Youth humanism around the world



Social Development Foundation

The Atheist Centre

Social Development Foundation

SDF is working for knowledge, education and information and our aim is to make people informed about their culture, their rights as well as their duties with a focus on marginalised groups. SDF try to get information from the villages about their problems and issues as well as involves itself on conflict management, specially on the issue of Food, land and forest.

Human Rights for marginalised communities

Social Development Foundation (SDF) came into being in 1997 after a few young activists who had been working in different movements came together and decided to start an organisation which could concentrate on the issues related to the marginalised communities specially the tribals and Dalits in India. The issue of land reform, economic social cultural rights of these communities were equally marginalised by the mainline human rights group. In fact these rights were never considered as human rights. Human rights education programmes were always meant for the educated elites living in the cities.

The foundation launched its land literacy programme in the villages among the Panchayat activists and victim groups particularly Dalits and tribals. For the first time in their lives in many parts of UP state they realised that they have certain rights called human rights.

Young people and peace in India

As a rationalist who had been associated with Dalit movement and a civil liberties movement in India, I came in contact with various like minded people. We saw the danger of communalism and ethnic violence in our country. We found how the majority view point take shape in the form of rabid nationalism and often turning violent against the ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities. We found how the fanaticism was growing in South Asia region and linked ourself with the saner voices for peace in South Asia.

Social Development Foundation has been trying to organise people living in various parts of subcontinent and provide them a platform for a strong peace initiative. Most of our initiative in this field are among the youths. Some of us formed a group called: www. so that a platform is given to South Asian Peaceniks. As a foundermember of SDF I had the opportunty to attend many seminars and conferences all over the world on the issue of governance, ethnic conflict, gender relations and dialogue between generations.

As a writer who frequently contribute for various journals in South Asia, I have been trying hard to explain the danger of communalisation process and chauvinistic nationalism with hollow nuclear programme.

Footmarch for food rights

Our commitment to poor people's human rights came to the fore when we took a Padyatra (footmarch) on the issue of food rights of the marginalised in Bundelkhand region. This Padyatra was 250 kilometer long and was completed in 13 days in the oppressive heat of about 50 degree celcius.

SDF was partner to Women's Resources Access Programme of the Popular Coalition to Eradicate Hunger and Poverty. Under this programme we organised unique workshops of the landowing womens in the villages and saw what change the entitlement of land had brought in their lives.

Contact SDF

Website SDF:,
Website Peace-forum:,
Contact by e-mail:
V.B. Rawat, Managing Trustee and Director:

@Written by V.B. Rawat

Involvement in IHEYO

V.B. Rawat was on behalf of SDF present at the International Humanist Youth conference 2002 and part of the organisers at the conference. He has contacts with several humanist organisations around the world, among them IHEU.

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The Atheist Centre

The Atheist Centre in India focuses on imparting scientific, secular, democratic ideas through various programs and activities in order to promote humanism, atheism, secularism, and scientific temper. The Centre was founded by Gora (1902-1975) & Saraswathi Gora (b 1912) in 1940.


Under the umbrella of the Atheist Centre, there are three non-governmental organizations: Arthik Samata Mandal, Samskar and Vasavya Mahila Mandali that focus on comprehensive development of the society with major thrust on vulnerable sections such as the children, women, disabled, elderly and socially and economically marginalized communities.

The secular social work approach is being carried out through activities such as counselling, legal guidance, promoting livelihood options, strengthening habitats, encouraging education both to children and adults, rural innovations, and creating awareness on health. Its area of operation is both in urban and rural as well as flood and cyclone prone areas of Andhra Pradesh, South of India.

The Atheist Centre is working in approximately 300 villages, working with tribals, handloom weavers, women victims of torture, children living with HIV AIDS, Joginis (a remnant of Devadasi System), criminals, street children, child labourers, women with social problems, disaster victims, fisherfolk, rural artisans, agricultural labourers, small & marginalized farmers, youth & adolescents, pregnant and lactating mothers, etc.

The Centre networks with like-minded organizations including village level women groups, community based organizations, children’s clubs and youth clubs. The Atheist Centre provides direct services and it support services.

In order to promote scientific outlook, it organizes large-scale hands-on science, environment, medical & disaster management exhibitions and organizes programs to investigate the claims of the paranormal such as the witchcraft and sorcery.


Atheist Centre works for a post religious society and promotes peaceful, non-violent and constructive activities for social change, critical thinking, spirit of inquiry and Positive Atheism as a way of life. In order to break the caste and religion barriers, it promotes inter-caste and inter-religious marriages.

It also encourages children to be given secular names. It organizes atheist study camps, national and international conferences on atheism & social change. It publishes journals and books on Atheism. It maintains livewire contact with like-minded national and international organizations. 

All in all, plenty of reasons to be guests at the Atheist Centre and participate in the IHEYO-Atheist Centre 2006 conference!

Contact Details

Atheist Centre
Benz Circle , Vijayawada 520 010, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA
Ph: +91 866 2472330, Fax: +91 866 2484850
Email: (and)

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