while annoucing Equator 2019 with due credits. …….

Interfacing Farmers Science with Formal Science

Outcomes of agro-anthropological workshops
CESS, Hyderabad, Zaheerabad

The Two Decadal Celebration of Biodiversity
Jan 14 - Feb 13, 2019

The Mobile Biodiversity Festival, the flagship annual event of Deccan Development Society (DDS) flagged off on January 14 at Arjun Naik Thanda village in Zaheerabad mandal. …….

A monthly bulletin from women of DDS Community Media Trust

April 6, 2019
Pastapur, Zaheerabad

The The DDS Community Media Trust was created to take the images and voices of rural women to the outside world and to create an alternative media that can be accessed and controlled by local communities, especially those that suffer continued exclusion. .

Click for the Press Release

Click to see Video Diary

Jai Chandiram Memorial 2nd Community Media Film Festival 2019
Featuring Community Media Filmmakers

Smart Millets for Smart Diwali
November 4, 2018
Disha, Tellapur, Hyderabad

DDS & Disha organised a unique event SMART MILLETS for a SMART DEEPAVALI on 4th November, 2018 (Sunday) at the PAAKA Organic Café near Tellapur. The event comprised of cookery workshop, exhibition of variety of millet products, millet cooking contest followed a millet feast…….

Click for details

Sharing Harvest - Sharing Vision
October 22, 2018
Arjun Naik Tanda, Zaheerabad

A novel initiative of bringing farmers and consumers together turns out to be a win-win deal. “A few grains less you have lost your crop, a few showers of rain more, your crops are destroyed, a sudden attack of birds, you have lost everything that you have grown over months. At the end of it like most of us, the farmer doesn’t receive her/his monthly pay packet. If an existence that is ridden with frightening uncertainty there is nothing more I can say …..

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Jai Chandiram Memorial 2nd Community Media Film Festival
Round Table on
Can Community Media Claim Space in Globalising Media World
February 12, 2019
Pastapur, Zaheerabad

We are excited to share with you the news that DDS Community Media Trust is hosting the Jai Chandiram memorial 2nd National Community Media Film Festival at the Deccan Development Society, Zaheerbad on February 12 2019. ………

Click for details

October 1, 2018
Press Club, Somajiguda

We are glad that all political parties are addressing the issue of Food & Agriculture as important concern of their party. While doing so we would like them to look at the whole issue of millets which is going to be critical for the country for the coming decades for the following reasons……..

Click for Millet Manifesto

Click for Telugu

AIMS First
All India Convention 2018
A Report

The Millet Force!
31st Oct – 1st November, 2018
Pastapur, Zaheerabad

New Challenges bring with them new strategies! The Millet Network of India which is the country’s first and largest network for organizations promoting millets, mostly importantly working with small, women farmers cultivating millets has been greatly instrumental in architecting policies on millet based agriculture in the country. What has been strength to the network are its dedicated partners that look at locally situated problems and bringing them onto the national agenda………

Click for details

Are we losing our right to the recognition of Organic?
July 3, 2018
Press Club, Somajiguda

Millions of farmers in India may lose their right to call what they grow as organic, when a new government law comes into operation. This might be as soon as tomorrow. Alarmed by this development, the PGS Organic Council, [an all India body that represents millions of peasant farmers] has, in anguish, reminded the government that these farmers constitute “more than 75% of the farming community In India. These are the very people, who have symbolized organic farming…….

Click for Press Release

Click for the Pastapur Declaration

Click for the PGSOC letter to PM

DDS Sangham Radio celebrates its 10th Birthday!
October 15, 2018
Machnoor, Zaheerabad

DDS Sangham Radio, country’s first women-led community radio celebrated its 10th birthday on October 15, 2018, Machnoor, Zaheerabad. Born 20 years ago and was ‘licensed to broadcast’ by the Government of India ten years ago, SANGHAM RADIO heralded a new media space for the disprivileged rural peasant women of India. In ‘Pastapur Declaration’ (outcome of first media convention held at Sangham Radio) released by dozens of media activists of South Asia………

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Together Towards Diversity
ConFarm (Consumer-Farmer Compact)
June 16, 2018

On June 16, 2018, in a celebratory event the consumers from Hyderabad participated with farmers in sowing their fields. For the first time in the history, urban consumers signed a formal agreement with peasant women for a partnership in a formal function at Pastapur, Zaheerabad, Sangareddy district, Telangana……..

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Seeds of Resilienc
October 22-26, 2018
Oaxaca, Mexico

Global Alliance for the Future of Food organised the Global Strategic Convening on Resilient Seed Systems that took place in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was a great opportunity for DDS to be one among 100 selected invitees from around the globe, who contributed to the Shared Action Framework for resilient seed systems that identify principles, a common narrative, needs and opportunities for supporting resilient (farmer managed) seeds systems……..

