Popular Front of India is a neo-social movement which aims the empowerment of the Nation through total empowerment of all marginalized classes. The Front targets mainly Muslim community, but holds fast broad based alliance with all other backward and minority sections of the society. It strives for basic social change.
Popular Front thinks that social change cannot be brought by limited and random welfare and relief activities in select areas; instead it envisages to a wide range of endeavours from development of individuals to strengthening of the democratic system of our country through peoples’ participation. Popular Front is committed to bring social justice and hence it is active in the forefront of agitations for civil and political rights.
Being a cadre based peoples’ organisation with a nationwide presence at grass root level, Popular Front is aware of two equally important dimensions of its mission. First, a community which is marginalised has to assert its right of equal justice on par with other communities. Second, the backwardness of a community will be eradicated only when the masses are mobilised and their energies are channelised for undertaking own developmental schemes. The history of Popular Front is a testimony of this two-fold task. The Front has chalked out this plan for community development with the purpose of creating awareness among the public and also providing guidance to our activities and associates who are responsible for implementing the same.
India is a fast developing country in terms of military strength, human development and financial growth. But in practice, a major chunk of India’s population is below the poverty line. India is also home to some of the hungriest, deprived and under nourished people in the world. In illiteracy, morbidity, malnutrition, infant mortality the country is competing with the lowest among under developed countries.
Majority of our villages are without facilities for drinking water, means of livelihood, shelter, primary education and health care. Government funds are not reaching the real beneficiaries. The gap between haves and have-nots are widening.
Beyond doubt, our local communities are in need of continuous efforts to ensure that government funds for welfare projects reach real beneficiaries and that they are not exploited. Also there must be simultaneous efforts from the public themselves to eradicate poverty and to develop the poor, using their own resources. This Community Development Plan is an earnest effort from Popular Front to address both these vital spheres of empowering the masses.
Community Development Plan
The National General Assembly of Popular Front of India held at Theni in Tamil Nadu on 17, 18 and 19 December 2010 resolved that the Organisation will concentrate on areas of Basic Community Development during the term (2011 – 2012). During these two years, the Organisation at all levels will give priority to developmental activities in the following thrust areas:
Facilitating Basic Amenities
Networking of Service Volunteers
Initially, these projects will be concentrated in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Manipur, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. At a later stage they will be extended to other States
1. Educational Promotion
Educational development is one of the most important focus areas of the Organisation. Rather than starting Institutions which need huge investment, the Organisation will give importance to make use of the existing facilities, impart proper guidance and orientation, motivate parents and elders, financial as well as academic help and support to Students, etc. For this, mainly five projects have been planned
(1). School Chalo: Conduct a Nationwide campaign namely “School Chalo” during the months of March, April, May and June. The Campaign duration will be two months in a State, but the period will be different from State to State, considering the summer vacation and School admission time of the States. Campaign includes the following steps:-
(i) Conduct surveys in villages, especially in financially backward areas, to find the drop out children from the primary education.
(ii) Discuss with local school authorities and arrange the re-enrolment of those drop outs.
(iii) Give awareness to parents and children about the importance of education by conducting local house-to-house campaigns and public programmes.
(iv) Find out financially sound individuals and organisations for sponsorship. With their help, distribute study materials and school uniforms to all needy students.
(v) Distribute booklets, conduct students’ rallies, street plays, etc to boost the efforts for creating awareness among public.
(2). Sarva shiksha Gram project: Mere awareness programs and one time financial support are not enough for the fulfilment of our Nation’s needs in the field of Education. It warrants continuous follow up and support. Hence, the follow up project namely “Sarva shiksha Gram”. It is a kind of partial adoption of poor villages to ensure that all children of that village within the age group of 6-14 are getting regular primary education.
(i) During the “School Chalo” campaign, identify villages which need urgent help and support in Primary Education.
(ii) Conduct detailed surveys of the village, mainly Educational and financial status of each villager.
(iii) Arrange for re-enrolment of all drop outs in suitable schools.
(iv) Ensure fresh enrolment of all children completed 6 years of age, in Primary Schools.
