Founded in 1996 and headed by Dr. D.N. Tiwari, Utthan operates in the areas of Research & Development for promoting sustainable development, education, health & human development for eradication of poverty & empowerment of weaker people. It also explores very useful programs for surface soil mined areas around cities, degraded forest lands, dry lands and wastelands. Its projects cover distressed migration areas; backward and inaccessible areas with poor community and communication; and areas with deficits in food, nutrition and health support. These include ten districts in Uttar Pradesh, two districts in Chhattisgarh and four districts in Madhya Pradesh States. Utthan's main activities are :
- Demonstrating and promoting agroforestry models in different ecosystems
- Promoting herbal medicines
- Developing technology for cultivation of Jatropha curcas in degraded lands for biodiesel production
- Demonstrating watershed management, rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge for augmenting water availability
- Reclaiming degraded land through watershed development.
- Implementing Joint Forest Management strategies for curbing deforestation
- Literacy and adult education programmes
- Health and Sanitation programmes and health fairs
- Environmental fairs
Utthan's mission is to create opportunities for sustainable economic, social and ecological development by adopting and promoting schemes/programmes that are pro-disadvantaged community and pro-environment. It does this through:
- Enhancing the ecological, economic and social development of disadvantaged communities and their empowerment
- Managing and transforming natural resources into assets for economic and environmental sustainability
- 'Greening' for ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation and mitigation and adaptation of climate change
- Aiding human development for adopting ways of economic growth and lifestyle that promote harmonious co-existence of human beings with nature
- Providing research and development support
Key Programs implemented so far
- Demonstration and promotion of agroforestry models in different ecosystems to help produce more food and high value forest products, leading to the eradication of poverty and re-accumulation of carbon below ground in the soil.
- Promotion of herbal medicines: demonstrated sustainable cultivation, harvesting and utilization of herbal drugs. By publishing 30 books shared the knowledge and supplied germplasm to many countries of the world.
- Development of technology for cultivation of Jatropha curcas in degraded lands and biodiesel production (a green fuel) for income and energy security in rural areas. Published a book "Jatropha & Biodiesel" for sharing knowledge and supplied quality germplasm to Nepal, Bhutan, Srilanka, Tanzania and Kenya.
- Motivation of farmers for Jatropha plantations over an area of one million ha. and biodiesel production and consumption in India.
- Demonstration of watershed management, rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge for augmenting water availability for enhancing land productivity.
- Reclamation of degraded land through watershed development: Reclaimed 85,000 ha. of surface soil mined area, benefiting 90,000 poor families economically and many families in Allahabad city due to improvement of environment. Produced and globally circulated a video film for popularizing bamboo growing and utilization in such areas to improve the habitat, income and surrounding environment.
- Implementation of joint forest management: Loss of forest contributes more to global emissions than the transport sector. Implemented Joint Forest Management for curbing deforestation as a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions over an area of 62,500 ha. and for ensured livelihood security to 85,000 tribal families through greening in that area
- Literacy and adult education programme: about one million people were benefited through this programme.
- Health and Sanitation: Distributed health card to each individual in 96 villages of Kaurihar block totalling 0.34 million, and arranged for their curative health, nutrition and sanitation.
- With the help of 85 fields level NGOs, organized 15,500 health fairs insuring 100% immunization of all infants against 6 vaccine preventable diseases and polio. In 3 years period, 0.6 million infants have been immunized.
- Implementation of Information, Education and Communication for community support (IEC) in Ayurveda in 15 Blocks of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states. Nearly 560 traditional practitioners were imparted training and 15 medicinal plants garden were raised in these blocks for ex-situ conservation of 40 important medicinal plants species.
- Vitamin deficiencies were eliminated in 110,000 families through domestic and medicinal plants use since these are rich sources of vitamins.
- Environmental Fairs: During Kumbh & Ardhkumbh, two greatest Indian religious conglomerations attended by 120 million people organized environmental fairs educating the people about environmental problems to adopt a way of livelihood and lifestyle that promote the harmonious co-existence of man with nature.