The interventions under Livelihood Promotion for Poverty Alleviation are undertaken with the following principles in mind:
- About 68.8% of our population resides in the rural areas of our country. In Maharashtra, 54.8% of the state population resides in the rural areas (Census 2011). About 24.27% of this population resides in the Vidarbha region. The majority of this rural population depends on agriculture and allied activities for its livelihoods source. NTFPs are another important source especially for the tribal population. Therefore, working in the areas of livelihoods is given utmost importance.
- The organization focuses on providing equal access to land, water, forests, energy and other sources for the poor and the marginalized to provide them with adequate livelihoods opportunities from the human rights perspective.
- The organization believes that the producers, collectors and cultivators should reap the major benefits of their hard work and hence works towards initiating local level community based institutions such as farmers’ clubs, cooperatives, SHGs etc. in order to enable them to undertake the processing and marketing of their produce. These initiatives also work in achieving local level accountability and long term sustainability of the process.
- The organization promotes organic farming initiatives as it believes that the seeds belong to the local communities and that GM crops are harmful for the producers as well as the consumers. Organic farming and Sustainable Agriculture practices are vigorously promoted by us.
- There are innumerable schemes of the Government related to livelihoods, irrigation, agriculture and allied activities, water and forests. However, these schemes do not reach the actual target groups. Thus, the organization works closely with the Government systems for the convergence of these schemes for improving the livelihoods of the people.
Gender and Social Equity/Inclusion
The interventions under Gender and other forms of Social Discrimination are undertaken with the following principles in mind:
- It is seen that discrimination based on gender, caste, creed, economic status and other similar areas still exists in our society. This sort of discrimination specially affects the marginalized groups such as poor, women, children, PLHIVs, tribals, dalits and other minorities. Moreover, the figures related to various social indicators for the rural areas are alarming.
- The literacy rate in the rural areas of Maharashtra is only 77.09%, where male literacy rate is 86.39 and female literacy rate is only 67.38. In Vidarbha, the average rural literacy rate is 80.87%, where the average male literacy rate is 88.94 and average female literacy rate is 72.44. The rural sex ratio in Maharashtra has declined from 960 in 2001 to 948 in 2011 (Census 2011). The figures above show that in spite of various acts and schemes, especially for women and girl children, the positive impact is still not seen at the grassroots. In Vidarbha, the average rural sex ratio is 953.18.
- There is a lack of awareness amongst the people regarding the various schemes and policies applicable to them for their benefits. Also, the implementers of the scheme fail in the proper implementation due to their ignorance or their lack of willingness or lethargy to work.
- It is seen that child labour (especially in the farms) is rampant in Vidarbha region in spite of various stringent acts against child labour being in place. A large number of children are out of school, either drop-outs or have never been to school at all. Much needs to be done for the betterment and welfare of these children.
- Tribals, dalits and other minorities still face a lot of difficulties due to discrimination and their issues also need to be addressed.
Policy Advocacy and Campaigns towards Responsive Governance
The interventions under Responsive Governance towards Human Rights are undertaken with the following principles in mind:
- India is a welfare state and the Government of India is responsible for the care and well-being of its citizens. India being a democratic state, the chosen representatives are accountable and answerable to the people they serve.
- It is seen that though the Government makes efforts to come out with schemes and policies for the benefits of its people, the implementation of these schemes and services fails to help the deprived and poor sections of the population.
- At the grassroots level, it is seen that people are not even aware of the basic rights and amenities applicable to them. Therefore, they are not in a position to demand that these services be made accessible and available. Thus, it is seen that there is a major lack of awareness and information amongst the masses.
- In order to take the voices of the grassroots to the government officials, it is essential that people come together collectively and raise their issues and concerns so that their problems are duly noted and acted upon. Therefore, mass mobilization activities are a must to reach out to the government officials.
- The concept of decentralization has been applied in our country. However, it is seen that the power still does not completely lie at the district and the village levels. It is essential that the people participate in the political process for their own benefits.