Perspective Plan

1.1 Rural Development Society
The Rural Development Society was established under the patronage of renowned social worker Late Rev. Santosh Kumar Kisku, Bishop of the Diocese of Durgapur, Church of North India in Bankura district of West Bengal state under the Chhotonagpur plateau in 1977 as a social service organization dedicated to the development of poor and weaker section of the people. The main objective of the society is to launch integrated development programs in the Chhotonagpur region for empowerment and mainstreaming of the rural socio-culturally oppressed and economically exploited masses through people's participatory approach.

The RDS is registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act XXVI of 1961 and it is also registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India. In the beginning the society started its activities in remote backward areas of Bankura district of West Bengal state. Gradually it has extended its areas of operation in the states of Jharkhand and Orissa. At present about 60000 rural and poor people are involved in the development initiative of the society.

The Journey
2.1 In the Beginning
The Rural Development Society (RDS) was formed in the year 1977 and started its journey in 1978. In the beginning it covers 2 districts of West Bengal state namely Bankura, Purulia. Presently it has 50 grassroots level peoples action forums in West Bengal of which 90% of the forums belong to the tribal and dalit communities. RDS is actively involved in strengthening the empowerment process through awareness, sensitization, education, capacity building, skill up gradation of the target people aiming at establishment of rights to land water and forests, livelihood and food security. Now RDS has been concentrated its full strength on people's participatory rights based approach.

2.2 Institutions to Communities
In the light of changed approach in social service and changing scenario due to globalization RDS has been functioning for sensitizing the grassroots level people's action forums' leaders on contemporary social realities and involving them in realizing a just, human and sustainable society as a part of its mission, to equip the forums undertake people centered participatory development programmes and to build solidarity with other like minded individuals, organizations, welfare wing of Churches, NGOs and Government to address the Justice and Human Rights issues at local, regional and national level.

2.3 Social Welfare to Social Action
RDS initiates social action programmes by incorporating the target community peoples' organizations and volunteers, staff personnel. The base of RDS is strongly laid on the foundation of village farmers' organizations, women self help groups, women groups, youth groups, tribal and dalit cultural groups and other stakeholders. So the transformation from social welfare to social action on rights based approach has been launched through collective holistic initiatives.

2.4 Strengthening Community Action for Resistance Building (SCARB)
To understand and internalize the Rights Based Approach, RDS organized a consultation - 'SCARB' in 2005. In the context of globalization of neo-liberal economic policies, marginalized communities are further pushed to the periphery. To challenge the ongoing process of globalization, besides awareness building, communities were organized for resistance. A shift from 'social service to social action' was realized where across the reference area people organized, demonstrated and demanded their rights. These confidence-building measures enhanced communities' political empowerment and participation.

The impact of globalization and liberalized government policies has worsened the socio-economic conditions of illiterate, poor tribal and dalit people. As a result present agriculture policies in the context of globalization small and marginal farmers sharecroppers and agricultural labourers have been pushed to starvation death, suicide to get relief from hunger. The target people maintain the culture of silence due to isolation from the mainstream, ignorance about their rights to food security and livelihood, lack of participation in the Panchayati Raj system and local political power system, lack of women's participation in development initiatives and collective self help initiatives. The transformation of delivery from social welfare to collective social action has increased greater response from the target people. Rights based approach has inculcated knowledge and information into their mind. Considering the positive attitude and collective rights based approach the present perspective plan has been adopted as the community action for resistance building.

2.5 Foundations
2.5.1 Mission
The most ambitious mission of the organization is to strengthen the struggles of rural poor oppressed exploited people of under privileged backward communities for their empowerment and survival by developing alternative means of livelihood with the full access to education, health care, shelter, safe drinking water and sanitation, income generating facilities, gender equity, availability of basic human rights and self help initiatives.

2.5.2 Vision
The RDS visualizes an egalitarian civil society free from exploitation, oppression that involves all section of people irrespective of caste creed religion in the all round development of the people, for the people, by the people.

2.5.3 Core Values
Cooperation / Sharing
The Context:
In India today approximately 400 million individuals go to bed hungry every night. 53% of children under the age of 4 are considered mal-nourished and underweight. This is the case even with food declared as a basic human rights by many international agreements. India claims to be the world's largest democracy, yet everyday there are violations against the basic rights of people. FCI stockyards are overflowing with food grains, millions of tones are actually rotting. In fact one third of the population in our nation are deprieved of two square meals a day. India over past decade has increased the production of food quite substantially. This has been in the fields of the rich and big farmers. The poor small and marginal farmers, share croppers, agricultural labourers have not benefited from this increase. As a result of trade liberalization particularly in the agriculture sector, poor farmers are increasingly losing their livelihood, access and control over their natural resource base, their food entitlement. Food security and rights to livelihood has been eroded at household, local, regional and national level and the pervasiveness of hunger and famine is on the increase.

The anomaly of overflowing stocks and starving people is because of the globalization and trade liberalization policies. The policy makers have consistently attempted to decrease the government's role in ensuring food security and livelihood rights for poor small and marginal farmers in particular, by calling measures meant to aid people as trade distorting and demanding that these be scrapped.

The government policy shift from people centred concerns to trade and corporate centred concerns is the fact that while farmers are not allowed by law to take their produce beyond their state borders, but traders can pick them up anywhere and take them anywhere. The prosperity that globalization was suppose to spread is fast proving to be elusive. Trade liberalization and globalization thousands of farmers to sacrifice their lives and livelihoods. Agriculture policies that push the small farmers to destitution on the one hand, and promote cash cropping on the other, have resulted in lowered food production. A major impact of tread liberalization policies has been a general lowering of food consumption. The public distribution system has been collapsed and the below poverty line families have not been identified under the new targeted public distribution system, thereby leaving millions of poor and tribal, dalit farmers outside the loop.

Poor people have no access to basic amenities like food, water and sanitation, shelter, health and nutrition, literacy at large scale. RDS has given priority emphasis to facilitating the reference communities' access to the various government schemes - be it housing, drinking water, activating existing schools etc., to ensure minimum facilities for developing quality in life. One of the major reasons for such a high starvation and hunger is majority of the tribal and dalits communities do not have a regular source of employment, where employment is seasonal and even the mandatory. Only 100 to 120 days of work is available to these poor.

The globalization has also directly influenced the public health care system. Both Central and State governments have decreased its allocation on health services, rather they are encouraging privatization of health services. The local government has failed to provide minimum health care to rural poor people. The Primary Health Centers are understaffed and ill equipped The increasing privatization of health care has led to mushrooming of private clinics, hospital and health insurance companies. Escalating cost of health services has accentuated the level of inaccessibility. Twenty percent of the poor becomes poorer because of hospitalization.

Water and sanitation is essential to achieve "Health for All". It is the reality and fact that more than 60% of tribal and dalit people in remote village have no access to water and sanitation. Education of poor marginalized tribal and dalit people is limited among 10% of creamy lair of the target communities.

