Union Government invites Gram Sangh Seva for talks on their demands for Sacred Economy

Positive news!!  

Gram Sangh Seva members and founder Prasanna have been invited by the Union Government to have discussions on the demands for the revival of ‘Sacred Economy’. This meeting would be chaired by Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Minister of State, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (MSME) and would take place within the 1st week of December itself. 

Gram Sangh Seva’s expert committee represented by Dr. Vinod Vyasulu  placed the demands to revive the Sacred Economy on to the public domain on Oct 6th, when Gram Sangh Seva founder, Gandhian, theater artist and social activist, Prasanna began his indefinite fast. A Letter outlining  the demands of ‘The Sacred Economy’ was sent to Finance Minister;Nirmala Sitaram, Prime Minister; Narendra Modi and CM of Karnataka; Shri BS Yediyurappa Reddy. 

On 11th oct, the fifth day of Prasanna’s fast, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizer Minister, Sadananda gave his word that he would schedule for  Gram Sangh Seva to have a meeting with the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaram and the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) where Gram Sangh Seva members can personally present their demands for the revival of the Sacred Economy. 

As a result, Gram Seva Sangh received an invite from Union Government to come over to hold talks on the Sacred Economy. 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/govt-invites-prasanna-for-talks-on-sacred-economy/article30119366.ece?fbclid=IwAR013niBelrNd_Ros8lPpof1lv1Mb4hP1nrBSqmFTVQ6xTh8BCt_DsRhW8Q

 

Joint Convention with the unorganised sector supporting the Sacred Economy

On December 1st 2019, Sunday, Gram Seva Sangh organised a joint Convention at Kondajji Basappa Auditorium, Palace Road, Bengaluru, propelling forward the ‘Sacred Economy’ movement that is, ‘Satyagraha in support of the Sacred Economy’. 

The Convention opened with inauguration done by eminent societal change agents – freedom fighter and 94 year old weaver; Sangappa Mante, Narmada Bachao Activist; Medha Patkar, corruption crusader activist; S R Hiremath,  labour leader and KIEE Federation President; T.S.Anantaram, Gandhian theater artist, social activist and founder of Gram Seva Sangh; Prasanna, and Gram Seva Sangh President; Yatiraju.

The inauguration symbolised the value Gram Sangh Seva and their partners hold in conservation of environment as it was done by watering a sapling plant.

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The Joint Convention provided a forum for leaders representing various groups, unions and federations of unorganised sector- farmers, weavers, industrial labourers, rural labourers, Anganwadi workers, Povrakarmika workers, to gather and voice out their struggles, issues while also  join forces to strengthen the local people’s movement demanding the Government to revive the ‘Sacred Economy’.

‘Sacred Economy’ gives value, dignity and respect to these marginalised groups today recognising that their work which involves physical labour is ‘Sacred’.  This sector that exists in both urban and rural regions must be revived through Zero Tax, Refinance and Restructuring of all Sacred sectors of Economy. An economy that supports the livelihoods and businesses of small industries, rural entrepreneurs, small vendors, textile and garment workers, labourers, farmers and others is needed to save the Nation from the economic and environmental crisis that has resulted today.

Gram Seva Sangh, an NGO that has been actively involved in the promotion of goods made by rural artisans, weavers, khadhi and handloom workers, farmers etc by providing them a marketing platform through Ragi Khanna,  an enterprise they run in Bangalore , have also done prior campaigns urging the Government to remove GST tax from handloom garment products. 

Lately, in view of our Nation suffering an acute environmental and economic crisis, Gram Seva Sangh has championed the need to embrace an alternate economic system that’s just, sustainable and equitable;  The Sacred Economy, with the ‘Satyagraha in support of the Sacred Economy’ movement . Gram Seva Sangh has been reaching out to various  marginalised groups from all parts of Karnataka and society at large spreading awareness and garnering supporters for the cause to revive the Sacred Economy. 

Going further in the upcoming weeks till January 30th, Gram Seva Sangh would hold People’s Courts in various parts of Karnataka where the badly affected but voiceless class of people will be empowered to put forth their voice expressing their concerns and issues for a discussion to work out solutions for them.

People’s courts for  landless labourers and weavers would be organised in North Karnataka. Bengaluru will hold courts for industrial workers mainly in Jigani and Peenya areas. Chamarajanagar will hold people court sessions for Peasants, while environmental issues and complaints of those impacted by the Special Economic Zone would be heard out in Chamarajanagar.

Press release about the Joint Convention – 

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2019/dec/02/peoples-courts-will-be-held-across-karnataka-to-discuss-sacred-economy-2070030.html?fbclid=IwAR1lURxZ2ZBquhhzz1MDwQ9ruT-U1zdO5Nh0z4k_O-SO-TybDX1r1zaX_ak

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ನೇಕಾರರ ಬನಶಂಕರಿ ಪಾದಯಾತ್ರೆ ಯಿಂದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರಗಳ ವರೆಗೆ ವಿಸ್ತರಿಸಿದ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ

Date: 1, Dec, 2019

Kaimagga Satyagraha in Jan 2014 (L-R, Prasanna, Uzramma, B Jayashri)

1. ಏಳು ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬನಶಂಕರಿ ಯಾತ್ರೆ ಎಂಬ ಪಾದಯಾತ್ರೆ ಮೂಲಕ ಕೈಮಗ್ಗ ನೇಕಾರರು ಪ್ರಾರಂಭಿಸಿದ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹವು, ಎಲ್ಲ ಕೈಉತ್ಪಾದಕರ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹವಾಗಿ, ಇಂದು ನಗರದ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರನ್ನು ಒಳ್ಳಗೊಂಡತೆ ಎಲ್ಲ ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರಗಳ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹವಾಗಿ ವಿಸ್ತರಿಸಿದೆ.2. ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 15 ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ ಆರಂಭ

2. ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 15 ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಗಾಗಿ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ ಆರಂಭ

3. ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 26 ಯುವಕರಿಗಾಗಿ ಖಾದಿ ಫ್ಯಾಷನ್ ಶೋ. ಹೆಸರಾಂತ ವಿನ್ಯಾಸಕಾರ ಪ್ರಸಾದ್ ಬಿಡ್ಡಪ್ಪ ಅವರಿಂದ.

4. ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 27 ವಾಡಿಯಾ ಸಭಾಂಗಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂಲ ರಾಮಾಯಣ ರಂಗರೂಪಕದ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನ. ಎಂ.ಡಿ.ಪಲ್ಲವಿ, ನಾದ ಮಣಿನಾಲ್ಕೂರು ಹಾಗೂ ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ ನಡೆಸಿಕೊಟ್ಟರು

5. ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 28 ಎಂ.ಜಿ ರಸ್ತೆ, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ದೇಣಿಗೆ ಸಂಗ್ರಹ. ನಟ ಕಿಶೋರ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ನಾಗರೀಕರು ಭಾಗವಹಿಸಿದ್ದರು.

6. ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 29 ಗಾಂಧೀ ಭವನದಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಶೈರಾ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ.

7. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 1 ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕಾರ್ಯಗಾರ, ಸಂತ ಜೋಸೆಫ್ ಸಭಾಂಗಣ.

8. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 2 ಸರಣಿ ಉಪವಾಸ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ ಆರಂಭ. ವಲ್ಲಭ ನಿಕೇತನ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು. ಎಸ್.ಆರ್.ಹಿರೇಮಠ್, ಅಭಯ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಆಭಿಲಾಷ್ ಉಪವಾಸಮಾಡಿದರು.

9. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 3 ಕೈಗಾರಿಕಾ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರ ಭೃಹತ್ ಸಮಾವೇಶ. ಮಕ್ಕಳಕೂಟ ಸಭಾಂಗಣ. ಪರಿಸರ ಹೋರಾಟಗಾರ್ತಿ ವಂದನಾ ಶಿವ ಪಾಲ್ಗೊಂಡರು.

10. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 2 ರಿಂದ 5 ರವರೆಗೆ ಸರಣಿ ಉಪವಾಸದ ಮುಂದುವರಿಕೆ.

11. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 6 ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ ರಿಂದ ಅನಿರ್ದಿಷ್ಟ ಅವದಿಯ ಉಪವಾಸ ಆರಂಭ.

12. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 10 ಮಾಜಿ ಪ್ರಧಾನಿ ದೇವೆಗೌಡ ಹಾಗೂ ಮಾಜಿ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಸಿದ್ಧರಾಮಯ್ಯ ಭೇಟಿ. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಉಪಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಸಿ.ಎನ್.ಅಶ್ವತ್‍ನಾರಾಯಣ್ ಭೇಟಿ, ಹಾಗೂ ಮಾತುಕತೆ.

13. ಅನಿರ್ಧಿಷ್ಟ ಉಪವಾಸವನ್ನು ಬೆಂಬಲಿಸಿ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ವಿವಿದ ಭಾಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನಾ ಸಭೆಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಉಪವಾಸ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ.

14. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 11, ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸಚಿವ ಡಿ.ವಿ.ಸದಾನಂದ ಗೌಡ ಭೇಟಿ. ಕೆಂದ್ರ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಮಾತುಕತೆಗೆ ಸಿದ್ದ, ತಿಂಗಳ ಅವದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಎಮ್.ಎಸ್.ಎಮ್.ಇ ಹಾಗೂ ವಿತ್ತ ಮಂತ್ರಾಲಯಗಳ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಮಾತುಕತೆ ಎರ್ಪಡಿಸಲಾಗುವುದು ಎಂಬ ಆಶ್ವಾಸನೆ. ಉಪವಾಸ ನಿಲ್ಲಿಸುವಂತೆ ಮನವಿ.

15. ಏಳುದಿನಗಳ ಉಪವಾಸದ ನಂತರ, ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 12 ಸಂಜೆ 6 ಗಂಟೆಗೆ, ಉಪವಾಸ ಸ್ಥಳದಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಜೆ.ಪಿ ದಿನಾಚರಣೆ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಉಪವಾಸ ಅಂತ್ಯಗೊಳಿಸಲಾಯಿತು

16. ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 20 ರಿಂದ ನವೆಂಬರ್ 25ರ ವರೆಗೆ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ವಿವಿದ ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ಕೇಂದ್ರಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ತಾಲೂಕು ಕೇಂದ್ರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ ಸಮಾವೇಶಗಳು ನಡೆದವು. ಸುರಪುರದಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಭೃಹತ್ ನೇಕಾರರ ಸಮಾವೇಶ, ಹಾಸನದಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಸಮಾವೇಶ ಮಂಗಳೂರು ಶಿವಮೊಗ್ಗ ಹಾಗೂ ತುಮಕೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಸಮಾವೇಶಗಳು ಗಮನಾರ್ಹವಾದವು.

17. ಡಿಸೇಂಬೆರ್ 1, ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಹಾಗೂ ಪಟ್ಟಣದ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರು ಹಾಗೂ ಪರಿಸರ ಹೋರಾಟಗಾರರು ಒಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಭೃಹತ್ ಜಂಟಿ ಸಮಾವೇಶ.

ಮುಂದೆಯೂ ನಮ್ಮೊಂದಿಗೆ ರಚನಾತ್ಮಕ ಹೋರಾಟದಲ್ಲಿ ತಾವು ಸಕ್ರಿಯವಾಗಿ ಭಾಗಿಯಾಗಿರುವಿರೆಂದು ಆಹಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ

 

Sacred Economy in the real world and it’s positive impacts


Let’s look at some live cases of Sacred Economic jobs that are creating impact, giving livelihoods, with creation of products that are creative, eco-friendly, while at the same time, embracing the Indian tradition that makes these products really unique. 

These products were displayed at an exhibition that took place at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore, October 19, 2019.

Stationary Product Stall 

At this stall there were

Boxes made out of cloth, banana fibre. Pens made out of recycled paper, cloth bags, photo frames made from handspun banana fiber yarn and cloth. Notebooks made from handmade paper. 

Notice, there are designs on the products, they have all been created by employing human labour. The Organisation that is marketing these products, Chetana, trains people with different disabilities with skills so that they get the required skills to create these products and earn a living.  This has empowered these people with disabilities to lead a life of purpose and dignity.

Products made out of bamboo fibre

At this stall there were –

Various baskets, boxes, bags made out of bamboo fibre. 

These products are made by rural people including women giving them livelihoods. Local raw materials are used to make these products, and it has been made by hand again so these products do have a special value. 

Dress stalls 

These clothes sarees, kurtas, shirts, bags, quilts are made using naturally dyed cotton handloom fabric. They are products of Charaka, a rural handloom co-operative. These products are sold in Cities through Desi outlets.

Charaka, began in 1994, the aim was to give the people of the hilly region of Bheemanakone alternative jobs, as people were excessively dependent on agriculture that caused damage to this Western Ghats region that was once filled with lush green rainforests. 

