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A N N UA L R E P O RT 2 0 0 7 - 2 0 0 8 t h e h un g er proj e c t

You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women – Jawaharlal Nehru

the hunger project A N N UA L R E P ORT 2 0 0 7 - 2 0 0 8

1 About The Hunger Project 2 Message from the Country Director 4 Programme Strategies 6 1. Strengthening Women’s Leadership 13 2. Making Panchayats Effective 17 3. Influencing Public Opinion 20 4. Alliance building for Advocacy and Support 23 Rebuilding Lives after the Tsunami 24 Significant Events 07-08 26 Financial Facts 27 Auditors’ Report 28 Balance Sheet 29 Income and Expenditure Account 30 Schedule 1 31 Partnerships with Civil Society Organisations 33 Governance 34 The Hunger Project State Offices

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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

About the Hunger Project

The Hunger Project is a global strategic organisation working in 14 countries committed to ending hunger. In India it is committed to ignite, kindle and sustain the leadership spirit in women elected to village Panchayats. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) which mandated 33.3 per cent reservation for women in all three tiers of the Panchayati Raj Institutions, has brought more than one million women into public political life. It is our conviction that active participation of these women in local governance shall make hunger free India a reality. Several social conditions have systematically hindered and undermined the role of women over centuries denying them access, opportunities and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. However, the revolutionary 73rd CAA seeks to transform Panchayats into ‘little republics’ and within it has recognized the need for women’s leadership, in reality there are numerous obstacles faced by the elected women representatives. The Hunger Project recognizes these social conditions and understands the obstacles and seeks to address them by strengthening the role of elected women representatives in grassroots governance so that they are able to assert their rights and build a future which is free of hunger, poverty and injustice. The elected women leaders that The Hunger Project has worked with in the last eight years have shown phenomenal leadership ability, against all odds. They have struggled to bring water, health, and education to their villages despite pressure, threats, violence, and brutalities. They have constructed roads and provided clean drinking water to their communities. These elected women representatives are slowly but surely changing the development agenda of their villages. Fifteen years after the 73rd CAA, rural women understand that it is their right to stand for elections and govern their Panchayats. In the remote corners of this country, thousands of women leaders have already started to occupy public spaces and are questioning corruption, inefficiency, and lack of necessities in their villages.

Fourteen years after the Constitutional Amendment, rural women understand that it is their

The elected women leaders need support and mentoring such that their leadership is strengthened and they are able to construct a hunger free India for themselves and their fellow citizens. The Hunger Project is committed to staying the course with these elected women leaders.

right to stand for elections and govern their Panchayats. In the remote corners of this country, thousands of women leaders

The Hunger Project, working in 14 states of India, focuses on the mobilisation and empowerment of elected women representatives in Panchayats. Through effective strategies, and in partnership with more than 68 civil society organisations, The Hunger Project has worked with and supported the leadership of more than 70,000 elected women representatives.

have already started to occupy public spaces and are questioning corruption, inefficiency, and lack of necessities in their villages.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

Message from the Country Director

It gives me immense pleasure to present to you The Hunger Project’s work and its progress for the year 2007-08. It has been eight years since The Hunger Project began its work with elected women representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions. Over 70,000 women trained in the Women’s Leadership Workshops (WLW’s), and the subsequent follow up and need-based workshops, have proved that they are dedicated to making a difference within their own communities through their focused agenda of basic health, education and food security for their families, communities and villages of India. This year, like other previous years, has been witness to intense activities. I would like to draw your attention to a few key points. In the States of Assam and Uttarakhand, where Panchayat elections had been delayed, elections were finally held in Assam, however Uttarakhand has yet to announce the final election date. We organised the Strengthening Women’s Empowerment through Electoral Processes (SWEEP), a pre-election campaign in both these States. The campaign, in Assam resulted in greater participation of women in the entire electoral process as well as an increase in the number of victorious women candidates.

In the States of Assam and Uttarakhand, where Panchayat elections had been delayed, elections were finally held in Assam, however Uttarakhand has yet to announce the final election date. We organised the Strengthening Women’s Empowerment through Electoral Processes (SWEEP), a pre-election campaign in both these States. The campaign, in Assam resulted in greater participation of women in the entire electoral process as well as an increase in the number of victorious women candidates.

In the States of Bihar, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra nine Training of Trainers’ (ToT) and 270 trainers were trained to strengthen women’s leadership. In these eight States, post the ToTs, 6,863 first-time elected women representatives were trained through 275 WLWs. In the States of Karnataka and Rajasthan, The Hunger Project has begun the pioneering work of facilitating the creation of elected women’s federations. The need for these federations emerged from the elected women leaders who realise the power of a collective voice. They have successfully come together in both these States and we know that this work will continue across all other States in our work area in the years to follow. Another initiative undertaken by us in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu has been the systemic tracking and mobilising for Gram Sabhas (village general body meetings). It is here in the Gram Sabha where development priorities are set, and budgets are approved. By undertaking this enterprise of mobilisation and tracking of Gram Sabhas The Hunger Project has the firm belief that the lacunas in the system will be exposed. In addition, this exercise will help track women’s leadership skills.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