The literacy among the rest population is very very poor and despite declaration of the state government that they have made 70% people literate, the actual literacy rate among tribal and dalit is only 12%. Child labourers from among tribal and dalit communities are increasing day by day.

The majority of Tribal and Dalits are landless and their struggle has been to access lands, water and forest and legal entitlements. Significantly, most of the lands, which were acquired after a long struggle, are in fact barren and degraded. Acquiring even these lands have been landmark achievements and have given these communities a sense of confidence and dignity in some parts of India. But the success feature of tribal and dalit struggles has not been reached among the concerned people in our project areas as they have no access to information and electronic or news media.

Due to non-availability of cultivable lands under their ownership and absence of alternative livelihood means tribal, dalit and other marginalized communities trapped into the cycle of indebtedness leading to suicides of the farmers and other oppressed communities. In this situation the small and marginal farmers are leaving agriculture under pressure. More than one and half crores farmers have already been displaced to become migrant laborers. Once the land is alienated from them and job opportunities are bare minimum, peasants especially the male has no other option but to migrate to the urban areas in search of employment. Several patterns of migration are found in working area like seasonal, inter- district and outward migration to distant places. The women, children and the aging elders mostly bear the brunt of this migration. Women who are left behind to shoulder the responsibilities of the family are forced to supplement their income through different means. This makes them vulnerable to the exploitation sexually by the society.

The 73rd and the 74th constitutional amendment aims at strengthening the PRI and Nagar Palikas. Increasingly several development schemes are being rooted through them by the Central and the State government. But they need more autonomy and proactive support of other institutions for planning and executing their own affairs and rights.

The last two decades especially the NDA regime religious conflicts occurred with the resurgence of Hindu rightwing ideologies, the mobilization of women and youth under its aegis and the neo-liberal paradigm - a destructive alliance of highest order. Conflicts triggered by this alliance have deep rooted ethnic, religious and political connotations. This has resulted in wide spread violation of human rights and suppression of democratic process, shattering the progress.

Women face the worst form of discrimination and suffer by the male dominated social system. In the tribal communities women enjoy freedom and civil liberties to some extent in decision-making and production process. This is limited to their social rights whereas they are subjugated economically, religiously and politically. Tribal women being the worst affected; are being forced to migrate from their original habitats to work as laborers and without requisite skills. The plight of the dalit women is deplorable as they are subject to alienation from the rest of the community. They are treated as commodities and victimized. During migration young women fall under the trap of pimps and trafficked into prostitution.

Purpose and Process
3.1 Purpose
The RDS has reviewed its past interventions policies and outputs from the social action programmes over the tribal and dalit communities. The representatives of all stakeholders have conducted the in-depth review. Outside experts have also participated in the review and according to the findings some specific suggestions and recommendations have also been by the review committee that is given below.

Up gradation of organizational capacity and equip with up dated logistics and skilled managerial and field staff personnel. Need-based changes in structure, systems and process to enhance organizational capacity and to identify new innovative approaches for collective action.
Programmes and perspective that have a strong theoretical framework is based on the feedback from past action and intervention.

The Perspective and Program Plan, a road map for its next decade has been developed for a journey towards rights based approach for rights of tribal people on land water and forests, livelihood and food security, recognition of identity and social inclusion of tribal and dalit people for mainstreaming and strengthening community action for resistance building.

3.2 Process
The perspective plan has been adapted collectively by RDS and concerned stakeholders from down to top level. For strengthening the ongoing organizational development process, RDS key players developed innovative people's participatory process and rights based approach. Constant interaction and exchange of dialogues with practical needs and realities in the fields and organizational implications and responsibilities were adopted.

In January 2004, the RDS board formally approved the process and plan for changing in approach. RDS team and partners discussed the process and identified need based issues and themes for intervention. At the Annual General Meeting the plan and progress was shared with larger RDS family involving community peoples' organizations and volunteers, and staff and representatives from community. The issues were discussed and the experience and learning were shared with resource sharing partners to receive their inputs and suggestions. Staff team made attempts to internalize and develop clarity. After pilot visits to the field in May 2004, a process and intervention instrument was collectively developed for facilitation in January 2005. During this entire course, RDS coordinators and leaders participated wholeheartedly to take the process forward. Then across the grassroots level peoples' action forums and RDS, an inclusive effort was undertaken to determine the impact, relevance of ongoing activities and arrest emerging perspectives. The clarity and common understanding of perspectives, approaches, processes and implications on structure were defined and clarified.
Emerging Perspectives
5.1 Evolution
From the very beginning RDS has given major emphasis to articulate and realize its vision and mission. The vision and mission statements towards Strengthening Community Action for Resistance Building (SCARB) make a very potent mix of politics and theology (Political Theology). To pursue this political theology, RDS in 2004 consciously opted out from welfare based community development approach to people's centered action programmed. While shifting the process of paradigm it was not so easy or smooth.

The RDS is working in 50 villages in 5 clusters in West Bengal state. The nature of issues of the targeted areas is almost same and systematic analytical process has been undertaken to identify the areas of priorities for RDS. In this connection a collective reality assessment has been conducted to analyze the situation at grassroots level people's interventions with subsequent regional consultations. In these consultations the board members and activists were vocal and they shared their experience on related issues to finalize a perspective. The three-tire perspective are stated below:
(a) Program Perspectives
(b) Organizational Perspectives
(c) Institutional Perspectives

5.2 Programme Perspectives
The perspective on the core group selection with whom should work collectively in the future and what should be the issues of the intervention is stated point wise in the evaluation findings. After discussions, deliberations and consideration of all points, it was decided that these recommendations would be incorporated in spiritual conception in the future program. These are stated below:

5.2.a Programme Initiatives
The programme initiatives (of the perspectives) are primarily categorized into following two issues:
Rights over land water and forests, Livelihood and Food Security
Identity and Social exclusion

While intervening with these two issues the main focus would be on:
Dalits (Scheduled Castes)
Adivasis (Tribal)

These programme initiatives have three common cross cutting themes
1. Peoples' Action Forum's Engagement: Participation of Local peoples' organizations in the whole process of development.
2. Gender Justice and Equality
3. Advocacy, Lobbying and Networking for policy change and implementation

These issues and themes have been identified through collective periodic reviews of programmes and interventions from micro to macro levels. To deal with these issues, changes take place in its structure and create following specialization desks to deal with the themes more efficiently.

In these initiatives following actors would be involved:
Tribal and Dalit, Minority communities, especially Women
Grassroots level Peoples' Action Forums
RDS Board and Staff
Civil Society, welfare wing of Church and Government Organizations
Resource Sharing Partners / NGOs / CBOs

5.2.a (i) Issue of Rights over land water and forests, Livelihood and Food Security
Tribal Dependence on Forest:
The tribal people do not have options. They have been nomadic collectors of seasonal NTFPs and hunt gathers for their livelihood maintenance and never thought of being settled agriculturists/farmers. JFM on sustainability of the resource is not being adopted or practiced due to obvious reasons like lack of alternate livelihood support options, lack of knowledge, skill and motivation with people, lack of attitude with Government Personnel to implement JFM that talks of empowering VSS/people and so on. The age-old dependence of tribes on forest for basic sustenance still continues in the form of log felling, fuel wood cutting and unsustainable extraction of different products (NTFPs) even though they are illegal and has already depleted the forest resources.