Now, Charaka is giving livelihoods to many rural people including women. Notice the simple elegance of the lady wearing Charaka’s orange saree along with full sleeve white blouse.

Handicraft products

This stall comprised of handcrafted toys from  Channapatna – wooden toys, vases, traditional games, toy fridge magnets, plant vase magnets and more…  This is the pride of Karnataka, as Karnataka State got represented in the Republic Day parade 2015 through Channapatna toy display!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6rqE_yhuII

Maya Organic is the non-profit that has assisted artisans with the product design/development of these handcrafted toys displayed in the stall. Many new artisans particularly women were trained with skills to design toys and products that attract the current market. 

All these handicraft products are eco-friendly made using natural dyes. Notice, there is also our country’s traditional games here, something we have forgotten about now.

Another stall had salwar cloth material.

The designs you see, are all made by hand labour.

Same is the case with these bags on  display, they are stitched by hand and the designs on them are patiently stitched by workers who created this bag.

There were also products like stainless steel straws, bamboo stand for cell phone that amplifies sound and many other cool stuff that are artistic, creative, innovative and eco-friendly.

These are live examples of how Sacred Economy creates jobs that can give livelihoods to many people who would  have otherwise remained neglected and unemployed . They also use local raw materials, like the baskets made of bamboo grass showed in an photo above and are environmentally friendly. These products don’t make use of chemicals that can pollute our water bodies. There is a value and uniqueness  in these products because its made by hands patiently and involve the use of creativity as well. Lastly, there is Indianness in all this, because these jobs were an intrinsic part of India, and is a proud traditional identity of India.

We should remember that there was a time when India was famous for its handicrafts, handlooms and used to even export.

 Reviving Sacred Economy, would revive our rural India and would alleviate Urban India’s stress from excess population and unsustainable growth that has damaged Urban India’s environment, while many people are still not getting livelihoods and are in poverty.

 

As a concerned Indian, what we can do is consume these products that promote the growth of the Sacred Economy. These products are eco-friendly, they give livelihoods to workers in rural India and are Indian in flavour. So, think about your consumption pattern from the dresses you wear, the toys you buy for your children, the food produce you buy etc ,  there are more sustainable products that are of value and don’t damage our environment. Embrace them, spread the word and support movements like Gram Seva Sangh’s Satyagraha movement to revive the Sacred Economy.

Echoing the need for India to embrace Sacred Economy

Gram Seva Sangh specializes in organizing artistic and cultural programs that show case issues ailing our country and recently Gram Seva Sangh organised such programs to showcase the philosophy behind the “Sacred Economy”.

The idea behind the Sacred Economy is also based on many of Mahatma Gandhi’s principles, which is why Gram Seva Sangh began their hunger Sathyagraha in support of Sacred Economy on Gandhi Jayanthi, the 150th birth anniversary of Bapuji. Here is an article written by  Gram Sangh Seva founder, Prasanna on Gandhi’s economic philosophy or economic wisdom. 

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mahatma-gandhi-economy-rama-rajya-jawaharlal-nehru-narendra-modi-6076656/?fbclid=IwAR3Z8bG9mOBTKoATtRTVezrtG_dhGPKI824BHJ64rM47zCtaPnl9mNMs5zw

Currently, our economic system is designed on achieving growth through over production for which, much of consumption is stimulated, it benefits a few giving them excess profits which does not get distributed to the masses. Youth are being groomed to manage businesses of Corporates in this economic system, they are not trained to manage jobs of Sacred Economy – farming, handloom, organic soap production, oil production, weaving, handloom, khadhi and a lot more. 

Meanwhile, the segments of  the Sacred Economy mentioned above don’t get the required knowledge or assistance from Government and our system to develop and sustain themselves. They are neglected, while Corporates, industries and banks are supported by the Government. It is only fair that small  and local industries are also supported by Government as they are labour intensive segments of our economy that have potential to employ and provide livelihoods to many people.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/encourage-small-industries-prasanna/article29810482.ece

There is more emphasis on encouraging automation in the current system which has taken away jobs of many people. The current economic system has also damaged our environment by chopping away our greenery, spoiling our natural resources of river, forests, air etc.  There is no space here for farmers, textile workers,small vendors and other marginalized groups of the Sacred Economy. 

This is therefore a Monster economy, leading to centralization of power in the hands of Corporates and industries while Nature is being exploited by them.  This goes against the principles of our Constitution as well, as this does not honour Article 39 of our Constitution summaries that – 

Everybody has a right to an adequate means of livelihood and that wealth, material and natural resources should not be concentrated in the hands of a few.

(Scroll down to page 21 of this link taken from the Indian Government website and read the full particulars of Article 39.)

The alternate Sacred Economy, takes care of those now ignored groups giving them jobs that cause the least damage to our environment.This system makes use of local labour and raw materials which is healthy for the growth and development of our rural and  domestic economies along with their ecologies. There is a need to decongest urban India that is suffocated with over development which has strained Urban India’s natural resources of land, water etc. Sacred Economy would bring that much needed balance to India benefiting both rural and urban India.

Protection of Nature, giving jobs to all people and having the village and the urban civilisations connect and co-exist in harmony is what Sacred Economy stands for.

Below is a link of cultural program “Mushaira”, where literary enthusiasts and talented poets narrated verses, proses and sung songs resonating with wisdom, stirring feelings to protect nature, greenery, revive India that is ailing with problems of – joblessness, corruption, exploitation, rural disintegration and more, by living the philosophy of our Bapu, Mahatma Gandhiji. The poems showcased how many of Gandhi’s wisdom and philosophies are relevant today to develop the sacred economy by promoting and growing India’s rural and age old, sacred, alternate economy  that gives space to farmers, textile workers, khadi fabric manufacturers, fishermen, sherperts, small vendors, toy makers, small scale industry workers and entrepreneurs, artisans, weavers and others of the Sacred economy category to exist and earn their livelihoods.

https://www.facebook.com/gramsevasanghindia/videos/2414457608591717/UzpfSTEwODMxNjU0MDk6MTAyMTYwOTczMzM0NDExMDc/

The poets who enlightened us with their soulful literary flavour at the program were – Sharifaji, Usha Raniji,Fathima Zehraji, Shakira Harem, Ratoun Kumar ji,Kavita Panyaji, Kanada poet Sri Girish, Pramula Sahab, Gyan Chand, Zanar Mansur Shahab, Shahiba, K Sharifa ji, Gufram Ahmed, Shahita Yusufji.