At the national level one of our key interventions this year has been the facilitation of setting up the National Platform to Promote Decentralisation (NPPD). Towards this, a series of meetings took place with key stakeholders of Panchayati Raj and the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India. NPPD envisages harmonizing decentralization initiatives undertaken by both government and non-governmental institutions. The platform will symbiotically bring together and amicably bind a plethora of critical stakeholders in local governance viz., the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (elected and appointed), academia, and civil society organisations along with the relevant government functionaries. NPPD will consolidate past and current learning, share best practices and insights about decentralization, and create a mechanism through which existing expertise may be used towards systemic reforms thereby strengthening the voice of the poor and marginalised within governance. Further, the Platform will access, compile, document and share information through research studies and on ground interventions related to the initiatives of the Panchayats along with developing knowledge and issue based networks. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all our investors, donors, partners, board members, well wishers and friends for the wholehearted support, help, appreciation and commitment given by them to The Hunger Project, its work and continued growth. With deep appreciation of your support

Country Director The Hunger Project-India

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

Programme Strategies

Strengthening Women’s Leadership

Through a three-day residential Women’s Leadership Workshops, a two day follow up workshops and a one-day need based workshops, The Hunger Project has trained 71,863 elected women representatives.

Making Panchayats Effective

The second strategy understands the need for mobilisation of the Gram Sabhas if women’s leadership in the Panchayats is to be effective. The Hunger Project facilitates greater participation of women in the Gram Sabhas such that issues concerning women are identified, raised and addressed on a regular basis.

Influencing Public Opinion

Influencing Public Opinion is also a key strategy of The Hunger Project. Understanding the need for the development of a political and public will to facilitate conditions which will truly create an environment for transformative change at the grassroots, The Hunger Project has actively engaged with the media and other stakeholders. To this end, The Hunger Project also awards the Sarojini Naidu Prize annually. The Prize carries a cash award of Rupees Two Lakhs annually to journalists in the print media as recognition of best reporting on women and Panchayati Raj in the print media in Hindi, English and Other Indian Language categories.

The Hunger Project uses a multi pronged strategy to strengthen the leadership of elected women representatives so that they become key change agents in ending hunger, poverty and injustice in the villages of India

Alliance building for Advocacy and Support

Over the last decade little has been done to ensure the effectiveness of the 73rd CAA at the grassroots. As a strategy, The Hunger Project has been collaborating with other like-minded organisations on policy issues that negatively impact on the effectiveness of women’s leadership. This has ensured that policy changes create a favourable environment for women Panchayat leaders who have made a choice to stand firmly on the ground of good governance and equal participation.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008



strategy 1 : strengthening women’s leadership

Strengthening Women’s Leadership Through Workshops The Hunger Project in India’s core strategy is capacity building of elected women representatives.The objective of this strategy is to build confidence and empower first time elected women representatives with information and knowledge about the key roles and responsibilities in local self government institutions – the Panchayats – so that they can effectively and efficiently articulate the vision of their communities and take the first step towards transformative leadership. In 2007-2008 a total of 6,863 first time elected women representatives were trained through 275 Women’s Leadership Workshops (WLWs) in Bihar, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Across eight states, nine Training of Trainers (ToT) were conducted and 270 trainers were trained to strengthen women’s leadership.

Elected women’s leadership is strengthened through various capacity building initiatives that include Training of Trainers, Women’s Leadership Workshops, Follow-up workshops, Need based workshops (workshop’s on

The Hunger Project has organised conventions in order to enable elected women representatives to come together and speak as one. Conventions are platforms which give elected women representatives a space to learn and share from each other’s experiences. Stories and experiences of courage and good governance are a great learning experience for the women leaders and help them in their own work. The women leaders who have faced the odds of marginalisation, patriarchy, feudalism, gender discrimination and gender based violence experience a great sense of dignity and self-respect when they share the platform with senior policy makers, bureaucrats, police officers and politicians. In the past, conventions have also been spaces, which advocate for women’s political and social rights and plan for future advocacy campaigns and collective action. Conventions are also a time of celebration and build strong bonds across caste, region, religion and class amongst elected women. In 2007-2008 two state level conventions took place – one in Bihar and the other in Madhya Pradesh.

Right to Information (RTI), gender based violence, gender sensitisation, legal literacy, social audit), workshops

on building federations, addressing vision, objective, structure, membership, advocacy plans and action plans and campaigns on Strengthening Women’s Empowerment through the Electoral Processes (SWEEP) or pre-election voter awareness campaign.

