ECONET has been working with NTDNTs for past two decades on issues of human rights, social inclusion and sustainable development. Along with action research and advocacy efforts ECONET undertaken innovative steps to ensure NT/DNTs are able to resist discrimination in matters of their social, economic and political rights, and able to access & exercise their constitutional and legal rights.
Nomad Resource Centre (NRC) is a collaborative initiative which ECONET started with the local CBOs and NGOs working with NT/DNTS at taluka and district places. Currently the geographical focus is Maharashtra and NRCs are set up in Jamkhed (Ahmednanagar), Khatav (Satara) Hinglaspur (Amaravati), Umerga (Osmanabad) and Digraj (Yavatmal). By mid 2018 NRCS in Devrukh (Ratnagiri), Madha & Karmala (Solapur), Shirur (Pune), Vita (Sangli) and Umred (Nagpur) will be functioning.
Through the NRCS we aim to reach out to different NT/DNT communities namely, Pardhi, Phasepardhi, Dhangar, Wadar, Ramoshi, Kaikadi, Nandiwale, Kolhati, Kolhati Dombari, Laman/Banjara, Dombari, Beldar, Vaidu, Gondhali, Gosavi and Gavali.
The thematic focus of NRCs will be – Education, Livelihood, Employment access, Gender Equality, Human rights and protection of constitutional rights, access to justice & legal aid/legal remedy, Citizenship rights, Participation in the democratic & electoral processes, Health, Land rights and Entitlement and access to development schemes & programmes of central & state governments. ECONET and CBO hosting the NRC aim to build and demonstrate collaborative & collective leadership through the initiative. NT/DNT community hold important role in the running of NRCs. The paralegal workers and volunteers at these NRCs are identified and selected from the community, and they are expected to go through a phase-wise training & strict planning and monitoring process.
Collaboration and Collective Leadership is core to the NRCS
NRC will be collaborative work of ECONET with the local CBOs, volunteers and paralegals. Non-Discrimination, Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development being the core focus of these NRCS, this programme is expected to achieve following outcomes:
Empowered NT/DNTs in matters of their legal and constitutional rights
Increased participation of NT/DNTs in democratic processes (electoral & non-electoral), particularly, at the panchayat
Improved understanding within these communities on various welfare and development schemes, programmes and policies
Effective access and exercise by NT/DNTs of their right to seek economic justice – livelihood and employment opportunities
NRCs will motivate and mobilize other stakeholders including governmental and non-governmental/private towards securing human rights and sustainable development of NT/DNTs. It is hoped that the partnership between ECONET & CBOs for NRCs will build a network of volunteers, local lawyers, researchers, experts, social activists, academicians, police, community elders, government officials, elected representatives and others to ensure the NT/DNTs are no longer remain outside of fringes of development and justice – social, political and economic.
ECONET conducts conceptual and practical training those involved in setting up and running of NRCs. The key topics covered include Constitution of India, Right to Information, Right to Education, Domestic Violence law, MNREGA, Atrocity Act, human rights, police administration, Panchayat Raj, etc. This effort is made to enhance their capabilities and to develop leadership. Training is given in three different phases. Curriculum and design of the trainings is such so as to develop their perspective, knowledge and skills towards work as well as NT DNT communities.
Community Ownership is the key to the social change
No social change can take place without active participation and co-ownership of the community involved. NRCs are located in the community with an expectation that the community will see NRC as their own, and make efforts towards its strengthening and sustenance. That is why, community mobilization and empowerment is the first step on setting up of the NRCs