GIVING VOICE TO THE VOICELESS
An in-depth and collective understanding of basic human rights as well as individual and community rights and entitlements by its citizens is essential to scripting a country’s developmental trajectory. Over the years, multiple small and large-scale pro-poor programmes have been launched by various Government agencies to actualise tenets enshrined in the Constitution of India for all citizens of the country. However, violation of basic rights and non-accessibility of entitlements due to procedural complexities often leaves the onus of responsibility almost entirely on a system that is inadequate. Mismatch in availability and access to services has led to increased poverty, greater inequalities and discrimination across our nation. Collective efforts and measures to fill these gaps by defending the rig hts are crucial to create a just and resilient nation.
Lok Manch (People’s Forum), a Jesuit initiative, was constituted in 2014 as a means of giving improved access to entitlements by capacitating community leaders and grass-root organisations with a focus on marginalised communities. By encouraging participation and solidarity from individuals, governments, corporations, civil society and grassroots communities, Lok Manch is an inclusive and secular platform which draws attention to the plight of the poor and neglected, especially Dalits, tribals, minority groups, urban and rural poor, women and farmers across the country. Special focus is given to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) such as Katkari Tribes, Kutia Kondho Tribes, Pahadia Tribes, Paniya Tribes and most vulnerable Dalit groups such as the Musahars, etc. This initiative also falls in line with the mandate of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of zero hunger (SDG 2) and good health and well-being (SDG 3).
“Building an egalitarian, just, inclusive, democratic and secular society in India”
“To engage in social transformation through training, socially relevant research and policy engagement works aimed at integral development of the marginalised communities, particularly the Dalits, adivasis/tribals, OBCs, women, minorities, unorganised and landless labourers in partnership with like-minded groups, CSOs, CBOs, peoples’ movements, Human Rights organisations and ecological movements, nationally and internationally”
Marginalised groups receive the full state social benefits to which they are entitled and local, state and national level government institutions become more inclusive and democratic
1. Vibrant national platform built linking 16 states (12+4) / 18 (13+5) Jesuit provinces with 100 organisations (50 Jesuits and 50 lay/religious/diocesans), along with like-minded academic, activist and advocacy partners
2. Gaps identified in policies and implementation by the Community leaders/ monitoring persons/ organisations and lobbied with decision makers at the state and national level to further improve the law.
3. The access to social security benefits has improved significantly for the marginalised groups in the targeted communities and human rights, as they are enshrined as fundamental rights in the Constitution of India, are more respected.
4. Improved access to National Food Security Act (NFSA) and Scheduled Caste Sub Plan (SCSP)/ Scheduled Tribe Sub Plan (STSP)/ Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and related government schemes monitored by the local community leaders in select areas.
5. The Lok Manch network is strengthened and Lok Manch Facilitating Partner (LMFC) organisations have successfully promoted collaboration among civil society organisations at national level for policy dialogue and campaigning.
6. At least 90 local society organisations in 12 states, together with communities and community leaders, are successfully advocating on district and state level for better access to social security benefits and the protection and promotion of people’s rights over land and food.
RECONCILIATION AND JUST PEACE
RULE OF LAW
TRUTH AND NON-VIOLENCE
NURTURING CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
SHARED RESPONSIBILITY AND TEAM WORK
DECENTRALISED, PARTICIPATIVE DECISION MAKING
COLLABORATION & NETWORKING
ADHERING TO HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS
EXCELLENCE & COMMITMENT IN WORK
NURTURING SCIENTIFIC TEMPER AND LIBERATIVE CULTURAL VALUES
EMPOWERMENT OF THE MOST
A FEW NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
At present, with 92 partners spread over 13 states in India, Lok Manch continues to do credible work. Nearly completing a decade-long engagement with communities and like – minded organisations, the programme has been able to:
1. Connect nearly 22,000 individuals with livelihood related schemes
2. Provide water and sanitation services to more than 13,000 households
3. Provide educational scholarships and support to over 11,000 students
4. Link nearly 8700 households to appropriate health services with an additional 779 women with Maternity benefits
5. Provide adequate drainage facilities to nearly 65,000 households
6. Enhance connectivity and access to nearly 2,00,000 households with well-connected roads
7. Initiate pension services for more than 15,000 eligible individuals
8. Provide electricity connections to more than 17,000 households with more than 10,000 street light installed in various areas
9. Support access to housing scheme for over 3,500 individuals and potable water for nearly 30,000 households
10. Install over 10,000 toilets across areas
11. Provide irrigation facilities to more than 4000 households