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