 

 

Gram Seva Sangh’s Sathyagraha in Support of Sacred Economy (Oct 2 to Oct 11)

Gram Seva Sangh, an Organisation working to revive livelihoods of the rural and marginalised communities of India and bridge the gap between the urban and rural communities, have been pressing the Government recently to focus on developing the Sacred Economy.

Campaigning for the revival of the Sacred Economy

In short, the Sacred economy are those jobs that have been neglected to be developed in the current economic system and therefore this section of the workforce have become marginalised groups struggling to make a living, as these jobs have been destroyed but still they hold relevance. 

Our farmers, labourers, small traders, vendors, khadhi designers, crafts men, garment factory workers, fishermen, etc , need to thrive and this is possible only when the Sacred Economy is revived through refinance, zero taxes and restructuring of the economy.

Gram Seva Sangh, started a Satyagraha campaign in support of the Sacred Economy to get the Government to hear the demands to revive the Sacred Economy and respond positively. 

The wisdom behind the Sacred Economy embodies the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, who embraced khadhi and chakra supporting them because he rightly believed they represent India’s strong, traditional, domestic economy that has given livelihoods to many people, making them self reliant to lead a life of dignity. Traditionally, the Indian economy has been giving jobs to weavers, farmers, khadhi designers and others who have unfortunately become marginalised groups today .

So, in tune with this philosophy inspired by Bapuji’s wisdom, Gram Seva Sangh adopted the non-violent yet powerful weapon of Satyagraha and launched a Hunger Sathyagraha campaign to have the Government officials hear the demands for Sacred Economy and take needed positive action.

Satyagraha began on Oct 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday

The Hunger Satyagraha in support of Sacred economy began on October 2, 2019 which was  Ganjayanthi, the day, the Nation celebrated the 150th  birth anniversary of Gandhiji. The venue the Satyagraha took place was at  Vallabh Niketan, Bangalore.

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Centenarian freedom fighter H. S. Doreswamy supporting the Satyagraha

https://www.news18.com/news/india/satyagraha-for-sacred-economy-activists-on-hunger-stir-in-bengaluru-seek-jobs-clean-environment-2336673.html

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/theatre-director-prasanna-set-to-sit-on-an-indefinite-satyagraha-for-the-economy?fbclid=IwAR2VYZrCZw5iOw7ceqwinbiVEFa7IeySITRPKJlcVM94W94-9M32pCd-Y_Q

Fasting Satyagrahis in support of the Sacred Economy

Environmentalist ,Vandana Shiva, voices support for the cause of Sacred Economy

From October 2 to October 5th, the Satyagraha had fasting done by many supporters of this cause for a day taking turns, but from October 6th, the Satyagraha led into an indefinite fast done by Gandhian, theater artist and founder of Gram Seva Sangh, 68 year old Prasanna who is also the founder of Chakra, an Organisation that has given livelihoods to hundreds of women since 1995 employing them in making garments using khadhi. 

Prasanna on Infinite fast demanding Govt. to take steps for the revival of Sacred Economy

From Oct 2th to 5th, whenGram Sangh Seva was in its relay fasting stage, we had the following supporters who fasted for a day or more taking turns in support of the Sacred economy – Abhilash, convenor of Gram Sangh Seva, Abhilash, convenor of Gram Sangh Seva, SR Hiremath, anti-corruption crusader, whistleblower and social activist, Abay , convenor of Grakoos (Gramina Cooli Karmikara Sangathi), Hanumath Yeswar, IAS aspirant, Kusuma Shanbhag, kannada journalist.

https://khabar.ndtv.com/video/show/prime-time/theater-artist-prasanna-on-hunger-strike-529447?fbclid=IwAR2y1AzzdT7gfT8T_sQDExHgMm_ktvO1JsYK7FnRHqwGqOz3UKOdlutbdd8

Satyagraha called off on assurances provided by Union Minister, Sadananda

The Satyagraha was called off on October 11th, as Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizer Minister, Sadananda gave assurance that he would arrange a meeting with Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaram and  the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) where Gram Seva Sangh members can put forward their demands in person. 

Union Minister, Sadananda assures Prasanna a meeting with  Finance officials

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/karnataka-activist-calls-hunger-strike-after-union-min-sadananda-gowda-intervenes-110401?fbclid=IwAR3ilrkWk5O2zE6pMCq5hcfyII0bPDp21jROpDjwezHBIp7HhHP0cyxfqH8

Prasanna had broken his indefinite fast after 6 days of fasting on the 118th birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan.

Prasanna breaks fast on assurance  given by Union Minister, Sadananda

Prominent personalities who supported the Sathyagraha

Ramchandra Guha gave his voice in support of the Sacred Economy

There were many noted individuals who lent voice and support to strengthen the campaign with cenetarian freedom fighter, H. S. Doreswamy,  environmentalist, Vandana Shiva, famous Gandhian, EP Menon, historian, Ramchandra Guha, journalist Ravindra Tripathi and many more emitent social activists, environmentalists, journalists, artists, writers who supported the campaign speaking up for revival of Sacred Economy.

The Sathyagraha found support from well  known political figures as well – former Prime Minister Shree HD Devegowda , former CM Siddaramaiah , Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, S.Suresh Kumar, Karnatak Janata Dal United president,Mr Mahima J Patel ,  former speaker of Karnataka assembly, Mr Ramesh Kumar, had all visited the venue of Satyagraha and met Satyagrahi Prasanna, and expressed their solidarity for the cause.

 HD Devegowda and CM Siddaramaiah in the dias of Satyagraha supporters
Former speaker of Karnataka assembly, Mr Ramesh Kumar at the venue

Dr. Ashwathnarayan C. N., Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Minister for Higher & Medical Education, IT & BT, Science & Technology also visited the venue to understand the demands of Gram Seva Sangh for revival of the Sacred Economy, and later Union Minister, Sadananda visited and took it upon himself to have Gram Sangh Seva’s expert committee get a meeting with Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaram and the  Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) so they can discuss these wise Sacred Economy demands with the Government.

Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, Dr. Ashwathnarayan meeting the Sathyagrahis

Work to strengthen the campaign continues…

Gram Sangh Seva continues its campaign in support for Sacred Economy. This initial phase of Satyagraha had succeeded in getting the message across to the Government and getting assurance from  Union Minister, Sadananda in arranging a meeting with the Finance Ministry where Gram Sangh Seva’s expert committee can discuss the Sacred Economy demands. 