Forest Degradation:
The tribal seclusion of forest life is no more visible and the ecological interdependence of the tribes and forest is being gradually eroded. Due to indiscriminate exploitation of forest over the years, the forest areas are receding away from the villages both in quality and quantity. The local people who heavily relied on forests for their daily food for themselves as well as for their cattle & livestock, at present have to go distances to meet their food, fodder and fuel needs resulting in drudgery, particularly for women. Collection of forest produce and hunting has become very difficult thus changing their food habit considerably. Tubers, fruits, mushrooms, green vegetables, roots, flowers etc. peculiar to forest areas are no longer preferred neither available. Increasing demand for agricultural products as food materials which is mosrly imported to the area by traders that creates the need for cash, is compelling the tribes to go for illegal fuel wood cutting. The cahges have not only altered the tribes food habit but also the very ethos of tribal lofe and culture of community hunting and drinking and numerous other satisfying social needs have slowly disappeared along with the forests.

Occupational Shift:
The occupational pattern of the tribal population had undergone significant changes in post independence era firstly due to the changing role of forest as government's revenue earning enterprise, over exploitation and epeople's alienation from forest resources, and secondly due to allotment of marginal wastelands to the local communities for agriculture. Forests are so degraded that it is no more capable of meeting the varied needs of the tribes. Hence there is a radical shift in the occupational pattern of the tribes of the area during the past two decades; from forest based activities to agriculture, construction and other daily wage earning activities.

Poor Agriculture & Lack of Food Security:
At present, Kharif Rainfed agriculture is the main stay of the economy of the area. During Kharif season less thatn 20% of the area is pur under low land paddy, mostly in valley lowlands or lands available along the rivulets (Nala). In almost all cases either higher caste people or the traditional tribal leader family owns those lowlands. However, so far as the quality of land owned by the tribal households is concerned, the tribes own the marginal land and low productive. They either cultivate upland paddy or low duty crops like; cowpea, horse gram or black gram as a mono crop or keep the land fallow. Tubers and local Millets are not very common in the area.

Paddy in upland is very much labour intensive. Moreover, under rainfed condition and in marginal land it is not remunerative and uncertain. It is very much sensitive to the dr spell that occurs frequently in this region resulting in frequent crop failures. The productivity under normal condition is less than one-third of the paddy cultivated in low lands. In drought years or in intermittent dry spell its productivity even goes down to the extent of not yielding the amount of seed sown for the purpose. Hence, food availability for the tribal farmers of the area has become very uncertain. Because of the insecure and non-remunerative agriculture in marginal land it becomes difficult on the part of the local population to meet the food security from the prevailing drought prone rain fed agricultural economy.

Exploitative Production Relation:
The prevailing production relation of forest and agricultural product harvesting and management is exploitative and not favour the local people, particularly to the majority of the tribal population of the area. Their role is limited only to collection from the forest for which they get meagre cash as wage, that is less than the minimum wage as declared by Govt. of West Bengal. Because of nationalization and state control of specific Forest products (NTFPs), these products can be sold only to the forest Department or the Department approved agencies, which in turn mean a total dependence on Government departments or contractors appointed by the Government. When local people, specifically women, deal directly with the Government they are faced with lesser / delayed payments. Dealing with illegal agents, an almost inevitable corollary of controls has implied a much lower income for the same produce. Tribal women have reported that when they walk long distances to the Forest Corporation office to sell NTFPs, they found the office closed and were forced to sell the produce to traders even at 50 percent of the government price. Even the officially fixed rates for payment are abysmally low.

Share Cropping as Means of Semi-bonded Labour

In the project area there is a clear-cut class differentiation between tribal poor and landowner non tribals as well as traditional tribal leaders. The general caste people and traditional leaders own most of the best land, the facilities of education and in a greater proportion in government services. Majority of such households is absentee landlords and gives their land either in 50:50 share cropping or on annual lease to poor tribal farmers. In most cases the these farmers are informally bonded to the landlord households to work in their field in a pre-decided lower wage rate due to the dependence on them for sharecropping.

Indebtedness & Land Alienation:
Because of deficit household economy, credit has become a powerful institution. Indebtedness and consequent land alienation has become a chronic feature in the area. The extent of the economic control exercised by the non-tribes, mainly money-lenders through credit is enormous. The creditors devise ingenious ways of trapping the debtor either by lending him the money by keeping land as mortgage or by selling liquor or groceries on credit or by supplying him paddy/rice during their requirement particularly during the rainy season.

Forced Migration:
For round the year sustenance the population searches work as labourers and migrates to either urban areas or to coastal plains of West Bengal. Seasonal migration after monsoon is most common. Nevertheless, the search for food and work do not end, even at the cost of a displaced shattered social life thus continuing the depletion of their own natural resources.

Marginalization of Women:
Traditional role of women in integrating forests with food production / collection and animal husbandry depending on its subsistence and economic needs play a critical role in the forest based economy. Women collect wood for sale and self consumption, fodder for their livestock and non timber forest produces (NTFPs) for both consumption and sale. In fact, apart from fuel and fodder there is a very wide range of products that are collected from forests for domestic consumption / use.

Poor and inadequate health services:
The tribes hardly avail any health care service from the local PHC which runs without a doctor most of the time in a year. Child mortality rate stands at 160 per every 1000 live births whereas in West Bengal state as a whole is 152. This area has been declared as the most malaria endemic zone as every year incidents of death due to malaria has been noticed to an alarming degree. People also suffer from diarrhoea, dysentery, skin diseases, pneumonia and typhoid. No initiative has been taken by the government to immunize children and pregnant women. Non-availability of the medical services, corrupt practices of the medical persons, ignorance of the people with regard to proper medical care and good health practices, and superstitious beliefs, make the health conditions of the people very miserable and cause death and suffering. Majority of the women and children are malnourished and suffer from vitamin deficiencies. Due to lack ot transport facilities the villagers are not able to reach the medical centres at the time of sickness.

Breakdown of Traditional Life Support System

The tribal seclusion of forest life is no more visible and the ecological interdependence of the tribes and forest is being gradually eroded. Due to indiscriminate exploitation of forest over the years, the forest areas are receding away from the villages both in quality and quantity. The local people who heavily relied on forests for their daily food for themselves as well as for their cattle & livestock, at present have to go distances to meet their food, fodder and fuel needs resulting in drudgery, particularly for women. Collection of forest produce and hunting has become very difficult thus changing their food habit considerably.

Article 23 and 25 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights state that, "Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity and supplemented, if necessary by other means of a social protection"(Article 23)

"Everyone has the fight to a standard of living adequate for the health and will being of himself and of his family including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control" (Article 25)

In line with these pronouncements Indian Constitution also talks about, "Equality of opportunity of public employment (Art. 16) and right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases (Art.41), and provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief (Art. 42) in the Directive Principles of the State Policy".

