People-centred advocacy: a tool for community participation
(University of Visva-Bharati, Sriniketan)
Paper short abstract:
In the last decade, the explosion in population, accelerated urbanization and income growth have become unsustainable. They are generating growing and competing demands on food and on natural resources such as soil and water as well as the wider environment.
Paper long abstract:
How does one bring about social change? The obvious answer is ideally through non-violent mass-based movements, mobilized through an organization that ensures that collective wisdom is employed in goal setting, strategizing and sustaining the movement. The problem in reality is that mass-based movements are rare, and mass movements which can actually bring about changes are even rarer. Many factors other than people's consciousness and participation go into the making of the movement, and it is rare that all factors come together to capture people's imagination on a large scale and for a long time. They could may be happen once in a life time, but meanwhile, the desire for change has to be fostered, day-to-day battles have to be fought and the human spirit kept in a state of readiness; for which advocacy is the only means available.
In the last decade, the explosion in population, accelerated urbanization and income growth have become unsustainable. They are generating growing and competing demands on food and on natural resources such as soil and water as well as the wider environment. The amount of rich arable land for cultivation is diminishing, fossil (non renewable) aquifers are being depleted and desertification is spreading. This has resulted in price increase and environmental stress and leads one to ask the question how we can respond effectively at this juncture in the 21st Century.
In this context, the idea of people-centred advocacy seems an attractive and meaningful solution.
Food and environmental security: the imperatives of indigenous knowledge systems