2005: New Fields of Activities for the Charter in India
Activities in 2005
In 2005, we have been stepping up our activities.
1. Printing and electronic communication
Website: Continuation of our website with updates of fresh inputs
e- group: For constant interaction with all IT-enabled people the e-group is being strengthened.
On-line workshop: An on-line workshop, derived from the informal forum, is being taken up further.
From the experience gathered from the national and regional workshops, we have started a process of getting an on-line space to dialogue with IT savvy people from various professions and business community in Bangalore and IT professionals elsewhere..
Each principle of the Charter is slotted in such a way that it can be debated threadbare and the contributions culled from the participants could be made a platform for further dialoguing. This will lead to a definitive structure of the Charter as perceived by the maximum possible number of people.
Print media: For as wider a dissemination of the Charter as possible, continuous linking with the media is undertaken.
Booklet: Apart from the booklet mentioned in the report, vigorous attempts are essayed on to find the possibilities of publishing similar booklets.
Workshop for urban design school students: to be taken up in the near future.
Partnership: Strengthening the network by continuing coordination with NGOs, people’s movements, writers and intellectuals of other states in the process of disseminating the Charter by making it more and internalized and documenting the reports for future guidance and up-dates.
Youth Visual Expression: Collage and sketching competition based on the charter of human responsibilities at Inter-collegiate fest, Bangalore University in mid January 2005.
2. Training sessions with the Charter:
As a result of our experience with disseminating the Charter of Human Responsibilities we have come to realize that it represents a vision for the twenty-first century, a vision that can certainly be modified, deepened and extended, but certainly a vision that offers NGOs, social movements and others a way to move ahead, to envisage an Utopia again. An Utopia, as the word itself implies, can never be fully realized, but it is a projection that helps to dream and inspire.
So our hope is that in the year 2005 we can see the Charter as a great mobilizing effort and bring together NGOs and Social Movements to use it as a point of reference in relationship to their efforts related to local democracy (governance); women’s empowerment, food security, sustainable agriculture, bio-diversity ( all part of alternate development); and cultural and religious pluralism, fighting against fundamentalism, life-sustaining spiritualities and values (all part of a new Ethics).
Our proposal is to have gatherings of development workers and social activists from all over South Asia in sessions of participatory formation where they connect their practical concerns for ‘another world’ with the spirit of the Charter. The experience in 2004 has teached us that we are now able to make a major contribution using the Charter to inspire and sustain social and development alternatives.
In practical terms we hope to have three such sessions in 2005. Each session will have 25 participants and be for four days.
The objectives of these sessions will be to encourage alternative development and governance efforts with the values enshrined in the Charter in a flexible and dialogical manner.
3. Giving further fillip to re-interpretation of festivals
With our experience, we hope to continue the process of festival re-interpretation including more festivals and then disseminating the methodology through other cultural action groups.
4. Strengthening the song movement
We also hope to strengthen the sacred song movement that we have initiated. This entails a selection of songs that emphasize the unity and diversity of human kind, love, social justice and caring for the environment. These sacred and secular songs will be sung by villagers, urban poor, community leaders and youth. At the moment, the programme is in its infancy. We hope that it will be taken further forward as a result of this programme.
5. Partnership with South Asian Countries
Pakistan: We will coordinate with ‘South Asia Partnership, Pakistan,’ an NGO based in Lahore, in disseminating the Charter.
Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka: With our success so far with our experimental forays into disseminating the Charter, we will be extending our reach to the above countries.