COMMUNITY BASED MONITORING of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Sampoorna Vimukti: Mainstreaming Denotified and Nomadic Tribes among India Citizenry

Date: 20th June 2017                                                    Venue: Deputy Speaker Hall, Constitutional Club of India

The ‘Criminal’ tag inflicted by the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 on nearly 1500 nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes and 198 denotified tribes, comprising 150 million Indians, (Renke Commission, 2008) did not vanish with the repeal of the Act on August 31, 1952. Instead, it continued through the Habitual Offenders Act, 1952, in different Indian states.

Ten years ago, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination stated its concern: “the so‐called denotified and nomadic tribes (DNTs), which were listed for their alleged “criminal tendencies” under the former Criminal Tribes Act (1871), continue to be stigmatised under the Habitual Offenders Act (1952)” and recommended that “the State party repeal the Habitual Offenders Act and effectively rehabilitate” the DNTs.

The National Human Rights Commission recommended repealing the Act in 2000. The main occupations of the communities such as snake charming, tricks with bears and monkeys, brewing liquor and hunting – were criminalized which was leading to re-stigmatising of the communities. With their traditional occupations taken away and without access to new skills, many were pushed into criminal activities thus reinforcing the marginalisation of the DNTs.

The National Alliance Group for Denotified and Nomadic Tribe (NAG DNT) along with Praxis-Institute for Participatory Practices has facilitated a community based data collection and analysis process to deliberate and understand the role of Government and Businesses in realising specific Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the DNTs. As part of this process following SDG Goals were covered:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 3:  Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 16: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Background and Concept

The ‘Criminal’ tag inflicted by the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 on nearly 1500 nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes and 198 denotified tribes, comprising 150 million Indians, (Renke Commission, 2008) did not vanish with the repeal of the Act on August 31, 1952. Instead, it continued through the Habitual Offenders Act, 1952, in different Indian states.

Ten years ago, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination stated its concern: “the so‐called denotified and nomadic tribes (DNTs), which were listed for their alleged “criminal tendencies” under the former Criminal Tribes Act (1871), continue to be stigmatised under the Habitual Offenders Act (1952)” and recommended that “the State party repeal the Habitual Offenders Act and effectively rehabilitate” the DNTs.

The National Human Rights Commission recommended repealing the Act in 2000. The main occupations of the communities such as snake charming, tricks with bears and monkeys, brewing liquor and hunting – were criminalized which was leading to re-stigmatising of the communities. With their traditional occupations taken away and without access to new skills, many were pushed into criminal activities thus reinforcing the marginalisation of the DNTs.

The National Alliance Group for Denotified and Nomadic Tribe (NAG DNT) along with Praxis-Institute for Participatory Practices has facilitated a community based data collection and analysis process to deliberate and understand the role of Government and Businesses in realising specific Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the DNTs. As part of this process following SDG Goals were covered:

Some select community members from DNT-NT community who have

Session Plan (Tentative): Sampoorna Vimukti: Mainstreaming De-notified and Nomadic Tribes among Indian Citizenry

Deliberation on the situation of Denotified tribes in the context of Sustainable Development Goal

“Leaving no one behind”

Time Session Title Participants/ Guests
10:00 – 10:15 am Inauguration

Shri Bhiku Ramji Idate, Chairperson for National Commission for semi-nomadic, Nomadic and Denotified Tribe

Shri Prasant Rakshit , Founding Member, Pashim Banga Kheria Sabar Kalyan Samiti, West Bengal

Community Voice
10:15 – 11:30 am Ground Level Panel presentation on findings and recommendations Participants from DNT community (See the list)
11:30 – 12:00 noon Launch of Digital Story Telling (Film) on DNT issue

Shri Balkrishna Sidram Renke, Ex- Chairperson, National Commission for Nomadic and Denotified Tribe

Shri B K Prasad, Secretary for National Commission for semi-nomadic, Nomadic and De-notified Tribe.

12:00 – 1:00 pm SDGs: are we not going to leave DNT communities behind: A panel discussion

Advisory Panel (See the list)

1:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch  
Policy discussion – Sampoorna Vimukti
2:00 – 3:00 pm In the context of Leaving No One Behind- Achieving SDGs: Why resources are eluding DNT Communities? Representatives from resource organisations
3:00 – 5:30 pm Key policy solutions for mainstreaming DNT issues in the national development agenda

 

Speaker: Shri Bhiku Ramji Idate, Chairperson, National Commission for Semi-nomadic, Nomadic and Denotified Tribe, Government of India and Other panelists (see the list)
4:50 – 5:00 pm Vote of Thanks and High Tea Dakxin Bajrangi, National Alliance Group for Nomadic and Denotified Tribes 