(v) If there are no primary schools in these areas, try to setup primary schools or single-teacher schools with the aid of other NGOs or local movements.
(vi) Arrange for regular medical checkups for students.
(vii) Ensure mental development of school children with the help of Counsellors and Psychologists.
(viii) Encourage small scale self employment schemes among ladies to avoid situations in which they may withdraw their children for doing jobs.
(ix) Establish free tuition centres to enable them compete with other students in the school.
(x) Regular parents’ meets to ensure the maintenance and success of the Project.
(3). Educational Guidance: Lack of proper guidance is a serious impediment in selecting courses for higher education. There should be sufficient and effective arrangement for Educational Guidance to all needy students. As a preliminary step towards this,
(i) Conduct Guidance classes in maximum villages and schools.
(ii) Setup students counselling centres at least one in each State level now and extend to maximum Districts in coming years.
(iii) Help students to avail the scholarships which are granted by State and Central Governments and other NGOs.
(4). Awareness Programs: In addition to special projects at selected areas, some other programs will also be conducted at all possible locations considering the requirement as well as scope. The main subjects for awareness are:-
(i) Motivation for Education
(ii) Easy Learning
(iii) Examination tips
(iv) Guardians’ Awareness Program
(vi) How to win?
(5). Scholarship scheme: All States are directed to Start Students Scholarship Schemes this year itself, in addition to the scholarship schemes at the central level. Plan is to give scholarship for at least 1000 students in the year 2011 and 3000 during 2012. Selection of students must be on merit cum need basis
2. Career Development
Career Development in India has many parts, but mainly they are three, viz. Developing the habit of hard work and self dependency, proper guidance and orientation to get a job suitable to one’s aptitude and finally, training the educated youths to become efficient and competent in their respective careers. The following steps are to be taken in this regard:
(1) Set up Career Guidance Centres in state level in the year 2011 and District levels during the year 2012
(2) Conduct career guidance classes to different categories of people such as General Public, College Students, Graduates, Professional Degree and Diploma Holders, etc.
(3) Inform public the vacancies in different govt. departments and private as well as public undertakings and help them apply for the same
(4) Coaching classes to attend competitive exams for recruitment.
(5) Trainings by experts in Personality Development, to face Interviews, to win Competitive exams, etc
(6) Establish and run small institutes to promote and train in traditional trades such as garment making, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical wiring etc.
3. Health Care
Health and hygiene are matters of serious concern; especially in the present age of wide spread diseases and expensive treatments. Popular Front believes that healthy citizens are a must for a healthy Nation. Hygienic home and surroundings, cleanliness, sanitation, healthy food habits, regular exercises are the fundamentals of being healthy. To promote the health and hygiene, the programmes given below will be conducted during this term:-
(1) National Health Week: Observe ‘National Health Week’ every year all over India, preferably in the month of September/October.
(i) Inauguration with a massive program such as marathon race to encourage daily exercises, jogging, etc.
(ii) Conduct competitions in athletics and games, mainly in rural areas.
(iii) Observe one day in the week as “Cleaning Day” and clean any public place in each area, such as Government Hospital, Government School, Bus Stand, Market, etc.
(iv) Distribute hand books and notices related to Health and hygiene.
(v) Arrange demonstration sessions to promote yoga.
(2) Awareness Classes: Conduct speeches, CD shows, street dramas, etc. on different topics such as
– Promotion of physical exercise
– Healthy food habits
– Mental Health
– Public Health
– Natural and traditional ways of treatments for small diseases
– Drug Abuse
– Dangers of smoking and alcohol
(3) Clean and Win: Special efforts will be taken especially in slum areas to make the dwellers aware of cleanliness and hygienic surroundings.
– Conduct documentary shows and awareness classes in slum areas in cooperation with Government Health Department.
– Conduct special cleaning campaigns with the cooperation of College students.
– Construct hygienic toilets and bathrooms where such facilities are not available now.
– Conduct competition for maintaining hygienic house and surroundings and give cash prizes to families winning top positions.
(4) Free Medical camps:
– Conduct free medical camps in cooperation with Government as well as service motive private hospitals or doctors’ organisations.
