Building Collectives

Building Collectives

Perhaps the greatest strength of the DD project is the confidence we have earned of the village community. In practical all the villages where we have been working for more than a year rural people have become our real partners - willing to involve themselves in activities which would have been difficult to imagine without the intensive work done by DD field workers.

Right from the beginning DD personnel have known that formation of community groups is a pre-requisite of movement of the people. Therefore, even after an initial contact youth and women are motivated to view themselves as members of an organization.

As regards, creation of these organizations, the observations of Denzil Saldanha (Retired Professor of Sociology Mumbai, Maharashtra, India,) are significant. "Through its adolescent and women's groups in villages and their collectives at the block level, DD has been able to make significant advances in the process of sustainability. This has been all the more relevant in the situation of Rajasthan where ecology and caste-gender relations determine the present quality of survival to a greater extent than in most other states" The project has also been successful in translating adolescents' learning into community action through formation of forums at village and block level.

Jagrit Mahila Sangathan(JMS)/ Yuva Shakti Sangathan(YSS):

DD is working with youth groups and women groups at village level and every Block level one JMS is formed for women and one YSS is formed for Youths. Jagrit Mahila Sangathan/ Yuva Shakti Sangathan is constituted at block level with active members of Adolescent form and Women group.

The process of formation of youth forums in the later half of second year evolved into the shape of a collective. A beginning was made by Kishanganj block. One boy and a girl were selected from each of the Adolescent Forums to form "Yuva Shakti Sangathan" with the objective of:

  •  Providing an institutional base to adolescents to fight for their rights, such as right to work, right to information, right to live with human dignity and equality;
  • Enabling youths to take action against incidences of caste, class, atrocities and exploitation of women;
  • Empowering these persons to initiate joint efforts to remove the obstacles in development;
  • Gaining programme ownership in the hands of youths in the long run;