In Bihar, a state level convention – Aparajita – The Victorious 2007 was held in April in collaboration with 15 partner organisations in the State capital, Patna. The prime objective of the convention was to felicitate the newly elected women representatives. Overall, 3,500 elected women representatives from all three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions from 35 districts of Bihar, participated. During the convention elected women representatives’

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

drafted a 16-point memorandum, which they felt, would enable their effective and efficient functioning within Panchayati Raj Institutions. This, they submitted to Mr. Narendra Narayan Yadav, the State Minister for Panchayati Raj. In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, The Hunger Project organised a state level convention in collaboration with 15 civil society organisations. Two hundred and seventy five women leaders from 18 districts of Madhya Pradesh participated in the convention. The objective of the convention was to educate the women and make them aware of their rights and motivate them to consciously participate in social development and political governance. Sessions on Right to Information, Women and Governance, Domestic Violence and a panel discussion on various government schemes imparted valuable information to the women and helped them to develop their capacities to meet future challenges. Post the convention a memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister of the State. One of the key demands of the memorandum was to make the State more responsive to issues of good governance.

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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

strategy 1 : strengthening women’s leadership

Creating Effective Local Elected Women’s Federations The need to federate is a natural outcome of The Hunger Project’s trainings and has become the most effective next step needed by elected women representatives. As shared by The Hunger Project partners and the team on the ground, during the WLWs and follow-up workshops, there was a realization amongst elected women leaders that as individuals their voices were scattered, but as an enlightened group they could protect and represent their own interests in an effective manner through collective bargaining. This would enable them to collectively advocate at the grassroots on issues of participatory and accountable governance. Subsequently, local elected women’s federations have emerged as effective collective voices, which influence public policy at the district and State level. The Hunger Project has built upon the need for federations by giving inputs on the vision, goals and objectives of these federations.

“Prior to THP trainings, women were not participating effectively on the ground, hence there was no question of them wanting to know the financial and physical reality of their Panchayati Raj Institutions. The moment they became aware of governance related issues and their rights during trainings and follow-up meetings, they felt the need to form associations in order to add a chorus of voices to their concerns. Not only this, as effective leaders, women want to address their concerns and resolve them.”

In Karnataka, the year 2007-2008 has been a year of groundbreaking work – the laying of the foundation for the building of elected women’s federations in the state. As part of the advocacy, in July 2007, The Hunger Project along with other organisations facilitated the Panchayat Raj Hakkottaya Andolan, a rally in which more than 2,300 elected representatives participated. This was organised to protest against the Karnataka Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill 2006 which empowered the State to distribute Ashraya houses, thus taking away the power from the Panchayats and dealing a blow to decentralisation. The Amendment was eventually withdrawn. Of the 2,300 representatives, more than 40 per cent were women and this was the first time they had come together as a collective to further their cause. Subsequently, the need to form associations or federations started to emerge in The Hunger Project’s WLW’s from the women themselves. Karnataka was one of the first states to roll out the capacity building workshops for federation building. Developed by The Hunger Project, it aimed to clarify the concept of federations amongst elected women representatives. The Hunger Project pioneered conceptual clarity workshops on federations across seven districts, in Karnataka in which more than 3,200 elected women representatives participated. The objective of the workshops was to develop an understanding on federations in a structured and strategic manner. The workshops

THP Partners and the team on the ground

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

addressed women’s political and social rights, which are critical in building women’s leadership, and also focussed on issues of gender and governance, and highlighted elected women representatives roles and responsibilities in Panchayats. Information on the powerful Right to Information Act was imparted during the workshops, so that women could be empowered to use it as a tool to demand transparency and accountability in local governance. A unique and relevant aspect was sharing with the women the history of federations in the country. Elected women representatives were encouraged to have in-depth discussions on their visions, goals, and the objective, roles and responsibilities of their federations. These discussions were documented in ‘white papers’ brought out by elected women representatives in 53 blocks. A consolidated first draft of ‘The White Paper on Federation Building’ was brought out at the end of the process. This document has become a guideline and is unique because, for the first time a truly bottom-up approach to federation building has emerged in the State, with elected women representatives leading and owning the process. In Rajasthan, 12 block level federations with an overall strength of 900 elected women leaders, across eight districts have been actively engaged with Panchayats and the community on issues of education, health, water, sanitation and conservation. Federations have raised their voice against female foeticide, child marriage and alcoholism. By organizing themselves, elected women representatives have successfully and with great confidence engaged with non-cooperative and suspicious local government bureaucrats and accessed rights and entitlements to government schemes. The Hunger Project and its partner organisations organised a State level meeting where Block Level Federations presented a Charter of Demands to the State government demanding, among other things, 50 per cent reservation for women in Panchayats and removal of the ‘Two Child Norm’ from the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act. The federations have realized their collective strength and are currently in the process of building a State Level federation - the Rajasthan Mahila Panch-Sarpanch Sangathan. To strengthen the work of federations, issue based training on Right to Information Act, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act/Scheme and Panchayati Raj Institutions was imparted to the elected women leaders.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008



The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

strategy 2 : making panchayats effective

Strengthening Women’s Empowerment through Electoral Processes Strengthening Women’s Empowerment through Electoral Processes (SWEEP) is a pre-election campaign strategy, which The Hunger Project has successfully implemented across various states in India. Panchayat elections were held in two States - Assam and Uttarakhand. The overall objective of the campaign is to highlight and redefine the concept of women’s leadership and to ensure and increase women’s participation in the electoral process as informed candidates and voters.

