Profile the Organization:
People’s Action for People in Need (PAPN) was
established in the year 1982 by a few young social activists and the
professionals from different walks of life. PAPN got itself registered under the
Indian Societies Act (Act-XXI) of 1860 in the year 1983. PAPN is the outcome of
the vision to educate, aware, organize and empower people in general and women
in particular living in the backward, remote, inaccessible and rural and hilly
areas by undertaking educational and awareness programs, the vocational
training and socio- economic
upliftment through professional
voluntarism in the State of Himachal Pradesh. Therefore, in the year 1985, PAPN
launched its activities in Sangrah and Shillai Development Blocks of the
Trans-Giri areas of Sirmour District (HP) with the initial financial support
from the Social Work and Research Center, Tilonia, Rajasthan-now known as the Barefoot College. Presently the
Organisation is working in Sirmour District with support from Action Aid
Association and Childline India Foundation and in Panchkula (Haryana) in
collaboration with CRY-Child Rights and you.
The Location and the Area of
The focus area of PAPN is Sangrah and Shillai Development Blocks of the
Trans-Giri region of Sirmour District.
Geographically the District may be divided into two parts; The Cis-Giri
and the Trans- Giri -locally known as the Giri-Vaar and Giri-Paar. Giri is the
name of a river that divides the District into two parts. The most parts of the
Trans-Giri are much more backward, remote, inaccessible due to difficult
terrain and subsequently least developed and most exploited in terms of the
general socio-economic conditions of the people in general and women and girls
on particulars. The Project area of PAPN lies in bare, brown and barren outer
Western Himalayan region. The whole Project area is hilly and rural with its
eastern border with the tribal belt of Jaunsar-Bawar of Uttrakhand State.
socio-economic status or rather a condition of the people living in this part
of the State is rather pathetic and very poor. The wide spread poverty
encircled by the selective continuance of so called social and cultural customs
governed by the feudal and gender biased system of decision making at the community level are still very much
there in practice. The major source of livelihood is agriculture. Maize and
Wheat are the only grain crops of the area. Potato and Sweet Potato, garlic and
peas are the other cash crops, which are cultivated in very small scale. Ginger
is no longer a cash crop as it used to be previously. There are no irrigation facilities; therefore
the agriculture is not economically a viable and productive occupation for a
full year. Due to topography being
sloppy, average land holding being very small and lack of irrigation
facilities, the agricultural production is too meager to meet the family’s
annual requirements. More importantly
the petty moneylenders and middlemen, usually the Shopkeepers or village
leaders control the agricultural/village economy. The villagers buy their daily
needs from them on credit and in order to repay the loan they have to sell
their produce such as potato and sweet potato to the moneylenders at a price
fixed by the latter. Each family has had its traditional moneylender for the
generations. Generally they charge a very exploitative rate of interest, which
is over 120% per annum. Therefore, at least one member of each family has to
work as casual laborer on roads or in far off towns to support their family’s
minimum needs of food and clothing. There are very few persons employed in
organized sectors but they do not represent the common people. The
Environmental degradation through quarrying in the hills and forests and its subsequent effects are one of the
leading environmental hazards facing the area. This has been supplemented by
deforestation, soil erosion as well as the shortage of the fodder and fuel
wood, thus adversely effecting the already poor economy of the area and its
people. The twin problem of the safe
drinking water and
the sanitation in
the villages can
also be clubbed under the
ecological problems of the region. In brief, the followings are the widely felt
problems and major issues of the people of the area.
of literacy, especially
among women and girls affecting
their social status in the community.
o Prevalence of
social evils such
as the child
marriage, drinking, rigid caste
divisions and the superstitions etc.
o Inadequate, ineffective,
neglected and the
genders biased health
care facilities in the area.
o Unproductive agriculture – the main
family occupation –
resulting in poor socio-economic conditions of the community.
o The existence
and the continuance of
highly exploitative credit and marketing system at the community level.
o Shortage of the safe
drinking water, fodder for
livestock and fuel wood.
o Inadequate and unhygienic
housing facilities and poor sanitation in the area.
The Status of Girls and Women
within the Community:
difficult mountainous terrain, hostile weather conditions during the monsoon
and winter and the existing social and cultural practices, the existing health,
educational, communication and related basic necessities are grossly inadequate
and sparsely distributed. These all enabled the orthodoxy to continue-child
marriage, sexual/physical exploitation of women and girls, polyandry and blind
faiths etc. Therefore, in the prevailing situations and socio-cultural
background women and girls are the first and easily available target of exploitation.
The above conditions of women and girls are the net result of the deep rooted
poverty encircled by the selective continuance of so called social customs and
culture governed by the outdated and gender biased system of the decision
making within the community. Health is another area of neglect, which has been
affecting the lives of women and an important factor in their status. The
social customs and traditions are one of the major reasons for very high
prevalence of Reproductive Tract Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
among most of the women of the area.
In the given
limitations and the challenges, PAPN plans to initiate the socio-economic
upliftment of the most deprived, oppressed and neglected section of the
community, i.e., women.
Please contact; email@example.com for the concept note on this issue.