|Innovative use of Technology during the Second Wave of Covid-19!|
Join the new Vikalp Varta 2.0 with Rohan Katepallewar, manager at Gram Vaani and Deepak Kumar, Senior Community Manager at Gram Vaani who share how they used technology to tackle Covid-19 in India!
Date: Friday, 6th August 2021
Time: 6:00 – 7:30pm IST
Zoom Link: https://bit.ly/VikalpVartaP202
(No Registration Required)
About Gram Vaani
Gram Vaani started in 2009 is a social tech company incubated out of IIT-Delhi. They use technology to create participatory media platforms that people find accessible and adaptable. Using simple technologies and social context to design tools, they have been able to impact communities- more than 3 million lives touched through 25+ district and partner platforms covering 20+ Indian states. Their platforms have also covered 5 countries beyond India – Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Namibia, South Africa.
Brief note on Vikalp Varta
– During the second wave of Covid Pandemic, Gram Vaani addressed a host of problems to tackle the crisis. They made efforts in 5 areas
– Addressed the stigma and fear around covid through their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) lines and teleconsultation
– Addressing the lack of awareness and covid appropriate behaviour through developing audio content in multiple languages based on technical advisories
– Facilitating emergency support such as cash, transportation, ambulances, oxygen, etc. to people requesting help on their platform especially to those who do not have social security mechanisms
– Deploying voice-based survey tools & registration systems for supporting vaccine registration, especially for those, who were unable to use smartphones or access the online vaccine registration systems themselves
Envisioning an IVR system for monitoring and triaging of patients under home-care, to escalate in time any at-risk cases.
Webinar: “Salween Peace Park, Myanmar: Strengthening Karen People’s Resistance, Resilience and Response to Conflict and Covid-19 Crises”
|Alternatives in Pandemic Times: Resistance, Recovery and Re-Existence – a Webinar series|
Salween Peace Park, Myanmar: Strengthening Karen People’s Resistance, Resilience and Response to Conflict and Covid-19 Crises
with Saw Paul Sein Twa and Naw Wah Ku Shee
Sunday 1st August – 14:00 (UTC/GMT)
The Salween Peace Park is an initiative in Myanmar declared by Indigenous Karen people in December 2018 to bring peace, cultural harmony, self determination, and environmental integrity after 70 years of armed conflict in the region. However, the community continues to face threats from the Burmese military dictatorship. In this webinar, Saw Paul Sein Twa and Naw Wah Ku Shee talk about the experience of the Karen people working towards self determination, navigating a global pandemic, and facing a violent military offensive.
More information and registration
Direct access to the session
About the presenters
Saw Paul Sein Twa
Paul is an indigenous Karen from Burma/Myanmar, co-founder and Director of the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)— a non-profit NGO, Member of the ICCA Consortium, dedicated to livelihood security and respect for the Indigenous Karen people in Burma/ Myanmar. Paul has worked for decades to better the conditions of his people, most recently as one of the main inspirers and key supporters of the self-proclamation of the Salween Peace Park by its custodian communities. The Salween Peace Park (SPP) is an emblematic territory of life of enormous importance for both nature and culture. It protects the last dam-free main river in Asia and 5,485 km2 of globally significant biodiversity. In 2020, the Salween Peace Park was awarded the Equator Prize.
Naw Wah Ku Shee
Naw Wah Ku Shee is a prominent Karen activist working to promote human rights, democracy and peace, with a focus on women and ethnic communities especially in conflict areas of Burma/Myanmar. She is currently director at Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN), the largest network of Karen community-based organisations. She is also a member of the Karen Women’s Organisation’s Steering Committee, with a membership of over 60,000, working to empower women in the struggle for peace and gender equality and for a federal democratic Burma.
Our past webinar sessions videos are available in this link.
Global Tapestry of Alternatives
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Access this article in Hindi
Ashish Kothari writes: It must re-examine the unsustainable and inequitable ways in which power is
produced and distributed.