Panchayat elections in Assam were held in January 2008. The Hunger Project with its three partners implemented the SWEEP campaign across seven districts of Assam covering 34 blocks, 366 Gram Panchayats and 1,700 villages. The objective of the campaign was to encourage the community to participate in Panchayat elections and create an enabling, violence free environment for women leaders to contest the elections and participate in the overall election process as aware voters and responsible citizens. The SWEEP campaign was implemented six months prior to the elections. Strategies used in the campaign were street plays, rallies, meetings, media workshops and distribution of materials. An important issue addressed during the campaign was that women could contest all seats in the Panchayat election, as there is a common misconception that the remaining 66.66 per cent seats are reserved for men! Other issues included awareness about people’s right to demand accountability of corrupt local governance practices. The SWEEP campaign reached out to more than 5,000 potential candidates and at least 63,000 people across the districts. Despite resistance in the form of a backlash from local politicians there was tremendous support and participation from the community; as a result 44 per cent women candidates won across all the three tiers. In the northern state of Uttarakhand, the SWEEP campaign was launched in January 2008. However, the elections have been postponed and are expected to take place in September 2008. In preparation, five partners in Kumaon and Garhwal regions implemented SWEEP across seven districts covering 450 Gram Panchayats. The campaign was conducted both extensively and intensively. Maximum coverage was ensured through extensive dissemination of posters and pamphlets, radio programmes (across all districts of Uttarakhand), a ‘Rath Yatra’ (advocacy procession) and through street plays. Intensive activities included village level meetings and engaging with existing women’s federations to actively participate in the election process. Intensive capacity building workshops were conducted with smaller groups of potential women candidates. A unique strategy was to set up Panchayat Knowledge Centres, which serve as single windows for election, related information. During SWEEP, media advocacy was done to address pre-conceived notions about women’s participation in Panchayats.

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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


strategy 2 : making panchayats effective

Facilitating Effective Participation of Elected Women in Gram Sabhas The Gram Sabha (village general body meeting) is a constitutionally mandated mechanism by which the community holds the Panchayats accountable in rural areas. All eligible voters within the constituency of the Panchayat are members. Meetings are to be held quarterly on dates specified by the State (generally on national holidays such as Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi’s birthday). A quorum is required to fulfil legal requirements. In the Gram Sabha, development priorities are to be set, budgets are to be approved, and results are to be reported to quarterly mandated Gram Sabha meetings. While Gram Sabhas are a clear indication of democratic governance, in practice there are significant gaps, due to a lack of commitment by the state authorities. The powerful rural elites also hamper its functioning in its true spirit. As a result, participation in the Gram Sabha is a low priority amongst citizens, especially, marginalised groups such as women and Dalits. Therefore, The Hunger Project makes a conscious effort to facilitate and make Panchayats effective through active mobilisation and improved functioning of the Gram Sabhas. It is only by demanding accountability and transparency in governance processes that both effective women’s leadership can emerge and Panchayats can truly be called ‘little republics’.

It is only by demanding accountability and transparency in governance processes that both effective women’s leadership can emerge and Panchayats can truly be called ‘little republics’.

In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, a focused Gram Sabha mobilisation campaign was launched, with the objective of increasing participation of citizens, especially women. This campaign highlighted the primary role of the Gram Sabha and citizen’s right to engage with the institution of Gram Sabha. The strategy for the campaign was based on the recommendations made by two research studies that were conducted in these States to look into the ‘State of the Gram Sabhas’. The research studies highlighted that issues affecting marginalised groups like women, Dalits and Other Backward Castes failed to get addressed in Gram Sabhas and as a result participation from these groups in the Gram Sabha was significantly low. It was also noted that the upper castes treated elected women representatives with disrespect and an atmosphere of hostility and non-cooperation prevailed in a large number of Gram Sabhas. In Madhya Pradesh, prior to all the four mandatory Gram Sabhas, four Gram Sabha campaigns were launched. Seven of The Hunger Project’s partners in the State conducted the 7-12 day campaign.


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

At least 90 Panchayats were covered by each campaign with active participation of 226 ward members and 32 Sarpanches in each campaign. Overall all the four campaigns impacted at least 12,000 citizens.

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In Rajasthan, three publications on rules and regulations of Gram Sabhas and steps required to strengthen Gram Sabhas were brought out. Specifically, the publications addressed the myths and misconceptions associated with Gram Sabhas. In 160 Panchayats, intensive orientation workshops on Gram Sabhas were held with both elected women and men. Village meetings and the campaign impacted at least 17,000 citizens.