Despite these provisions no significant changes has been noticed in the life of the poor and the marginalized. The rapid changes brought in by reforms in the line of globalization and trade liberalization have caused adverse impact in the life of the poor people, especially on small and marginal farmers. This critical situation is threatening their very existence. Hunger, starvation deaths, farmers' suicide, displacement, change of occupations, migration in search of livelihood, high infant and maternal mortality, increase in trafficking of poor women and girls in prostitution etc are indicating the critical situation of the poor and marginalized. RDS firmly believes that to address these problems it is urgently required for developing and creating assets and capabilities for self-help initiatives collectively and to develop a just, equal and independent society. To achieve this the target people are to be made sensitize about their basic rights to livelihood issues and food security, control over their habitat and environment. It is also the believe of RDS that People's Participatory Rights Based Approach will bring desired results to those communities.

5.2.a (ii) Identity and Social Exclusion:
The denial of traditional socio-cultural identity and social exclusion has been threatening the very survival of the tribal and dalit communities. Exclusion of tribal and dalit communities in the name of touchebility and csatism and disregarding their identity is common practices of the mainstream communities in Indian society. With the advent of unbridled liberalization and the globalization, the approach to tribal, dalit and indigenous communities has been further worsened. Disregarding one's identity with neglect and hatret leads to social exclusion as well as communal disharmony. So the concept of identity is pertinent to the process of safeguarding and integrating the aspirations of tribals, dalits and women and children. The unfortunate growth of communal disharmony and conflicts and fundamentalist ideology of creating "one nation-state on the basis of one culture" is really testing and eroding the pluralistic tradition of India. Moreover the situation has been inviting extremist arm conflict in remote tribal and dalit inhabited areas and destroying the national integration. The Rural Development Society has affirmed herself as a tribal and dalit organization with around 85 per cent of dalit and tribal membership. Hence RDS will make sure that the empowerment of the excluded communities will be the priority of all its action.

5.2.b Our Core Concerns

5.2.b (i) Peoples' Action Forum's Engagement: Participation of Local peoples' organizations in the whole process of development
The main objective of RDS is to sensitize the leaders of peoples' action forums and equip them to undertake people centred participatory development programmes for the tribal and dalit community with an emphasis on favoring the marginalized. The members of peoples action forums through three major initiatives undertaken by it have recognized this urge. RDS has also undertaken the task of sensitizing the women leaders to accept the social transformation and social action in place of charity and welfare as an integral part of the mission of the RDS.

From 2005, the RDS has made a very clear option for their transformation approach by introducing the theme of Strengthening Community Action for Resistance Building (SCARB). This process of paradigm shift in the RDS mission is not very easy as the mind set of the peoples action forums leaders has not changed from their traditional approach. RDS is not being called simply to do small patchwork in order to streamline the present outdated models for development service but in opting for creating, with all human, natural, spiritual resources to discover new paradigms relevant in this age of globalization..

The Peoples' Action Forum's Engagement is the energizing force to integrate the mission of the RDS and the rights based approach to be in solidarity with poor.

5.2.b (ii) Gender
Women all over the world play multiple roles. They have to do household work, prepare food, collect wood and fetch water. take care of children and nurture family and meet community needs. Women's work at home is considered as expected voluntary contribution. However, their participation in productive labour, paid and unpaid is not reflected in official statistic relating to economic activity of the country. Women are an important segment of the agriculture workers Likewise through they provide most of the labour for farming from all preparation to harvesting they do not have the ownership title to land. Further, though women are the principal food producer. It is they who suffer most from chronic mal-nourishment; they prepare 60 to 80 per cent of the food but consume the least and at last. They also have to bear disproportionate responsibility for supporting and sustaining the world's children. Women's key roles in food security must be universally recognized. On gender issues the gender refers to both men and women and more specifically to the behavioral, cultural or psychological traits typically associated with one or the other sex. Gender roles are those assigned in any given society to men and women. Gender roles are not static; they change over time. There have been radical changes during the last century in the types of work that have been considered typically women's or men's job. Under the male dominated society women have very little access to decision-making, rights. They have rights to reproductive health and over their bodies. Dowry death, witch hunting, girls trafficking, increasing atrocities on women are the real scenario of the present society.

So the issues of gender justice are given priority when it is viewed from the perspective that women are not only victims of violence but also agents of social transformation. The programmes of RDS have addressed the issue of economic alienation and social subduing of women through successful formation of SHGs, providing women's educational programmes and organization of rallies and demonstrations against exploitation. It is the need of the hour to mobilize women of self help groups under the platform of federation for initiating women's movement. It is proved that some of initiatives enabled them to claim and fight for their rights to create alternative livelihood means. The RDS accepts the challenge to sustain these struggles and transform them into Rights based movements.

There are unmet issues of equality and equity to empower women. Gender Justice and Equality has been in the top of RDS future programmes for ensuring collective participation of women and men in decision-making process to have access over basic amenities, control over resources and identifying the obstacles that are detrimental to the process of empowering women with their rights.

5.2.b (iii) Lobbying, Advocacy and Networking
The ideological inspiration, conceptual clarity, vision and mission of the RDS is to sensitize people concerned with the target communities, peoples action forum's leaders on contemporary realities and to involve them in realizing a just, human and sustainable society. The target poor tribal and dalit people are deprived of their economic, social, political, and cultural rights. In the light of realization from practical experiences RDS believes that it is important to integrate and incorporate all stakeholders concerned with the rights based initiatives. At present advocacy, lobbying and networking is an effective tool for community mobilization and highlighting related problems to a larger people for raising peoples and influencing government on the problems for solution. Appropriate approaches and methodologies, the message and need for change should be communicated to individuals and other like-minded institutions. Under the umbrella of RDS itself, there are around 50 development related NGOs/CBOs. Coordination and networking among them is necessary to realize the vision of RDS.

5.3 The Organizational Perspectives
5.3.1 Resource Sharing Partnership
Considering the emerging perspective the resource sharing is one of the vital components for empowering with information and knowledge and its dissemination among the target people for imbibing their mental and spiritual forces. RDS initiated organizational development process by consciously incorporating findings and suggestions of the evaluation including strength and weakness. This process has carved new roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders. RDS will focus specifically on issues given below:

Rights over land water and forests, Livelihood and Food Security
Identity and Social Exclusion

5.3.2 Knowledge Management
Knowledge is power. RDS adheres to the process of learning and unlearning. While engaging with people's struggle to realize their hopes and aspiration, use of information and knowledge sharing process and knowledge bank helps in realizing and visualizing the vision of the communities. Staff personnel of RDS constantly strive to acquire knowledge and learn from the day to day activities of the reference communities. This process of learning has brought both sides more friendly motive and close to redress the problems. This learning and managing knowledge includes the culture of free and fast flows of ideas, thoughts, responses and suggestions. The new approach, organizational goals, policies and processes will be aligned and methods to incorporate acceptable ideas will be adopted. The activities of Development Communications Unit, Study cum Research Desk, and Management Information System, the institutional knowledge management will be processed effectively.

