Partner Organisation: Samarthan
Samarthan’s mission is to make democracy more meaningful by supporting the marginalised in the effort to make themselves heard. The focus is on collective issues which have policy implications for groups of dalits, women, tribals, unorganised labour and other vulnerables.
Role of Samarthan
Samarthan works in partnership with peoples’ organistions to further the interest of marginalised sections of the society. This is ensured by;
- conducting campaigns on problems affecting the vulnerable sections;
- disseminating information regarding policy matters and implementing to social action groups and decision makers;
- demystifying the policy making process so that the peoples’ organisations can participate in it; and
- providing a channel to voluntary organisations and action groups to raise their issues on a wider level.
Some issues successfully handled by Samarthan
- Revision of Minimum Wages for Agricultural Labourers.
One crore fifty lakhs agricultural labourers benefited by this revision.
- Need for separate Legislation for Governance of Tribal Areas in the Wake of 73rd Amendment to Constitution.
Legislation named as, tribal, self rule and approximately 81 lakh people from Maharastra will be covered under this legislation enacted in December 1997.
- Effective Implementation of Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989.
Guidelines for Implementation issued by State Govt.
- Exemption of Voluntary rules formed by Government.
- Right of Child Labourers to Education. Special Policy Drafted for this purpose.
- Facilitated the process of framing disater rehabilitation policy in Maharashtra.
In addition, Samarthan has taken up cases of atrocities against women and dalits; land alienation, non-implementation of unorganised labour legislations and violation of human rights and successfully ensured that justice is meted out to them by the system.
Coordinates of Samarthan
C/O, Vidhayak Sansad
87/3, Mumbadevi Municipal School
Near Cotton Exchange
Mumbai – 400 002
Mr. Milind Murugkar
(Research & Writing Responsibility)
892/2/2, Plot no. 7
Nasik – 422009
(Administrative Support Responsibility)
II. State: Karnataka
Partner Organisation: Consumer Rights, Education & Awareness Trust (CREAT)
CREAT was established in December 1993 and was registered as a public charitable trust in July 1994. The objectives of CREAT include enhancing the voice of the consumers, educating them and securing fulfilment of consumer rights. CREAT is a member of Central Consumer Protection Council, Working Group on Misleading Advertisements and Working Group on Food Safety. It is also a member of Zonal Advisory Board of LIC of India. CREAT is
recognised as a consumer NGO by TRAI. It is involved in several issues more important being Right to Information, Consumer Participation in Power Sector Reforms, Consumer Education and Patients Rights. Recently it has started to work on Farmers’ Rights. CREAT has established Karnataka’s first consumer information centre at Bangalore. CREAT is functioning from a rented building. The library has more than 5000 books, reports and briefing papers. Over 6000 paper clippings on health, en
vironment, consumer protection, WTO are available. CREAT receives more than 20 magazines and newsletters from across the world. CREAT is managed by a board of three trustees and an Executive Committee.
Coordinates of CREAT
239, 5th ‘C’ Main
Ph: 91-80-2532 0213/4 Ext. 239
Fax: 91-80-2532 0338
Prof. Manu T U
Ph: 91-80- 2363 4631(R)
Mr. Y. G. Muralidharan
Ph: 91-80- 2340 3170 (R)
III. State: Orissa
Partner Organisation: Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD)
The Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) is a non-government, non-profit civil society organisation working for the development of the deprived and marginalised sections of society in Orissa. CYSD’s operational areas are located mainly in the most backward districts of the country. Since its inception in 1982, CYSD has come a long way. Starting with mobilising social change with the help of local change agents, it has evolved into an ‘enabling’ institution having specific skills in participatory research and competencies in development management at various levels.
To excel as an enabling institution for the development of the deprived so as to improve the quality of their lives through participatory action, research initiatives, training programme and to enhance the capacities of the intermediary and people’s organisations ensuring sustainability.
CYSD works at three levels:
- It carries out community development programmes in partnership with marginalised people in different parts of the state;
- It extends capacity-building support to community based groups/organisations, NGOs and civil society network; and
- It carries out policy research and advocacy on problems of the poor and issues related to social development. CYSD furthers this objective by being an active member of a number of NGO networks at the state, national and international levels
Issues that CYSD addresses include livelihood stabilisation, people’s entitlements to basic services (drinking water, health, and education), women’s empowerment, community based natural resource management, disaster preparedness, displacement and human rights, child rights as well as transparency and accountability of CSOs.
