PV Satheesh, who helped women reinvent self-sustained agri, passes away


PV Satheesh, 78, who founded the Deccan Development Society (DDS) to work with underprivileged women in the backward Zahirabad region in Telangana, passed away after a brief illness.

The DDS that he built along with like-minded people has proved that small crops can be a good business proposition.

Over the last four decades, he helped about 3,000 women small farmers form village-level ‘sangams’ (associations). These sangams would discuss crop plans, seed requirements, credit needs, and post-harvest management of the produce.

Focus on millets

He championed the cause of small farmers and millet, and would always argue that millet should get prominence in the food chain. He used his urban contacts to provide market linkages for the grains produced by DDS farmers.

The DDS showcases the model every year during the annual Biodiversity Festival, which attracts visitors from India and abroad. “His lifetime contribution to bringing millets to the mainstream will be remembered forever,” DDS said, remembering Satheesh.

Under his leadership, DDS women have won the prestigious global award Equator prize in 2019. The Equator initiative, backed by United Nations, recognises and advances locally sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities.

Read here: Telangana-based NGO wins UN’s Equator Prize