With the motto as “together we make a difference”, Lok Manch aims at bridging the gap between the people and the government.
While India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, despite commendable efforts, challenges persist. For the last eight years, Lok Manch (LM) has been a platform for civil society and elementary organizations which have been trying to amplify the voices of different marginalized communities coming from the different regions in India. The project contributes in ensuring social protection, promoting human rights, enhancing people’s participation in decision making bodies, local governances to build a climate-resilient community across 15 states with different objectives, specific vision and a personalized plan of action based on the requirement. The Lok Manch network is spread over 92 organizations and 2100 villages in 67 districts with 3,16,500 families with a common collective goal of attracting the attention of policy makers in order to influence institutional level and political decisions.
The project is divided in three phases in a total of nine years. Phase I starting from 2015 to 2018 Lok Manch focused on capacity building of Community Leaders (CLs) who are selected through a rigorous progress and trained from different states. There are 5520 communities leaders identified, selected and trained subsequently who have been instrumental in checking inequality in the ground level and by accelerating the development process in the community for an equitable and impartial society. It focused more on the rights and entitlements of the individual aligning with community rights which have closely linked with the livelihoods and to check inequalities to eradicate poverty.
Phase II which started from 2018 to 2021 emphasized on promoting different levels of issue based campaigns led by these Community Leaders with the handholding support of the facilitating organization and the National Level Team connecting with thematic networks and other civil society organizations. In addition to this, better access and implantation of social security benefits at district and state level has been the focal point. The interventions under the two phases generated considerable synergy to work with other individuals, organizations and networks to Ensure Social Protection. While working with the rural and marginalized communities to address the development challenges, especially livelihood issues, it was found that climate change is one of the determinants contributing in making these communities vulnerable. Therefore, Lok Manch has stepped into addressing the impact of climate change and finding solutions for making it more climate-resilient.
Phase III which starts from 2021 to 2024 is based on the seven basic rights: Right to Food, Education, WASH, Health, Adequate Housing, social protection and climate change in alignment with the overarching Sustainable Development Goals. Majorly the project focuses on out circling the rights, government schemes and other provisions with and through the community by building an effective interface with the government departments and institutions using Community Convergence Facilitation Forums (CCFFs) collectively led by the trained Community Leaders in the optional areas. The objective is to create a groundbreaking community driven platform, which is innovative in a sense that the measures adopted in the process not only encourage people’s participation, but also lead to informed decision-making in local governance.
The Pandemic has exposed deep rooted inequalities, economic insecurities and social divergence. To shrink this gap, Lok Manch identifies and develops common agendas at the national and state level, it is conceived as a platform for community leaders and civil society organizations to act for policy engagement especially to ensure proper implementation of existing policies and laws on government’s social welfare scheme. Standardized quality training along with exposure and support encourage the state leaders and help them in becoming proactive in bringing out positive changes in the society.
Who is part of the network?
Project Director – Xavier Soreng
National Coordinator – Jayanta Patra
Programme Officer – Ruby Mary Kujur
Officer: Networking & Campaign – Tanpreet Lamba
|P M Antony
|Dr. T. Nishaant
|Delhi & Uttrakhand
|Vivian Walter Lopes
|Andhra Pradesh & Telangana