In classic double-speak, political leaders of Western nations express alarm and make promises about the climate crisis, but do precious little to tackle it. India is not far behind. The latest avatars of climate greenwash are both corporate and governmental: Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani’s has announced Rs 75,000-crore
of investment in clean energy and the India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership was launched at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate called by US President Joe Biden.
According to the partnership statement: “The United States has set an economy- wide target of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent below
2005 levels in 2030 …. India has set a target of installing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030 … The partnership will aim to mobilise finance and speed clean energy deployment; demonstrate and scale innovative clean technologies needed to decarbonise sectors including industry, transportation, power, and buildings; and build capacity to measure, manage, and adapt to the risks of climate-related impacts.”
Sounds great. But Biden’s promise, while certainly a welcome change compared to President Trump’s climate denialism, falls far short of what is needed. G7 countries are also announcing “net zero carbon” targets which hide the continued reliance on destructive technologies in the pursuit of ever-increasing energy generation. The historical responsibility of industrialised countries in creating the crisis continues to be avoided.
But what about the Indian government and corporate sector that claim to be global climate leaders? The rapid increase in renewable energy (RE) capacity and partnerships like the International Solar Alliance have won appreciation. But this hides four crucial flaws.
First, while substantially increasing RE, India is also expanding fossil fuel extraction and use. In the middle of the pandemic, the government has auctioned 60 new coal mining blocks, and several new thermal power stations are being considered. This includes mining in some of the most biodiverse forests in Central India. In effect, total carbon emissions, which is what impacts climate, will keep going up even as RE’s share rises.
The decarbonising of sectors mentioned in the statement could certainly reduce emissions. But without any targets, is the government serious? For instance, while public transportation has been given more investment in the 2021 budget, there is no discouragement of private cars, and fossil fuel use continues to rise. Yet, it is one part of the partnership that could yield benefits, if intense civil society pressure could force appropriate action.
Second, India includes mega-hydropower in RE, despite the ecological and social havoc it causes. Has the recent flood tragedy in Uttarakhand led to any reconsideration of these plans?
Third, even RE production is mostly of the mega-park type. In late 2020, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said that 10,000 sq km in seven states are available for such parks. These projects have serious ecological and social impacts but do not even need an environmental impact assessment, under the faulty assumption that RE is necessarily “clean” and eco-friendly. About 60,000 hectares of Kachchh’s ecologically fragile grassland-desert ecosystem have been allotted to energy mega-parks. The government’s target of 100 GW by 2022 also included 40 GW of rooftop solar, but poor policy back-up has stymied it.
Fourth, it seems that any amount of electricity demand is legitimate, to be met in all possible ways (including dangerous nuclear power). But this is simply unsustainable, whatever the source of energy. A shift from petrol-diesel to electric cars, for instance, would significantly expand devastating mining across the world. This is also a consequence of thinking of climate and ecological crises only from a carbon perspective, ignoring biodiversity loss and pollution. Unless luxury and wasteful consumption is eliminated, unsustainability and people’s displacement are
Such an approach also undermines democracy. People who protest the forcible acquisition of their lands for mega-projects are labeled anti-development — even anti-national. The unequal colonial relationship between the North and the South is replicated in internal colonisation when the government grabs land, forests, and water, converts relatively self-reliant communities into cheap labour and does little to help them adapt to climate crisis impacts.
Viable alternatives have been demonstrated across the world. The Delhi government is supporting 150 government schools to generate rooftop solar energy, helping them save Rs 8.8 crore on electricity and earn Rs 8.5 crore from selling power back to the grid. A study in the US shows that rooftop solar can create 30 times more jobs than mega-solar parks. Integrated power micro-grids can provide adequate power for entire villages and urban neighbourhoods, and be locally managed.
Alternatives to energy-guzzling sectors like urban construction and privatised transportation exist. Groups like SECMOL in Ladakh and Hunnarshala in Kachchh have shown how sensitive architecture can dramatically reduce electricity use. Most important is demand regulation.
Consumer behaviour that uses wasteful and luxury power can be changed and regulated, and power redistributed to those who do not have enough. All this should be part of the National Energy Policy. People’s mobilisation will be crucial to make all this happen.
