‘Voices of the Kosi’
A Pre-election People’s Campaign to Re-assert Issues of the Kosi Basin
The Kosi embankments were built nearly five decades ago to confine the river and provide security from flooding. But despite representation of the area in the Parliament and the State Legislature and this infrastructural mechanism to protect it, breaches have occurred consistently and have left vast Kosi dependant regions in North Bihar, waterlogged.
The entire stretch of the Kosi basin, and particularly the 380 villages trapped between the two embankments of the river, has languished in absolute lack of development interventions. The inhabitants of the area, mostly belonging to communities of Dalits and backward classes, have not only been left alone coping with the floods and prolonged water-logging year after year but have also been denied their rightful opportunities of human development. (click here for a photo essay of the Bihar floods)
View Voice of Kosi in a larger map
About the campaign
A campaign to connect with inhabitants of the Kosi basin is being undertaken from April 14 – 21, 2009 along part of the stretch of the Kosi basin trapped between embankments. The campaign being coordinated by Praxis, will be undertaken by a number of prominent civil society organisations of Bihar and media representatives. The overall aim is to give excluded, marginalised and vulnerable groups along the Kosi river an active voice in their own equitable and sustainable development. The process of the campaign will entail the following components:
- Formulation of a People’s Manifesto, containing the development concerns and aspirations of the inhabitants of the Kosi basin including those of the most marginalised and often ignored groups;
- A journey by boat down part of the stretch of the Kosi (Map of the Journey Plan), with the objectives of:
- Meeting with local communities and urging them to dialogue with electoral aspirants visiting their areas and secure commitments vis-à-vis the People’s Manifesto
- Profiling issues and vulnerabilities of the Kosi basin using participatory video, GPS and satellite imageries, and participatory research processes.
Participants of the campaign
The following agencies will be involved in various stages of the campaign:
- Representatives of different Civil Society Organisations, Panchayati Raj institutions and activist movements;
- Media representatives;
- Scout youths;
Co-ordination and contact details
Praxis, 1st Floor, Ma Sharde Complex, East Boring Canal Road, Patna 800001.
Tel. +91 612 2521983, 6453807.
Contact person: Jay Kumar Verma
From Beneficiaries to Agents of Change was launched in Chennai on January 23rd in the presence of members of marginalised communities who can use the self-administrable tools in the book to assess their community mobilisation process. The book has been put together and validated by Praxis with inputs from several community-based organisations in Tamil Nadu and Manipur. It can be used for anybody wanting to assess community preparedness for vulnerability reduction.
Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices successfully launched its Read Aloud series of participatory storybooks for children and young adults at Odyssey’s flagship store in Adyar, Chennai