Deendayal Research Institute, is mandated to engage in socio-economic and applied research. Ever since it was founded by statesman, social scientist and philosopher, Rashtrarishi Nanaji Deshmukh in 1968, the Institute has been striving to validate, on the ground, the principles enunciated by late Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya through his philosophy of ‘Integral Humanism’.
During its existence of over four and a half decades, the Institute, DRI, as it is commonly known, has done pioneering research on various issues and subjects touching rural lives. Briefly, the subjects are:
- water conservation
- livestock development
- rural entrepreneurship and skill development
- health and hygiene
- social behavior
- inculcating scientific temperament among children, and
- identifying and adapting appropriate technology
Swavlamban, i.e., self-reliance is the key word that the Institute’s activities revolve around. Contemporising ancient ethos, indigenous thought, traditional wisdom and knowledge systems, and technologies are central to its activities. Education and health are other key areas. Social research and the application of its conclusions is core to its activities. The Institute believes that only social harmony can bring in prosperity and equitable distribution of resources.
Since the entire model is based on a holistic and integrated philosophy, all the aspects of human life are worked upon simultaneously with equal emphasis laid on the chatushpurushartha, the four pursuits of human life in which all human beings may legitimately engage, namely, dharma, artha, kama and moksha.
The Institute’s vision flows from these basic principles of the Bharatiya ethos and tries to fulfill the desires of body, mind and soul. In Indian context, there is another dimension to these attainments – the mann, i.e., the heart. Therefore, Institute’s vision strives to satisfy the needs of mann, buddhi, atma and shareer – in this order – heart, mind, soul and body. That is in contrast with the western quest of fulfilment of desires of body, mind and soul.
Taking a cue from Pandit Deendayal Upadhaya’s philosophy, Nanaji devised this model of with holistic approach. The culmination of this well researched endeavour, with villages as the laboratory, the farms replacing the test tubes, farmers and their families turning scientists, a unique ‘self-reliance model’ was evolved by the Institute in the early years of this millennium and the same was awarded ISO: 9001-2008 over a decade ago for its replicability.
Another unique concept that the Institute has worked with is ‘Social Architect Couples’ as the agents of change in rural India. Over the years, the Institute has evolved the model through its developmental activities in Gonda (UP), Beed and Nagpur (Maharashtra), and its flagship programme in Chitrakoot (UP).