While we all have a right to the energy we need for well-being, we cannot keep demanding more and more, nor can we allow the unsustainable and inequitable ways in which it is produced and distributed. Without us sustaining the earth, the planet will not sustain us. In this, India needs to show global leadership.
This column first appeared in the print edition on July 8, 2021 under the title ‘There’s work to do on energy’. The writer is with Kalpavriksh, Pune. Views are personal.
To download the article, please click here.
|Virtual workshop about Rangelands and Pastoralism in Asia|
Rangelands and pastoralism are essential for millions of people around the world, providing or contributing to livelihoods, food security, and cultural identity. Around half of the Earth’s land surface is rangeland. As rangelands are often among the harshest of environments, many pastoral communities have adopted a seasonal migration lifestyle in their ancestral territories in order to increase their resilience to natural challenges and simultaneously to sustain natural resources. As the late Dr Taghi Farvar regularly noted, “the migratory practices of indigenous peoples are almost always de facto nature conservation strategies”.To acknowledge the vital roles of rangelands and pastoralism for human wellbeing and nature conservation and to support and bring greater recognition to the upcoming International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists (IYRP) in 2026, a virtual workshop is scheduled for July 16, 2021, on Pastoral Communities’ Territories of Life in grasslands/rangelands across Eurasia.The workshop is co-hosted by the ICCA Consortium, the ICCA-GSI, GEF SGP (UNDP), and collaboration of Regional IYRP Support Groups (RISGs) for the IYRP 2026: East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, and Central Asia & Mongolia. The high-level objectives of this inaugural special event are to establish an Asia-wide Learning Network on rangelands and pastoralism, particularly in relation to local and indigenous pastoral communities’ Territories of Life, and to promote the IYRP 2026.The specific objectives of this one-day special event are the following:
To share experiences (best practices, key challenges) on rangelands and pastoral communities’ territories of life/ ICCAs from across Asia
To declare support for the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralism (IYRP)
To determine key topics, format, and timing for follow-up events and other actions
To commemorate the life, work and vision of Dr M. Taghi Farvar
During this event participants will contribute toward the planning of a series of workshops in Asia to further advance the above objectives and enhance enabling environments that promote and strengthen the role of territories of life / ICCAs in the conservation of nature at various levels.Dr M. Taghi Farvar (1942-2018) was a pioneer in bringing to light the collective conservation capacities of indigenous peoples and local communities. Throughout his life, he defended their collective rights over their territories, and sought to influence relevant policies at national and international levels. An account of Dr Farvar’s life and achievements is available at https://www.iccaconsortium.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Mohammad-Taghi-FARVAR-24-July-2018-1.pdf
The workshop will be held on July 16, 2021 from 16:00-20:00 ULAT (check local times here).
The workshop will be held on Zoom. To register, please follow this link: https://bit.ly/iccaiyrpThe deadline for the registration is 15 July 2021.
For any queries, please write to [email protected]
|Alternatives in Pandemic Times: Resistance, Recovery and Re-Existence – a Webinar series|
Confronting COVID 19 with dignity and strength: Resilience of small-scale fisheries in Costa Rica
with Vivienne Solis Rivera (Costa Rica) and Nalini Nayak (India)
Friday 2nd July – 3:00 PM (UTC/GMT)
This webinar will share the experience of the association between CoopeSoliDar R.L and small scale fisher communities in Costa Rica in the defense of their rights to responsible, small-scale fisheries. In particular, the experience in the context of COVID 19 and how community resilience has been a result of collective action, community-based governance models, equity, and the innovation of a fair market. These aspects have guaranteed community livelihood security in a moment of great struggle, when traditional markets and tourism collapsed.
More information and registration
Direct access to the session
About the presenter
Vivienne Solis Rivera Is a Costa Rican biologist with a MSc. degree in Ecology from the University of Lawrence in Kansas. She has devoted her professional life to the support and recognition of the efforts of IPLC to conservation and sustainable use in the Central American region. She is the founder of CoopeSoliDar R.L.
