The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Mahatma Gandhi


Making of the Conclave

“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. We as Citizens of the world’s largest democracy are very proud of being Indian and often we show our solidarity in times of disaster, be it when a tsunami happens or when things go drastically wrong.

However we also tend to think and believe that things are wrong and the country is going from bad to worse as the Government is not doing anything; the Corporates are only interested in writing profits and so on. We are always pointing fingers by being apathetic and without asking ourselves “What am I doing to help address societal change”. We fail to recognise our power as good citizens to bring about change.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” We quote Gandhiji often, but fail to practice it.” We talk about how the government needs to practice good governance, how Corporates need to be socially responsible and practice the triple bottom-line, how NGOs need to be accountable and transparent but where is our responsibility as a good citizen. Are we not victims of our apathy? What is the government or the corporate and NGO sector made up of. It’s made up of people. People are the sector so we got to go beyond just using buzz words like good governance and corporate social responsibility as if good people become good citizens and practice the power of one all sectors shall automatically be responsible.

“Together as ONE we can RIGHT every WRONG”. When we first started designing the conclave and awards the idea was to promote good governance and social responsibility. We decided to tweak the concept of CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility- to CITIZEN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY as if we can get individuals to be socially responsible and do what is required of them as good citizens to govern government, companies, NGOs, SMEs and all other sectors by practicing the true meaning of democracy and social justice, we feel that a real change is possible to address all issues that are plaguing our wonderful nation and BRING IN CHANGE. Thus we decided to build this as a multi sectoral platform representing all communities and sectors like Government, Business, NGOs, Small & medium Enterprise, Students who are the future of the nation. It’s what we have termed as the Public Private People Partnership.

Our beloved former President the Late. Shri. K. R Narayanan expressed himself in the last piece he wrote for India Empowered in Indian Express before his death is as given below and its time for the awakening.

“India Shining is possible only when the marginalised. Oppressed and the exploited begin to assert their rights and empower themselves and in this process the great Indian middle class should join in to propel a movement of fundamental rights for all

Yes friends you and I as responsible and more privileged citizens and its about time to practice our rights and responsibility to lead a change. Let’s stop the apathy and start leading the change by taking stands. There is hope as when people movements happen you, I and we can together move mountains. This power has reflected in recent people movements be it in the Jessica Lal case or the Priyadarshini Matoo case. It has reflected in the RIGHT to Information act. Its has reflected in the various people who go beyond just themselves and their luxuries to reach out and make a difference by addressing social issues and leading change. After all we have a great constitution and some wonderful laws and acts but if we do not understand and use these systems to fight wrongs happening in society than these laws and acts will never work for We the people who are representative of India and make it the world's largest democracy.

The Conclave

There are many social, economic and environmental challenges that India faces today are too complex and interdependent for government, civic organisations and private sectors to effectively solve alone. On one side we have an India Shining. However on the other side is the whining India where more than 40% of our population does not have access to their fundamental rights. Children are dying of hunger. Young adults are jobless and have no opportunities in life. The poor are oppressed and marginalised and we do not have enough time to think of this and see how truly we as individuals can contribute to lead a change and make it a truly India Shining for all including the poorest of the poor.

We as individuals can lead change and have a responsibility to do so. It’s not just about waiting for government, businesses, NGOs etc to lead that change. It’s about working together and interdependently with all of them to lead the change and face the challenges together.

Although people movements has been gaining ground in India, much needs to be done to raise the impetus for India Inc to take up wider social responsibilities, government to practice good governance, SMEs to be fair employers, NGOs to be accountable and MOST of ALL for people as individuals and good citizens to play an instrumental role in socio-economic development by proactively understanding and understanding social issues and practice “Philanthropy for social justice” our concept where people do not just give a little money but practice social investment, which in a nutshell means involvement, understanding, taking sides and speaking out as ONE to take proactive stands to lead the change.