For achieving conscientization, organization, and politicization, Development Communications, as a RDS believes that communication in development process is always people centered, where knowledge at the grassroots level is shared horizontally between two actors. The paradigm is participatory where endogenously directed quest to maintain control over basic needs is planned through various tools to create a climate of mutual growth. On the other, the Research Desk will, apart from helping the process documentation will bridge the gap between reality and theory and ultimately make RDS be the resource for the Peoples' Action Forum's Engagement.

5.3.3 Resource Management
RDS intends to be a resource-sharing partner of all stakeholders. To ensure smooth availability of funds RDS accepts planning and design of programmes from the grassroots peoples' action forums as per the local needs and in the context of rights based approach for protection of environment and natural resources and its utilization for livelihood and food security of tribal and dalit people.

5.3.4 Implications and Transitions
RDS will be partners in executing the programmes and it will play the role of an enabler and facilitator.
Its role will transform for sensitization about rights based issues through social action.
Besides facilitating resources for the partners, it would like to see every people's organizations becoming autonomous institutions with ability to plan, intervene, initiate and evaluate their own work independently.
To evolve an internal self-regulatory mechanism in partnership.
To encourage and support innovative and creative interventions.
Evolve a common platform for the concerns of RDS and human rights development agenda.

5.4 Institutional Perspectives
Reading opportunities for dialogue and equal partnership among various stakeholders to build up greater ownership and accountability in community development programmes.
Building greater coherence and coordination among various programmes of RDS in order to fulfill its vision and Mission.
To work together with peoples action forums and other peoples' institutions for pro poor changes in policy and practices.

The Decade Next
6.1 Preamble
The RDS's concern for development is an amalgam of both socio-economic and environmental thinking. The development we are concerned about is centered on the creative and redemptive purpose for all human kind where people can live in peace and righteousness with each other and with all creation. This rejects the view from the top that sees human beings as passive and imperative receptacles for fulfilling consumer need. This promotes the 'view from below' where the economic nature of human beings is a part of their wider existential dimensions. It involves a vision of an alternative society of counter culture, where all are participating in the ongoing global issues. Such a collective participation towards a realization of full human potential, the RDS stands against social discrimination, powerlessness and material disadvantage. Thus, such a vision of development gives a clear agenda for freeing the human potential from all that inhibits, deprives and enslaves.

6.2 Goals
To enhance organizational capacity to evolve and manage a development plan for next 3 years and to provide support for ongoing process to system and strengthen collective struggle with poor: There is a need to break out of the culture of silence, isolation, fear and false hood: There is a need to establish historical clarity and inform their glorious past. There is a need to recover and restore a shared memory of those who have been politically oppressed, culturally suppressed and economically depressed.

6.3 Emerging Vision
RDS believes in a society based on equality, peace and harmony with nature. In the context of the emerging perspective, RDS visualizes to accompany partners and stakeholders for the causes of the tribal and dalit communities, so that they will develop the capacity to negotiate with the local government authorities, policy makers about their rights and emerge as an alternative democratic force. RDS also likes to see the target communities sensitized socially, politically, economically and culturally and organized themselves demanding their rights to livelihood and food security, rights over land water and forests and protecting their identity.

Emerging Approaches
7.1 Rights Based
"Freedom is my birth right" - freedom from social cultural oppressions, economic exploitations is our birthrights. On the human rights issues, particularly for the mainstream community people through out the world cries for justice and peace. But despite inhuman sufferings, starvation deaths, eviction from the lands in the name of development, oppression, exploitation, social exclusion with neglect of the tribal and dalits the world maintains the culture of silence. In fact there is none to advocate and highlight the miserable conditions of the target people. RDS has tried to voice the issue of human rights and development. Orientation and training of the staff members on human rights and right to development involving government and other resource agencies will be imparted for enabling and accompanying the communities and People's Organizations.

The concept of Rights Based Approach has been evolved to minimize the increasing injustice and inequality on tribal and dalits. It is proved throughout the world that when people advocate and fight for justice, demand dignified life and participate in the decision making process, they succeed.

The Rights Based Approach emerged out of the United Nations Covenant of economic, social and cultural rights (ESC rights of 1948). However in post 90's due to the impact of globalization, and increase in disparity between the rich and the poor, fighting for the rights of the poor, marginalized and oppressed came into action.

Within the people's organizations and communities right issues will be discussed and analyzed in common-forum. Peoples' centred social action will be launched to orient and sensitize the communities, so that they can play serious roles and responsibilities demanding rights. Advocacy and lobbying will be used as implementing tools to address issues in a collective manners and to act as a pressure group on the existing power structure.

7.2 Rooted in Values
As a result of deep rooted involvement of RDS for the causes of the tribal and dalits the communities have developed their own vision of well-being. They are striving to achieve the same with locally available resources. In this connection RDS has introduced the collective social action with its limited resources to attain the same. RDS believes in peoples participation is essential to its approach for developing and strengthening the people's organizations. Trust and commitment, dedication towards social actions is pre-requisite for RDS involvement with the community.

Plain living and high thinking is the base. Simplicity of structure and life style need to be maintained so that a new society and community may emerge for the good of all people in all engagement of RDS and its partners.
Visible activities confirming accountability, credibility and transparency at all time.
Dynamic leadership of staff personnel for motivation, dedication, conscientization and training of human power potentiality with informal approaches.

7.3 Process Oriented
RDS believes that all correct leadership comes from the communities for continuing the struggles and bringing a social change through realization of their hopes and aspirations, available resources where an opportunity is enhanced to participate in their struggle. In this process, the development initiatives of RDS will also be based on changing strategy, which is different from the time bound, and resource specific interventions, projects or programmes. RDS has been playing the role as catalytic for strengthening their efforts and building the confidence of the community where people's organizations and their leadership would be in a position to carry forward the process.

8. Objectives
Partnership Facilitator:
To enabling the implementing partner peoples organizations to build issue based community action by enhancing decision-making power, developing capacity in transparent management of action and organization, up grading skills for best practices in self-governance, cost effective resource management and empowering with knowledge and information for advocacy and lobbying;

Community Access to Rights over Land Water Forests, Livelihood & Food Security:
The target people are in need of sensitization about their rights over social, natural, cultural and economic resources. Agrarian reforms are needed and the state should not take away the land from tribal indigenous dalit people in the name of development or to benefit the corporate sector. The marginalized farmers have rights over their lands and other resources restored. This message is to be inculcated among the target groups for united protest against such injustices in any place. The target community people are to be informed and oriented about public distribution system of food to below poverty line families, about various schemes for the welfare and development tribal and dalit and to link these resources for the benefit of the community and food security.

Rights to Social Recognition & Identity:
8.3% of the total population in India belongs to tribal. According 2001 census report the total tribal population is 84465196. In West Bengal state the total tribal population is 8031200. Despite this vast population the tribal languages has not yet been recognized and included in the 8th Schedule by the Central government. The recognition of mother tongue would enhance opportunities for spreading education among tribal people. This will also restore their rich value based cultural and ethnic identity.