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In Tamil Nadu, the Tsunami Intervention Project has worked towards Gram Sabha mobilisation, by engaging with various groups in the Panchayat. Trainings on governance have been held with Self Help Groups (SHGs) and youth members, with a view to increase their participation in Gram Sabhas, as responsible citizens. Statutory committees of the Panchayats have also been trained on their roles and responsibilities. In addition, mobilisation through announcements and distribution of pamphlets was done prior to the Gram Sabhas. Participation of women in the Gram Sabhas was tracked and has risen steadily. In several Gram Sabhas, women have outnumbered men.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008



The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

strategy 3 : influencing public opinion

Influencing Public Opinion

Influencing public opinion is one of the key strategies of The Hunger Project. Despite 15 years of reservation for women in Panchayats, various lobbies still undermine women’s participation in local governance. Both rural and urban societies continue to raise concern over a women leader’s capacity to take decisions on behalf of her communities. Unconcerned and unresponsive government and insensitive government officials also act as impediments, preventing the elected women leaders from performing their duties. For women’s leadership to be effective in the Panchayats enabling conditions need to be developed. It is only with the media’s partnership that The Hunger Project has been able to highlight women’s leadership in Panchayati Raj and break this mindset of cynicism.

Partnership with the Media Media Workshops

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Media Workshops help to educate, inform and sensitise the media on the successes and challenges of the elected women representatives in the village Panchayats. A total of 19 media workshops were organised by The Hunger Project in eight States. In all, 600 journalists were sensitised in these workshops.

Media Fellows in Madhya Pradesh The fellowship instituted by The Hunger Project aims to break the cynicism of the media by reporting the successes and achievements of the elected women representatives in the Panchayats. Mr Lokendra Singh Kot was selected as a media fellow in MP in 2007 – 08. Media fellows are selected by a dynamic jury from the academia and media through a rigorous process of interviews. Fellowships are given for 12 months. Mr Kot has written and published 56 articles on the role of elected women representatives in strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Media Partnerships with the Government of India Media Hub, an innovative project of The Hunger Project, was created in collaboration with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India with the aim to ensure a dialogue between the media and its various stakeholders in Panchayati Raj. At the request of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India, The Hunger Project conducted two workshops to educate and sensitise Radio and TV journalists on the issues of Panchayati Raj. These two-day workshops helped journalists from the electronic media to produce sensitive and genuine episodes on the successes and challenges of Panchayati Raj in India.

Radio Programme ‘Amar Bhaen Satyabati’ was an innovative radio programme created to impart information on the role of elected women representatives in strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions. Twelve episodes were broadcast over All India Radio every Friday. This highly successful radio programme in Oriya generated much fan following. Interested elected representatives and Panchayat citizens phoned to understand Panchayat issues. Madhya Pradesh also broadcast four programmes on AIR Bhopal in the said period.

Sensitising Students of Journalism In Rajasthan, The Hunger Project organised a one-day interaction with the students of journalism from different colleges. Aiming to sensitise journalism students on the issues of women’s leadership, this interaction helped students gain an understanding of women’s role in the Panchayats as elected leaders. Post the training, 45 per cent of the students showed keen interest in reporting developmental issues.

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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

Sarojini Naidu Prize The Seventh Sarojini Naidu Prize ceremony for best reporting on Women and Panchayati Raj was held at the Chinmaya Mission, Lodhi Road, New Delhi on the 2nd of October 2007. This year the Sarojini Naidu Prize focused on articles, which highlighted the role of, elected women representatives in bringing education to every child. The Hon. Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, Ms. Renuka Chowdhury was the Chief Guest for the occasion. Ms. Sonam Dolma, Panchayat Adalat Chairperson of Phey village in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ms. Asma Jahangir, eminent Pakistani human rights activist and lawyer and Ms. Shabana Azmi actor and social activist were the Guests of Honour. Elected women leaders from Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra attended the award ceremony, which felicitated the journalists who write on the work done by them. More than 450 dignitaries from the fields of journalism, senior government officials, bilateral organisations, NGO’s, civil society groups, the corporate sector, and academia were also present for the ceremony. The Prize Winners

Ms. Teresa Rehman, the North-East Correspondent of the weekly Tehelka was awarded the Prize in the English language category for her article ‘Lead Kindly Light’. Mr. Bhanwar Meghwanshi was awarded in the Hindi Language category for his article in the magazine Vividha Features - ‘They Want to Work for the Education of Children’. Mr. Jyothish Kumar won the award for his Malayalam article ‘Reformation De Silencio: Four women Panchayat presidents who pioneered revolutionary transformations in rural education’ published by the largest circulating national women’s magazine Vanitha.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


