Swaraj Peeth Trust

Project Theme

Youth and Active Citizenship

Target Group

Children

Project Period

01 Apr 2014 - 31 Mar 2015

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Introduction

The problem of conflicts is impacting the common lives where peaceful relations are threatened by complex multiple crises. The vicious cycle of violence and the factors that intensifies violent situation, attitudes and behavior is yet to be included in larger developmental discourse. Therefore, the nonviolent resolution ought to be central to all discourses on development, governance and violence and design intervention to prevent violence. Capacity building for nonviolent and peaceful ways of violence prevention and conflict resolution is crucial for a healthy democratic order and sustainable and harmonious development.

Impact by partner
  • In Bihar, the four stage process of creating Peace volunteer/ Shanti Mitra has been completed and a core team of Shanti Mitra has been firmed up. 
  • The interactive camps were organized which has resulted in increased number of youth turning up to attend the camps and meetings and there is a realization by youth that Swaraj dialogues resonate positively 
  • Demand for creation of small units or create platforms to have a continuous process of dialogues in the respective districts 
  • In last three years some spell has been broken without challenging anyone and rather taking every one with love and compassion; dignity, equality and inclusiveness. 
  • A survey conducted has been conducted in thirty villages of two Panchayat of Paschimi Katsakra and Dakshini Kasva & Vasila of Chandan Block in Banka, on the status of drinking water and irrigation needs and the state of their fulfillment/un-fulfillment/ feasibility to be taken up by them with the Administration. 
  • There is constant demand from the core group of Shanti Mitra for the expansion of the campaign in other parts of Bihar and Jharkhand to carry forward the mission of non violence. 
  • Establishment of a process of meetings and dialogues between the youths of Jammu and the Kashmir Valley has lead to overcome stereotypes and prejudices and develop an understanding and perceptions about each other. 
  • Dialogues held with groups of youth; displaced Pandits; conflict affected widows and half-widows; and established contacts with leading intellectuals, community leaders, leading voices of Kashmir conflict; and some important people in the Govt. of J&K. 
  • Two of the Kashmiri participants wrote articles about how their wrongful and prejudiced perceptions and beliefs about Kashmiri Pandits were changed for the good. 
  • The interactions with the Kashmiri youth in an environment of intimacy also helped them understand the youth better and get over their antipathy. The Kashmiri youth appealed to Jammu Pandits to come back to Kashmir. 
  • A group of six youth from Jammu undertook a 4 day peace intervention initiative, first of its type by the youth, in communally hit Kishtwar, Doda and Bhadarwah in September 2013

Case Study

Swaraj Peeth received a phone call at late evening of 17th March from its three volunteers, namely Bhuvaneshwar Turi, Bhola Prasad Yadav and Sudam Besra from Bagro village in Chandan block of Banka, informing how they three resolved that very day a very contentious issue of land “by putting in practice what they learnt in recent camp in Delhi about Swaraj and nonviolence.” Oraiya Panchayat is constructing a public road which has had to go through a village called Purvi Katsakra. It was a matter of ten Katta of land which the village must give away for road construction. The joint meeting failed to convince the villagers and the tension got aggravated so much that the ‘parshad’ left the meeting and negotiations broke down in an open conflict. At this point the three Shanti Mitra intervened and showed the members the photographs of the camps held in their villages and explained what they had leant here about Swaraj. They told the assembly and argued with the conflicting parties about why they must work united, create social unity. In a short while they took hold of the meeting and changed the very discourse. They did not enter into argument with any of the parties; rather they used persuasive power and did not show any anger or animosity towards anyone. As a result finally the village assembly agreed to give away its piece of land for a common road. It must be an evidence of good will they created that the three had dinner with the other side. We asked them “did you give credit for resolution to the adverse party too?” They said yes. They realized that without the cooperation of the adversary party no resolution is possible. Both are elevated in the process and therefore both are credit worthy. This is an example that shows what these young men/women can do, with a little bit of nonviolent assistance. It is all in them, we have to assist them in bringing it out through right means and methods.

Enthused by the success of nonviolence and the recognition they got, these youth are now motivated to take up the issue of water with the local administration. They are starting to tour the villages to educate and organize people on this issue.