Please read about the release of the Sacred Economy demands that happened during the Satyagraha.

Concluding this with a poem composed highlighting Gram Sangh Seva’s demand for reviving the Sacred Economy -:

“Give jobs, give jobs, give us those jobs that keep the green,
Give jobs, give jobs, give us those jobs that keep civilisation civilised,
Give jobs, give jobs, give us those jobs that don’t kill jobs,
Give jobs, give jobs, give us those jobs that do not kill villages,
Give jobs, give jobs, give us those jobs that do not change the climate,
Give jobs, give job,  give us those jobs those jobs that keep nature natural,
Give us jobs, give us jobs”

Sacred Economy demands released and explained on October 6th

Below are the demands of Sacred Economy placed before Government with a letter sent to Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaram, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and CM of Karnataka, Shri BS Yediyurappa Reddy.

This demand was released during Gram Sangh Seva’s Hunger Satyagraha in support of Sacred Economy – Oct 6th 2019, Gram Sangh Seva founder and Gandhian  theatre artist, Prasanna had started his first day of indefinite fast that day. 

Gram Sangh Seva placed these demands represented by its expert committee chaired by Dr. Vinod Vyasulu.

  • Zero Tax, Refinance, Restructure All Sacred Sectors of Economy…

No tax on all segments of the Sacred Economy –  Farmers, labourers, small traders, vendors, khadhi designers, crafts men, garment factory workers, fishermen, small scale and retail industry players, handloom sector etc

  • Raw materials should be procured locally within a 100 km radius. Raw materials procured beyond this radius are considered imported raw materials.

 

  • Jobs that involve more of human labour and hands; that are labour intensive should be developed.

Sacred Economy is that economic system which produces jobs that involve more of human labour (60%) and aspires to utilise maximum amount of local raw materials (60%). There should not be more than 40% use of automation and 40% use of imported raw materials in this economy system.

On the basis of this, the Scale of Sacred Economy is gauged where at one end of the scale there is complete hand making and use of local raw materials and in the other opposite end, there is the scale for Monster Economy  with there being complete automation and complete use of imported raw materials.

 

Check out the attached document below for more details .

These demands support the principles of our Indian Constitution, supporting the Constitutional guidelines mentioned in Article 39 of our Indian Constitution which summarises that –  

Everybody has a right to an adequate means of livelihood and that wealth, material and natural resources should not be concentrated in the hands of a few.

 

The revival of Sacred Economy will create a just society with a fair economy giving livelihoods to all, while protecting the greenery and purity of our environment (air, water, soil, trees).

 Sacred Economy Advantages -:

  • The Sacred Economy causes least damage to the environment as compared to the current Monster Economy that has encouraged big Organisations/Corporations to develop at the cost of cutting down our country’s greenery, polluting our air,  river bodies, soil etc.

 

  • The Sacred Economy, is not capital intensive; it requires less capital investment from Government to kick start.

 

  • The Sacred Economy will employ the many unemployed now and give them livelihoods, so they live in dignity and become self-reliant.

  • The Sacred Economy, already contributes atleast 60% to India’s GDP. Reviving the Sacred Economy would revive India’s rural economy. Right now, rural people are forced to migrate to Cities for livelihoods leading to overpopulation and unsustainable growth in Cities. There is stress on Cities’ natural resources of land and water. The Sacred economy would develop the villages in a sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion, so people don’t need to migrate to Cities.

 

Satyagraha for Sacred Economy 26 Sep – 2 Oct in Bengaluru

Gram Seva Sangh is launching a satyagraha for the rejuvenation of the sacred economy. This satyagraha is going to draw the attention of the people and the State towards what we call the Sacred Economy. By sacred economy, we mean that system of production that creates the maximum number of jobs with the least investment in capital and with least damage to the environment.

The satyagraha shall be an introspection and an expression of social intent. Gram Seva Sangh does not have its own demand; but we shall consolidate all the demands of all constructive activists of the country and place it before the people, as also the State.

The Satyagraha shall begin on Sep 26 Thursday with a fashion show for young people, designed by the renowned fashion designer Prasad Bidapa, focusing on sacred fabric. This program will be followed by peaceful protestsoral rendering of the Ramayana, and screening of short films, fund raising on roads, etc., over the next few days.

We will begin fasting from Oct 2.  The first three days will see participants take part in relay fasting, while participants from the fourth day will take up indefinite fasting. We have invited social activists from all over the country to take part in the satyagraha.

We invite you to participate in satyagraha programs from 26th Sept to strengthen our collective campaign. You can choose to fast from Oct 2nd and join the Satyagrahi’s showing solidarity individually or representing your organization. Also request you to share among all the likeminded friends and groups.

What is sacred economy?

By sacred economy we mean a system of production which provides maximum employment to people, with the least investment. By least investment we mean both natural and financial. This system will rejuvenate nature and economy.

Today’s system is the opposite of the sacred. It is a monster economy in nature and in size. And it is dying, and is taking thriving eco systems along with it.  But instead of reviving nature, governments the world over are using taxpayer’s money to revive the monster.  Agriculture is in deep crisis, weavers and artisans are abandoning their professions and the poor are leaving villages in hordes. Yet the government is focussed on feeding only the monster! The Government is bailing out the automobile sector, writing off big debts of bad banks, giving liberal concessions to all the big bad sectors.

 

The satyagraha intends to bring moral pressure on the people to consume less and consume products of sacred economies. We shall bring a similar moral pressure on all governments to invest public resources, wherever and whenever possible, towards the strengthening of the sacred economy.