Empowerment of People's Organizations for Advocacy & Lobbying:
Freedom is our Birth Rights. Tribal and Dalit marginalized community in our country do not have any taste about freedom due to persistent problems by and large remained unattended to land alienation and their non-restoration, indebtedness, tribal forest rights, development of forest villagers, extension of panchayati raj facilities to tribal people, displacement due to development and lack of proper rehabilitation, survival and protection from hunger, fragile socio-economic livelihood devastating base ranging from loss of livelihoods to landless. Mere people's movement for any demand will not be enough. Strong and committed people's organizations are to be empowered with knowledge, capacity and skills to highlight the problems of the target groups and advocate and lobbying with Civil Societies, State and Central Governments for influencing the legislature and bureaucracy for effective implementation of constitutional guarantees and rights.

Gender Justice & Equity for Food Security:
For the RDS to play a positive interventionist role for empowerment of the rural women groups of tribal and dalit communities, the crucial component is making sensitization relevant to the real life situations that women encounter on a day-to-day basis. In order to counteract the challenges of the changing social economic structure the target women groups need to be given rights to information, the tools of knowledge and sources for capacity building and thereby enhancing rights to livelihood, food security and above all gender justice and equity. In this connection the grassroots level women's organizations will be enlightened with more and more information about their rights. Women's participation in the decision-making meetings by the people's organizations of the tribal and dalit will also be ensured. The potential women leaders will also be encouraged to participate in the Panchayati raj, to stand in the election and use their voting rights. RDS has been also providing major emphasis for economic empowerment of the target women through self-help groups.

Leadership for Social Action & Mission Intervention:
The right leadership will lead to the target goal smoothly. So quality leadership from micro to macro levels is essential to carry forward the mission of the RDS. Potential organizers from the community and the RDS activists are to be identified for educating and oriented them with leadership quality in the context changing socio-economic scenario. It is a continuing process for orientation of social activists and to make them informed, equipped with knowledge, capacity and skills to lead the social action in right direction. Thus the ideology and mission will be transmitted to the target community people.

Save Ecology for Disaster Minimization & Food Security:
Due to ruthless destruction of forests and other natural resources the ecology of the project area has been threatened. Extinction of various species of plants and other living creatures have already been identified. People should be sensitized about conservation of the existing forests, flora and fauna and natural resources. The destruction of ecology causes climate change and global warming. The area is severely affected by natural disaster. Their frequency and intensity over the past decade has increased dramatically as a result of overuse and abuse of natural resources. Natural disaster like drought and flood are the most common and often lead to huge problems in relation to food production. Such disaster may lead to chronic food insecurity for the people that lose their assets, homes and livelihoods. People should be made alert about the disaster management for food security.

Orientation on alternative models of agriculture & alternative means of livelihood:
Most of the lands under the possession of tribal and dalit are unfertile. So the yield of production is very low. If soil fertility could be up graded than production of crops would be increased and minimize food insecurity. In this connection selection of crops for cultivation for short, medium or longterm basis, vermin-culture, soil and moisture conservation, organic and compost farming technology may be introduced. Alternative models of agriculture that suit the local weather conditions like fruits orchard, floriculture, plantation of aromatic herbs, high bred seasonal vegetable cultivation, kitchen gardening may also be introduced for livelihood development. Moreover orientation on eco-friendly alternative sources of income generation activities may also enhance new opportunities for livelihood maintenance.

Up gradation of Organizational Capacity of SBSS:
The globalization has been demanding more efficient management of organization equipped with modern office logistics and management capability, with up dated equipment and transparent communication, skilled technical personnel with profound knowledge in the field. RDS is giving much priority for developing organizational capacity and more emphasis on vision building and inculcating values among its members and staff personnel.

9. Supporting Strategies
Supporting strategies to fulfill the objectives:
The core strategy of RDS is to work together with partners and related all stakeholders. It follows three principle strategies - partnership cooperation, development and enhancement. RDS values the partnership with all stakeholders by enhancing the managerial capacity and skills, transparency in activities, accountability of concerned personnel and cooperation that would enable RDS at effective and efficient operation and self-governance. RDS's involvement at grassroots level is dependent people's organizations for strengthening peoples' rights based movement for livelihood development and transfer of technology for food security, gender justice etc. by incorporating from bottom to top social action committees, women self help groups, women rights forum at village, cluster and area levels.

It is one of the strategies to sensitize tribal and dalit population and encourage them to participate in the local politics in the three-tier Panchayati raj system. They will also be motivated for casting voting rights and to contest in the election for establishing their rights and holistic development planning and implementation of their own villages. Focus will also be given on adoption of new technology and eco-friendly alternative means for livelihood development and food security. People's organizations will be more vocal with full strength of knowledge on the issues during interaction with the local government development authority.

It is also our strategy to up grade knowledge, capacity and skill of target people and empower them with decision making power and bargaining capacity for establishing their rights over land water and forest, livelihood and food security.

Democratic process:
Responding to the emergency situations including all sorts of conflicts, which affect livelihood means of the victims drastically.

Ensuring transparency and accountability in mitigating disaster in a participatory manner as per approved principles by the communities.

9.1 Core Strategy
Working together with partners and related all stakeholders is the core strategy of RDS. It follows three principle strategies - partnership cooperation, partnership development and partnership enhancement. RDS values the partnership with local stakeholders by enhancing the managerial skills, transparency, accountability and cooperation that would enable RDS at efficient operational and self-governance. RDS's involvement at grassroots level is based on three-tier people's organizations for strengthening peoples' rights based movement for rights over land water forest, livelihood development and transfer of technology for food security, gender justice etc. by incorporating from bottom to top social action committees, women self help groups, peoples action forums at village, cluster and area levels.

It is one of the strategies to sensitize tribal population and encourage them to participate in the local politics in the three-tier Panchayati raj system. They will also be motivated for casting voting rights and to contest in the election for establishing their rights and holistic development planning and implementation of their own villages. Focus will also be given on adoption of new technology and alternative means of livelihood for livelihood development and food security. People's organizations will be more vocal with full strength of knowledge on the issues during interaction with the government development authority.

It is also our strategy to up grade knowledge, capacity and skill of target people and empower them with decision making power and bargaining capacity for establishing their rights over land water forest and livelihood and food security.

9.1(i) Partnership Enhancement:
RDS values the partnership of supporters, donors, community organizations and other stakeholders in undertaking development planning, implementation monitoring and evaluation. Through enhancement of the managerial and intervention skills, transparencies, accountability and cooperation RDS participates effectively at the operational and self-governance to mange its own systems and processes effectively. It is vital to mobilize resources through innovative initiatives from government, other stakeholders and like-minded institutions and individuals. It is also important that partners of RDS in goodwill mission will strengthen and enhance the capabilities of tribal and dalit communities, building social capital to carry forward the micro level initiatives by preparing themselves for phasing out in due course of time.

