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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Presentation: Indian NGOs in the New Millennium

You are coardially invited to:

Prospects and Constraints of Indian NGOs in the New Millennium

Presentation and Discussion

Date: Thursday, August 23, 2001
Time: 10-12 am
Place: 200 Promenade du Portage
Room 872 in CIDA Building

Dear Friends,

On behalf of Alternatives, we invite you to the launch of the report "
Prospects and Constraints of India NGOs in the New Millennium".

The guest speaker from India will be Mr. Vinod Raina who will be speaking on
"Primary Education & Healthcare: Civil Society Responses in India". (See
Program below).

This document is a result of a project undertaken by the following

Alternatives, Montreal (Canada)
CERAS, Montreal (Canada)
Thinksoft, Hyderabad (India)
Centre for Environment Concerns, Hyderabad (India)
Foundation to Aid Industrial Recovery, Delhi (India)
Centre for Youth and Social Development, Bhubhuneshwar (India)
Sakhi, Trivendrum (India)
Friends of Women's World Banking, Ahmedabad (India)

With financial assistance from

One of the goals of this project was to provide guidelines by which Canadian
NGOs can effectively assist in the development process in India through
strengthening civil society institutions.  A better understanding of the
perspective of Indian NGOs, the challenges they face, and their proposed
programs will better enable cooperation with NGOs from outside India.

There is a vibrant NGO sector in India with thousands of NGOs working on all
possible issues and regions. The need was felt to produce some kind of a
'strategic map' of NGOs which could highlight the main issues which the NGOs
are tackling in India today. The process of consultations was designed to
include all regions in India and involve as many major players as the time
frame would permit.

Five themes for study were determined:  Governance, Gender, Peace and
Security, Environment and Basic Needs. The document, to be distributed at
the launch, is a summary of the entire process including draft papers,
regional and national workshops involving over 500 NGOs. At the launch we
would be looking forward for your comments emerging from your experiences in
order to improve upon the document.

Kindly confirm your presence with me at ceras@alternatives.ca as there is
limited space.

Looking forward to see you

Best wishes

Feroz Mehdi
South Asia Program


10:00  Introductory Remarks
George Saibel, Director General, Asia Branch, CIDA

Chair: Melanie Boyd, Development Officer, Asia Branch, CIDA

10:15  Presentation of Document and Introducing the Guest speaker
Feroz Mehdi, South Asia Program, Alternatives

10:30  "Primary Education & Healthcare: Civil Society Responses in India"
Vinod Raina, People's Science Movement, India

11: 00  Discussion

11:45  Closing Remarks
Melanie Boyd

Brief Profile of the guest speaker from India, Mr. Vinod Raina:

A theoretical physicist, Vinod Raina resigned his job from Delhi University
in 1982 to work full time at grass roots level in the area of education and
rural development. With like-minded people, he has helped to evolve the
People's Science Movement, something unique in India, that attempts to
empower people to plan and implement their own developmental ideas based on
their needs, so as to reverse the trickle-down paradigm of development. He
has worked in developing alternative school curricula for rural areas, has
edited a children's magazine and a developmental news feature service. He
helped conceive a major regional project on the impact of globalised
development in the Asian region, and was the main editor of the outcome, a
500 page book titled The Dispossessed - Victims of Development in Asia,
which was published by the Hong Kong based institution, Asian Regional
Exchenge for New Alternatives (ARENA), of which he has been a board member.
The book is currently in its second edition. He has worked closely with
Bhopal Gas victims and with the Narmada dams movement. He is a former Homi
Bhabha Fellow, a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and is an
Honorary Fellow of the Indian Science Writers Association. He lives in the
city of Bhopal in India.

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