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
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
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 vioces 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.
peacemonger.com so that a platform is given to South
Asian Peaceniks. As a foundermember of SDF I had the opportuntiy
to attend many seminars and conferences all over the world on the
issue of governance, ethnic conflict, gender relations and dialogue
As a writer who frequently contribute
for various journals in South Asia, I have been trying hard to explain
the danger of commuanlisation process and chauvinistic nationalism
with hollow nuclear programme.
Footmarch for food rights
Our committment to poor people's human rigthts came to the fore
when we took a Padyatra (footmarch) on the issue of food rigths
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 Reources
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.
Website SDF: www.thesdf.org,
Website Peace-forum: www.peacemonger.com,
Contact by e-mail:
V.B. Rawat, Managing Trustee and Director: firstname.lastname@example.org.
@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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