About the moderator
Nalini Nayak is an activist, feminist and trade unionist based in Kerala, India. She has been involved with coastal communities and their issues for over three decades, associated with Protsahan Trivandrum, Mitraniketan Vagamon and the Self Employed Women’s Association. From SEWA Kerala and International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, she will moderate the session.
To read the latest issue of Protected Area Update Newsletter, please click here.
Good news! Our Children’s Book ‘The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street’ shortlisted for the Neev Book Award!
Happy to share the news that one of our books has been shortlisted for the Neev Book Award…The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street by Nandita da Cunha and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan (Emerging Readers Category)!
To read the book access Our Store
#NeevLiteratureFestival #NeevBookAward2021 #BookWeLove #LoveToReadToLove #IndianLiterature #Literature #LitFest #ChildrensLiterature #ChildrensBooks
We welcome you to join us in restarting the series – Vikalp Varta: Dialogues on Covid Action.
The first webinar of the series is ‘How did the Rural Communities Tackle Covid-19?’
In this webinar, we have invited Regi and Lalitha of Tribal Health Initiative, and Suresh Chhanga of Kunariya Panchayat, to share their experience of tackling the second wave of Covid-19 in Sittilingi, Tamil Nadu, and Kutch, Gujarat respectively
Date: 25th June 2021 Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm IST Registration Link: https://bit.ly/VikalpVartaP201
This webinar will be available on Zoom and Vikalp Sangam’s Youtube Live (on the day of the event.)
If you would like to watch how they fared during the first wave of COVID-19, please find below the webinar recording for the series of Vikalp Vartas with the Tribal health initiative and Kunariya panchayat.
Vikalp Vārtā # 18 -Weaving together health care, food, farming, craft, education and self-governanceRegi and Lalitha from Tribal Health Initiative Madheswari, Panchayat President.Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAtLNbgAsJc
Vikalp Vārtā #6 – Panchayat’s Response through Self-Governance and Inter-generational LearningSuresh Chhanga (Sarpanch, Kunariya village, Kachcch) along with members of village COVID-response teamWatch here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb9HC37FAtA&list=PLVGJfYVd8JMXoo4JE-0JNBoQk2fzxL9vK&index=14
Press Release: Vikalp Sangam, the largest platform of alternatives in India, Calls for the Immediate Repeal of Regressive Legal and Administrative Measures in Lakshadweep
New Delhi:June 11, 2021. Vikalp Sangam, a platform of alternatives in India with 70 civil society organisations as members, calls for the immediate repeal of the destructive legal and administrative measures in Lakshadweep. Vikalp Sangam feels that the actions of Mr. Praful Khoda Patel, Administrator of this union territory, are arbitrary and reckless, and will have irreversible ecological, social and cultural ramifications on the inhabitants of this rich and fragile island ecosystems.
“We call for the repeal of the regressive legal and administrative measures, the immediate recall of Mr. Patel, and a robust process of consultation to be initiated in the islands to create a development plan that’s in alignment with the ecological and cultural ethos of local communities,” said Ashish Kothari, one of the co-founders of Vikalp Sangam.
Lakshadweep is a peaceful territory with one of the lowest crime and poverty rates in India. The land rights of local communities are secure, and the age-old occupations of fisheries, small scale farming and related crafts have helped developed identities that are deeply intertwined with nature. The undemocratic plan for ‘development’ of the islands would result in the blatant violation of these rights and identity, and of Constitutional safeguards as also laws such as the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The plans for on-shore and off-shore development of Lakshadweep for luxury tourism and to transform Kavaratti into a ‘smart city’ are rightly opposed by local communities for failing to recognize the scarce availability of land and fresh water. As a predominantly Muslim community, they also fear the forced assimilation with mainland India’s norms. This assault by the current regime is in line with its attempts to push majoritarianism and singular religious following in India.