strategy 4 : Alliance building for Advocacy and Support

Building Alliances for Advocacy Building Alliances for advocacy has been a major strategy of The Hunger Project. Both nationally and in the states, The Hunger Project has steered and participated in key initiatives like the Right to Food Campaign, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act/Scheme, Right to Information and the campaign against the Two Child Norm. In Bihar, The Hunger Project in collaboration with 17 organisations created ‘Jan Adhikar Manch’ to protest against the implementation of the two child norm. The two child norm disqualifies those have more than two children from an elected public post in Municipalities and Panchayats. Fearing that this norm would be extended to the Panchayat representatives in Bihar, the Manch under took political and media advocacy and individually met leaders of different political parties and journalists on this issue. In an interview with the Manch, Smt. Asha Devi, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) rejected this norm saying that this will hinder the rural and Dalit women and will stop them from participating in politics in rural areas as there are hardly any women with only two children. In a country where child mortality rate is high in rural areas, it is customary to have more than two children, as families fear that some children may not survive and reach adulthood. The Jan Adhikar Manch also held a peaceful protest march in March 2007 where three hundred people marched to the Secretariat and handed over 5,000 letters requesting the withdrawal of this norm. With pressure from Panchayat representatives, civil society organisations and the media, the assembly did not pass this bill. In Himachal Pradesh, Hunger Project partner SUTRA has been engaged in a study on Nyaya Panchayats. Successes of Nyaya Panchayats have been recorded since 1952 in Himachal Pradesh. In the light of the new proposed Nyaya Panchayat Act 2006, a study was conducted to look into the present status and its relevance on the lives of women in the State. The study emphasizes the need to build the capacities of Nyaya Panchayats for the effective delivery of justice in Panchayats. The Hunger Project in Bihar has also engaged with disaster relief during the floods. Relief materials like blankets, food, medicines and other materials for shelter were sent to the flood affected areas. In collaboration with other civil society organisations, a core committee has been formed to manage disaster situations and also to advocate the formation of an alternate policy on flood management. 20

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

National Platform to Promote Decentralization Initiated by The Hunger Project, the objective of the National Platform to Promote Decentralization is to create a platform which brings together stakeholders, consolidate past and current learning’s, share experiences and insights about decentralization and create a mechanism through which existing expertise can be used towards systemic reforms that strengthen the voice of the poor within governance, especially engaging with federations of elected women representatives in Panchayats. The advisory committee of the National Platform to Promote Decentralization met in July 2007 under the chairmanship of the Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India to discuss the need for a pro active national platform. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj reiterated the need for the platform to continue the work on issues of decentralization and Panchayati Raj. In October 2007, the members of the advisory committee of NPPD participated in the Indo-Norwegian seminar. Chief Guest Hon. Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar (Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India) shared the urgent need to launch the national platform and congratulated The Hunger Project for taking the initiative towards it. In December 2007, a final round of meetings were held with the Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj to plan for the launch of the platform in 2008.

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The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008



The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

Rebuilding Lives after the Tsunami

The Hunger Project has also been working on disaster preparedness. Panchayat level contingency plans for disaster preparedness have been prepared for all the 104 hamlets of the 17 Panchayats.

When the Tsunami struck the coast of Tamil Nadu many villages in the Nagapattinam district faced huge devastation. The livelihoods of people living the villages were destroyed, their natural resources were ruined, and their assets were irreparably damaged. The tragic death toll is well known. The Hunger Project intervened in 17 Panchayats to try to strengthen local governance to address needs emerging from an unprecedented disaster like the Tsunami. In order to channelise the aid that was coming in, it was decided to prepare micro-plans with the participation of the communities of the 17 Panchayats. In working towards strengthening Panchayats and particularly women’s participation in them, trainings of Panchayat members on Panchayati Raj Institutions, training of statutory committees, mobilizing youth, and SHG members on governance as well as WLWs have been conducted. Sixty-five of the 71 elected women leaders in the 17 Panchayats participated in the Women’s leadership Workshops.

ilding tion bu way. a r e d e F der ses un proces nataka Kar

Today 70-75 per cent of the needs identified in the plans have become a reality. Two centres established by The Hunger Project, namely, the Farmers’ Information Centre at Kameswaram Panchayat which serves 3000 farmers in five villages and a Centre for Specially Abled in Pillai Perumal Nallur Panchayat which supports above 300 physically challenged people were a direct consequence of the need which emerged out of these plans. The Farmers’ Information Centre has, in addition, organised several workshops for its members on issues on environmental change, as well as organised exposure trips and has been working towards crop insurance for the members. The Centre for the SpeciallyAbled has conducted Camps for prevention of disability for expectant mothers, exposure trip to vocational institutes, physiotherapy camps and awareness camps for government schemes. Both centres have also been working towards evolving a post project strategy for handing over of the centres to the members once the project ends in July 2008.

• ing in a meet du h b a S m N a il a Gr ss. Tam progre

The Hunger Project has also been working on disaster preparedness. Panchayat level contingency plans for disaster preparedness have been prepared for all the 104 hamlets of the 17 Panchayats. The plans contain four thematic maps per hamlet: emergency exit routes, vulnerability mapping, and households in low-lying areas and infrastructure maps. In addition, there is also a resource map per Panchayat. These plans have been shared widely with fishing hamlets, Self Help Group members, youth groups, and schools. They have also been presented at the Gram Sabhas.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Significant Events in 2007 - 2008

Pakistan-India Symposium on Local Governance at Lahore

As part of the Government of India’s delegation led by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, The Hunger Project’s Country Director Ms. Rita Sarin visited Lahore, Pakistan in July 2007 to participate in a Symposium on Local Governance. The National Reconstruction Bureau of Pakistan hosted the Indian delegation, where The Hunger Project’s work on capacity building of elected women leaders over five years was seen as a breakthrough. The Women’s Political School, Islamabad requested The Hunger Project to work with them on this in order to bring the experience to Pakistan. The need for women Tehsil and Zilla Nizams in Pakistan to access appropriate support and training was as clear as it has been in India for the past 10 years.