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Millet Sisters symbolize Nari Shakti !
March 8, 2018

With great pleasure we inform you that All India Millet Sisters Network (AIMS) has been awarded the Nari Shakti Puraskar, 2017 by the Government of India for outstanding contribution to women’s empowerment. The award was presented by the President of India in a prestigious ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi on the 8th March 2018 on the occasion of International Women’s Day…….

Click for the Details in English

Click for the Details in Telugu

India's First Festival of Uncultivated Foods
August 4-5, 2018
Hyderabad, Telangana, India

‘God’s own plants! They are never shown but they volunteer to grow on their own. They grow best on lands that are designated as degraded by human beings. They are never sold in the market , but they are multiple times more nutritious than the marketed greens. They are available free for the poor. Probably they are *god’s own socialist crops*. They create a society of equal by offering the best nutrition for the poor who cannot buy nutrition in the market . They are named as weeds by agricultural science dominated by the western way of thinking…….

Click for media response

Millet Sisters welcome the International Year of Millets
December 15, 2017

We at DDS are so delighted about the government’s proposal to the United Nations, that 2018 should be observed as the International Year of Millets. In this context, DDS has taken its first step by organising a meeting with the women millet farmers on Friday December 15 at Pastapur village. Through this meeting the significance of this move by the government of India was discussed and the small farmers expressed their own concerns over millets gaining popularity. Following is the pledge adopted by the Millet Sisters Network ……

Click for the Details

Umiam Declaration of Millet Sisters
May 23-24, 2018
ICAR-NEH, Umiam, Shillong, Meghalaya

Having met at the ICAR-NEH, Umiam, Meghalaya on May 23-24, 2018, along with civil society groups, scientists, activists and environmentalists from 12 states — Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, & West Bengal and having had an elaborate discusion on MILLETS: Current Concernds and Challenges we the members of the All India Millet Sisters Network have arrived at the following Umiam Declaration of Millet Sisters ……

Click for the Declaration English

Click for the Declaration Telugu

Click for the Press Release English

Click for the Press Release Telugu

Beyond Organic - Connecting ecological farmers with enlightened consumers
DDS - Disha, Hyderabad

On the 3d of December, DDS farmers and representatives facilitated an awareness cum network event, ‘BeyondOrganic- Connecting ecological farmers with enlightened consumers’, at Paaka, an Organic Cafe and Culture Space at Tellapur in Hyderabad. Disha Women Society, a collective of urban consumers, homemakers and working women envisioning a healthy future for their children, organised the event. ……

Click for the Details

Diabetes Information and Mitigation Mela
November 14, 2017
Cafe Ethnic, Zaheerabad

DDS which is also founder organisation of Millet Network of India (MINI) has been promoting health and nutrition through a movement led by ecological farmers from across the country. As its small contribution to this global effort, DDS a Diabetes Information and Mitigation Mela at the Café Ethnic premises from 7-30 a.m. till 11 a.m to create more information and more awakening specific to Diabetes……

Click for the Press Release

Click for the Media Reports

First step in the farm!
December 2017

The course on Agroecology started imparting around 80 children from a local school about the concepts of ecological agriculture and the fundamental differences between traditional and modern practices of farming. In the first class, the children were taught the importance of learning about food and its production, the significance of ecological farming and why small holder farmers should be respected and their knowledge valued. The children exhibited great enthusiasm……

Click for the Details

Agro-Anthropological Workshop-1
July 21, 2017
DDS Project Office, Pastapur

The workshop intends to enable the scientists to understand the wisdom and the practice of seed keeping and soil fertility management at the community level, based on which the scientists will interpret the cultural practices associated with farming in terms of modern science. This will be systematically documented and used for producing a policy brief constituting both farmers science and formal science. ….

Click for the workshop findings

DDS Launches Community Production Centre
Pastapur, Telangana

DDS Community Production Centre, which produces a number of ready to cook and ready to eat food for the urban population, was inaugurated by the District Magistrate Manickaraj Kannan, IAS, on December 5 2017 at Pastapur village in Telangana. This prestigious project is the first in the region which is completely run and managed by women from marginal communities. ……

Click for the Details

SAGE & DDS's objection for
IIMR Research on GM Sorghum
May 26, 2017
Press Club, Somajiguda

Expressing its ‘shock’ at the development of transgenic sorghum [jowar] by the Indian Institute of Millet Research of Hyderabad, the Southern Action on Genetic Engineering has demanded a firm and unequivalent stand against GM sorghum by the Government of India and asked the government to clearly say that it will not approve GM sorghum.”…..