                        Panelists for panel discussion 1

Names of Agencies
Mr. Amitabh Behar, Executive Director, National Foundation For India (NFI)
Shri B K Prasad, Secretary, National Commission for Semi-Nomadic, Nomadic and Denotified Tribes, Government of India
Ms. Anupam Nidhi, Formerly Head- CSR, Reliance Group of Industries
Mr. Nikhil Pant, Shaktishi (to be confirmed)
Ms. Sehjo Singh, Director- Programme and Policy. ActionAid (to be confirmed)
Representative from Tata Trusts
Mr. Ajaz Lone, Nasscom Foundation (to be confirmed)
Representative from CRY (to be confirmed)

 

Keynote speaker and panelists for panel discussion 2

Name Brief Profile
Mr. Bhiku Ramji Idate Chairperson, National Commission for Semi-Nomadic, Nomadic and Denotified Tribes, Government of India
Mr. Balkrishna Sidram Renke Ex- Chairperson, National Commission for Nomadic and Denotified Tribe
Dr. Balvan Singh Chairperson, DNT Board, Haryana
Prof. Meena Radhskrishna Academician and Fellow, Nehru Library
Prof. Vijay Raghavan Faculty, Tata institute of Social Sciences
Mr. Ajay Kumar Pandey CEO, Sehgal Foundation
Mr. Tom Thomas CEO, Praxis


Community-Based Research to understand the realization of Sustainable Development Goals

It has been the experienced that measurement of global goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are generally carried out by committees of experts or those in the corridors of power. This often results in distancing of the very constituency that is being affected from the monitoring process; also indicators that define change in lives of the vulnerable groups become mere numbers not reflecting the subjective realities of marginalized communities. What is required is a community-based monitoring of SDGs wherein community comes in the center of the entire process and sustains the reflection based action process. The need of the hour is for community-based monitoring of the global goals to get a grounded perspective of lived realities of people who have been excluded over generations by state and society

As a value addition Community-based monitoring of SDGs provides the scope for all actors – such as the government, corporate and the community themselves, to be accountable for their actions. The data is more reliable and is reflective of the pressing needs being realized by the community itself. Here, community itself becomes part of the analysis process and draws inferences from data based on their experience. Action research provides for a continuous cycle of action, review and learning, planning and subsequent action

Study Objectives

1.Facilitate a community that is facing stigma and discrimination to understand and monitor the progress made in realising SDGs

2.Facilitate use of information to advocate for policy changes and policy implementation to ensure inclusion in governance

Which Goals are being monitored?

Primary SDG Goal to be monitored is the Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Related Goals

  1. Goal 1: End Poverty in all its forms everywhere (all targets)
  2. Goal 10: Reduce Inequality within and among countries (all targets)
  3. Goal 3.8: Universal health coverage
  4. Goal 4.5: Elimination of disparity in education
  5. Goal 5.1: End all forms of discrimination

What is being monitored?

For these goals, the following is being monitored: –

(a) Whether there are adequate policies through which the State recognises the rights of the DNT communities as stated in the SDGs?

(b) Whether there is adequate access to programmes and schemes, which would facilitate the communities to realise these goals?

Methodology Principles

  1. Action research: The Campaign and research will go hand-in-hand, wherein the objectives of both will influence each other
  2. Community-led Research: The research will be located as part of the campaign, which itself is aimed to be community-led. Community members will be the primary respondent.
  3. Multiple stakeholder analysis: Different set of stakeholders will be consulted to draw inferences and recommendations
  4. Qualitative Study using participatory Numbers: What is being studied is the relationship between the community and the State; the business; and wider communities. It will be collected through a mixed method. Both perceptions and factual observations will be collected.

Steps in research process

Step 1: Creating steering groups of community to review the research tools, indicators and methodology.

Step 2: Piloting data collection methods in one of the states to understand the feasibility of the methodology and share preliminary results with participants.

Step 3: The study generates a set of data on individuals and groups of communities and also services at locations inhabited by communities. Completing research in five states and collating data.

Step 4: Identification of key areas that need a focus, based on preliminary interactions and studies. Organising DSTs with communities to create materials on identified themes.

Step 5: Organising GLP of communities to engage with data collected, get that analysed and inferred by the communities. Community Panel comprising 14 members from the community will deliberate for two days on the findings of the study and present their recommendations

Step 6: Constitution of expert panel which will deliberate on the findings and present their inferences and recommendations.

Step 7: Report preparation based on study findings and deliberations to reach out to policy makers and other key stakeholders.

Step 8: Repeat the study in 2018 and release in March by NAG.

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