Swaraj Jharkhand

SWARAJ- JHARKHAND

Jharkhand became a full-fledged state in November 2000. There has been a long and sustained struggle for statehood for many years in the region. There are many activists, people’s organisations and social action groups in most of the districts in the state. Many of these organisations, activists, social action groups and individuals came together and formed Swaraj in 1998.

Judav is the partner organisation through which funds are routed to the state. There are 6 fellows working in the state unit and 3 in the Damodar consortium (located in the state). All the fellows have been actively associated with mass movements and the Jharkhand struggle for statehood. The JP movement has also inspired many of them.

PSP Processes in Jharkhand

Activists and Jharkhand have been organising themselves and struggling for Self-Rule and their rights over water, forests and land. It appeared that the Jharkhand Struggle and PSP are based on similar values of humanity and rights of the poor. In fact, PSP is enhancing the capacity of the people and is helping leadership for the struggle for self-rule and that of women to emerge. Hence SJ-Jharkhand adopted PSP.

Eleven organisations working in seven districts participated in the PSP process. In two training programmes 17 facilitators of these organisations capacitated 114 village level facilitators. Eighteen of them were women. The PSP process was undertaken in 48 villages comprising 2,500 families. The following issues were identified by the PS process-

CRITICAL ISSUES STRATEGIC ISSUES

1.       Alcoholism

2.       Child Labour

3.       Deforestation

4.       Displacement

5.       Drought

6.       Lack of Cottage Industries

7.       Lack of Drinking Water

8.       Lack of Herbal Medicine

9.       Lack of self-rule

10.   Migration

11.   New Economic Policy

12.   Poverty

13.   River Pollution

14.   Shortage of Traditional Seeds

15.   Witchcraft

16.   Alcoholism

17.   Cultural Deterioration

18.   Deforestation

19.   Displacement

20.   Fundamentalism

21.   Gender Issues

22.   Lack of Cottage Industry

23.   Lack of self-rule

24.   New Economic Policy

25.   Poverty

26.   River Pollution

STRATEGIC THRUST

1.       Realisation of People’s Rights

2.       Self-Rule for the rights over land, water and forests for sustainable development.

3.       Promotion of Gender Equality.

4.       Struggles Against Fundamentalism.

5.       Action against Alcoholism.

6.       Campaign for Economic Literacy and alternative Education.

 

AREA OF OPERATION

DISTRICTS

FELLOWS

GRAM PANCHAYAT

INTENSIVE WORK VILLAGE

CONTACT VILLAGES

TOTAL

4

6

4

20

28

48

 

The villages are as follows: –

Deoghar District: –     Jaria Tand, Bakulia, Dalaha, Singho and Naiyadih. –

Gram Panchayat – Patwabad

Giridih District: –        Bijalibathan, Khutabandh, Barasoli, Dogbapahadi and Hadwadiha. –

Gram Panchayat – Karnapura

Dhanbad District: –     Rangadih, Sirsagadh, Sisakari, Khapdakulhi and Jiling Tand. –

Gram Panchayat – Matari

Hazaribagh District: – Basobar Bhatwigaha, Baksidih, Sultani and Darudih. –

Gram Panchayat – Daroo

 

There are strong district and regional networks working on various issues and the fellows take active part in them.

The activities and programmes were formulated to address these issues.  The programme covers 18 districts in the state. While the intensive work is confined to 30 villages of the fellows, the larger issues are highlighted by the state, regional and district level networks through various campaigns.

 

INTERVENTIONS, ISSUES AND IMPACT

–        20 women and 10 men SHGs formed.

–        Village education committees constituted in 5 villages.

–        2 study centres established.

–        4 schools run with the support of the community.

–        3 forest protection committees formed.

–        Equal minimum wages for women and men in government programmes.

–        Leadership qualities developed among women and youth.

–        Road building and temple construction through government schemes.

–        Through the community’s efforts, houses sanctioned for 8 families under Indira Awas Yojna.

–        People’s organisations and movements emerging even in contact villages.

–        Increased awareness in the community on the rights of the people.

–        Network of NGOs, movements, activists and people’s organisations established at the district and state level.

–        A good rapport and network established with other issue based groups at district and state level.

–        District and state level committee of Swaraj constituted.

–        Jharkhand has a strong feudal mentality and this comes in the way of striving for social justice as well as gender justice.

–        Ultra leftist forces emerging in certain pockets.

–        Ethnic conflict has become a major challenge.

–        The funding by multi lateral and bilateral agencies has lead to mushrooming of NGOs and bringing in large development projects.

–        The state has had a history of revolt struggle and strong movements since pre-independence times. The common people in Jharkhand have developed faith in movement-based struggle after witnessing the success of attaining statehood. There is a sense of ‘identity’ among the people.