In its enhanced role of facilitating advocacy and empowerment, Charkha recognizes the need for long-term engagement with disadvantaged communities so that the local groups involved can lead the initiatives for sustainable impact. In today’s fragmented environment where divisiveness is threatening the integrity of the nation, two programmatic areas guide Charkha’s choice of project areas: areas of conflict and far-flung, remote areas of the country.
Presently, this includes initiatives in the flood-prone districts in North Bihar, conflict-affected districts in Chhattisgarh, remote areas of the Kashmir Valley, the mountainous cold desert of Leh, Ladakh and remote islands in the Andaman & Nicobar Group of Islands.
Development in Areas of Conflict
As conflict becomes an increasingly inevitable aspect of India’s present-day reality, and isolated incidents have morphed into an insidious pattern threatening the development of the nation, both economically and socially, thus necessitating an urgent and consolidated search for solutions.
Working on development activities can enable the creation of peaceful solutions built on an acknowledgment of genuine grievances. It is crucial that the voices of the affected people be heard and understood, so that strategies for intervention and/or development can be based on authentic information and result in positive, focused and effective changes.
It is this need for authentic and reliable information that motivates Charkha to work towards highlighting the voices of the conflict-affected communities across different states in India.
Current projects include initiatives in the Kashmir Valley, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
Distant Areas Program
Initiatives in this Program seek to integrate remote communities into the national mainstream, to strengthen a sense of harmony among India’s diverse and geographically remote communities. Through the exchange of information and experiences across the many distant and remote regions of India, the Projects are aimed at reducing the acute sense of isolation felt by these communities and improving the social exclusion of the most marginalized groups in these regions.
This Program represents pioneering partnerships between local communities, State, Civil Society Organizations and Media in far-flung parts of the country.
Current projects include initiatives along the LoC in Kashmir, Leh in Ladakh and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Building further on our capabilities built over fifteen years of field experience in creating communication networks between rural communities and with the mainstream through the innovative use of media, Charkha plans to delve further into the concerns facing the rural marginalized in the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and in the culturally distinct regions of Kashmir and Ladakh in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Communication & Information Networks shall be expanded to include larger numbers of disadvantaged communities to empower them with customized training sessions and access to information, thus building their capacity towards self-determination.
In each of these regions, striving towards harmony and empowerment for equity and social justice is a tantalizing dream. With a small band of committed individuals and staunch supporters, Charkha’s contribution remains modest, but determined. Mahatma Gandhi may well have been referring to such a dogged effort when he said, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”