Nehru Foundation for Development (NFD) today runs number of educational
activities in the fields of Science, Mathematics, Environment,
Health and Nutrition. Its educational programmes reflect the development
priorities of the country. It feels that the communication activities
are an integral part of the development process.
was established in 1966 by Dr.
Vikram A. Sarabhai as a registered charitable trust. Its first
area of activity was in the field of Science and Mathematics education.
Initially as the group for the Improvement of Science Education,
and later as the Community Science Centre, a facility was created
where people concerned about the quality of science education
could come together to experiment and try out new ideas and techniques
for science education. After Dr. Sarabhai's death, the Centre
was renamed the Vikram A. Sarabhai
Community Science Centre (VASCSC) and dedicated to children
by Smt. Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. The VASCSC
is today engaged in a variety of activities which include curriculum
development, science club activities, development of educational
material including supplementary science books, teaching aids,
kits, science toys, charts, etc. The Centre has become a popular
Visitor Centre for students, educators as well as members of community.
It regularly holds science exhibitions as permanent interactive
exhibits in its quadrangle. It has a library used by students,
teachers, and researchers and an auditorium which is used for
film shows, slide shows, science demonstrations and popular
talks. The Centre runs a number of science club activities including
a model rocketry club. It regularly holds teacher training programmes
and workshops on educational subjects. It also runs various innovative
out-reach programmes. A recent one was a "Science Circus"
that toured a number of small towns and villages in Gujarat. The
Centre is situated in the Gujarat University campus and has a
well-equipped building for carrying out its activities.
July.1991 the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC)
has been registered as a separate legal entity under the Societies
Act. 1860 under the direction and guidance of the Department of
Education, Government of India, New Delhi and it receives support
mainly from the Central & State Government by way of grant-in-aid.
1977 a second activity of the Nehru Foundation for Development
was initiated at its new campus at Thaltej Tekra. This institution
called Vikram Sarabhai Centre
for Development Interaction (VIKSAT) started its programme
with an urban education project. Aimed at improving the Ahmedabad
environment, it initiated a project on environmental awareness.
Through a number of forums including seminars, workshops, a magazine
called AmdaVadmA, and a mobile exhibition, it generated consciousness
of people on environmental issues. The thrust of the programme
was to show how environmental sensitivity could lead to an improved
development plan and mistakes and problems encountered in other
metropolitan cities could be avoided. VIKSAT also identified the
lack of horizontal communication between one voluntary agency
and another working in the development field.
felt that there was a need to document the experience of such
agencies with a view to develop educational programmes for other
voluntary agencies in turn. VIKSAT's programmes grew into a number
of nature and environmental educational areas.
Department of Environmental, Government of India was in close
touch with these activities and in 1984 identified these programmes
as a nucleus to start a Centre of Excellence at the national level
in the field of environment education.
Centre for ENVIRONMENT Education
(CEE) was launched as a registered society affiliated to the
Nehru Foundation for Development and supported by the Department
of Environment, Forests & Wildlife. The Centre is involved
in developing programmes and material to increase awareness about
the environment. School children, visitors to national parks and
sanctuaries, users of media, rural poor living in areas where
there is severe shortage of natural resources, the urban dweller
and the general public are the principal target groups of the
current programmes. Natural, manmade and cultural environmental
issues are dealt with in these programmes. Both the VASCSC and
CEE are well equipped with workshop facilities, including facility
for working with wood and metal, printing facility etc.
1978, a very successful weeklong snake show was organised at the
VASCSC at which over 50,000 people stood in queue for what was
an educational activity. The tremendous success of this snake
demonstration led to the creation of Sundarvan as a permanent
facility where small animals would be kept and a number of educational
programmes involved animals run. The park was inaugurated by the
late Dr. Salim Ali, the renowned ornithologist in 1979. The Sundarvan
programmes were carried out by the Nehru Foundation for Development
in collaboration with the Karmakshetra Educational Foundation.
Through Sundarvan, snake shows have been held in rural areas where
there is a great need for such educational programmes. The village
community needs to understand how snakes help in agriculture by
controlling the population of rats and be told what to do in situation
when a poisonous snake bites a person. This type of educational
programme may be able to save several lives.
has embarked on an imaginative programme to develop areas where
natural regeneration of vegetation is encouraged. These locations
are also being provided infrastructure facilities where urban
groups can go for camping, while rural youth are trained towards
optimising their resources on a sustainable basis.
1979 a small project aimed at developing educational projects
for improving the impact of the feeding programmes being run by
CARE-Gujarat was launched by the VASCSC. This was followed by
another project to integrate nutrition and health action programme
(INHAP). Implemented in 10 districts of Gujarat, this programme
aimed at enhancing the impact of ongoing feeding programmes by
co-ordination of existing health and nutrition facilities.
which means “awareness” in several Indian languages, is an acronym
for Centre for Health Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness.
It is an activity of the Nehru Foundation for Development, a public
charitable trust registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act
is a support organisation based in Ahmedabad Gujarat, India with
regional unit at Jaipur. Its mission is to contribute in the empowerment
of disadvantaged women, adolescents and children to gain control
over their own, their families’ and communities’ health.
in 1980, CHETNA made its beginning with a project aimed at improving
the effectiveness of government implemented supplementary feeding
programme for mothers and children in Gujarat. Over the past two
decades, CHETNA has broadened its activities in the field of nutrition,
health education and development education for adolescents, women
and children in rural, tribal and urban areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan
through implementation of different project/programme activities.
supports Government and Non-Government Organisations (GO and NGOs)
through its two Resources Centres. CHEITAN, the Child Resource
Centre (CRC) (initiated in June 1991) and CHAITANYAA the women’s
Health and Development Resource Centre- (WHDRC) (initiated in
the centres address the needs of children, adolescents and women
during different stages of their lives. Capacity Building of NGOs
is primarily done through conducting “Training of Trainers” on
specific concerns of adolescents, women and children. Presently,
CHETNA is active in building the management capacities of education/health
practitioners/ supervisors, with a view to develop their capacities
and skills, to enable them to implement their field based health
programmes more effectively and from a gender perspective.
training programmes at Ahmedabad are conducted by CHETNA at its
Training Centre, Which is equipped for residential programmes
as well. In Rajasthan, CHETNA has created a unit to facilitate
its outreach in the state. CHETNA develops need based training
and education materials for wider dissemination.
Documentation and Information Centre (DIC) has been established
to specifically address the information needs of individuals,
(GO’s and NGO’s) academicians, students, researchers working on
adolescents, women’s health and development concerns and child
health and education concerns.
last 3 years, CHETNA through the ‘Ben Lilavati Lalbhai Holistic
Health Centre’ also provides promotive and preventive health care
disadvantaged communities in the nearby slums of its Shahibaug
activities of NFD are guided by Councils of Management consisting
of eminent people in the field from different parts of India and
representatives from the Central and State Government. Each
activity has a Director and a competent professional staff. The
programmes are supported by the Central Government as well as
by foundations and other institutions. A number of organisations
seek advice and help of the Nehru Foundation for Development (NFD)
in preparing their educational material or carrying out their
programmes and establishing/ building up a new institution in
the field of education.