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Strategy

        

           HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH CENTRE

              St. XAVIER’S NON-FORMAL EDUCATION SOCIETY

                                              

STRATEGY

To carry out its mission, Human Development and Research Centre (HDRC) combines two important aspects of developmental strategy: active involvement and direct intervention at the grassroots level through community organizing; and conceptualizing that involvement through research, training, critical reflection and academic courses. 

 

The essential principle is that ‘Local peoples’ (PO) or community based organization (CBO) is created and promoted by HDRC and eventually it is owned, controlled and managed by the people’; has remained at the core of the HDRC’s interventions, capacity building of the members and staff of peoples’ organizations and the marginalized communities of those geographic areas are of prime importance for HDRC for development, empowerment and raising voice against human rights violation, especially in form of killing, intimidation - mental or physical torture, discrimination, etc.

 

HDRC is working for development, rights and empowerment of Dalits, Tribals, Other Backward Classes, Religious Minorities, Women and Children.




Functional Areas / Activities

  • Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) – social justice & social inclusion of Dalits and other marginalized sections of the society in political institutions and their development
  • Empowering Women through Savings and Credit Co-operative Society
  • Organizing social and legal awareness and action in case of Human Right Violation – killing, harassment, physical and mental torture
  • Running Child Development Centers and advocating for Child Rights
  • Promoting unity among Dalits and marginalized communities - Advocating issues of disable persons, single women and destitute to demand their rights through their forums
  • Supporting Adivasis (indigenous people) to fight for their right to cultivation of forest land, development with the help of government run programmes empowerment of migrant labourers and fostering movements.
  • Running educational courses to build cadre of marginalized sections through professional training
  • Conducting research to plan development interventions and advocacy measures through creating database.
  • Networking with other like-minded NGOs and activists to make collective efforts and advocate, influence policy level changes for rights of marginalized.

    

 

HUMAN RIGHT CELL (HRC)

Initially, the Legal Cell came into existence in the Year 2002 to provide Justice to Communal Riot Affected victims.  Later, it was named as HRC with widening it’s scope to support the Human Rights Movement of Dalit, Adivasi, Women and Religious Minorities in Gujarat and create awareness about legal rights, action and laws.

 

HRC empowers people through trainings, legal action, advocacy and assists local organizations [Adivasi Sarvangi Vikas Sangathan (ASVS), Banaskantha Dalit Sangathan (BDS), Kachchh Vanchit Vikas Sangathan (KVVS), Anthyoday Vikas Shikshan Centre (AVSC)] in Legal interventions like public interest litigation.

 

LAND FOR THE LANDLESS

‘Land’ a natural resource is seen as productive asset and a mean to empowerment of marginalized communities. Indian government has restricted ‘land reform’ mainly for cultivation land.

 

Access and control over different types of land for different purposes leads to better quality of life e.g. separate cemetery and cremation ground for Dalits, house plots for Dalit residence as right to shelter; ownership of land which was cultivated for a long time as tenants; control over forest land and right to cultivate it, conserve forest land and selling minor forest produce and so on.

 

HDRC is active to acquire land ownership (different types of land for individuals for communities like Dalits and Adivasi) through implementation of government schemes and programmes, Laws and policies. HDRC has been a pioneer and leader in pressurizing the government for organizing ‘land committee’ and allot land to the landless and opposing the government resolution for giving away wastelands to the corporate houses all over Gujarat since the beginning of 21st century. HDRC advocates for effective implementation of laws; organize community for land ownership and has carried out research to plan area specific and issue specific interventions.

 

Under Cooperative Act, Federation of Agriculture Cooperatives has been registered and the government has allotted land to 13 villages in Bhalbara region. In all about 1,100 acres of land has been given to village agriculture cooperatives to Dalit landless families since mid 1980.

 

Till now in Banaskantha district, separate graveyard has been allotted to Scheduled Caste families in 48 villages;  1,522 Dalit families have been benefited with housing plot free of cost; 15 Dalit families have possession over land allotted under Land Ceiling Act; in all 400 acres of cultivable land has been regularized in the name of Dalit farmers.

 

About 9,000 Adivasi families are organized to put forward their claim for cultivating forest land and access to minor forest produce in north Gujarat under Forest Right (recognition) Act 2005.

 

WOMEN’S EMANCIPATION

The issues of violence on women, women’s right to movable and immovable properties, creating employment opportunities through skill building like embroidery, cane products, milk dairy, etc are inbuilt components. Advocating Rights of women with gender and women’s rights perspective are done in case of violence, private and public land ownership, food security, physical disability and discrimination as single women.

 

With economic empowerment of women being focused, HDRC has registered in all 10 Women’s Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies since 1993 and 7 Co-operatives from these are independently functioning now.

 

No

District

Talukas

No. of villages covered

1

Anand

Daheda

43

2

Ahmedabad

Dhandhuka

40

3

Banaskantha

Hadad

56

4

Palanpur

70

5

Vadgam

71

6

Vav

60

7

Tharad

64

8

Dhanera

32

9

Kachchh

Rapar

26

10

Bhachau

19

Total

481

 

ACADEMIC COURSES

  • Fellowship Programme in Social Management was conducted from 1982 to 1996 and Fellowship Programme in Development was conducted from 1996 to 2004.
  • Postgraduate Programme in Development Management was conducted from 1998 to 2007.
  • In collaboration with St. Xavier’s college, HDRC is running Certificate course of Rural Development since 2006, which is recognized by University Grants Commission in India.

