Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) is a non-profit organisation working with the mandate for a humane social order based on truth, justice, freedom and equity. Established in 1960, IGSSS works for development, capacity building and enlightenment of the vulnerable communities across the country for their effective participation in development.
With its presence in 22 states and one Union Territory of India, IGSSS has set its thematic focus on promoting sustainable livelihood, energising the youth as change makers, protecting lives, livelihood and assets from the impact of hazards, advocating for the rights of CityMakers (Homeless Residents) and developing cadre of leaders from the community and civil society organisations. Gender and Youth are underlining themes across all its interventions. Peace building and conflict resolution projects are being implemented in Kashmir and North East (Assam).
Members of Roshni Self Help Group in the village Purnadih. Image credit: IGSSS
Peace Building Activities in Kashmir and North East
- In Kashmir, the intervention started with a Program on poverty reduction. Women were mobilized to form Self Help Groups. Around 60 groups were formed and they were trained in thrift management.
- A program with a focus on poverty reduction, human rights and entitlements was started at the village level. Women and local communities were trained how to include women in decision making and participatory democracy. Also youth were trained in non-violent means to engage with the government and bridge the gap between youth and state institutions.
- An initiative called Youth Action for Peace was started in 2011. The main goal of the project is to contribute towards lessening conflict and promoting affirmative youth action for peace and development by reducing the gaps between stakeholders in Kashmir. More than 500 young people have been mobilized through groups and networks to promote their participation and inclusion in initiatives leading to sustainable peace and stability through increased awareness on rights, duties and entitlements in conflict affected areas.
- Youth are being trained to develop capacities of at-risk groups to understand multi dimensions of conflict, its management, prevention of violent conflict and build confidence to represent and negotiate.
- A project on peace-building known as Promoting Localized Empowering Actions for Peace and Stability was also initiated. The project is focusing mainly on peace education, human rights and governance. As part of this project, youth are involved to reflect on how they see themselves as part of peace discourse in Kashmir.
- In Assam, 35 functional Women Peace committees (WPC) formed and trained on concept of peace, Gender based violence, UNSCR 1325, legal provisions and social security
- Capacitated WPC has undertaken social action against human trafficking, domestic violence and marital discord.
41 Women existing groups (SHGs) identified across the project villages and the project will continue to build their capacity on peace building and extend technical support for sustainability of the groups
Two district level Inter and Inter community dialogue organised that result in Conceptual clarity on the role of religion in bringing about peaceful dialogue and in resolving conflict and also defined road map for partnership and convergence between service providers and project beneficiaries.
Two district level consultations with service providers like government line departments, civil societies, student’s union and community leaders conducted to bridge the gap between the community and service providers.
Women Peace Committee led observance of International events- International day of Day 2016 in collaboration with district administration, religious institutions and civil societies at both Karbi Anglong and BTC respectively.
Regional Peace Forum meeting organised with Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Guwahati (Assam) in 2015
Cultural exchange-come-sports as a tool of promoting Peace: Promotion of cultural diversity and uniqueness through sports and other team work to instil oneness and peaceful coexistence; to promote oneness and belonging. Sport for Peace program conducted across the project villages bringing people together that help in breaking down boundaries and barriers, making the playing field a simple and often apolitical site for initiating contact between antagonistic groups.
Publication of 11 testimonies “Voices from Afar…” Tales of an individual journey that transcends cultural diversity and personal differences and speaks about how the project support and intervention had helped them in overcoming their personal trials and overcoming of hatred and animosity towards other community and their personal journey to bring about peace and harmony in the region.
Peace Mega Event organised with 80 women participants from BTC and Karbi Anglong respectively in 2016 at Guwahati (Assam)