Date and Venue of the Satyagraha by Fasting:

October 2, 2019

At Vallabh Niketan, next to Gandhi Bhavan

19, Kumar Park East, Sheshadripuram, Bengaluru -560001

The tentative schedule of Satyagraha from 26 Sep is as follows:

Please contact us if you want to volunteer with us:

Gram Seva Sangh

Shesha Nivas, Flat No.102, 1st Main Rd, Thyagaraja Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560070

GramSevaSanghIndia@gmail.com | www.gramsevasangh.org | +91 9980043911

 

The Hindu Report: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/a-satyagraha-to-protect-sacred-economies/article29425307.ece

 

ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಉಳಿಸಲು ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸೇವಾ ಸಂಘದಿಂದ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ

ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸೇವಾ ಸಂಘವು ಇಂದು, ಸೆಪ್ಟೆಂಬರ್ 15, 2019 ರಂದು ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕಥೆಯ ಮೇಲಿನ ಸಂವಾದದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೇ ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 2 ರಂದು ಉಪವಾಸದ ಮುಖಾಂತರ ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಉಳಿಸಲು ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹವನ್ನು ಚಾಲನೆಮಾಡುವ ನಿರ್ಧಾರವನ್ನು ಕೈಗೊಂಡಿತು.
ನಾವು ಪವಿತ್ರವೆಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸಿರುವ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರಗಳ ನ್ಯಾಯಯುತ ಬೇಡಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನು ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹದ ಮೂಲಕ ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಮುಂದೆ ಇಡಲಿದ್ದೇವೆ. ನಾವು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಸಂಘ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆ, ರಾಜಕೀಯ ಪಕ್ಷಗಳು ಹಾಗೂ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಹಾಗೂ ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕ ನಾಯಕರನ್ನು ಉಪವಾಸದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗವಹಿಸುವಂತೆ ಆಹ್ವಾನಿಸಲಿದ್ದೇವೆ. ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಉಪವಾಸ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹವು ಗಾಂಧೀ ಭವನದ ಪಕ್ಕದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ‘ವಲ್ಲಭ ನಿಕೇತನದಲ್ಲಿ’ ನಡೆಯಲಿದ್ದು, ಜೊತೆಗೆ ದೇಶದ ಇತರೆಡೆಗಳಲ್ಲೂ ಅಂದು ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ ನಡೆಯಲಿದೆ.

ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತಾ ಹೋರಾಟಗಾರ ಹಾಗೂ ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸೇವಾ ಸಂಘದ ಮಾರ್ಗದರ್ಶಕರಾದ ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ, “ಇಂದು ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯ ಬಿಕ್ಕಟ್ಟು ದೊಡ್ಡದ್ದಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದು, ಏಕೆಂದರೆ, ಇದು ನಮಗೆ ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆ ಕಡೆಗೆ ಬದಲಾಗಬೇಕೆಂಬ ಸತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಇಂದು ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮಾತನಾಡಬೇಕಿದೆ, ಇಂದು ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕನನ್ನು ಹಾಗೂ ಪರಿಸರವನ್ನು ಕಾಪಾಡುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮಾತನಾಡಬೇಕಿದೆ. ಇಂದು ಭಾರತ ಹಿಂದೆಂದಿಗೂ ನೋಡದಂತಹ ಶಾಂತಿಯುತ ಹೋರಾಟವನ್ನು ಮಾಡಬೇಕಿದೆ. ಗಾಂಧಿಯನ್ನು ನಮ್ಮ ಅಜ್ಞಾನದಿಂದ ಕೊಂದಿದ್ದೇವೆ, ಇಂದು ನಮ್ಮ ಕ್ರಿಯೆಯ ಮೂಲಕ ಗಾಂಧಿಯನ್ನು ಜೀವಂತಗೊಳಿಸಲಿದ್ದೇವೆ.” ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಿದರು.

ಗಾರ್ಮೆಂಟ್ಸ್ ಮತ್ತು ಟೆಕ್ಸಟೈಲ್ ನೌಕರರ ಸಂಘದ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷೆ, ಪ್ರತಿಭಾ ಆರ್ ಮಾತನಾಡಿ, 3 ರಿಂದ 4 ಲಕ್ಷ ಮಹಿಳೆಯರು ರಾಜ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಳೆದ 40 ವರ್ಷದಿಂದ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಕಡಿಮೆ ವೇತನದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಳಲುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಗಾರ್ಮೆಂಟ್ಸ್ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ. “ಯಾವ ಸರ್ಕಾರವು ಇಲ್ಲಿಯವರೆಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ವೇತನದ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಯ ಕಡೆಗೆ ಗಮನಹರಿಸಿದ್ದೆ ಇಲ್ಲ, ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಿದರು. ಈಗ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಬಿಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿ ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಬಿಗಡಾಸಿದ್ದು, ಈಗ ನಮ್ಮ ವೇತನ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸುವ ಹೋರಾಟ ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಹಿಂಬದಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದಿದೆ. ನಾವು ಮಾತ್ರ ಹೆಚ್ಚುತ್ತಿರುವ ಜೀವನೋಪಾಯದ ಖರ್ಚಿನಲ್ಲಿ, ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟು ಹೀನಸ್ಥಿತಿಯಲ್ಲೇ ಬದುಕು ದೂಡಬೇಕಿದೆ. ನಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಈ ಬಿಕ್ಕಟ್ಟಿನಿಂದ ಮುಕ್ತಗೊಳಿಸುವರು ಯಾರು ಇಲ್ಲ.”

ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಕೂಲಿ ಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರ ಸಂಘಟನೆಯ ಖಜಾಂಚಿ, ಮಲ್ಲೇಶ್ ಮಾತನಾಡಿ, ಮಹಿಳಾ ಸಬಲೀಕರಣದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಮಾತನಾಡುತ್ತ ಬರುತ್ತಿರುವ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಸರಕಾರಗಳು ಅವರ ಶ್ರಮಕ್ಕೆ ತಕ್ಕ ಕನಿಷ್ಟ ವೇತನವನ್ನು ಖಾತ್ರಿಪಡಿಸುವಲ್ಲಿ ಸೋತಿವೆ ಎಂದರು. ಕಷ್ಟಪಟ್ಟು ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಬಡವರು ಈಗ ವಿಧ್ಯಾಭ್ಯಾಸ ಪಡೆದು ಕೆಲಸ ಹುಡುಕ ಹೊರಟರೆ, ಅತ್ತ ಓದಿಗೆ ತಕ್ಕ ಕೆಲಸವೂ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಇನ್ನೊಂದೆಡೆ ಉದ್ಯೋಗ ಖಾತ್ರಿ ಯೋಜನೆಯ ವೇತನವನ್ನು ಸರಕಾರಗಳು ಹಲವು ತಿಂಗಳಿನಿಂದ ಬಾಕಿ ಉಳಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿವೆ, ಎಂದರು.

ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆ ಎಂದರೇನು?

ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆ ಎಂದರೆ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಹಣದ ಹೂಡಿಕೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಪರಿಸಕ್ಕೆ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಹಾನಿಯುಂಟು ಮಾಡುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಜನರಿಗೆ ದುಡಿಮೆಯ ಮಾರ್ಗ ತೋರಿಸುವ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಉತ್ಪಾದನಾ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆ. ಈ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ ಕೈಉತ್ಪನಗಳಪರ, ಗಾರ್ಮೆಂಟ್ಸ್ ನೌಕರರಪರ, ಅಂಗನವಾಡಿ ನೌಕರರಪರ, ಪೌರಕಾರ್ಮಿಕರಪರ, ಸಣ್ಣ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರ ಹಾಗೂ ಮಾರಾಟ, ಸಣ್ಣ ಉತ್ಪಾದನೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಸೇವಾ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದವರಪರ.
ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆ ದೇಶದ ಜಿ.ಡಿ.ಪಿ ಗೆ ಶೇಕಡ 70 ರಷ್ಟು ಕೊಡುಗೆನೀಡುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಈಗ ಬೀಳುತ್ತಿರುವ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಬಲಪಡಿಸುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಧನಾತ್ಮಕವಾಗಿ ಮಾಡಬಹುದಾಗಿದೆ.

ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸೇವಾ ಸಂಘ ಪವಿತ್ರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಉಳಿಸುವ ಹಾಗೂ ಪಟ್ಟಣ ಹಾಗೂ ಗ್ರಾಮದ ನಡುವಿನ ಕಂದರವನ್ನು ಬೆಸೆಯುವ ಸೇತುವೆಯ ಕಾರ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿರುವ ಸಂಘಟನೆಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಹಿಂದೆ ಸಂಘಟನೆಯು ಕೈಮಗ್ಗ ನೇಕಾರರ ಬವಣೆಯನ್ನು ಮುನ್ನೆಲೆಗೆತರುವಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಕೈಉತ್ಪನ್ನಗಳ ಮೇಲಿನ ಸರಕು ಹಾಗೂ ಸೇವಾ ತೆರಿಗೆಯನ್ನು ಶೂನ್ಯಗೊಳಿಸುವಂತೆ “ಕರನಿರಾಕರಣೆ ಸತ್ಯಾಗ್ರಹ”ದ ಮೂಲಕ ದೇಶದ ಗಮನವನ್ನು ಸೆಳೆದಿದೆ.

ಇಂದಿನ ಸಭೆಯ ಭಾವಚಿತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ಲಗತ್ತಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ: (ಎಡದಿಂದ ಬಲಕ್ಕೆ) : ಗೋಪಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣ, ವಿನ್ಯಾಸಕರು, ಪ್ರತಿಭಾ ಆರ್, ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷೆ, ಗಾರ್ಮೆಂಟ್ಸ್ ನೌಕರರ ಸಂಘ, ಚೊಕ್ಕಲಿಂಗಮ್, ಉಪಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರು, ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸೇವಾ ಸಂಘ, ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ, ರಂಗಕರ್ಮಿ, ಹೋರಾಟಗಾರರು, ಲೀಲಾವತಿ, ಉಪಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರು, ಎ.ಐ.ಸಿ.ಟಿ.ಯು (ಅಂಗನವಾಡಿ ನೌಕರರ ಸಂಘ), ವೆಂಕಟನಾಥನ್, ಆರ್.ಬಿ.ಅಯ್, ಮಾಜಿ ನೌಕರರು, ಮಲ್ಲೇಶ್, ಖಜಾಂಚಿ, ಗ್ರಾಕೂಸ್, ಎಸ್. ಬಾಬು, ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷರು, ಬೀದಿ ಬದಿ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರಿಗಳ ಸಂಘ

ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸೇವಾ ಸಂಘ (Gram Seva Sangh)
Address: Flat #102, Shesha Nivas, 1st Block, 1st Main,
Thyagarajanagar, Bengaluru-560028
Facebook.com/graamasevasangha | @gramasevasangha
Mobile: 9980043911 | www.gramsevasangh.org

Satyagraha on Sacred Economy

Press release and Detailed Report:

Date: Sept 15, 2019

 Gram Seva Sangh at a discourse on Sacred Economy held on Sunday, September 15 at Gandhi Bhavan has taken a resolution to launch a satyagraha through fasting from Oct 2, 2019.

We have resolved that legitimate demands of all sectors that we term as sacred will be placed before the government through the satyagraha. We invite all organizations, political parties and all social and religious leaders to join us in fasting. The satyagraha in Bengaluru will be held at Vallabh Niketan, next to Gandhi Bhavan and at other places in the country simultaneously.

Speaking at the event noted Theatre activist and Gram Seva Sangh mentor Prasanna said, “Today, the economic crisis is looking large. We say it is a good thing because we are being told to shift to a sacred economy until now.  Today we have to talk about sacred economies and talk about labour and environment and its protection. We will have the largest peaceful movement India has ever had. Gandhi was killed by ignorance, we will revive him through action.”

Prathibha R from GATWU (Garments and Textile workers union) said that around 3 to 4 lakh women were toiling in the garment sector for measly wages for the last forty years “No government has ever bothered to address our wage issue in all these years. Now with the economic crisis looming we are in a more serious situation as we are unsure whether it is alright to seek a raise. So we go on once again adjusting poor wages to increasing cost of living. Nobody is going to bail us out.”

Mallesh of Grakoos (Grameena Kooli Karmikara Sanghatane) spoke about successive governments speak about empowerment of women, but none had ensured that they receive wages commensurate with their hardwork. Now children from villages are finally getting an education but there are no jobs. Even wages under MGNREGA are being held up and are not released for long periods of time, he said.

What is sacred economy?

All systems of production that give maximum number of jobs with minimum investment and minimum loss to the environment are sacred economies. This sataygraha is on behalf of handmade sectors and sectors such as garment making, anganwadi workers, municipal workers, small traders and vendors, small manufacturers and service sectors.

Sacred economies contribute 70 percent to the GDP.  The collapse in the present economy can be made positive only if we strengthen the sacred economies.

Gram Seva Sangh is an organisation working towards restoring sacred economy and also bridging the urban-village divide.

The organisation has previously worked towards highlighting the struggle of handloom weavers and also brought national attention on removal of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on handmade products.

Detailed Report of Discourse is mentioned below:

Prasanna, Activist, Mentor of Gram Seva Sangh

What is sacred economy? It is an economy of sustenance. In the present context, there is a fissure between sacred and economic. We have relegated sacred to the kitchen and we have put economy in the public sphere. Free from all restrictions and beyond any restraint in the economic sphere. The way we are buying and consuming more is unprecedented. Fifty per cent of women are at home and the men are going out to earn. This is the economy we are pushing. We are all responsible for what is happening today. We have to bring these two together began after 70 years and save our people.

