“ Paryay ” - a Marathi word conveys meaning alternative strategies. It also implies choice - Right of Choosing, Power of Choosing and Freedom of Choosing. Paryay has tremendously struggled and contributed and still doing towards legal rights of the poor, Dalits, children, women and underprivileged to resolve the injustices with them through democratic way. Since its inception, Paryay is engaged in search of new strengths, ways and thoughts which will destroy the discrepancies prevailing at all levels in the society.
In 1982, activists of Paryay were involved in development processes, especially, in slum areas of Pune city under the name of Janiv Group. Till 1985, the major work was among slum children for their educational improvement. Along with it, awareness programmes were conducted to raise the consciousness about pathetic situation of life. During the work it was observed that most of the slum dwellers are from Marathwada region of Maharashtra who seasonally migrates for employment and most of them were from Dalit communities.
The experiential learning turned activists to concentrate at the roots of the problem as well as Marathwada region. In 1986, activists collectively took the decision and initiated work in Osmanabad the most backward districts of Marathwada region for the benefit of the families falling under the categories of landless, deprived, marginal farmers and the farm based labourers. Marathwada region is marked by poor educational standard, high migration rate, child marriage, child labour and bonded labour, unhygienic living conditions, non-availability of health care facilities.
Another major feature is caste ridden society, where Dalit atrocities are rampant.
During the period of 1986 to 1993 the people in the area were enlightened about Right to Employment approach through Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) trainings, open group discussions and campaign with financial assistance from ‘Vanchit Vikas’ organization. This helped communities to realize their strengths which impeded corruptions and the malpractices. It resulted into employment generation at local level at one hand and curtailed rate of seasonal migration at another hand. Then the operational area was expanded to neighbouring Latur and Beed districts.
In the year 1993, Osmanabad and Latur districts were devastated in earthquake. Besides life loss natural resources were also affected considerably. Paryay significantly contributed in terms of rescue, relief and rehabilitation.
Later, in October 1994 the organization got registered as ‘Paryay’ under applicable laws. In 1996, about 350 likeminded organizations working on issues related to development and social inequalities jointly established a forum called ‘Lok Vikas Manch’ to address the issues collectively. The Paryay has always taken lead to strengthen the forum / network of the organizations