In the last few years, DA has made significant progress in strengthening community institutions and has helped the poor, gain access to their rights and entitlements. All activities at DA are aimed at sustainable livelihood and community empowerment; ensuring economic growth of the under-privileged and creation of physical assets, to improve the quality of life.
TARAhaat Information and Marketing Services Limited was launched in the year 2000 as an enterprise of the Development Alternatives Group. It creates micro-franchises to deliver IT-enabled education and skill building products to young job seekers. TARAgyan, the education division of TARAhaat, develops educational courses for the rural and peri-urban population. TARAhaat offers educational and vocational training programmes through its network of franchise partners, known as TARAkendras. These are ICT centres in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab. TARA Akshar is the most popular innovation of TARAhaat. It is an ICT based adult literacy product designed to addresses the illiteracy problem, within a reasonable cost and a finite time-scale of 56 contact days. The programme uses new technologies for learning, including advanced memory techniques. It is delivered through trained instructors using special playing cards and writing books.
Development Alternatives conducts training of instructors and works through partnership with civil society organisations, to deliver the programme. It is recognised by the Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India as an innovative and path-breaking adult literacy programme.
The TARA 'Literacy to Livelihood Programme' builds on TARA Akshar+ to prepare neo-literate women for self-employment and jobs; thus, empowering women by providing both literacy and income generation opportunities. TARAhaat continues to innovate new literacy and continuing education products and bring information and knowledge to the fingertips of rural and peri-urban populations.