Thursday, April 16, 2020

LJA - Draft Action Plan for 2020

Lokavidya Samaj – Action plan for LJA
an outline incorporating
Ghar Vapasi, Ghar se Kam karo, Sab ki Aay Pakki, Lokavidya Bazar

Ghar Vapsi

Migrant labour, all over the country, is comprised of, in the main, of vast sections of Lokavidya Samaj; who, having been displaced from their vidya ,skills and livelihoods have been forced to eke out a living in urban and semi-urban areas by doing jobs quite alien to their vidya and skills. Their labour ‘supports’ the urban economy and lives and livelihoods of the urban population. They are economically and socially enslaved. All problems associated with the plight of ‘migrant labour’ have arisen because of this displacement; now compounded manifold by the current pandemic together with the wholly inadequate and unthought-out response of the ruling classes to their plight.

As a result of the lockdown their response has been Ghar Vapasi ! The move of the government and civil society to stop this ‘reverse migration’ is solely to safeguard this enslaved labour force, so that they are ‘available on site’ after the lockdown.
It is clearly uncertain whether the MSMEs, construction, food and allied enterprises, petty transport etc will be actually able to survive the lockdown and the aftermath of the Pandemic. So, Ghar Vapasi is their real choice and not a knee-jerk reaction.

It could, however, serve as a first step in assisting Lokavidya Samaj regain control of it’s existence. A clear consequence of the ‘Ghar Vapasi’ movement would be: What do the ‘migrant labour’ do when they get back?

Ghar se Kam karo

Work from home has become a popular slogan the world over and all enterprises that can implement this strategy, are doing so to the extent possible. The adverse effects arising out of the need to commute to work and/or gathering in a workplace, on social health and environment, have been brought to the fore. So, this concept seems to be gaining firm ground.

Lokavidyadhars are a large productive and service component of our population, who largely work from their homes/villages. If their productive and service activities can be revived and bolstered; the economic, social, cultural and ‘spiritual’ revival of Lokavidya Samaj becomes a distinct possibility.

This would involve a great rebuilding, extending, ‘modernising’ of the different productive and service activities that this ‘returning population’ can engage in. Concomitantly, this would involve widespread planning to engage the increased numbers of Lokavidya Samaj (in every gram panchayat comprising 5 villages or
about a population of 4000). As also a restructuring of the local planning and management of a reorganised Samaj.

The demands on government/State support would be;

1. One school for every 1000 population
2. One PHC for every 1000 population
3. Drinking water supply for each gram panchayat
4. Revamped PDS for each 1000 of population and efficient utilization of the distribution mechanism through agencies such as ICDS/ Anganwadi workers.
5. Revamping/establishing Local Markets to serve each 1000 of the population
6. Capital inputs as and when required by each gram panchayat

So that the working members and children DO NOT HAVE TO COMMUTE TO REACH THEIR PLACE OF WORK/SCHOOL

Sab ki Aay Pakki

Our programme of ‘Sab ki Aay Pakki’ will now find vast support among Lokavidyadhars. In order to sustain the lives and livelihoods of the population, every household must receive a minimum wage of say 300/- per adult per day. Arrangements must be made under MGNREGA etc to provide the facilities for work, if needed, and timely payment of wages ‘at the doorstep’.

Lokavidya Bazar

The concept that the Bazar(Local Market) as a place for exchange of goods and services primarily to sustain the lives and livelihoods of the population and NOT for generating surpluses through the mechanism of trade, can also now be popularised and should find support among the Lokavidyadhars.

The small trader/shopkeeper , who operates in the Bazar, is assured of a minimum wage through Sab Ki Aay Pakki, while capital input( in cash and/or kind) for inventory management has to be planned and provided.

Surplus produce of foodgrains, vegetables, fruits etc of the farmers; and goods of the artisans must be procured from the producers from the local level and transported to godowns, markets etc by the state (through FCI etc).

A total revamping of local governance institutions is required so that all the above stated activities can get established and function with minimal external bureaucratic interference.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Nationwide Fast 10th April 2020

The poster above is prepared by Gram Sewa Sangh, Bengaluru  in its campaign #KaronaKuch as part of the movement for Sacred Economy. They have given this call for fast on 10th April to express solidarity with and support for the migrant workers  who are facing unprecedented misery and are presently in an exodus from the metros to their home places compelled by the crisis precipitated by the spread of the corona virus and the apathy of the governments. 
This is also a call for thinking about reorganization and reconstruction of the economy and society centered on the villages and bastis where the farmers and artisans live. The Lokavidya movement sees also a silver line in an imagination that reinstates the farmer and the artisan who have been forced to become workers by the capitalist and imperialist economies.
Vidya Ashram inmates and several activists of Varanasi are joining this fast.

Sunil Sahasrabudhey
Vidya Ashram