Everything you must know about Oxfam India's fight against inequality

Everything you must know about Oxfam India's fight against inequality

As widespread inequality becomes pandemic, stringent action to address and curb the gap between the rich and poor becomes impertinent. Oxfam India is glad to work on addressing and lending its voice towards this cause.

For the India chapter of Fight Inequality Alliance's 'Global Week of Action against Inequality' leading civil society organisations pledged to initiate a synergized social action to smash inequality. The week-long action, of which Oxfam India was a part of, launched on 19th January, to coincide with the World Economic Forum's Davos Meet, where global elites gather to devise the economic agenda for the year.

Here is how Oxfam India took the fight to across Indian states:

The mobilization event in Delhi that took place in Trilokpuri, East Delhi, combined musical performances, stand-up comedy and discourse on myriad facets of inequality by noted voices from the civil society. A highlight of the show included music artist Rahul Ram and comedian and satirist, Sanjay Rajoura (doing an edition of Aisi Taisi Democracy- a music+comedy show, on inequality), a performance by Barefoot College puppetry team from Tilonia, Rajasthan, Azad Parindey Band, We Are Nomads Drummers Circle, Delhi Young Artists Forum. The performances were interspersed with speeches from activists like Harsh Mander, Kamala Bhasin, Bezwada Wilson etc. addressing specific manifestations of inequality.


A show on Inequality in India
Kamala Bhasin, a women rights activist at the event titled Asamanta Bhagao. Photo by Javed Sultan 
. As part of the Global Week of Action, Oxfam India launched this year’s report “Public Good or Private Wealth?”
Oxfam India's CEO addresses the crowd at the Asamanta Bhagao event 


Uttar Pradesh
The Lucknow regional office released Oxfam's annual report on inequality titled ‘Public good or Private wealth’ at Sheroes Hangout on 21st January. Tahira Hasan, national Vice President of All India Progressive Women Association,Dr. C. S Verma of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Professor Nadeem Hasnain, renowned academician and Nand Kishor Singh, Oxfam India's regional manager for the state, expressed their views on rampant inequality during the release of the report. 

Fight Inequality Alliance declares war against inequality.
From right: Tahira Hasan, Nand Kishor Singh, Dr C. S Verma and Nadeem Hasnain at the report launch. 

On 22nd January, a consultation of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) was organised by the regional office on the major findings of the Oxfam report. The objective of the consultation was to initiate discussion around inequality and share findings of Oxfam Inequality report with CSO representatives of Uttar Pradesh. Around 25 representatives from different organizations, journalist, activist, campaigners, development consultants and youth attended the consultation. They found that there is a need for mapping inequality in the state as well with parameters of employment, budget allocation, progress on agriculture, education, health, wage-gap etc. The emphasis was also on the need to develop a collective manifesto on the issues of health, education, gender and inequality which will be shared with different political parties in the month of March through a consultation.

On 24th January, the regional office also conducted a consultation on Inclusive Education for Fighting Inequality. On the occasion of National Girl Child Day, a consultation was organized by Oxfam India in collaboration with SPARC (Society For the Promotion of Area Resource Centers) India on inclusive education. The workshop was organized to build perspective of Civil Society Organisations around issues of children with disability and discrimination against girl child gender. During the workshop, Preeti Verma, member, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Ashish Pandey, media in charge for Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh expressed their views on challenges of children with disability and gender concerns in it and assured that they will provide all possible support for effective implementation of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act) in Uttar Pradesh. 

On 24th January, Oxfam India's campaign partner Vigyan Foundation organized a cultural evening on the #SmashInequality campaign at the Sheroes Hangout in Lucknow. During the program different stakeholders including representatives of CSOs, media, academics, activists, youths, alliance representatives of marginalized groups etc expressed their views on inequality and highlighted examples of how increasing inequality is making life more challenging for the marginalized section including Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Muslim, Urban Poor etc. During the event, stakeholders were engaged through different songs and poetry on inequality. 

increasing inequality is making life more challenging for the marginalized section including Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Muslim, Urban Poor
Cultural event at Sheroes Hangout, Lucknow

Text by Binod Kumar Sinha


Youth as ‘Agents of Change’ are a powerhouse, full of vibrancy and ideas to contribute to the fight against inequality. Youth, who are going to different universities and colleges, have an edge by virtue of being exposed to education. This group can create a reverberating ripple effect towards reducing inequality. Keeping this in mind, Oxfam India organised a discussion session at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Raipur on 5th February on ‘Reducing Inequality in India’ with special reference to the Oxfam's Inequality Report 'Public Good or Private Wealth?'. A panel consisting of Rashmi Shukla, Professor, department of Economics, Amit Sharan Singh, CM Fellow, Government of Chhattisgarh, Anand Shukla, Oxfam India's regional manager, Prakash Gardia, Oxfam India's programme coordinator, spoke to the students on various causes of Inequality.

Oxfam India at IIM Raipur, a session on rising inequality in india
From left: Rashmi Shukla, Prakash Gardia, Anand Shukla, Amit Sharan Singh 

Rashmi Shukla discussed the various economic theories and how they have impacted on increasing/ reducing inequality. She dealt in detail about the difference between growth and development. She also talked about areas that need to be strengthened to reduce inequality. Amit Sharan Singh highlighted that keeping a social commitment gives immense satisfaction. "Wherever we are and whatever we do, if we keep alive our social commitment, that will help in reducing inequality," said Singh. Connecting with the students, Anand Shukla spoke about how there are systematic processes, which have abetted inequality. He stressed that unless we look into policies and make them pro-people, it will be difficult to make a dent on inequality. Taxation policies are one area where we urgently have to have a look, stressed Shukla. Prakash Gardia emphasised on the need to have a look at both the economic as well as the existing social inequality. He spoke about the two axis where one is on the increasing trend – the billionaires, shopping malls, tourist destinations etc. and the other is on a decreasing trend – public health and education system, nutrition, fewer livelihoods etc. It is this growing chasm, which is creating inequality and the ordinary people are finding it difficult to make both ends meet. He said that we all need to make efforts to reduce this growing inequality and youth has an immensely great role to play.

Session on how to fight inequality
Students listen intently at IIM Raipur 

Text by Prakash Gardia

Bihar and Jharkhand
On 21st January Oxfam India's Patna office released Oxfam's report/facts followed by the Fight Inequality Alliance launching its first meeting and sharing the district level programmes to disseminate the message to fight agaisnt inequality through Oxfam India's Community Led Organizations who organised the district level events throughout the week in 5 districts of Bihar and Jharkhand. 

Press release of Oxfam Inquality report in Patna, bihar
The launch of the latest Oxfam Inequality Report in Patna, Bihar 

Oxfam India in collaboration with Utkal University, Odisha organized a consultation on ‘Inequality in Odisha and Way Forward’ on 7th February at the university in Bhubaneswar. There were deliberations by Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Eminent political scientist and Professor, Social Development, India-China Institute and Former Professor, Political Science, Delhi University, Sudhir Pattnaik, Eminent Social Activist and Editor, Samadrusti, Navaneeta Rath, Professor, Sociology, Utkal University and Swarnamayee Tripathi, Satya Narayana Sahu, Eminent Gandhian Scholar and former Press Secretary to Former President of India.

Utkal University students attend session on fighting inequality in india
Akshay Kumar Biswal, Oxfam India's regional manager at the consultation on inequality in Odisha at Utkal University 




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