In a country where the majority of the population lives below the poverty line and has little or no access to basic public services, there is a need for increased adoption of what we have termed and aspire to promote as the PUBLIC PRIVATE PEOPLE PARTNERSHIP as we firmly know and believe that it is we the people who will finally be pivotal for leading the change by influencing government and businesses by working together with them and not just pointing fingers at them.

The RIGHT every WRONG Social Justice & Action Conclave is an attempt by the people and associations from all sectors  to bridge the gaps and share the socio-economic developmental challenges and opportunities more widely with business leaders, government officials, social entrepreneurs, national policy makers, civic organizations and academicians.

The idea is to promote thought processes for good governance and social responsibility amongst citizens in Government, Businesses, NGOs, Small & Medium Enterprises, School/ Universities and harness the power of ONE as democratic citizens. It is a beginning for building people movements and knowing that We the people as individuals comprise We the power and that together as ONE we can RIGHT every WRONG.

Acknowledging that the necessary skills, resources and legitimacy for tackling these challenges are dispersed between different levels of various sectors, the Conclave would address the need for new models of constructive dialogue, consultation and alliances amongst the sectors by building collective people movements. This would be a forum to learn from pioneers across sectors about how we can all be change leaders and contribute to the process of leading change and to assist in helping people start their journey to create a successful, measurable and sustainable social impact.

KARMAVEER PURASKAR

National Awards for Social Justice and Action are being commissioned to recognise individuals who have been pivotal for leading change beyond their business as usual by being committed on individual levels to work on social issues. The awards shall be given to individual for their contribution to promote social justice and action. The individuals shall be chosen from various sectors and in the coming year we are focusing on people from Government, Businesses, SME’s and Media.

The Conclave objectives:

  1. To sensitise citizens about social issues.
  2. Create citizen involvement to drive social action for building a just, humane and  responsible society.
  3. Promote the idea that social action is 'fun' and win-win: 'rewarding'. (Karmaveer Puraskaar)!
  4. To share and disseminate information using The SOCIAL ACTION Conclave platform to mainstream and simplify social issues in the public domain and create citizen involvement by effectively using media.

The Vision and Mission: Find ways for people from Government, Corporates, Media, SMEs, Students and NGOs for working together as ONE to lead a change in societal thinking and RIGHTeveryWRONG.

The following are my vision and mission statement for the conclave (Karan Ahuja – AIESEC President)

Vision

To empower stakeholders of the society to identify and solve issues that hinder the progress of our society.

Mission

The conclave will be a platform for people from various backgrounds to get together and have output oriented discussions over issues that are affecting our society today. By presenting a holistic picture on these issues, the conclave will provide people with a logical and unbiased view of social problems and the underlying solutions for the same. Through the conclave, we also aim to showcase and recognize Best Case Practices from across different sections of the society.

The values

We would like to promote the courage of conviction, the power and integrity of ONE as an individual to take stands, speak out against any wrongs being done and lead change . There is an old saying that it’s a crime to do injustice but it is a bigger crime to bear injustice. Let’s stop feeling sorry about the state of the country and act like good citizens to bring in change for deprived communities by being humane, just and socially responsible. Let’s stop just discussing issues in coffee/ tea parties and the cocktail circuit and exercise our rights as a democracy. Let us reach out with solidarity and compassion to help the under privileged and marginalised. Let’s stop the talk and apathy. Let’s start to WALK THE TALK.

Together as ONE we can RIGHT every WRONG. Together as the great Indian Middle Class of the world's largest democracy we can practice our rights and  lead the change to get justice for all. Hence we need to go beyond pointing fingers and waiting for Corporates to be socially responsible, Governments to help communities and so on as all these sectors are made up of We the people and when we lead the change the Government, Businesses and all other sectors will follow the change as all sectors are made up of people who need to now become good citizens. In conclusion “We the People now need to become We the power” and that is possible when we take sides, stand up and speak out as neutrality helps the oppressor never the oppressed and our silence encourages injustice thus denying ourselves Social justice and a true democracy.

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