Vikalp Sangam stands in solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep in their struggle for social justice and ecological rights, and demands the following:
- Immediately withdraw Lakshadweep’s Administrator, Mr. Praful Khoda Patel, and his replacement with an I.A.S officer as previously was the case
- Scrap plans for ‘development’ of Lakshadweep for high-end tourism and transforming Kavaratti into a ‘smart city’
- Impact assessment of social and environmental aspects of the proposed ‘development initiatives’ with transparent public hearings and consultations that involve local people, as well as others who have been working for conservation and people’s livelihoods in the region, to develop decentralized options for livelihoods & other needs.
- Restore the powers of Local Self Governments, taken away through an ordinance, with immediate effect.
- Withdraw retrograde measures, like relaxing alcohol restrictions and COVID-19 quarantine measures.
- Withdraw the ban on beef; respect the food culture of the local community
- Scrap the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation, 2021
- Roll back the move to by-pass the islander’s trade links with Baypore and move it to Mangalore; the administration must not tamper with the historical, economic and cultural connections of the islanders with Kerala.
- Stop the repressive measures and legal action of the UT administration against people peacefully protesting authoritarian measures.
Vikalp Sangam members urge the Home Minister, Mr. Amit Shah, to keep his promise to consult with the people of Lakshadweep and immediately engage in widespread public consultation processes across the islands.
Full statement is available at: https://vikalpsangam.org/article/statement-and-appeal-on-the-retrograde-moves-in-the-union-territory-of-lakshadweep/
Vikalp Sangam Core Group
SP Ravi: +91-9447518773
S. Anitha: +91-9447078113
Ashish Kothari: +91-8446002036
Avinash Kumar: +91-8882153664
Vikalp Sangam Core Group – 11 June 2021
We, the Core Group members of Vikalp Sangam (Alternative Confluences), are shocked at the recent developments in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. The actions of the Administrator of the UT, Mr. Praful Khoda Patel, are arbitrary and insensitive, and will have irreversible ecological, social and cultural impacts on the inhabitants of Lakshadweep and the rich and fragile ecosystem in and around the islands. We call for all the recent regressive legal and administrative measures to be withdrawn immediately, Mr. Patel to be recalled with immediate effect, and a widespread process of consultation in the islands be initiated to evolve a development plan that is in keeping with their ecological and cultural ethos.
Lakshadweep, the smallest union territory (UT) of India is an archipelago of 35 islands in the Arabian Sea; it was declared a UT in 1956. The islands form the tops of a vast undersea mountain range, the Chagos-Lakshadweep Ridge. Only 11 of these islets are inhabited and the population, as per 2011 census is 64,473. They are categorised as scheduled tribes. Kavaratti serves as the capital of the UT and the region comes under the jurisdiction of the Kerala High Court. The Lakshadweep has one District Panchayath and 10 Grama Panchayaths. Main occupations of the people are fisheries and coconut farming. The Islands are historically connected to Kerala, ruled by the Kannur Kingdom for centuries until the British took over in 1903. The people, predominantly Muslim (97%), speak Malayalam which is also the medium of education. Their main connecting points with the mainland are Kochi and Baypore (Kozhikode) with limited operations with Mangalore and Tuticorin.
Lakshadweep is a peace-loving territory with one of the lowest crime rates in India. It has very low poverty rate and very low economic disparity. The highly progressive land reforms regulation of 1964 ensured land rights to the peasants. The islands also have unique biodiversity with some of India’s richest coral reefs.
Controversial actions of the Administrator
The present Administrator is trying to impose a series of reforms that would drastically alter the social, cultural and religious fabric and economic activities of the people of the islands. Development activities in the UT have to be in accordance with the Integrated Islands Management Plan (IIMP), approved by the Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change (MoEF & CC) in 2015. The IIMP, prepared initially by the National Centre for Earth Sciences Studies (NCESS), Thiruvanathapuram, was finalised after incorporating recommendations by the Supreme Court appointed Justice Raveendran Committee. The reforms proposed by the new Administrator are not in tune with the IIMP. The actions of the Administrator seem to be part of a three-pronged strategy – pave way for big players in tourism sector, restrict cultural-religious freedom, and cut off links with Kerala.
