About Ekta Parishad
Ekta Parishad (Unity Forum) is an umbrella organisation that links hundreds of small campaigns across India, all fighting against economic and social injustice.
Founded in 1991, Ekta has revitalised Mahatma Gandhi's message of non-violent action to deal with the problem of the widening gap between the rich and poor in India today. By organising marches and peaceful protests they bring marginalised groups together and support India's rural communities' in their demands for justice.
Over the last 10 years, through a series of long marches across several states, they have built up support. Ekta Parishad now has more than 200,000 members across 13 states of India.
Ekta Parishad's main areas of work are:
• Social and economic justice
• Control of rural livelihood resources; water, land and forests
• Advocacy and governance
Photo Simon Williams
The organisation's national action in 2007 - Janadesh ('The People'sVerdict') - brought 25,000 people to march 320 km from Gwalior to Delhi to demand action on land reforms. At the end of the march in Delhi, India's Rural Development Minister addressed the crowd saying that 'no-one could ignore the achievements of Janadesh and that all demands would be met'.
Janadesh was partly successful. As a result, the government set up the National Land Reforms Council and the Committee on Land Reforms. The Forest Rights Act 2006 came into force giving traditional forest dwelling communities more control over forests and clearer land and homestead rights. In Madhya Pradesh, where Ekta started, over 80,000 families who have received land due to the 2007 action.
However, progress was still limited and Ekta's members, frustrated by the lack of progress,announced an even larger march on Delhi in 2012, with over 100,000 people on the road. This march was an even greater success and resulted in....
How AVI supports Ekta Parishad
1. Livelihood rights: since 2005, AVI has funded Ekta's activists on Chilika Lake, Orissa, where traditional fishing communities livelihoods have been devastated by a combination of ecological change, commercial prawn farming and tourism projects.
2. March for Justice: AVI supports Ekta Parishad in its large scale actions including Janadesh in 2007, which eight AVI members attended, and March for Justince 2012.
More information on Ekta Parishad
Find out more about March for Justice so 2012 - www.marchforjustice2012.org
Watch two short films on Ekta Parishad's marches for land rights:
Janadesh - 'the people's verdict'
'Walk for Justice 2012'
Watch a documentary film, 'Niyamgiri You Are Still Alive' by Suma Joson. The film won the 2010 Vasudha Environment Award at the International Film Festival of India in Goa - www.countercurrents.org
Interview with Ekta Parishad founder Rajgopal in the New Internationalist.
For more information on Ekta Parishad you can also visit their website www.ektaparishad.com
You can make regular or one off payment to support this project by visiting Just Giving: