Pratichi Institute, set up under the aegis of the Pratichi (India) Trust, with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as its Chairman, is committed to take up ‘research for action’ that aims to enhance human capabilities, expand social opportunities, and enliven people’s agency to improve their own well-being as well as to make a difference to other people’s lives. Pratichi (India) Trust, instituted in 1999, has been working since then towards combating illiteracy and lack of schooling in India, the lack of basic health care, and the special disadvantages from which women and young girls suffer. To carry forward its principal objectives further, the Trust has set up this institute. Its research areas include various themes related to human development such as basic education, healthcare, child nutrition, and gender equality.
The Institute holds on to the idea that improvement of the quality of people’s lives requires not only governmental and policy actions, but also, crucially, broader public action by ‘ordinary’ citizens. Hence, debate, discussion, and active collaboration with some key members of the public, namely, schoolteachers, parents, students, health workers, grassroots bureaucracy, midday meal workers, the local youth and so on constitute some of our regular activities. These exercises, in turn, shape our conceptual understanding of the research problems that we explore as well as our methods of enquiry.
The Institute strives to draw on the twin force of democracy, namely, its potential to generate public demand for the advancement of human development goals and its constructive role in (re)conceptualizing these goals themselves.