|AID Conference 2018 Day 1|
|8:00 am – 9:00 am||Breakfast & Registration|
|9:00 am – 9:30 am||Welcome and Opening Remarks
Presenter: AID Portland Volunteers
|9:30 a.m – 10:50 a.m||AID General Body Meeting
Presenter: AID BoD
|11:00 am – 12:30 pm||Contours of an Equal & Just Democracy – Legislation and practice in India (abstract)
Presenter: Aruna Roy
|12.30 pm – 1.30 pm||Lunch|
|1:30 pm – 3.00 pm||Enabling Deeper Engagement at Grassroots
Presenter: Aruna, Kamayani and Vineet
|3:00 pm – 3:15 pm||Skit by Youth
|3:15 pm – 4:45 pm||AID Partners Meet : What do partners say? (abstract)|
|4:45 pm – 5:15 pm||Snacks with volunteer introductions|
|5:15 pm – 6:00 pm||Who develops Whom? (abstract) (homework)
Presenter: Aravinda Pillalmari
|6:00 pm – 7:00 pm||Energising & Strengthening AID through Volunteer Recruitment & Retention
Presenter: Open Discussion
|7:00 pm – 8:00 pm||Dinner – volunteer introductions|
|8:00 pm – 9:00 pm||Site Visit Reports Presenter: Open Discussion|
|9:00 pm -10:00 pm||AID Connections :
Leveraging the AID Community for Jobs, Partners & Life!
|AID Conference 2018 Day 2|
|8:00 am – 9:00 am||Breakfast|
|9:00 am – 10:30 am||Development Coordinator Session
Presenter: Somnath & Aravinda
|10:45 am – 12:15 pm||Journey of the Transgender Movement (abstract)
Presenter: Sumi Das
|12:15 pm – 12:30 pm||Conference Group Photo Session|
|12:30 pm – 1:45 pm||Lunch|
|1:45 pm – 2:15 pm||AID Nuts & Bolts -Plenary 1 hr
Presenters: Sri Mirle & EB
|2:15 pm – 3:00 pm||EB Interactive Session|
Presenters: Priti, Sucheta, Rashim, Asti
Presenters: Amrutha, Subha, Naga
|3:00 pm – 3:45 pm||EB Interactive Session|
| Publicizing projects
Presenters: Aravinda, Amit
|Fundraising and Donor Relations
Presenters: Sri, Venkat, Somnath, Naga
|3:45 pm – 4:15 pm||Snack Break|
|4:15 pm – 5:15 pm||Healthy Gorge Initiative (abstract)
Presenter: Paul Lindberg
|5:30 pm – 7:00 pm||Volunteer Multi-facet Engagement in Watershed / Forest rights Projects
Presenter: Rohit Prajapati (PSS), Somnath, Srinadh
|7:00 pm – 8:00 pm||Dinner|
|8:00 pm – 9:00 pm||Chudaar – Working with government to bring about systemic change in education (abstract)
|9:00 pm – 10:30 pm||Stage night: AID &
Me and more …
|AID Conference 2018 Day 3|
|8:00 am – 9:00 am||Breakfast|
|9:30 am – 11:30 am||Panel Discussion with Jeevansaathis and keynote speakers|
|11:30am onwards||Lunch and Goodbyes|
After all these years in the field, what have we learned? How can we be better partners in our relationships with NGOs and movements?
When we seek to answer the question, “What is India’s Development?” who are our guides and fellow travelers? How do we orient ourselves so as to recognize the people who are central to the processes of social change? How do we respect their dignity and agency when writing and talking about projects? How can we be sensitive to underlying issues and intangibles that are vital for sustainable outcomes? How do we understand the potential for our own development, and specifically what we have to change in light of the problem that a given project or campaign tries to solve?
Using illustrative examples from AID projects, Aravinda will show why these questions are important and where they can lead us.
Loose collaboration of community partners – healthcare providers, nonprofits, govt agencies, public health, the region’s Coordinated Care Organization (CCO), and we are beginning to engage elected bodies and K-12 education.
