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Home >> NPOs >> Centre for Education and Documentation (C.E.D.).

Centre for Education and Documentation (C.E.D.).


Information and Documentation centre in the voluntary sector.

Registered as a Society and Public Trust in 1978.
Registered under Societies Registration Act No. BOM-21/78 GBBSD.
Registered under Bombay Public Trust Registration Act No F-4771 (Bombay).
Registered under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act No. 083780113 dated 23/02/85.

3, Suleman Chambers, 4 Battery Street, Mumbai 400 001
7, 8 th Main 3 rd Phase, Domlur 2 nd Stage, Bangalore 560071

Mumbai (022) 22020019 Bangalore (080) 5353397,
Contact persons:

Mr. John D'Souza, Director (Mumbai)

Mr. Vinod Kumar (Bangalore)


It started because they filled that there was no information available. It was mainly in government department, specially the one related to development iussues.

In June 1975, John D'Souza began a modest documentation attempt, by organizing about 25 files on different topics, largely consisting of papers on societal analysis, mode of production, development models, urbanization, organization methods, pedagogy and concientisation and most importantly on the emergency and resistance to it. These along with the 300 odd books collected from VISTAS (the parent organization, under which CED was born) members formed the kernel of CEDs documentation. The files were tucked under the sofa of the then VISTAS President's rented house in Wadala. The main method of dissemination was by physically taking selected documents to different workshop sites, and participating in the deliberations and passing on material. This system was obviously unsustainable. At the next annual reflection of VISTAS in July 1976 Pradeep Guha took over the reins, acquired a free space in Waudby Road, and initiated the beginnings of the current documentation system, which we see at CED today. Pradeep Guha and John D'Souza developed the classification system, and clippings and reports files, as Aspi Mistry, who had written the first proposal of the Doccentre, worked with student and city organizations as part of out-reach efforts. Joe Pinto indexed and made notes of journal articles from EPW, Seminar and the like and Eric D'Souza helped with logistics. At that time all the above persons, who were part of VISTAS Society had decided that they would make their living working in other jobs, which they did. So 25 years ago, we had many volunteers, and typists and an office boy and some part-time paid student volunteers. For the record let me mention that

Doccentre was registered separately as Centre for Education and Documentation on February 14 th 1978, with Ayesha Kagal as Chairperson.

CED had its beginnings in 1975, when its founders were part of a rural action group in Maharashtra, and felt the need for both specialized and general information on development issues. At that time, as a part of the VISTAS, a small team was sent to Bombay to set up an information centre.

THE DOC CENTRE, as it was popularly called in the seventies, began during the emergency with a few files and books available in VISTAS, among friends and a few organizations like ISI, Bangalore. The information covered the debates facing action groups at that time namely mode of production and the nature of class struggles and class organizations like Unions, Conscientisation, anti emergency movements, civil liberties, broad left alliance, etc.

As the emergency was lifted, the DOC-centre was involved in the establishment and activities of the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights. It was also involved in the Xavierian Union. Since all the members of the DOC-Centre were completely involved in the various actions, documentation generally took a back seat, and CED's identity was more it actions, and as a place where there were some books, and infrastructure. Since the collection was highly specific to the interest of the existing circle, it was not seen as a public place or an information centre to go to where you would find what you wanted.

In 1978, CED was registered separately and sought to have a pre-dominant documentation identity. It developed its classification system where the emphasis were on issues of civil liberties and human rights, development debate e.g. Operation Flood, Green revolution, Health, MNCs, simple environmental issues. It also developed it first gender perspective and the Women sections, started separating out issues relating to reproductive rights, and other issues being taken up by the women's movement in India.

CED thus developed its systems of classification, selection, and files oriented retrieval. The sources of information we regularised from a pool of newspapers, magazines, journals and papers.

It was a period of steady growth till 1985, where CED developed its identity as a reliable information centre on all developmental issues. CED was also involved in research and publications of several critical issues e.g. Operation Flood, Drug Industry in India, Bhopal Gas tragedy, Textile Strike, Women and reproductive rights. CED became a focal point for journalists to write stories and articles on development and human rights issues. Activists used it to bring our their newsletters and papers.

From 1985, CED began an institutionalising phase, where its systems were standardised. It started charging for its photocopy services and established DOCPOSt services. It formed the network of Documentation Centres and shared its sytems with other documentation centres and worked towards systems of sharing information resources. It also set up the Alternative Books Collective, where the emphasis was now on distributing the already available NGO literature among wider audience rather than publish its own.

CED also began developing its critique of the information order and defining its own structural role. This coincided with the larger movement among action groups, NGOs, and campaign fronts where the emphasis shifted from merely organizing struggles and agitations with the main purpose of bringing about a revolution, to developing institutions with current society which represented some of the ideals of our future vision.

By 1990, CED's information base and classification systems and became very popular as an information hub for alternative material. The main users were NGOs, activists and journalists and professionals The major portion of CED's work is continuous and ongoing. Its documentation has been consistent over time. It has also been sensitive to the concerns of the time, more specifically the preoccupations of change agents and opinion leaders, who are CED's main immediate target group.

Since 1990, the main effort has been to enlarge its reach and go to scale1990. CED has enhanced its activities and the quality of its services so as to reach larger audiences outside Bombay especially NGOs and activists. CED's involvement in various networks like JVA, Southern Collective, India-Link reached its services and influence to larger audiences. CED also opened a branch in Bangalore where there are many NGOs.

The entire Bangalore Branch, an inexpensive cloning of the Bombay Centre, was targeted to the NGO market and was fully set up and operational, organizing film shows, networking, etc with NGOs in record time. Further, the entire exercise of pruning, and sharpening the classification system, was more to meet the highly segmented needs of the market.

In the last few years usage has grown both in qualitatively and quantitatively. The next phase of stabilization is required in the financial front.