AMAN PROGRAMMES

Livelihood Generation programme in Jehanabad

Aman has a strong presence in Bhaikh and adjoining Panchayats of Makhdoumpur Block of Jehanabad since a long time. The unorganised workers of the region have been the driving force behind making the government's poverty alleviation and social security programmes more transparent and effective.

Last year the farm workers of Bhaikh proposed Aman to initiate some livelihood generation programmes in the area. Responding to the proposal Aman distributed an amount of forty five thousand rupees among 12 landless farm worker families to pursue leased farming on 18 Bighas of land. The nature also supported the farmers this year and good rainfall was witnessed after three years of consecutive droughts . The hard work of the farmers and conducive natural events culminated into a good Paddy harvest. Though there was no rainfall during the winters (which was essential for a healthy growth of Rabbi crops), the farmers managed to save their crops through bore-well irrigation. The crops are almost ready to be harvested. The harvest will ensure availability of food grains to the families for at least 10 months apart from bringing a significant amount of cash to cater other needs. Apart from the monetary gains and food security, the programme has helped the landless farm workers to become farmers.

Interventions with the PRI Elected Women Representatives (EWRs)

People of four Panchayats of Basantpur and Chhatapur Blocks of Supaul District have been partners in change in the region for the last three years. They have been instrumental in our wide range of initiatives after the disastrous floods in 2008.

As an expansion of our activities AMAN has started working with the Elected Womens Representatives (EWRs) of the Panchayati Raj System in the two blocks. With the support from The Hunger Project support, Aman has organised four Women Leadership Workshops (WLWs) with over 70 EWRs from the two blocks. The first set of two WLWs were implemented in the month of January this year, one in each block. In Basantpur, 35 EWRs (including two Mukhiyas and a deputy-Mukhiya) participated in the workshop. The number of participants in Chhatapur was 36 in which two Mukhiyas participated. The sessions of the workshop included locating an elected women representative in a gendered and patriarchal society, roles and responsibilities of EWRs, mental and social mapping, village planning, active listening and articulation skills etc. One of the biggest achievements of the workshops were that altogether 16 Muslim women participated in the sessions and stayed outside their houses for three days to attend the sessions.

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Transforming for Empowerment

An independent theatre group with the name Lok Panch, has been formed in Patna. A set of senior theatre activists have assembled under a collective leadership. Two of the Aman workers are part of the group. The group is using Theatre of the Oppressed to transform theatre practices from being didactic to participative. The group has prepared a play on the theme of declining sex ratio in India and have performed at five different locations where the most oppressed communities stay. Three presentations were made in different slums of Patna and two were performed in Mushar Bastis of Paligunj Block of Patna District. All the costs, involved in preparing the play and performances and traveling, were arranged by the group itself. More than a thousand women and men participated in the forum discussions during the forum theatre performances.

Community Mobilisation on Social Security Programmes

Aman started working on participation of the local communities in implementation of government-run poverty alleviation and social security programmes in two villages a few year back. Now the work has expanded to over 30 villages of four blocks of Jehanabad and Arwal Districts. The last few years have witnessed a series of activities at different levels and people taking charge over the implementation of programmes including MNREGA, Indira Awas Yojana, ICDS, Pension schemes etc. The village level committees are taking responsibility to ensure that the PDS shops are working properly and the benefits are reaching to the weakest of the community.

Aman Kanooni Sahayata Kendra

Aman is also running a Legal Aid Cell called Kanooni Sahayta Kendra in Jehanabad Town. The centre provides legal assistance to vulnerable and marginalized people who are caught up in legal conflicts and cannot afford expensive and and sometime exploitative legal services. Several hundred such cases have been handled by the Kendra. Majority of the clients of the Kendra are the victims of caste related or domestic violence. Presently the Kendra is fighting cases of NREGA workers for the payment of their dues against the government.

UNDER the Indian Constitution after independence, law and the judicial system were entrusted with the task of adjudication of disputes and determination of rights. This was done as a progressive measure to prevent individuals and groups from settling their grievances, disputes and other issues through personal acts, invariably violent and leading to generations of bloody and vengeful battles.

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