Overall goal is to make individuals and the overall community healthier (wide variety of issues, including social determinants, physical health, mental health, dental health, etc.We are working under the premise that what we have done over the past decades is not enough… we are not getting much healthier.
We are also working under the premise that in order to truly address needs in the community, we need to change the paradigm around how these needs are identified.
We are changing processes and creating venues for more authentic community engagement.
Nevertheless Ambedkar as the Chair, and Dr. Radhakrishnan as one of the important members of the Constituent Assembly, expressed concerns and warnings to the nation at midnight on the 14 th of August 1947. The concerns reflected the contradictions, obscurantism and fissures in Indian society which were a continual and daily threat – the oppression by the privileged, unwilling to share power. Equality is about sharing, a value resisted by marauding capitalism and traditional social hierarchies.
In addressing Indian inequality and its challenges, the constitution built in both guarantees to access equality, and provisions to address traditional inequality; both of which remain one of Indian democracy’s greatest challenge.
The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) was created with workers and farmers – and is a non-party peoples’ political organization – a form of mobilization particular to India and a heritage from the Indian movement for national independence. The collective was created 28 years ago, and was born with a struggle and demand for minimum wage payment and peoples control over common lands. It’s motto was : “Nyay Samanta ho Aadhaar, Aise rachenge ham sansaar “..we will create a world with equality and justice. The Sangathan addressed economic and social oppression, as people understood it and deepening the understanding of constitutional principles with people most affected by inequality. The MKSS does not receive foreign or Indian institutional funding and its source has remained “crowd funding”, to use a word from contemporary jargon. MKSS sathies draw the Rajasthan minimum wage ( Rs 6390.00 approximately) every month as honorarium. All campaigns and protests are also funded by people.
Through the MKSS struggles for livelihood, employment, and minimum wages, it became evident that transparency and accountability of systems of governance are vital to access any right. It also became clear that the excuse of lack of resources and denial of economic rights was born out of the unequal distribution and misuse of power, corruption, and a desire to continue with privilege.
It could be said that the spate of rights based legislations passed in the decade between 2004 – 2013 were born out of many people’s struggles and the political systems’ response, enabling people to access basic guarantees – the Right to Information Act (RTI) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in 2005, The Forests Rights Act, The Domestic Violence Act and many more. It was commonsensical wisdom that created an architecture to dismantle concentrations of non-transparent opaque power . This addressed economic, social and political inequality – and legislated practical and principled entitlement within the constitutionally legal and democratic framework.
The RTI struggle gave legitimacy to questioning power and to push government to become more transparent and accountable. The MGNREGA addressed the poverty born from economic inequality and focused on people’s demand for employment as a right, defining entitlements to contend socio – economic oppression.
The sharing of power through rights based legislations has provoked opposition from many quarters including entrenched political centres, global capital and dominant social groupings. The organised assault worldwide on equality is curious and clever. The rhetoric contradicts reality, getting electoral success but promoting corporate controls.
The centres of unequal power – feudal, communal, class, caste and gender have tried to reinforce or regain control using traditional bias and modern technology. Attacks are also being made on a Constitution which defined these values and provided safeguards to realize them. All the four pillars- legislature, executive, judiciary and media – are being controlled by vested interests. They have reduced India to a “naam ke vaaste” (only in name – a hollowed out) democracy. Society is being polarized and identity is getting narrower. Policy making is becoming less consultative and being controlled by corporates and lobbyists. Social sector scheme spending and implementation is dismal. Even the most basic freedom – of speech and expression is being curtailed. Minorities, Dalits, women are being targeted.
Multidimensional inequality is challenged by a small but discerning group beginning to ask uncomfortable questions and demanding answers. Ambedkar talked of a life of contradictions. Ultimately these are both personal and political challenges – for you and me enmeshed as we are, in India’s crisscross of contradictions. Millions of Indians continue to question and face the wrath of the system.
The question we have to ask ourselves is : “are we willing to talk truth to power?”
The MKSS collective represented by Aruna Roy, Vineet Bhambhu