9.1(ii) Building Peoples Movement:
The three-tier system for community involvement has been followed by RDS to ensure greater, larger and effective participation of People's Organizations. Women Self Help Groups and the various committees functioning at the village, cluster and area level will be transformed to be effective people's movement in operational area. Through intensive sensitization and education on local burning issues the target people will be made aware of their rights and duties. Thus the target people will be empowered with decision-making capacity for launching any movement in right direction. In this connection it is planned to keep close contact and exchange information, suggestions with partners for developing local co-operation towards effective people's movement.

9.1(iii) Political Empowerment:
The three-tier Panchayati Raj system has enhanced involvement of rural people in politics. But it is a common feature that larger sections of tribal and dalit people have very little participation in the politics. In this situation local political leaders of mainstream community manage to motivate few of their followers or people of vested interest from the community to contest in the election on behalf of their parties. During election local political leaders offer the poor people country liquor at free of cost for purchasing votes on their behalf. This is the real picture in the tribal and dalit villages. Moreover, the political leaders of mainstream communities for taking any decision direct elected tribal and dalit candidates. In fact tribal and dalit people have no concept about their voting rights, duties and responsibilities as a citizen for implementation of their democratic rights. Considering this situation RDS believes that political empowerment of target people will bee possible only through suitable social and political actions to empower reference communities, its leaders and people's organization, and staff team of RDS and other stakeholders for appropriate political interventions and actions. The members of Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad will be the primary focus groups. Active community participation and action of people's organizations at various local political issues may give birth to alternative political force. Importance will be given to Gram Sabhas where people can raise their voice demanding rights. Importance will also be given to revitalize the traditional tribal village administration system.

9.1 (iv) Building Capabilities:
For undertaking any initiative in the right direction it is very essential to develop capacity of the community leaders and potential groups. The emphasis will be given on building necessary capabilities of target communities for livelihood and food security and alternative means of livelihood especially on struggle for minimum wages, minimum mandatory days, compensation for occupational hazardous. They will also be organized to have access and control over community property and assets.

9.1 (v) Issue-based Networking:
RDS feels that networking is an effective tool for highlighting issues, drawing attention of all section of people through media, peoples' forums. Considering the immediate need of the community survival RDS has identified following two issues for strong initiatives:

Rights over Land Water and Forest, Livelihood and Food Security
Social exclusion and identity

The issue based networking with various local, regional, national level people's forums, ecumenical and civil society organizations for an effective intervention and greater impact would be developed by RDS on identified issues.

9.1 (vi) Women Rights Forum:
Women constitute about 50% population and they have less access to existing rights. The women self help groups and its network have enhanced the opportunity to mobilize themselves into one platform. Women SHGs have generated thrift savings as corpus with their contribution and this has helped them to achieve social and economic power to some extent. These SHGs continue to be an effective vehicle for economic empowerment of women, encouraging them to engage in political activities and community building and as a unifying force in tackling social injustice. Empowerment of women through self help groups would help them to identify and address practical and strategic needs to mainstream gender. It is also assured as a platform to build their confidence, appropriate skill enhancing measures and knowledge sharing.

9.1 (vii) Community Learning and Advocacy Programme:
Community learning and advocacy programme will act as a catalyst and will enable people to realize their potentials for developing a just human society based on equality, peace and harmony with nature. This will be carried out through attractive informal, informative, educative and interactive processes using IEC materials. The issue-based, rights based education of community people will influence people's organizations and will lead towards people's movement.

9.1. (viii) Disaster Mitigation:
Natural calamities cause food insecurity of poor tribal and dalit people. So RDS stands beside the people in the emergency situations for extending relief work through the church related agencies. Disaster preparedness in the flood and drought prone areas, would involve the congregations and the target community people and their organizations.

9.1. (ix) Phasing out and Withdrawal:
The participatory monitoring systems enhance opportunity for the periodical assessment of the progress and impact of the decade long perspective plan and initiatives. If the community is confident to self-governance of their own situation and realize how to achieve their goal through political participation, economic sustainability and building life-sustaining assets than it would be possible phasing out and withdrawal in time. RDS would consolidate the activities through different means. Peoples' organizations will play their role for continuing their development initiatives and RDS will always provide guidance, advice and fellowship. In case there is no adequate response for mutual partnership by the end of the 3rd year RDS will withdraw its support. RDS may also withdraw from its activities in case of negative work climate and social tensions.

9.2 Supporting Strategy:
This would supplement and complement to the core strategies and activities as catalysts affecting the core strategies as and when required.

9.2 (i) Capacity Building:
Rights based and issue-specific capacity building efforts will be an effective resource on identified themes and concerns. In this connection formal linkages will be developed. Teaching institutions and Universities like XISS, Ranchi, Bishops College, Kolkata, CENDERET, Bhubaneswar etc. will be involved. Training curriculum including schedule, process, case studies, field learning will be developed. The conceptual understanding and intervention process will be uniform.

9.2 (ii) Peace and Reconciliation:
RDS also believes in "Peace for Justice" approach. The developed tools and procedures on local situation and issues will be introduced for strengthening the ongoing activities. The RDS approach will be incorporated to address concerns of the 'dividers and connectors'. Facilitators and key persons will be identified.

Emerging Roles
As an accompanied partner, RDS will continue its initiatives with implementing partners of the development initiatives. The partnership of peoples' organizations is important and inevitable for continuing the activities of RDS. RDS will provide necessary support and guidance to its partners as and when required. In this noble endeavor RDS will take up major roles to ensure meaningful saturation of this partnership.

RDS believes that the leadership and solution to the societal problems should emerge from the people and by the people themselves. RDS will play the role of a facilitator to chalk out ideas and plan of action out of them without any imposition of ideas on their thinking. While facilitating, RDS will involve actively with concerned peoples organizations to march forward through mutual understanding, interacting on the changed process.

RDS understands the challenge of the working conditions with complexities of its partners at the grass roots. In this situation RDS will strive to build an enabling working and encouraging environment for optimum utilization of its resources.

RDS has been providing emphasis on capacity up gradation in the terms of professional ethics with proper technical knowledge, understanding community expectation, informal approach, focusing on vision, mission and social values to challenge traditional thinking and rigid mindset. This is needed to identify the priorities and potentialities of staff personnel and for sharing knowledge, skills and techniques to materialize their activities.

RDS deeply involved in the struggles of the community and people for which communication skill is vital to articulate and voice issues and concerns effectively and appropriately. In this regard RDS will introduce community issue based, people's friendly systems and procedures for communicating all concerned fact and factors. It will play effective role in bringing social change for empowerment of the tribal and dalits and other marginalized section.

Resource Mobilizer
For any initiatives resources are essential for the growth and sustenance. People's movement for accessing their rights may not be translated into action without resources. RDS will take every effort to identify resource-sharing partners for strengthening rights based issues of tribal and dalits.

