Resource Units


Livelihood Resource Unit

livelihood1The Livelihood Resource Unit started functioning in April 2004, with a focus on issues related to land, water and forest. Since the beginning, the Unit became involved in the Forest Land Rights Campaign, since 1995. The campaign expanded with linkages to other states, and ultimately, in 2006, the central government passed the “Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act”. The Unit is actively associated with the Jungle Jameen Jan Andolan (Forest Land People’s Movement) at the regional level, and with the Survival with Dignity Campaign at the national level. At present, the Resource Unit is working towards the effective implementation of the ‘Forest Rights Act’ in tribal districts of south Rajasthan.

livelihood2The Resource Unit is also inclose networking with the state wide campaign for NREGA and RTI through the Rozgar evam Suchna ka Adhikar Abhiyan (Employment and Right to Information Campaign) that aims at proper and effective implementation of NREGA. The Unit is involved with regular trainings on the NREGA Act; it is training train Mates (labour gang supervisors), various POs and Voluntary Organizations for effective implementation of the Act.

Unit is ensuring food security by making sure that the Supreme Court Orders in connection to food security are being implemented, and by networking at the state and at the national level. The Unit also plays an active role in collaboration with the POs and civil society organizations to monitor the Public Distribution System, spreading awareness regarding the school mid-day meal and other food security schemes of the government.

Local Self-Governance Resource Unit

localsglocalsg1The Local Self Governance Resource Unit (LSG) was formed in 2004, with the objective of working with the people to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). The working strategy of the Unit is to do direct fieldwork and intervention in a limited number of Village Council areas, and District, and also to work with and through partner NGOs in other parts of Rajasthan.

At present, the LSG Unit is working in 3 Blocks directly and indirectly in 81 blocks of 23 districts in Rajasthan, to train and strengthen the elected women representatives, and to encourage citizens to take active participation in PRI Gram Sabha (Village Assembly) meetings. A total of 5137 EWRs became members of the Association of Ward Councillor and Village Councillor (Mahila Panch-Sarpanch Sangathan).

Budget Analysis Rajasthan Centre

barkBudget Analysis Rajasthan Centre (BARC), set up in January 2002, is designed to help those working with the poor at the local levels, to learn how to use the budget data in their planning and advocacy work. The role of the Centre is to analyse the Rajasthan state budgets and public policies from a pro-poor and marginalized people’s perspective in an attempt to promote transparent, accountable, participatory governance, and a people cantered perspective with regard to the preparation and implementation of budgets.

barc1BARC seeks to attempt to build partnerships with members of the Budget Analysis network in India, and at the same time, to act as a “watch dog”. The Centre protects and strengthens the monitoring work of like-minded people while also looks into the common people’s issues and joins in lobbying work. It interprets and analyses the budget figures combined with other data. The Centre is also involved in emphasizing issues that affect the daily lives of the tribals, women, and agricultural laborers, such as health, education, water, drought, food, security, and employment. Visit-www.barcjaipur.org for more details about BARC.

Education Rights Resource Unit

eduThe Unit continued with the programme – to facilitate in establishing community monitoring of the Right to Education (RTE) Act at local level for better implementation that was started with support from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Activities carried out pertaining to better implementation of RTE act are – community meetings, awareness campaigns; holding public hearings, education dialogues, parent meetings to provide platform to their voices, lobbying and advocacy to build pressure on the Administration to make them accountable and redressal of the grievances made during public hearings. Apart from this, Astha has participated in state and national level events organized to discuss better implementation of RTE which helped in building pressure at policy level decision.

Single Women’s Rights Resource Unit

single_women_rightsThe Women’s Empowerment Resource Unit (WERU) was constituted to encompass all programmes pertaining to Women’s Empowerment. The WERU includes Astha’s work with Single Women’s Organizations, 1) through its “back support” to the Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan or Association of Strong Women Alone in Rajasthan (http://www.strongwomenalone.org/); and 2) through housing and supporting the Secretariat of the National Forum for Single Women’s Rights.

In addition, the WERU also includes the Local Self Governance Unit, which supports capacity building and organization of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) with the objective of working with the people to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). The working strategy of the Unit is to do direct fieldwork and intervention in a limited number of Village Council areas, and District, and also to work with and through partner NGOs in other parts of Rajasthan. At present, the LSG cell is working in 3 Blocks directly and indirectly in 81 blocks of 23 districts in Rajasthan, to train and strengthen the elected women representatives, and to encourage citizens to take active participation in PRI Gram Sabha (Village Assembly) meetings. A total of 5137 EWRs became members of the Association of Ward Councillor and Village Councillor (Mahila Panch-Sarpanch Sangathan).

The Women Empowerment Resource Unit is also a part of the citizen’s group – Mahila Atyachaar Virodhi Manch, Udaipur and assists women victims of violence as and when required. It is also a part of the District Support Group that works in tandem with the Mahila Salah Suraksha Kendra, Udaipur; a counselling and support centre for women, to support its counselling efforts.

Other than working on local issues relevant to women’s rights, the Unit also networks with other organizations and like-minded campaigns on the issue of women’s rights such as One Billion Rising Campaign (OBR), Mahila Kisaan Adhikar Manch (MAKAM) and the Property for Her Campaign.

Women Empowerment Resource Unit

The Women’s Empowerment Resource Unit (WERU) was constituted to encompass all programmes pertaining to Women’s Empowerment. The WERU includes Astha’s work with Single Women’s Organizations, 1) through its “back support” to the Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan or Association of Strong Women Alone in Rajasthan (http://www.strongwomenalone.org); and 2) through housing and supporting the Secretariat of the National Forum for Single Women’s Rights.

In addition, the WERU also includes the Local Self Governance Unit, which supports capacity building and organization of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) with the objective of working with the people to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). The working strategy of the Unit is to do direct fieldwork and intervention in a limited number of Village Council areas, and District, and also to work with and through partner NGOs in other parts of Rajasthan. At present, the LSG cell is working in 3 Blocks directly and indirectly in 81 blocks of 23 districts in Rajasthan, to train and strengthen the elected women representatives, and to encourage citizens to take active participation in PRI Gram Sabha (Village Assembly) meetings. A total of 5137 EWRs became members of the Association of Ward Councillor and Village Councillor (Mahila Panch-Sarpanch Sangathan).

The Women Empowerment Resource Unit is also a part of the citizen’s group – Mahila Atyachaar Virodhi Manch (Forum against Women’s Atrocities), Udaipur and assists women victims of violence as and when required. It is also a part of the District Support Group that works in tandem with the Mahila Salah Suraksha Kendra (Women’s Counselling Centre), Udaipur; a counselling and support centre for women, to support its counselling efforts.

Other than working on local issues relevant to women’s rights, the Unit also networks with other organizations and like-minded campaigns on the issue of women’s rights such as One Billion Rising Campaign (OBR), Mahila Kisaan Adhikar Manch – MAKAM (Women Farmer Rights Forum) and the Property for Her Campaign.

Tribal Rights Resource Unit

tribalrgtsTribal Rights are enshrined in the Constitution of India and have translated into several laws, but the implementation of those laws leaves a lot to desired! The Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act 1996, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 are important pieces of legislation, passed by the Central and state governments, but not implemented, and so, up to now, the tribals are denied the rights intended
The Resource Unit is also in close networking with the state wide campaign for NREGA and RTI through the Suchna evam Rozgaar Adhikar Abhiyan (Employment and Right to Information Campaign) that aims at proper and effective implementation of NREGA. The Unit is involved with regular trainings on the NREGA; it is training train Mates (labour gang supervisors), various POs and Voluntary Organizations for effective implementation of the Act.

Unit is also working on food security by making sure that the Supreme Court Orders in connection to food security are being implemented, and by networking at the state and at the national level. The Unit also plays an active role in collaboration with the POs and civil society organizations to monitor the Public Distribution System, spreading awareness regarding the school mid-day meal and other food security schemes of the government.

Right to Education and Child Protection in Tribal Areas is also a key issue on which the Unit is working. Through partnership with Panchayati Raj Functionaries and the community, the Unit is involved in setting up of Community Based monitoring of Schools to ensure implementation of provisions under the RTE Act, 2008 and is also involved in active advocacy for policy changes concerning primary education systems in Rajasthan. The Unit has also taken up issue of Child Development and Protection through partnership with international sponsors and providing them with basic life skills which can ensure their livelihood on reaching adulthood.

Tribal Development Resource Unit

Tribal Rights are enshrined in the Constitution of India and have translated into several laws, but the implementation of those laws leaves a lot to desired! The Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act 1996, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 are important pieces of legislation, passed by the Central and state governments, but not implemented, and so, up to now, the tribals are denied the rights intended.

The Resource Unit is also in close networking with the state wide campaign for NREGA and RTI through the Suchna evam Rozgaar Adhikar Abhiyan (Employment and Right to Information Campaign) that aims at proper and effective implementation of NREGA. The Unit is involved with regular trainings on the NREGA; it is training train Mates (labour gang supervisors), various POs and Voluntary Organizations for effective implementation of the Act.

Unit is also working on food security by making sure that the Supreme Court Orders in connection to food security are being implemented, and by networking at the state and at the national level. The Unit also plays an active role in collaboration with the POs and civil society organizations to monitor the Public Distribution System, spreading awareness regarding the school mid-day meal and other food security schemes of the government.

Right to Education and Child Protection in Tribal Areas is also a key issue on which the Unit is working. Through partnership with Panchayati Raj Functionaries and the community, the Unit is involved in setting up of Community Based monitoring of Schools to ensure implementation of provisions under the RTE Act, 2008 and is also involved in active advocacy for policy changes concerning primary education systems in Rajasthan. The Unit has also taken up issue of Child Development and Protection through partnership with international sponsors and providing them with basic life skills which can ensure their livelihood on reaching adulthood.

Differently Abled People’s Rights Resource Unit

pwd1pwd2Astha took initiative to work on inclusion of Persons with Disability (PWDs) in mainstream society. Work areas chosen in 4 blocks of two districts (Udaipur and Dungarpur) with working area of existing POs.

Objectives behind this work –
-Provide assistance in getting employment/self-employment so that they may lead a life of dignity.
-Making public places and Government Offices accessible by PWDs
-Creating and enabling environment for providing ease of access which does not restrict their mobility.
-Promote equality and respect for PWDs in society and demand just and fair treatment, allowing them to become inclusive citizens.

The work being carried out by the Unit aims at bringing self-confidence among the PWDs, protecting their rights, providing equal opportunity and participation; facilitating the PWDs to build People’s Organization so that the efforts can sustained; identify and build leadership quality of leaders from the PWDs who can work for the PO to increase accessibility to government run social security and livelihood schemes.