The proposed regulations have been vehemently opposed by the local people as these regulations are a grave threat to their deep cultural and diverse linguistic traditions and history. The majority of the inhabitants are fisher people, who have evolved through centuries as stakeholders of local ecosystems and developed identities fundamentally intertwined with nature. The forced imposition of ‘development’ will cause social and economic crisis among the community and also lead to cultural erasure. This assault by the current regime is also in line with its well-known hatred for Muslim populations.
These plans and regulations, designed to enable large-scale corporate entry into the tourism and hospitality sectors, are not only anti-people, but also anti-environment. The proposed ‘development plans will irreversibly damage marine ecosystems including coral reefs, and speed up the climate crisis. This goes against our national policy regarding Climate Change, and is a violation of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 as well as India’s obligations under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992. The plans for on-shore and off-shore development of Lakshadweep UT for high-end tourism, and to make Kavaratti into a “smart city” are rightly opposed by local people for failing to take into account acute limiting factors like availability of land, scarcity of fresh water.
The measures taken and proposals adopted by the administration are in violation of the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution. The people of Lakshadweep, with women at the forefront, have been justifiably protesting against these regulations.
The draft ‘Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation, 2021’, allows the Administrator to unilaterally detain people for up to one year without public notice, and has been brought in with no justification as to its necessity. On the contrary, the UT has one of the lowest crime rates in the entire nation. Moreover, the Indian Navy has a base there in the form of INS Dweeprakshak and the Coast Guard is also present there. They can very well handle any law-and-order issue, if it arises in future. As a matter of fact, contradictorily, alcohol restrictions have been relaxed to support the focus on tourism, in spite of resistance from the community. It seems the PASA regulation is intended at suppressing opposition to the ulterior motives of the administration.
The draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, 2021, concentrates planning powers with the administration, and empowers it to take any piece of land on the islands, irrespective of its ownership, for “development” purposes, to further tourism expansion. It causes justified concern not only regarding the ecological impact, but also when it comes to the impossibility to provide adequate rehabilitation to the population to be displaced, and compensation for the loss of livelihood through fishing.
In 2012, the Central Government had handed over five departments, directly connected to the people – Education, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, Fisheries and Health Care – to the Local Self Governments. A committee headed by S S Meenakshi Sundaram had recommended more powers to the LSGs. However, the Administrator has taken back all these departments from the District Panchayath, through an ordinance dated May 5th, 2021.
Another regulation prevents citizens with more than two children from contesting Gram Panchayat elections. The draft Lakshadweep Animal Preservation Regulation, 2021, bans beef, including removing it from mid-day meals of a population that is 97% Muslim and for whom the main source of protein is beef and fish. Violations carry draconian penalties. This is a clear communal attack.
Air ambulance was being provided to patients for treatment at the main land (Kochi and surroundings) on the basis of recommendations by medical officers of respective islands. Now this power of the medical officers has been taken back and permission for air ambulance has been centralised and is vested with a committee headed by the health secretary.
These plans and regulations have been introduced without public consultation of the small communities of Lakshadweep, and without regard to their social and religious sensibilities, their ways of life and livelihood, their economic well-being, and their environmental and natural resource situation.
The administration is trying to block trade links of the islanders with Beypore port in Kozhikode and plan to take it to Mangalore.
The Administrator has also, shockingly, relaxed the hitherto mandatory Covid-quarantine for all visitors to the islands. Consequently, after more than a year with no Covid cases, the deliberate sabotaging of containment efforts has led to more than 26 deaths, as well as the arbitrary imprisonment of those resisting such overt suppression.
In solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep
Vikalp Sangam stands in solidarity with the people of Lakshadweep, in their struggle for social justice and ecological rights. We condemn the attempt of Lakshadweep administration to paint the legitimate concerns of the inhabitants of the islands and of those in solidarity, as ‘misleading propaganda’, and demand the following:
- Withdraw immediately Lakshadweep’s Administrator Praful Khoda Patel and replace him by an I.A.S cadre officer as previously done.
- Suspend the plans for on-shore and off-shore development of Lakshadweep for high-end tourism, and making Kavaratti into a “smart city”.
