New Delhi: Fragmented response will not protect lives and livelihoods of India’s majority, what is needed is a stronger and more robust people’s alliance. This was the theme of the National Conclave organized by ActionAid at Hyderabad, which opened this morning.
Sixty years post Independence, burning topics for the vast majority of Indians remain equal citizenship, livelihood and right to education, health and land.
“Though India is being celebrated as an economic miracle by big businesses and news media, displacement, destruction of livelihood and violation of fundamental rights have reached a new high,” said Babu Mathew, Country Director, ActionAid India.
One in four Indians goes to bed hungry every night while millions are facing eviction or losing livelihoods with no alternative in sight. There is an urgent need for groups who are left out of India’s economic boom, or under threat as a result of it, to have a stronger voice. Together they can make that valuable difference, he asserted.
ActionAid and its partner organizations from Kashmir and Car Nicobar have jointly organized the four-day National Conclave: Towards a People’s Alliance. Numerous social groups are participating with manual scavengers, Gujarat riot survivors, tribals whose land and culture is under threat, HIV positive people, out-of-school children and trafficked women from West Bengal.
They have come together on a shared platform to share their struggles, forge new networks and develop strategies for ending exploitation.
Community activists will be joined by cultural ambassadors including Rajasthan’s Manganhaars, actors from Bhudan theatre and AP’s dalit women drummers.
International ‘HungerFree’ campaigners – Colm Ó Cuanacháin from Ireland will join community groups and local NGOs to participate in debates and workshops on relevant social issues.
Concerns, struggles and successes of India’s most marginalized groups will be central at the event which aims to help strengthen and expand people’s alliances to fight poverty and injustice. Ways to help them gain access and control over essential resources, services and institutions would be a priority.