Indian advocacy movement mobilises people for change
We are currently in our fourth year of partnership with Lok Manch, an Indian advocacy movement of 100 organisations which empowers marginalised people to access their legal rights which are not always provided by the government, such as household and community entitlements, and clean drinking water.
Lok Manch, which means people’s platform, mobilises people through interventions involving religious leaders, lobbying the government, and attending meetings and delegations at various levels. Over the past few years, the movement has been expanding and is now taking its advocacy work to a higher level. One area of its work, safe and sustainable fishing in Kerala state, has been the subject of memorandums to top political figures including the chief minister of Kerala, and a policy brief produced by the University of Sussex and aimed at the local government.
Despite the recent failure of a government promise made to Keralan fishermen over the construction of a wharf to safely dock boats, and the new demands brought by an earlier and stronger monsoon season brought on by climate change, Lok Manch is unfazed and has five key priorities with concrete actions around which it continues to mobilise people for change:
- The immediate safety and security of fishermen by requiring the proper maintenance of ships, installing more safety mechanisms in the harbour such as signal lights, and proper involvement of the coastal police including a Marine Ambulance Response Team (MART).
- Sustainable and community-based disaster preparedness including timely weather forecasts and accessible information on fish supplies.
- Social security and protection measures such as life insurance and food security during hostile weather conditions.
- A social audit of all developmental projects to assess their impact on the marine ecology and fishing communities of Kerala.
- The protection of common property resources by challenging a major construction conglomerate to rectify the inadequate construction of the harbour.
Jesuit Missions advocacy work is in partnership with Jesuit networks across the world. Inspired by a faith that does justice, our advocacy work defends the dignity of all people, especially the poor and marginalized.