Click for the Press Statement in English

Click for the Press Statement in Telugu

Celebrating Skills - The first batch of Pacha Saale's Skill Hub Graduate
December 5, 2017

The first batch of Pacha Saale’ Skill hub have now successfully finished their three months training in skills such as tailoring, computer and electrical and motor winding . The young adults, most of who are women, have acquired skills which can enable them to earn a living independently. ……

Click for the Details

DDS Response to Chief Minister
on "Free Fertilizer Scheme"
April 25, 2017
Press Club, Somajiguda

“We urge the Chief Minister to kindly move forward from this position and declare an enhanced support for those farmers who tend to their soils organically. Because they are truly realizing the concept of Golden Telangana by keeping the soil of this land fertile for future generation. Therefore we request that atleast 25% of the support declared should reach non chemical farmers.”…..

Click for the Letter to CM

Click for the English Press Release

Click for the Telugu Press Release

Current Concerns, Challenges and Collective Solutions for Millet Revival
Oct_Nov, 2017

Torches are lit and signs are held high when 40 sangham women from start their rally in Mogupadam village in the evening of November 6th 2017. They are on their fourth day of campaigning and the farmer’s slogans about the benefits of millets and the drawbacks of cotton are echoing over the village. The aim is to sensitize cotton farmers on the importance of millets and the state to recognize Jowar as a essential food crop. The farmers raged over the recent loss that occured to their food crops and for not being compensated equally as that of the commercial crops. ……

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Pachasaale School for Green Thinking
September 6, 2017

Considering the changing needs of the local communities, the Board of DDS has decided to revamp the school and inaugurated PachaSaale Community Hub for Green vision and Life Skills and it visions to impart in children and youth the principles of ecology so that they will grow to become responsible citizens with sensitivity towards environment and conservation of natural resources …….

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Be Bold for Change
International Women's Day
March 8, 2017

The women of the Deccan Development Society celebrated the International Women’s Day by remembering some of the pioneering women from the Deccan who by being bold brought changeto their lives and to their communities while it also resonated with this year’s theme – Being Bold for Change. More than 200 women from the local communities took a long rally from Zaheerabad town to the Pastapur village where a meeting was organised to discuss the essence of the day and the role of the women. ……

Click for the details

Revolutionizing Women's Narratives
July 1, 2017
Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai

In the conference ” Micro Narratives of Change” General Narsamma boldly put forth her views on the role of community media and how Sangham radio had made significant changes in her community…….

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Farm to Kitchen
Organic Lovers in Hyderabad and Zaheerabad, this is for you!

Sangham Organics is bringing to your homes the organic, traditional, seasonal and nutritional vegetables and greens fresh from farms and directly from farmers at very reasonable prices. Zaheerabad consumers can register by calling us at 9959294409 and avail the home delivery on every Tuesday and Friday. Hyderabad Consumers can register at Disha Science Centre, Hyderabad, Tellapur or by calling on 9703169553
Note: Home delivery services available only in and around Tellapur, BHEL, Chandanagar, HCU,L&T areasf……..

Na Telangana - Na Vyavasayam
Campaign for a peasant designed agricultural future
June 1 - 15, 2017

Bearing the beacons of hope, the Millet Sisters start their march to chase the darkness invading the lives of thousands of small and marginal farmers of Telangana. It is this time of the year when the inspiring songs and igniting slogans echo in the interiors of the Deccan. ‘Na telangana Na Vyavasayam’ shouts the young women of the DDS sanghams as they go around the villages in the Zaheerabad region to sensitize farmers on ecological agriculture practices ahead of the next sowing season of Kharif……

Click to see details

DDS - Disha Sangham Organics
Near Tellpur, Hyderabad
October 2, 2016

DDS – Disha Organic Alliance was inaugurated on October 2 2016 as an attempt to bring together the women of DDS (who have been cultivating the nutritious grains such as millets and supplying them to the urban consumers) and the women of Disha (who have been practicing and promoting healthy lifestyle in the cities. The women together will start to run the Sangham Organics outlet near Tellpur -Bhel area in the city from October 2016……

Click for the details

SAGE letter to Minister, MoEF
for 'No GM in Sorghum' stand
May 23, 2017

First it was cotton. Then the net spread to Golden Rice. Then mustard. And now sorghum. The extremely strategic expansion of GM conspiracy is now out in the open. SAGE warned about 15 years ago, the introduction of Bt cotton was only a precursor to test policy waters in India and see how it responds to the entry of Bt into the farming landscape of this country ……

Click to see letter in English

Click to see letter in Telugu

June, 2016

The DDS Organic Manure Centers are an effort of nearly 500 women farmers spread over 30 plus villages in the four mandals of Zaheerabad region of the Medak district. None of these farmers as described above has a holding of more than two acres. 95% of their farms are unirrigated and do not have any kind of water source. Their soils are red, gravelly and shallow representing the ‘poorest’ soils in the semi arid region of the Medak district. In spite of these ecological handicaps the women, over the decades, have shown great strength and resilience in designing and defending a fascinating knowledge based agriculture that symbolises biodiversity, ecological richness and power of the small. A combination of all these factors has made their agriculture the most climate smart ‘sovereign’ agriculture of the poor………