More than 1500 students have passed out of these courses and have launched themselves in development sector; over 70% of them belong to marginalized communities. From June 2008, HDRC has decided to run Masters in Social Work (MSW) course, recognized by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

 

PROMOTING LIVELIHOOD OPTIONS

Historically, it is seen as a tool to empower Dalits in the form of access and control over factors of production and natural resources. Economic empowerment leads to higher social status as well as empowers individual and community to face multiple problems and marginalization like lesser wages, economic exploitation, atrocity, bonded labour.

 

The form of institution should be suitable to such livelihood promoting activities and therefore Co-operative society, Federation of Co-operative society and companies registered as ‘Public Limited Company’ are tried out. In the past HDRC has enterprised for different income generation activities; such as fisheries, running rice mill to polish rice, saving and credit cooperatives, charcoal making and stitching garments and other such activities.

 

At present, the ideological foundation for such activities is strengthened through different activities, like providing employment under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), awareness and skill building for Dairy, Embroidery, Micro-finance, Cane products, Implementation of Government Schemes, Land Ownership, etc.

 

PANCHAYATI RAJ INITIATIVES (PRI)

Dalits in Gujarat face problems of underdevelopment, discrimination, social exclusion and marginalization in all walks of life. For this, Dalits need to be organized to fight for their rights, demand and ensure equality and social justice.

 

To ensure development and greater political participation through good governance, agenda of social justice, inclusion and audit have been brought into action through Social Justice Committee (SJC) at village, taluka, district and state level, which is a mandatory body under Panchayati Raj Act.

 

HDRC ensures that SJC are formed and functional at village, taluka, district and state levels for development of the marginalized sections. Through Social Justice Committee Union (SJCU) based on membership, social audit like micro-planning, budget analysis, implementation of development programmes, etc are undertaken. Capacity building of elected Dalit and women political representatives; strengthening SJCU as a political representative mechanism and networking for policy level issues are main tasks performed in last 5 years and are ongoing.

 

CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND CHILD RIGHTS

 

With poverty, caste discrimination and gender bias attitudes prevailing in the society, the Dalit children are victims of a caste-biased society. This program puts efforts to expose children to right values and behaviour which lead to a life of equality, dignity and a sense to counter inhuman values through non-formal educational inputs.

 

The Bal Vikas Kendras (BVK) are run for development of Children form socially and economically marginalized communities; mainly focusing on value based non-formal education, leadership development programmes, exposure visits and cross-learnings. These centers are run for children of 3 to 6 years age in 60 villages in 4 Talukas of 3 Districts of Gujarat. Till now 1500 children have been benefited. In all 3000 children of age 7 to 14 years under Leadership and Skill Development are benefited in 180 villages.

 

The rights of children, namely right to Survive; Participate; Develop and Protection (trafficking, atrocities) are achieved by mobilizing community to ensure food security, education to children, access to common natural resources and other government programmes that ensure child development.

 

RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION

 

Research is an inbuilt component of ‘Action-Reflection-Action process’ to understand grass-root reality and situation of the marginalized communities. It helps in planning out strategies, intervention and action as well as to assist advocacy and wider reaching out.

 

Since its inception, HDRC has undertaken about 35 research studies on issues of Rights of Dalits and Adivasis, for example, tribal identity related, land ownership status among Dalits and Adivasis, educational status, issues of governance and benefits of government schemes, communal violence through social engineering by religious sects in Gujarat.

 

In all 48 books / booklets are published by HDRC till 2008 on different topics like Education for Development, Rural Development & Social Change, The Silken Swing (issues of women), Panchayati Raj and governance related issues, and shaping of identity leading to communal violence and informative booklets on selected laws.

 

HDRC - FUNTIONAL AREAS

 

District

Talukas

Programs implemented / Issues addressed

Banaskantha

Tharad, Vav, Vadgam, Palanpur, Diyodar, Dhanera, Deesa, Kankarej, Dantiwada, Danta, Amirgadh, Dhanera

Panchayati Raj Initiatives, Legal Support, Bal Vikas Kendra, Empowerment of marginalized groups (dalits, adivasi, women, children)

Sabarkantha

Idar, Himmatnagar, Bhiloda, Vadali, Vijaynagar, Khedbrahma, Megharaj

Empowerment of Adivasi leaders and control over forest land, Panchayati Raj Initiatives, Empowerment of marginalized groups

Anand

Sojitra, Petlad, Tarapur, Khambhat

Panchayati Raj Initiatives, Legal Support

Ahmedabad

Ranpur, Dhandhuka

Panchayati Raj Initiatives

Kachchh

Bhachau, Rapar

Panchayati Raj Initiatives, Legal Support, Bal Vikas Kendra, Micro Finance, Empowerment of marginalized groups

Junagadh

Talala, Maliya Hatina, Mendarda, Veraval, Bhesan, Sutrapada, Manavadar

Panchayati Raj Initiatives

Rajkot

Dhoraji, Jamkandorada, Jetpur, Upleta, Maliya Miyana

Panchayati Raj Initiatives, Bal Vikas Kendra

Amreli

Bagasara, Dhari, Savarkundla, Amreli, Kukavav

Panchayati Raj Initiatives

Porbandar

Ranavav, Porbandar, Kutiyana

Panchayati Raj Initiatives

 


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