From Policies to Actions
11.1 Partnership Cooperation
Theme: Collective governance, transparency, capacity (managerial, technical and on community ownership) Focus: RDS Board and staff and the reference communities Instruments: Financial Assistance, advice, information system, training module and MOU Process: At the beginning of the phase, MOU and audit agreements will be signed with the partner's organizations. Financial support and assistance will be provided as approval of the budget. Enhancing systems, role responsibilities will be undertaken to meet the future challenges.

11.2 People's Control over Life and Livelihood & Food Security
Themes: Building capabilities and assets, access and utilization of community resources Focus: Small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers, CBOs, peoples organizations, policy makers; Instruments: Public advocacy and campaign, technical supports for rights issues, livelihood and food security. Process: Providing technical and knowledge based assistance to the existing groups and linking them to create a larger platform with like-minded issue based people's organizations. The community will be provided support for direct involvement in the Panchayati Raj. Government schemes like Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS), Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) etc. would be ensured through negotiations and campaigns.

11.3 Strengthening People's Organizations to Build People's Movement
Themes: Building people's organizations and people's movement Focus: Existing groups, VDCs, SHGs, PRI members, community centred learning and advocacy. Instruments: Networking, regional cooperation of RDS, constituency development, support, study cum research. Process: Through networking, the existing groups would be supported issue-specific and rights based networks for thematic interventions and to mobilize them as peoples' movement. Cooperation between RDS and peoples organizations will be developed. Supporting social action be drawn for the constituency development measures. Required legal aid linkage support would be provided to the leaders of People's Organizations to build arguments and presentations. Support may be provided for study cum research on specific and rights based issues.

11.4 Mainstreaming Gender Concerns
Themes: Women's empowerment, gender justice, participation of women leaders in decision-making. Focus: PRI members, Self Help Groups and women groups, grassroots level leader, RDS staff personnel Instruments: Gender policy, gender justice, fiscal support, staffing, gender based intervention process Process: To adopt the gender sensitive policies will be the top priority of RDS. Women candidates will be given preference. A desk supported by adequate representation from both genders will participate. Specific policies such as, gender policy and policy on harassment at work place, violation against women with redressing mechanism will be in place. Necessary components will be incorporated in MOU with partners. Fiscal support for gender intervention process would be provided.

11.5 Leadership for Social Entrepreneurship
Themes: Leadership development and involvement in RDS's mission Focus: Community level leadership for youths, women Instruments: Fellowship programs, documentation, research, enhancing institutional memory. Process: RDS will identify change agents at various levels of its involvement to continue the process of human development. Emphasis will be given for the leaders of the people's organizations, PRI and congregations. In addition, efforts would be taken at building leadership among ordained ministers, students of theology and social sciences. Fellowship programmes will be designed for these future leaders for extending study opportunities, exposure to mission field support for the development alternatives and paradigms will also be provided, Emphasis will also be given on vision building and exploration of innovative new ideas.

11.6 Ecological Conservation, Disaster Mitigation and Conflict Management
Theme: Conservation, Disaster Management, Peace and Reconciliation, Transparency and Accountability. Focus: Reference communities, relief agencies, RDS partners. Instruments: Mutual cooperation, financial assistance, counseling and therapy Process: RDS will work with its partners and target communities to prepare themselves for undertaking measures at the time of disaster. In emergencies, it will coordinate and provide relief with related agencies. RDS will take account of the impact of the external relief work, materials, aid workers/ agencies, their principles and priorities on the cultural identity and integrity of the community where usually the vulnerable communities are deprived. Cultural sensitivity with relevant participatory appraisal will be designed to develop long-term interventions. With congregations, pastorates and target communities, resources will be made available for long-term and short-term measures for ecological conservation for the purpose of reconstructing communities.

Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
The decade long perspective plan is flexible and offering a lot of scopes for new initiatives and interventions. It proposes for a long-term and short-term planning, repositioning of the personnel, systems, articulation of shifts, adaptation of new identities, roles and structure of RDS. The entire process of the perspective plan will be a reviewed process for evaluating the institutional, organizational, programmatic and financial impact of the entire plan.

Assumptions and Risks
The decade long perspective and development theme of RDS will enhance greater participation of the communities. In this process the critical element of community owning up the change process will gradually reduce the dependency on overseas partners for resource support. The different issue and rights based Peoples' Organizations will merge out as alternative political force, where women play equal role in the decision making process. This alternative force will help the marginalized tribal and dalit people to initiate people's movement demanding rights over land water and forest, livelihood and food security.

Partners' constant support
The system of fund flow from RDS to the 'People's Organizations has its own limitation, hindering the growth of these organizations. The unwanted procedure and interference by virtue of its autonomy may curtail the initiatives of the organizations.

Conflict in the areas of operation
Conflict of the community triggered political or communal forces can jeopardize all developmental efforts. Peace and harmony related concerns be discussed and integrated in the interventions so that communities may identify those vested interest people and elements and will isolate and uproot them. Capacity building strategies will strengthen the communities to protect themselves from the manipulative groups, which feel threatened by the emergence of these communities.

Consequences of large-scale natural disasters
RDS also functions in droughts, floods and cyclones prone areas. Natural calamities bring miseries for poor and destabilize people's life, and collapse their concept of time and space. Disasters will also hamper the implementation and progress of interventions. Disaster Preparedness Program and supporting income generation activities, micro credit schemes, grain banks, group and revolving funds will reduce the vulnerability of the communities after disasters and help them to be rehabilitated through self help.

Civil Society Organizations and the reduced space for social action
Government has been introducing oppressive and repressive Acts and Ordinances from time to time to reduce the space and opportunities for genuine interventions and address issues through Rights Based Approach. In the name of accountability and transparency the Government of India has brought about amendments Income tax Act and FCRA for monitoring and controlling application of foreign funds, which adversely affects intervention for the poor.

Setting the Calendar
This decade long perspective plan will serve organization from January 2006-December 2009. The initiation of transitions and enhancing partnership are given primary emphasis. Peoples Organizations strengthened will join together as people's movement in the form of federation, cooperative, collective forums. Consolidation of programmes will ease phasing out, by the time, people's movement would have emerged as an alternative political force with an ability to manage and sustain their social movement. Participatory review will enable RDS to take desired role.

RDS believes that an organization to play effective role it needs to develop self-renewing properties. It consolidates in appropriate strategies, to function efficiently and to counter the challenging environment through periodical examination. This is reflected in the decisions of several progressive organizations to re-examine their structures, systems, and procedures from time to time.

New insights to RDS's action plan have inculcated from the evaluation findings that help to renew itself and to build communities of resistance and hope. The resource- sharing partners always ready with their support and guidance. The visionary leadership of RDS and the constant support from the Donors will play remarkable progress in this endeavor. The cooperation and catalytic presence of the target communities is vital; without their active participation, this entire exercise will be in vain. RDS is grateful to all those who readily extends their time and energy passionately.

RDS firmly believes that the objectives of this perspective plan will be implemented, carried forward and fulfilled by all stakeholders involved to build a society based on justice, peace and equality to realize Humanity and the Earth.