The four inter-dependent centres that work towards fulfilling CYSD’s mission and help it achieve distinction as an enabling institution are:
CHSD: Centre for Human and Sustainable Development
DRTC: Development Resource and Training Centre
CEPRA: Centre for Policy Research and Advocacy
RACHANA: The Disaster Response Cell
Coordinates of CYSD
Centre for Youth and Social Development
E-1, Institutional Area,
Gangadhar Meher Marg,
Bhubaneswar – 751 013, India
Ph: 91-674-2300983 / 2301725
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Gitanjali Jena
Cell: 09437 089103
IV. State: Tamil Nadu
Partner Organisation: Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG)
Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) is a non-profit, non-political, voluntary and professional citizens group based in Chennai whose objectives are to provide a platform for citizens to represent consumer and environmental problems, to monitor the performance of public utilies, and to take up issues of public health, development and safety. CAG has always adopted the larger definition of a consumer – that of the citizen-consumer, in all its activities. CAG’s contributions towards consumer protection has been recognised by the Government of India who awarded the National Award for Consumer Protection in 1989 (Second Prize)
and 1991 (First Prize).
CAG is a non-profit, non-political and professional citizens group that seeks to make critical policy changes through strategic interventions to benefit the citizen-consumer.
CAG came into existence on October 7, 1985, as a non-profit, non-political, non-religious, voluntary and professional citizens group based in Chennai. S. Govind Swaminadhan, legal practitioner and former Advocate General of the State of Tamil Nadu, was the founding trustee of CAG. The initial trustees included S. Guhan (former Finance Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu), S.L.Rao (former Chairman, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission), Shyamala Nataraj (Programme Director South India Aids Action Program) and Sriram Panchu (Senior Advocate).
The Group was originally christened Consumer Action Group. After nearly a decade, it was changed to CAG (Citizen, consumer and civic Action Group), keeping in mind the larger role that groups such as theirs have to play. The main objectives of CAG are:
- to consolidate the commanding position of consumers in the working of the economic system;
- to protect and promote consumer interest and satisfaction;
- to make consumers aware of their rights and responsibilities;
- to secure the effective use of the legal process to remedy public grievances;
- to seek improvement in the areas of public health and safety, services, public utilities, and the environment; and
- to create and mobilise public opinion to enhance public participation in governance.
Coordinates of CAG
No. 9/5, 2nd Street
Padmanabha Nagar, Adyar
Ph: 91-44-2446 0387
Fax: 91-44-2491 4358
V. State: Uttar Pradesh
Partner Organisation: Network of Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (NEED)
Network of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (NEED) is a Voluntary Development Organisation (VDO) established in the middle of 1995 to become a network of people-driven development models. NEED began with an experiential learning idea of empowering the women and children for their dignity and rights. In addition to working directly at the grassroots in about 600 villages spread in 7 districts of UP and facilitating about 1250 SHGs, NEED also networks with about 300 voluntary and development organisations spread in 12 Indian States. NEED is managed by an international Advisory Council and a 7-member Governing Board, which includes women from the grassroots. Mr. Anil K. Singh, who is the founder and the Chief Executive, heads NEED.
The broad vision of NEED is ‘People ‘Centred Development’, with a special focus particularly on women and children. NEED continuously endeavours to excel as a centre of excellence for women self-reliance.
The mission is to create an impact upon the lives of deprived citizens of society, particularly women and children, enabling them to maximise their human resource potential and change their lives with significant emphasis on their livelihoods and positive change in socio-economic, political, environmental and cultural spheres.
Major Areas of Concern
- Women Self Help Groups and Mainstreaming of Gender
- IssuesMicrocredit with its multiplier effect.
- Micro-Enterprise with Entrepreneurial Skills
- Child centred development approach, family and community.
- Health Hygiene and Sanitation Education, Agriculture Diversification, Income Generation Activities etc.
- Women Rural Asset Management including Natural Resources
- Capacity Building and Networking towards Grassroots Actions, Fair Trade channels and Global Change.
Coordinates of NEED
Near 14-Sector Power House
Ph: 91-522-2712 671, 2712 673
Fax: 91-522-2302 694
Anil. K. Singh
Mobile: 91-94150 20503
Ms. Shanu Somebanshi
VI. State: Andhra Pradesh
Partner Organisation: Consumer Guidance Society (CGS)
Consumer Guidance Society (CGS) came into existence on December 12th, 1995 as a non-profit, apolitical, secular, voluntary and professional group, wedded to the cause of consumers’ empowerment and sovereignty and equitous development. It came out of the collective and concerted efforts of law teachers, lawyers and other professionals drawn from different disciplines. It was registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860 and affiliated to CUTS, Jaipur. It is the only organisation in Andhra Pradesh recognised by the Telephone Regulatory Authority of India.
Over the last 10 years of its existence, CGS has been espousing the cause of public through litigation, campaigning, lobbying and advocacy for bringing about desirable changes in the area of its operation. Some of its work areas include-
- Advocating public interest and creating awareness in the consumers through publication of relevant articles and material constitute important elements of its work.