– Also distribute free medicines to poor patients collecting sample medicines from Doctors and through local sponsorship.
– Our target is at least one such camp in a District per year.
(5) Palliative Care: Free clinics for the relief of cancer and kidney patients have become necessary in the present scenario of increased rate of affected people, especially among financially backward people. The main hurdle in this field is that it require huge amount of money. However, little efforts have to be put in this field, gradually and step by step subject to availability of fund.
– Primarily, guide and help people to make use of the services of existing Palliative clinics in the surrounding.
– In areas where such services are not available now, try to find out local NGOs to invest for establishing free Palliative clinics. Popular Front volunteers will give man power support.
– As an initial step, one Palliative Clinic in Bangalore and one Dialysis unit each in Kerala and Karnataka will be set up in the coming year. After getting the feedback, this service will be further widened.
4. Economic Growth
There are a number of welfare schemes run by the government for the benefit of the poor and variously disabled and underprivileged. But all needs of the people cannot be met through the government schemes alone. We have to look for peoples’ own projects for their sustenance and development.
(1) Free Ration: In areas which need emergent help, free distribution of food materials, dress items, materials for house repair, etc can be considered. This will be limited to most needy situations. Priority will be given to projects which make people self sufficient.
(2) Self Employment Scheme: To implement this project in 10 places during the year 2011 in the states of Delhi, UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Haryana. Also 25 places in the year 2012 which covering more states.
(3) Interest Free Loan/ Micro Financing: Providing micro loans to small traders and vendors and skilled workers.
(4) Training: Training in and promotion of traditional skilled labours such as Carpentry, masonry, weaving, handicraft, etc and acquaintance with latest instruments.
(5) Cooperative Societies for sales and promotion of cottage industries products.
5. Facilitating Basic Amenities
Drinking water, food, cloth and shelter are basic amenities of life. Availability of roads, means of transportation, fuel and electricity also enhances the standard of living. Popular Front units especially in rural areas will be asked to survey the backward localities to ascertain the non- availability of these basic amenities. Micro-projects will be undertaken locally for catering to the following needs of a cluster of poor families.
– Providing drinking water – protection of water reserves, conservation of rain water, public wells, bore wells, water supply systems.
– Housing schemes for the rehabilitation of poor families
– Construction of drainage and garbage disposal systems in slum areas.
– Construction of common toilets or providing low cost toilets to each family.
Explore ways and means to provide the same to those who are not enjoying them by regular contacts with the political and administrative councils, preparing and implementing own projects with the aid of other NGOs, and also by conducting awareness programs.
6. Calamity Relief
Natural calamities that are unexpected demand emergency intervention by volunteer groups. Task teams will be constituted at district levels for meeting the urgent requirements of disaster relief. They will be given training in the following areas.
– Training in First Aid
– Crisis management
– Swimming and fire fighting
– Rescue operations
– Relief Material collection and distribution
– Rehabilitation work
7. Cultural Advancement
The advancement of indigenous cultural traditions of ethnic minorities and local communities is a responsibility bestowed upon the government and civil society. Many manifestations of language, literature, visual arts and traditional occupations are facing the threat of extinction in the wake of modernity and cultural assimilation. As a step towards protecting and advancing the cultural identity of diverse local communities across the country, the following collective efforts will be undertaken in different regions.
-Preservation of Manuscripts and unpublished documents
-Publication of out of print classics
-Collection of traditional songs and lyrics
-Training in traditional performance arts
-Promotion of arts performance troops
-Documentation and research on cultural traditions
8. Networking of Service Volunteers
No doubt, the above nationwide comprehensive community development project cannot be fulfilled unless there is a network of committed and dedicated service volunteers across the country. In order to reach this end, the entire organisational structure of Popular Front will be appropriately streamlined giving appropriate attention at respective levels. A seperate department of community development will be operating at all levels of executive councils from National Executive Council to Area Councils. State level Project coordinators will regularly monitor and periodically review the projects. Fund rising will be done regionally/locally for each micro-project. The Organisation will provide the following human resources development programmes on a regular basis.
– Monthly get together of volunteers at area Level
– Half day district get together once in three months
– Full day state level refresher camp once in a year