Networks Promotion and Involvement

Ananta Paryavarana Parirakshana Samiti (APPS): 70,000 acres of hillocks under conservation

Mass Education has played a pioneering role in creating and promoting the concept of natural regeneration of revenue common lands since 1989 and promoted an environmental network at the district level in the year 1992.

During district level walkathons (Padayatras) Mass Education has identified some villages’ in which the local communities were voluntarily conserving the nearby hillocks (common lands) by promoting the natural regeneration of greenery.

Realising the importance of the natural regeneration Mass Education has decided to promote this model at the district level. It  has given it’s time and energy for about 8 years to establish APPS  in collaboration with  16 grass root level NGOs with the idea to take forward this  innovative & low cost concept of Natural Regeneration. Mr. Sriramappa of OXFAM, Hyderabad has extended full cooperation initially while Mass Education was promoting APPS.

Development Action for Marginalised Muslims (DAMM):

It has been well established by many studies and commissions that Muslim Minorities are lagging even behind Scheduled castes and Tribes in all kinds of development. So Mass Education has initiated DAMM network with other Voluntary organizations to work on the development concerns and issues of the poorer sections among the Muslims in the year 2002. So far DAMM has assisted about 5000 Muslim women into Self Help Groups.

Socio economic Status of Muslims in India: Many recent studies are indicated that the socio economic status of Muslim community is as backward as that of dalits or tribals. In fact in many areas they are left far behind dalits and tribals. It is alarming to know that the Muslim community has the lowest literacy rate in the country. It is also shocking to realize that the issue of child labor is prevailing amongst the Muslim community in India in major way. Women in this community are working in the lowest paid occupations like Bangle Making, Agarbathi (incense sticks) Making, Domestic Work, Building Construction Work, Silk Twisting Work, beedi making etc.

Backward Communities Vs Muslim Community: Off course, the other backward communities are facing similar socio, economic and political problems but their welfare is guaranteed by the Constitutional safety measures and provisions. They are being benefited from the Government Reservation Policies, such as Reservations in the government jobs, Reservation of seats in the Educational Institutions, Reservation of certain percentage of seats in the political bodies. Apart from these benefits, there are earmarked quotas / reservations for these groups in all the government development / welfare programmes such IRDP, DWCRA, Housing programme, Vocational training courses. The government is maintaining hundreds of free residential schools and thousands of hostel facilities for these most backward communities. Because of these facilities these communities are slowly progressing in many aspects of life. But unfortunately similar facilities are not available for the poor among the Muslim community. As a result the economic, educational and social status of this community is gradually becoming worse year after the year. Of course, there might be historical reasons for their backwardness. We do not like to go into those details here. We feel that it is the primary responsibility of the government, at least now, to take necessary steps to develop this most back ward community.

Despite their backward status, Muslims have never been under the spotlight when it came to the development until recently. They continue to be resource less poor due to lack of proper facilities like proper health care, lack of minority funding for proper education and lack of reservations to get employment. Due to these reasons, Muslim community is facing many problems like polygamy, child labor and other shocking issues like domestic violence and trafficking. The main reason behind these issues is due to the lack of awareness in this community with no support from the government. Therefore it is crucial to focus on this community to bring in economic balance in the country.

Unfortunately, whatever might be the reasons, until recently, even the national and international development agencies have not worked for the development of this most deserved community. Muslims have not become the priority target groups for these non- governmental developmental agencies so far. Of course, for the past couple of years some developmental agencies have recognized the need to work for the development of the resource poor among the Muslims. Mass Education is one such voluntary organization realized the importance of working with the poor Muslims. It has been trying to motive the voluntary sector to work for the development of the poorer sections among the poor. It has played a leading role in creating a network of voluntary organizations in Anantapur district by name, Mission for Minorities and Marginalized (MMM. It has also created a network of 5 Voluntary Organizations by name Development Action for Marginalized Muslim (DAMM) with the specific objective of working with poor women and child labor.

Andhra Pradesh Women’s Network (APWN)

APWN is a forum with 22 member Organizations in the State to oppose violence against women. The primary objective of APWN is to prevent the violence and discrimination on women at the domestic level. Our organisation has played an important role along with some other voluntary organisations in establishing this network at State level.