- Its other focus area has been to spread the message of consumer movement to rural areas, as most of the rural consumers are unaware of the significance and the beneficial effects of the consumer movement. In this endeavour, CGS has been instrumental in promoting consumer awareness in rural areas aimed at enhancing capacity building of grassroots activists, leading to the promotion of many rural consumer groups initially in Krishna and Guntur districts, Andhra Pradesh.
- It has also been in the forefront in the campaign for the popularisation of Citizen Charters put out by various departments of government of Andhra Pradesh. It also leads the District Federation of Consumer Organisations in the position of Secretary and is also on various Governmental Committees as a consultative group.
- Over the last few years, CGS has been engaged in designing and holding a special series of consumer education programmes for college and school students in Krishna district. The emphasis of this programme was to build the capacity of college and school students to deal with the corporate pressure exercised by manufacturers of processed food, drugs and cosmetics and to understand the hidden meaning and manipulative nature of advertisements.
It has the distinction of filing huge number of consumers’ cases before the Consumer Fora. CGS has also been involved in promoting education and awareness on WTO and various processes associated with WTO in India and it is a part of networking initiated by CUTS since 1997. It was also a part Voluntary Consumer Action Network for the rational use of drugs initiated by CUTS.
Coordinates of CGS
D.No: 56-11- 13/1
1st Floor, Sri Devi Complex
Y.V.R. Street, Opp. Donka Road
Patamata, Vijayawada- 520 010
Ph: 91-866-2583 249
Fx: 91-866-2487 180
Ch. Divakar Babu
Cell: 94406 35703/98496 13731
D. Narasimha Reddy
Ph: 91-040-2407 7804
VII. State: Rajasthan
Partner Organisation: CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training(CUTS-CART)
CUTS Centre for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS-CART) at Jaipur works towards enabling people, especially women and other disadvantaged groups of society, to assert their rights so that they can achieve the right to basic needs and sustainable development, through a strong consumer movement.
CUTS was founded in the year 1984, with the mandate of pursuing the cause of common consumers. With the growth of the organisation, later, the responsibility of moving forward with the inherited agenda of CUTS was handed over to the CART. The programmes of the Centre are primarily aimed at generating awareness, creating a more responsible society and encouraging changes at the policy level, by advocating with the government machinery and sensitising it to its issues of concern to the common man. The Centre has spearheaded several campaigns and pioneered consumer empowerment. It has created and trained over 1200 activists and helped establish over 300 independent groups in Rajasthan and elsewhere. Its mission is to enable people, particularly the poor and the marginalised to achieve their rights to basic needs and sustainable development, through a strong consumer movement.
CUTS-CART is having a 12-member Advisory Committee consisting of eminent personalities from various fields of work. Professor V S Vyas, a well-known Economist and Professor Emeritus of Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur (IDSJ) is the Chairman of the Advisory Committee.
Programme Areas of the Centre
The following are the core functional areas of the Centre-
- Consumer Education & Protection
- Investor Education & Protection;
- Good Governance, which includes economic governance;
- Utility Reforms (Power & Water etc.);
- Sustainable mobility, which includes road safety;
- Women & Child Rights; and
- Sustainable Development, which includes environment and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
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Coordinates of CUTS-CART
D-222, Bhaskar Marg
Jaipur – 302 016
Ph: 91-0141-2282 821/5133 259
Fax: 91-0141-5104 258
R. K. Sharma
Cell: 98292 85930
VIII. State: West Bengal
Partner Organisation: CUTS Calcutta Resource Centre (CUTS-CRC
CUTS Calcutta Resource Centre (CUTS-CRC) became operational in the year 1987. It started working in the area of consumer protection. After four years, in 1991, it started working on trade, economics and environment. Later on, a specialised centre, entitled Centre for International Trade, Economics & Environment (CITEE) was launched to undertake this work
Meanwhile, a network ‘South Asia Watch on Trade Economics and Environment’ (SAWTEE) was launched jointly with other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in South Asia. The same was developed with a view to strengthen the work on capacity building, policy research and advocacy in the regional bloc. In the later part of 1997, CITEE moved to Jaipur and dimension of Calcutta centre was changed. It started reviving Safety Watch activities, which involved consumer safety.
A new round of activities on Sustainable Production and Consumption started taking place at the centre. A host of projects on environmental sustainability, atmospheric issues were taken up during 1999 to 2002. In 2001, once again the trade-related activities were reintroduced. A cluster of programmes on Grassroots Economic Development was also taken up during this period. Thus, its main programmes are on – safety watch, sustainable production & consumption and grassroots economic development
The centre’s mission is to work in association with other centres to ensure consumer sovereignty and economic equality within and across borders.
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Coordinates of CUTS-CRC
CUTS Calcutta Resource Centre (CUTS-CRC)
3 Suren Tagore Road, 2nd Floor
Ph: 91-33-2440 0884
Fax: 91-33-2440 7669
Cell: 09339 722554