EO of t and C lected n e d i s E re obal P h Federated ter, Gl it Jill Les er Project w . Rajasthan ers ung n Lead The H Wome l • ict leve a distr Leaders. g n i d n e omen ors att Invest of Elected W sh e n d o a ti a Pr conven Madhy

Hosting Investor Trips

The Hunger Project India hosted two investor trips. Nineteen senior management personnel of ANZ Bank in Australia visited Kolar and Mysore districts of Karnataka in November 2007 to understand women’s leadership in village Panchayats. They observed a WLW and interacted with the elected women representatives. In February 2008, 60 visitors from across the world visited Satna district in Madhya Pradesh to understand The Hunger Project’s work in strengthening the leadership of elected women in a feudal and patriarchal part of Madhya Pradesh.

Partners Meet

The Hunger Project hosted its annual partners’ meet to discuss its key strategies and achievements. Held in Delhi from 17th - 18th of March 2008, more than 60 people attended the meet from 30 partner organisations across the country. The annual meeting provides partners and The Hunger Project national and state teams a platform where they can interact with each other and share their experiences, collectively creating the next breakthrough in the effort to build a hunger free India through the effective leadership of elected women leaders.


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

President and CEO of the Hunger Project, Ms. Jill Lester visitedTHP India

In March, the new CEO and President of The Hunger Project Jill Lester visited India. While on her visit she attended the partners meeting as well as she attending a Federation meeting in Chaksu block, Jaipur district, Rajasthan where she met 85 elected women leaders from eight districts that belonged to 12 different federations in Rajasthan.

Strategic Fundraising Meetings

Rita Sarin and Sriparna G Chaudhuri visited Sweden and Australia to meet present and potential investors and present the work of The Hunger Project India. Former elected woman representative Ms Shailaja Shankaranarayana also accompanied The Hunger Project-India team to Australia.

The Hunger Project - SALA IDA Partnership

The Hunger Project and SALAR (the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions) through their international arm SALA IDA have signed a technical partnership towards building a state level federation of elected women representatives in Gram Panchayats in Karnataka.

Elected Women Leaders Meet In Rajasthan

More than 400 elected leaders gathered in Chaksu Block, on 9th Feb 2008 in Jaipur District of Rajasthan, to discuss the powers transferred to them in the areas of education, health, water, sanitation, conservation, etc. The elected women leaders, despite their different affiliations and agendas, drafted a Charter of Demands and presented it to the Chief Minister Ms. Vasundara Raje Scindia.

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Financial Facts

Fund Receipts during the financial year 2007-2008 ru pe e s Interest on FDR/Savings Grant Donation Others Total Receipts

13,01,579 7,69,43,027

% 1.65 97.20

7,70,025 1,37,694

0.97 0.18



Cost Centrewise Expenses for the financial year 2007-2008 Administrative Programme Programme Support Total Expenses

ru pe e s


86,09,298 5,58,89,366 1,15,05,433 7,60,04,097

11.33 73.53 15.14 100


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

Auditor’s Report

1. We have audited the attached balance sheet of The Hunger Project – India (“The Project”) as at March 31, 2008 and also the income and expenditure account for the year ended on that date, annexed thereto. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Project’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. 2. We conducted our audit in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in India. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion. 3. Further, we report that: a) We have obtained all the information and explanations, which to the best of our knowledge and belief were necessary for the purposes of our audit; b) The balance sheet and income and expenditure account dealt with by this report are in agreement with the books of account; c) In our opinion and to the best of our information and according to the explanations given to us, the accounts give a true and fair view in conformity with the accounting principles generally accepted in India : - in the case of the balance sheet, of the state of affairs of the Project as at March 31, 2008; and - in the case of the income and expenditure account, of the surplus of the Project for the year ended on that date. New Delhi For A .F. Ferguson & Co. – 4 o ct 2 0 0 7 Chartered Accountants

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Balance Sheet as at March 31, 2008 As at

As at

March 31, 2007

March 31, 2008




ASSET S 8,248,638 5,248,446 3,000,192

9,188,118 1,209,858 13,398,168

Fixed Assets Gross block Less: Depreciation Net block

8,137,320 5,585,850 2,551,470

Current Assets, Loans and Advances Cash and bank balances Loans and advances

12,508,904 1,216,229 16,276,603



Funds Corpus fund balance


General Fund Balance

891,498 498,000 1,389,498 8,937,367 10,326,865

Opening balance Add: Transferred from earmarked funds - Others

1,389,498 1,389,498 11,638,315

Income and Expenditure Account

13,027,813 Unutilised earmarked funds for:

10,704,643 29,512,522 (38,563,051) (498,000) 1,156,114 1,415,189

Others: Opening balance Add: Transferred from income and expenditure account

Less: Transferred to income and expenditure account Less: Transferred to General Fund