Sacred economy is an economy that practices harmony. It protects the jobs of people whether they are working people, village people or factory workers. It is our responsibility as well as the responsibility of the government, irregardless of the political party to protect their jobs.

Today we are going to go a step ahead and talk about labour .Anything that supports labour and environment is sacred.

Today the economic crisis is looming. News papers, media, politicians and ministers  are all worried, but it is a good thing. God has sent this thing to tell us to shift to a sacred economy. Stop growing cities, manufacturing cars and bailing out banks. This is taxpayers money. It should be spent on the poor and those who need it. Today, the economic truth and the God’s truth say the same thing. Science and priests agree on the same thing.

This is going to be the largest peaceful sacred movement India has ever had. Gandhiji started this movement and was killed. Today we are going to take up where he left off finish it and then revive Gandhi through action.

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Ravi Kiran, Founder, Metaphor Racha

Lot of people have different ideas about what is sacred. I have been a khadi enthusiast for a while now. Both in terms of khadi as commodity and spirit. Sacred economy is what brings people together, has a healthy distribution of wealth and debunks the popular notion that endless production and reckless consumption can keep the economy moving and this is not true. The diversity of khadi is interdependency of the spinner, the weaver and others.

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Pavitra Muddaiah, Handloom activist

When you see success stories, that is what makes it sacred, because it is a holistic journey. Handloom offers us all the benefits, dignity, working at your own pace and at the same time not putting your hand out for a dole, but using your hands to empower yourself and have a respectable livelihood. That is something that is very important because today, dignity and pride is very important and that is the bedrock on which a craftsman or an artisan works for. Today I am training the second generation. They study engineering and MBA and when you show them the economic viability of our model and ask why they want to be an non entity in the city, they come back and it feels like a great achievement.

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Father Alwyn Serao, Principal, Padua College, Mangaluru

If our villages are self sufficient, then our nation will be self sufficient is what Gandhiji felt.. Even though Mangaluru has seen the entry of big companies in the recent years, people are unhappy as not everyone is able to get jobs. Instead, if you become self sufficient and like Gandhiji said you will have everything you need and not your greed. We are putting forward this thinking through theatre.  Those who are with us in the process of learning theatre change. And it’s a tremendous change. We cannot change all the audience, but we can change some of them. Theatre is very strong medium through which we can bring change.

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Leelavathi, Vice President, CITU and Anganwadi Workers Union

Anganwadi workers have been working for the last 35 years for very low wages. They are working for social upliftment by taking care of children from 3-6 years of age but are living under very difficult conditions. The governments speak of women empowerment in all sectors, but the decision to start kindergarten classes in government schools have placed our employment at risk,. Small scale industries have 60 percent women and anganwadis consist of only women . Women have contributed substantially to this nation, but there are no policies to help us eke out a decent living and government is busy bailing out corporations and banks.

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Venkatanathan, RBI Ex Employee and Gram Seva Sangh Mentor

The economy that we have pursued since Independence was initially good as it focussed on the needs of the country. But unfortunately, new liberal policies have been pushing us towards producing more and towards a market economy. All over the country, the focus is more towards mass production.

Today, there is need to prepare our future generations towards self sustainability. The economic crisis is so deep,  Akshaya Patra served a notice to the NGO I work with, saying their donations have come down and they will not be able to supply food. It is not just us, but several other organizations they were stopping their supply to. You can imagine the impact of this crisis, unfortunately the government refuses to recognize this and is shifting their focus to something else.

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S Babu President, Bengaluru District Street Vendors Association

I have been a street vendor for the last 20 years and we have contributed immensely to the economy, but the government does not want to recognize us. We have invested in our small business without taking any help from the government. We might not be contributing directly, but we do so indirectly and yet the government refuses to create any facilities for us. Whether it is our sector or any other small sector, if we want to borrow money,  then they dredge up hundreds of laws. This refusal to identify as contributors to the economy is hurting us and our businesses.

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Mallesh of Grakoos (Grameena Kooli Karmikara Sanghatane) spoke about successive governments speak about empowerment of women, but none had ensured that they receive wages commensurate with their hardwork. Now children from villages are finally getting an education but there are no jobs. Even wages under MGNREGA are being held up and are not released for long periods of time, he said.

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Gopi Krishna, Designer and Activist, working nomadic tribes and their craft

We must promote small scale cottage industries. In the social economic system that we had before, they were not focussed on how much tax should be levied on a product, but on the expenditure incurred in manufacturing it. The needs of a village, whatever products they required was manufactured in the village itself. There was no policy of wastage either. Raw material was used and any leftovers was passed on to someone else in the village who might use it. This system would also provided pride and dignity.

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Gayathri, Leading the Rainfed Farmers Organization ICRA

Today, there are two types of farming. One type depends on use of excess water, excess investment and over exploitation of soil. Another type protects the soil, relies on materials available at home to cultivate and vary their crops. Small farmers have stronger traditions in practicing sustainable agriculture. Their long standing practices allows them to live close to nature. The government is discouraging small farmers saying that their practices are not good and are best left to large land holding farmers who use machines to cultivate their land. Unlike large farmers who are dependent on machines, small farmers form groups and take care of all activities on the land themselves. The equipment they use are made by them. Their knowledge is so vast, they know how to protect seeds, how to protect their crops if rain fails and they are prepared for many contingencies.

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T B Dinesh, Founder of Crafter Space and Janastu

Sacred is the act of what is good for the community and how the community contributes. The  creativity in all of us through education is a form of enslaving through textual education and we all become rakshasas and slaves of corporate industry. In the form of democratization of knowledge, we send our kids enthusiastically and emphatically, for an education which is all about distancing themselves from their neighbourhood. At a tribal conference I recently attended, the vigour in the communities was so high and they spoke in one voice that this was not the sort of education they wanted and what this education does to the whole tribal space. At Crafter Space, we are looking at what education technology and communication technology where we are now and what decentralization means in this context. Our education is important, but if this creates a wall between ‘us’ and ‘them,’  then we have to think about how to make this technology available to all. We are looking at how technology can be accessed by someone without being educated. After 500 years of textual education, we have distanced more people. So we are looking at available technology, what decentralization means and how can machines become smaller and available to all.

Gram Seva Sangh

Address: Flat #102, Shesha Nivas, 1st Block, 1st Main, Thyagarajanagar, Bengaluru-560028

Facebook.com/graamasevasangha | @gramasevasangha

Mobile: 9980043911 |  www.gramsevasangh.org