Parivartan Kendra is an NGO based in the state of Bihar, India. It’s mission is to empower people from marginalized communities using non-violent methods to advocate for their rights to justice, equality, and sustainable livelihoods. Parivartan Kendra operates in the Vaishali and Patna districts of Bihar, working primarily with women and children from poor, Dalit and religious-minority communities.
The goal of Parivartan Kendra’s work is a society that affirms the concepts of universal human rights and human dignity; a society free of discrimination, disenfranchisement, and injustice based on caste, religion, gender or identity. Parivartan Kendra works in solidarity with organizations in India and around the world who support equal, just, compassionate, and loving social systems.
1) Sustainable Livelihoods/Food Security – In the agriculture-based communities of rural Bihar, land is the main resource necessary to achieve a sustainable livelihood. Due to the unequal distribution of wealth, people from Dalit and poor communities often do not have access to plots of land on which to grow a sufficient amount of food to provide for their families. Consequently, they are forced to work as agricultural laborers in the fields of wealthier landowners, earning only 40 to 50 rupees per day. This meager salary does not provide sufficient funds for a sustainable livelihood. The resulting food insecurity leads to malnutrition and contributes to poor health and disease. Parivartan Kendra works to ensure sustainable, dignified livelihoods for members of the poor and Dalit communities.
2) Addressing Caste and Gender-Based Discrimination and Injustice - Violent attacks targeting women, especially among poor, Dalit, and religious-minority communities are a regular occurrence in the areas where Parivartan Kendra works. Parivartan Kendra organizes the women, youth, and children of these communities to deter the threats of violence made against them. Parivartan Kendra seeks to curb incidents of violence by mobilizing community support, providing legal advice and counseling to victims and focusing media attention on reported cases of caste and gender-based violence.
3) Women’s Empowerment/Fostering Leadership Skills – Village-based women’s organizations established by Parivartan Kendra foster solidarity promote pooling of resources, offering hope of escape from the cycles of poverty and oppression. Additionally, Parivartan Kendra seeks to develop strong women leaders from these communities. Parivartan Kendra identifies and fosters strong women leaders from its village-based organizations, providing education in human rights and training in community organizing. The goal is sustainable, independent, local leadership in each community.
4) Right to Education/Child Rights - Poor children, especially adolescent girls, are routinely deprived of their right to education in rural Bihar. Corruption in the government school system is endemic, meaning that students from marginalized communities are often deprived of educational resources, government stipends, school supplies and proper education and instruction. Additionally, casteism and untouchability remain a common practice in the schools, leading to a high rate of drop outs among students from Dalit and marginalized communities. This leaves them vulnerable to human rights abuses including trafficking and child labor. Parivartan Kendra works to establish connections between the village organizations and the school system, leading to increased accountability on the part of the schools and an improved educational environment. Additionally, Parivartan Kendra operates educational centers for drop-out students from marginalized communities, providing supplemental academic instruction as well as education in human rights and life skills.