- Conduct social and environmental impact assessments of all proposed ‘development initiatives’ with transparent public hearings and consultations and involving local people as well as those who have been working for conservation of biodiversity in the region; explore decentralized and regenerative alternatives in participation with the local people privileging the local livelihood needs and the ecosystems.
- Restore the powers of Local Self Governments with immediate effect.
- Withdraw, in public interest, the draft Regulations and other measures like relaxing alcohol restrictions, relaxing Covid quarantine, etc.
- Withdraw the ban on beef and respect the food habits of the local people.
- Scrap the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Regulation, 2021.
- Roll back the move to by-pass the islander’s trade links with Baypore and move it to Mangalore; do not tamper with the historical, economic and cultural connect of the islanders with Kerala.
- Stop the repressive measures and legal action by the UT administration against people rightfully and peacefully protesting these authoritarian measures.
We remind the Home Minister of India to keep his promise to consult the people of Lakshadweep, and immediately engage in widespread public consultation processes across the islands on the policy and legal directions they would like to see in the islands.
We call upon all concerned citizens, environmental groups, democratic movements to stand by the people of Lakshadweep Islands against this brazen attack on their culture, identity, economy and ecology.
Vikalp Sangam Core Group
Endorsed by members of Vikalp Sangam Core Group, listed below alphabetically. The Vikalp Sangam process is a platform to bring together movements, groups and individuals working on just, equitable and sustainable pathways to human and ecological well-being. It rejects the current model of development and the structures of inequality and injustice underlying it, and searches for alternatives in practice and vision. Over 70 movements & organisations around the country are involved. For more information: http://www.vikalpsangam.org/about/
ACCORD (Tamil Nadu)
Adivasi Lives Matter (national)
Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (national)
Alternative Law Forum (Bengaluru)
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (Bengaluru)
Bhoomi College (Bengaluru)
Blue Ribbon Movement (Mumbai)
Centre for Education and Documentation (Mumbai)
Centre for Environment Education (Gujarat)
Centre for Equity Studies (Delhi)
Centre for Financial Accountability (Delhi)
Chalakudypuzha Samrakshana Samithi / River Research Centre (Kerala)
ComMutiny: The Youth Collective (Delhi)
Deccan Development Society (Telangana)
Deer Park (Himachal Pradesh)
Desert Resource Centre (Rajasthan)
Development Alternatives (Delhi)
Ekta Parishad (several states)
Extinction Rebellion India (national)
Gene Campaign (Delhi)
Greenpeace India (Bengaluru)
Health Swaraaj Samvaad (national)
Jagori Rural (Himachal Pradesh)
Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (Pune)
Knowledge in Civil Society (national)
Kriti Team (Delhi)
Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation (Ladakh)
Local Futures (Ladakh)
Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch (national)
Mahalir Association for Literacy, Awareness and Rights (MALAR)
Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (Rajasthan) Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture Network (national)
National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (national)
National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (national)
National Coalition for Natural Farming (national)
Nirangal (Tamil Nadu)
Non-timber Forest Produce Exchange India (national)
North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (Meghalaya)
People’s Resource Centre (Delhi)
Peoples’ Science Institute (Uttarakhand)
Sambhaavnaa (Himachal Pradesh)
School for Democracy (Rajasthan)
School for Rural Development and Environment (Kashmir)
Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust (Ladakh)
Sikkim Indigenous Lepcha Women’s Association
Social Entrepreneurship Association (Tamil Nadu)
South Asian Dialogue on Ecological Democracy (Delhi)
Students’ Environmental and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (Ladakh)
Timbaktu Collective (Andhra Pradesh)
Titli Trust (Uttarakhand)
Tribal Health Initiative (Tamil Nadu)
Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (Andhra Pradesh/Telangana)
Youth Alliance (Delhi)
Yugma Network (national)
Let India Breathe
Contact persons on behalf of the VSCG:
Ravi SP, Chalakudypuzha Samrakshana Samithi, [email protected]
KJ Joy, SOPPECOM, [email protected] 9422505473
Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune, [email protected]