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From the Director’s Desk

From an idea that germinated in 1989, to provide shade to the multitudes that live in marginalized communities without hope, INDCARE has grown from a tiny seed to a towering tree in its journey of over two decades. Its branches represent its multi-faceted activities, its belief in inclusiveness, the idea that all humans have the right to live their lives with dignity and respect. The journey has been long and arduous but rewarding in the successes and achievements along the way. To bring back smiles on the faces of women by creating avenues for livelihood; to empower them and their families for a sunny future; to  foster change for  better gender relations within the household, is indeed the satisfying fruit of our labor.

In this long journey, our successes have been varied and comprehensive. From empowering women through microfinance in urban and rural India, to taking up cudgels in our endeavor to make Delhi open defecation free in our urban sanitation program; from upholding the Right to Food to prevent malnutrition in school children through our Midday Meal program in Government schools, to preventing anemia in pregnant mothers through our awareness and immunization programs in the health sector, we have indeed traveled a long way. We recognize that India’s citizens are the very bedrock of a strong foundation for our country and we believe in changing the practice of marginalization. We have fought a long battle for the empowerment of the most vulnerable among the vulnerable.

We  have worked in the current year with differently-abled women who have been marginalised by society. Lack of access to education, infrastructure (ramps and easy accessibility to buildings), employment opportunities or participation in routine activities on a day to day basis are regular problems the differently abled continue to face. Combine this with the perspective of how they are viewed and one will find an individual with unexplored unique qualities pushed to the fringes of society on the basis of how they are perceived and treated.

The role of civil society is to act as the prism through which all sections of humanity are viewed as equal and without discrimination. Human dignity combines the composite of all aspects of mental and physical well-being, and the ability to be able to achieve a standard of living, where society helps the vulnerable reach this goal by providing the necessary social supports. Yet the number of marginalized has risen  and they have been denied the human rights that are inherent to every human being.

This year was a year of dramatic changes not only for the country but our organization as well: new structures and norms were put in place and they began to function with all the squeakings of a vintage, changing gear. Old programmes were recast and new programmes undertaken amidst fierce debates and dissensions. We believe that we are at a turning point today. More people like you are ready today, than ever before, to take a stand and fight for the rights of the marginalised irrespective of their gender, class, caste, mental or physical disabilities.

If one were to cite highlights, we ensured in a number of areas that women were able to articulate their views better and were able to command attention and respect within the household, and also the community. Increased self-confidence was especially pronounced when women had been exposed to training on women’s rights and social and political issues. What more can we want than this? But the journey has just begun for we want to see the above pattern in not just a handful of households and areas, but in every nook and corner of our diverse country and then in the whole world. So, we have very consciously decided to step towards lobbying and policy advocacy, while still continuing with our grass root level interventions, for the need is far greater than what has been achieved. And we hope to achieve much more when we partner with various other stakeholders of the society like the government, international organizations, the corporate sector as well as other civil society organizations.

In this journey, whatever we have achieved has been through participation of a number of individuals and groups who have worked with us, funded us, contributed ideas and even held our hand to help us travel the path. I thank all of you and especially the team of INDCARE TRUST, past and present, who have helped in making some of our dreams come true. While treading this path, I would like to thank you all for sharing our collective dream and contributing your time, money and thoughts towards its realization.

  In Solidarity

 Reeva Sood

 Executive Director

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