India's first community radio still makes the right connect
April 8, 2017
The Hindu

Sangham which went on air in 2008, continues its two-hour broadcast in Telugu and reaches out to people of 150 villages in Telangana. Musaligari Nagamani, a farmer, is listening to the radio sitting a few inches away from her as she cooks dinner on firewood in her tiled-roof house. The broadcast in Telugu is peppered with local collaquialisms and slang ……

Click for scanned coverage

Click for the Hindu Link

Celebrating Organic Vegetables
The Launch of Organic Zaheerabad
April 7, 2016

In the light of increasing dangers of chemically grown vegetables and fruits that cause severe damage to health of people and environment, the exploitation of consumers by commercial market forces and the age old exploitation of farmers through middle men mechanism, DDS Sangham Organics, farmers led market launched Organic Zaheerabad with a vision to protect our health and envirionment and to support organic traditional farmers in Zaheerabad region. This initiative is believed to promote the nutritional diversity and a fair market price that the consumers have been deprived of……..

Click for Details

Anjamma Received
The Plant Genome Savior Reward
from Ministry of Agriculture
April 19, 2017

The shrine of DDS Smt Anjamma, received the second national award –The Plant Genome Savior Farmers Reward by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India on April 19 2017. The award ceremony was held at Champaran in Bihar. Mr Radha Mohan Singh, Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister in New Delhi commended Anjamma for her remarkable contribution to agriculture by preserving and conserving more than 80 varieties of seeds which are the plant genetic resources. Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers Rights Authority, India (PPVFRA) in recognition to her efforts rewarded her with Rs 1.5 lakhs and a memento. DDS believes that his recognition is not just for Anjamma but to the practice of thousands of DDS women who are the seed banks of their communities and whose fields are a demonstration of rich biodiversity. Anjamma is one great example of the DDS communities where women have been thriving to stay sovereign to breath life into the concept of agro ecology.

Organic Products for Sale

The following organic products are available for sale at DDS Sangam Shop at Zaheerabad. The produce is from the fields and farms of the members of the DDS women sanghams all of who are invariably ecological farmers.

Click for details

Jai Chandiram Memorial
Community Media Film Festival
February 12, 2017

DDS’ Community Media Trust has hosted India’s first festival of films made by members of disadvantaged local communities – Jai Chandiram Memorial 1st National Community Media Film Festival 2017 on February 12 2017 at Krishi Vigyan Kendra(KVK), Didigi village, Zaheerabad. The women of CMT have traveled a long way from being people who were always sidelined by the mainstream media and refused a media space of their own to indisputable media professionals breaking the barriers of poverty……

Click for details

Click to download Poster

Click to download brochure

September 2016

The DDS Sangham Organics is country’s first orgnaic market run by women farmers. This farmer’s maket is another dimension of the Deccan Development Society’s discourse on control. In the age of globalisation, where market and media work in tandem to shape people’s ideas on food and agriculture, the need for strong alternative markets has never before been felt so acutely. Such a need, coupled with the importance of the poor creating their own markets and defying the dictates of the mainstream market can bring a sea – change in the relationship between the poor and market.

Click for details

Amazing Food Grains

Drumstic & Flax Seed Leaves
Curries & Benefits

My Best Gift, Ever:
I Saw the Solution to World Hunger
Frances Moore Lappe
Author, 'Diet for a Small Planet'

“We don’t need to do that anymore. Every family has food security now.”

“We know what to do. If rainfall is cut by half, we know which seeds will work. If it drops more, we have other seeds.”


Understanding the urban needs, Sangham Organics came up with the ‘Mobile Van’ service for urban customers who can now avail its authentic organic products with more convenience. This mobile market will not only make shopping easy but also bring to you the 100% organic products grown by DDS’ farmers in Zaheerabad region directly from their farms to your homes. This attempt of DDS is to genuinely promote consumption of millets and other food crops grown through organic and bio diverse farming that are rich in nutrition, among urban population who are often prone to high level adulterated food products available in mainstream markets……….

Click for the details

Click here about our Products and Prices.


Safflower is an agricultural and food marvel. They are the only oilseeds which HAVE ZERO transfats, a major concern in heart conditions. Even more amazing is the fact that when cold pressed, safflower seeds are believed to scrape off cholesterol from human Jeart. Ayurvedic experts say that, when safflower oil is produced using traditional ghanuga [crusher] they exhibit anti cholesterol properties. Safflower oil is rich in Vitamin E and helps lower Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease…

Click for details

Krishi Magazine