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Ransingh Parmar

President, Ekta Parishad

Ran Singh Parmar, a PhD in Botany was born in a farmer’s family and schooled in a remote and backward, dacoit affected village of Northern India, growing up admist gun-shots and violence. When he learnt about the mass surrender of Dacoits under the leadership of Gandhian leaders S.N Subba Rao and Rajagopal P.V he was inspired to join the Peace Centre with Gandhian leader Subba Rao ji and Rajagopal ji in 1980 and later on became the Chief Secretary of the Peace Centre. He is also the National General Secretary of National Youth Project that trains youth in constructive work under the guidance of Gandhian leaders. He has trained more than 25000 youth for communal harmony, peace, constructive work etc. He is also Vice-President of ICYO, Indian Committee of Youth Organizations which is a federation of 450 youth organizations in India. Besides working with youth, he has also set up a self-sustaining Khadi (handwoven fabric) and a Honey Processing units demonstrating his deep understanding of developing non-violent economic models around the needs of rural India. He is dedicated to people’s mobilization, capacity building, empowerment of marginalized communities to seek their human rights. He is one of the founder member of Ekta Parishad in 1990 and in 2005, he became the national convenor of Ekta Parishad. He took the responsibility of logistics for the 2007 Janadesh action in 25000 people undertook a foot-march. In 2012, he was responsible for logistics management for Jan Satyagraha and capacity building of 12000 community leaders.

ACHIEVEMENT / What is your project, initiative, startup, company all about?

Ekta Parishad is a people’s movement dedicated to non-violent principles of action. Our activists work towards building community-based governance (gram swaraj), local self-reliance (gram swawlamban) and responsible government (jawabdeh sarkar). Ekta Parishad’s aim is to see India’s poorest people gain control over livelihood resources, like land, water and forest. It is a federation of approximately 11,000 community based organizations and has thousands of individual members. We are currently operating in 10 states working for the land and livelihood rights of India’s most marginalized communities (tribals, dalits, nomadic communities, agricultural labourers, small and marginal farmers, etc.).

LOCATION / In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?

Ekta Parishad carries out its activities in 12 states of India. In each of these states Ekta Parishad works in areas that have either a significant tribal or dalit population

IMPACT / What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental… of the activity, project, initiative, startup, company?

If we want to stop the never-ending growth thinking that is part of neoliberal thinking, we will need to create and strengthen alternative economic ways of being. Ekta Parishad’s work in ensuring people control over land and livelihood resources put marginalized, landless farmers who live a sustenance life in greater control over their lives. It s an effort to create structural conditions for those who depend on land, water and forest to sustain their way of living. Distribution of rights over these livelihood resources is a way to decentralize power in an agrarian economy like India and this will lead to deepening of democracy. Land-based economy is going to be central for countering climate change.

QUOTE / A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you.

Dr. Ran Singh Parmar’s has taken non-violent movement building to new heights by his attention to detail and systematic planning in designing logistics management systems and capacity building for grassroots leaders