Swarajpeeth Trust

Project Theme

Youth and Active Citizenship

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2015 - 30 Sep 2016

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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.

 

About the Project: 

The foundation of the project lies in the transformational social change through capacity building of youth on nonviolent and peaceful ways of violence prevention and conflict resolution through dialogue and negotiation based on the principles of justice and democracy. In preceding four years of intervention, the Swaraj dialogue has created space for conflict resolution and for coalescence of constructive and nonviolent forces those otherwise remains dormant or repressed. This year the project aims at consolidating the core team of Shanti Mitra at National level with clear mandate of work. Also the civil society support group created has been quite supportive in establishing linkages with the law enforcing government machineries, holding dialogues with district administration on democratic and adopting peaceful means of resolving issues and conflicts. 

In Jammu & kashmir, it has been recognized that peace building is a long-term vocation that requires the building of cross-group networks and alliances that will survive intermittent conflicts and create a platform for sustainable human development and security. The team in J&K is preparing to engage in Issues identified as constructive social awareness and action issues, such as domestic violence on women; Half-widow and widows, drug abuse among the youth, both men and women etc. 

 

Jammu & Kashmir: 

Addressing radicalization in the J&K region will be the major thrust. The same line of efforts, activities intra-regional and regional meetings-will have to be held in order not to allow the present situation of polarized sentiments create any negative impact on the  mutual goodwill created after good efforts. More intra-region youth dialogues will be organized for communal harmony in affected and sensitive areas for mediation and dialogue between Kashmir Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits for rapprochement.

Activities:

•Workshop on Peace Building and Swaraj Dialogue  

•Consultative meeting with youth in Kashmir

•4 day convergence meeting with Shanti Mitra

•Follow up interactive meeting with different stakeholders in Jammu and Banka

•Development of IEC materials and documentation of best practices.

•Constructive social action by youth groups in all the intervention states. 

 

Results to be Achieved: 

Bihar-Jharkhand

•Community based peace monitoring and peace-keeping ( in J&K)would be established for providing a community based  nonpartisan civil society forum as  trustworthy peace-mechanism .

•A positive environment is created to accept that nonviolent alternative methods can be effective in establishing democratic order in the larger society.

•Shanti Mitra are acknowldged as prime movers of social change and will contribute to the process of transformative change from violence to non bviolence

•Civil society groups formed in different districts are proactive in strategising peace interventions in respective districts.  

J&K

•Stabilization of youth groups in the Valley and in Jammu

•Relationship building between estrange communities on the one hand; and, estranged regions of the same state

•Peace intervention training of the youth 

•A document on social issues and non violent ways of solving the problems.

 

Prior Achievements:

  • In Bihar, credible and comprehensive initiative was made to build solidarity and bring about transformative social change- from violence to non violent environment.  The interactive camps were organized and led by the Shanti Mitra 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.
  • Regular interaction and camps for holding dialogue on non violence, peaceful conflict resolution and healthy democratic order has build a momentum at grassroots especially in Banka, Araria and Saharsa in Bihar. However, the Shanti Mitra in the two intervention districts Dumka and Deoghar have cretaed a lot of scope for motivating youth to experiment the alternative non violence conflict resolution.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. 
  • In J&K youth from districts of Doda, Banihal, Ramban, Bhadrwaha, Kishtwar have been motivated and many of them have moved to embrace a culture of peace by promoting social interaction, dialogue and negotiation based on the principles of justice and democracy. 
  • 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 has effectively led to mobilization of youth dueing Kashmir Floods. Youth have together mobilized resources for the flood affected families. They adopted 40 families and continued the response work for 3 months.

 

Success Story: Miss Mariya Mushtaq, a bright, articulate post graduate student of literature at the Kashmir University came to the Swaraj Peeth youth group meeting in Srinagar on 12th June. For her it was the first time experience. As a student she has written a lot of articles and is a freelance writer as well. She writes poetry and gets published. During the year 2014, efforts were made members of youth group to mobilize youth through peace dialogues and in the process Mariya Mushtaq was also contacted . Though she was reluctant and not very convinced of any change through any transformative change through peace dialogue, yet she participated in one of the Swaraj Dialogue conducted as part of the project of SWarajpeeth. As she says “it was an eye opener and generated a lot of curiosity within to read, discuss and know more about Gandhian philosophy and its relevance in the contemporary socio political situation of Jammu and Kashmir and hence I continued to attend the monthly meetings”. After being regular member of the meetings Mariya wrote a poem- 

Where the Minds Met

It was a meet where the minds met,

Concepts were brought to the light..

A flight made to escape the narrowness..

Think out of box..

Broaden the sight...

Though strangers

 

We were seated together,

Still we belonged to the one cause...

Tried to explore what is kept hidden..

Without breaking the so called laws..

The fire was put into the souls,

Which dreamt to imagine a free world..

 

Where

Oneness matters like life..

Not fame, rules or the gold...

We talked…

Laughed …

Shared happiness..

Started a journey

To bring a morn..

In the glory of which

The truth would be seen.. And,

Humanity will be saved, not Torn..