1,156,114 41,285,638 (41,643,032) 798,720

Current Liabilities Accounts payable and accrued liabilities




Notes to the accounts -Schedule -I Per our report attached

For The Hunger Project

For A. F. Ferguson & Co. Chartered Accountants trustees 28

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

Income and Expenditure Account For the Year Ended March 31, 2008 Year ended

Year ended

March 31, 2007

March 31, 2008



INC OME 65,497,630

Grants and donations




Other income

77,713,052 1,301,579 137,694



EXPENDITURE 6,826,702 64,233,405 611,130

Administrative and general expenses Other expenditure on objects of the Trust

5,226,298 (29,512,522)




71,671,237 (5,339,460)


76,808,771 Surplus/(Deficit) for the year


Balances brought forward from previous year


Specific grants transferred to earmarked funds



Expenses transferred from earmarked funds



Balance carried to general fund


Notes to the accounts -Schedule -I Per our report attached to the balance sheet. For A. F. Ferguson & Co. Chartered Accountants

For The Hunger Project


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Schedule 1

The Hunger Project - India

notes annexed to and forming part of the accounts for the year ended march 31, 2008 1. Significant Accounting Policies a) The financial statements are prepared under the historical cost convention on an accrual basis. b) Fixed assets are stated at cost of acquisition less accumulated depreciation. Cost is inclusive of freight, duties, taxes and incidental expenses. Depreciation is provided on the written down value method mainly at the following rates: nature of asset Computers Vehicles Furniture and Fixtures Office equipment

rate of depreciation percentage 40 % 25.89 % 15 % 13.91 %

2. The figures of the previous year have been regrouped/recast to conform to the current year’s classification


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

Partnerships with Civil Society Organisations

Andhra Pradesh 1. Mahila Margadarshi, Srikakulam Assam 2. District Community Development Programme, Sonitpur 3. Gramya Vikas Mancha, Dakshingaon 4. North East Social Trust, Guwahati Bihar 5. Parivartan Vikas, Rohtas 6. Harijan Adivasi Mahila Kalyan Samiti, Munger 7. Bihar Sewa Samiti, Madhubani 8. NIRDESH, Muzaffarpur 9. ABHIYAN, Patna 10. Sakhi Ree Mahila Vikas Sansthan, Siwan 11. Shakti Vardhini, Patna Delhi 12. Aman Public Charitable Trust, New Delhi 13. Institute of Social Science, New Delhi Gujarat 14. Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangthan, Bhuj 15. Maldhari Rural Action Group (MARAG), Ahmedabad Himachal Pradesh 16. Society for Social Upliftment through Rural Action (SUTRA), Solan Jammu & Kashmir 17. Ladakh Development Organisation, Leh Karnataka 18. Action for Social & Education Development Association (ASEDA), Gauribidanur 19. Belaku Trust, Bangalore 20. Bharathi Welfare Society, Chintamani 21. Organisation Development of People (ODP), Mysore 22. Organisation for Bidar Integral Transformation (ORBIT), Bidar 23. Sumana, Mysore 24. Vikasana, Tarikere Madhya Pradesh 25. Anupama Education Society, Satna 26. Bhopal Rehabilitation, Bhopal 27. Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery India, Bhopal 28. Gram Sudhar Samiti, Sidhi 29. Institute for Development of Youth, Women and Children, Amarwara 30. Om Shiksha Samiti, Sidhi 31. Sampark Samaj Sevi Sansthan, Jhabua Maharashtra 32. Lok Panchayat, Sangamner 33. Parivartan, Ratnagiri 34. Resource & Support Centre for Development 35. (RSCD), Navi Mumbai Orissa 36. ANKURAN, Rayagada 37. AYAUSKAM, Nuapada 38. DAPTA, Bhawanipatna 39. KARTABYA, Kalahandi 40. Institute for Women Development, Behrampur 41. Nari Surakhya Samiti, Angul 42. PIPAR, Dhenkenal 43. People’s Cultural Centre, Bhubaneshwar

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Rajasthan 44. Astha Sansthan, Udaipur 45. CECODECON, Jaipur 46. Humana People to People India, Behror 47. Jan Chetna Sansthan, Sirohi 48. Mahila Mandal, Barmer 49. Shanti Maitreyee Mission Sansthan, Bikaner 50. SOHARD, Alwar 51. Urmul Setu Sansthan, , Bikaner Tamil Nadu 52. Arumbugal Trust, Tirunelveli 53. Association for Rural Community Development (ARCOD), Krishnagiri 54. Association for Rural Education & Development Service (AREDS), Karur 55. CEDA Trust, Dindigul 56. Centre for Education & Empowerment of Marginalized (CEEMA), Erode 57. Centre for Social Education & Devlopment, Coimbatore 58. Indo-Sri Lankans Development Trust (Island Trust), Kotagiri 59. Reform Trust, Madurai 60. Sevalaya, Nagapattinam 61. Society for Community Organisation & Rural Development (SCORD), Thiruvarur 62. Wishwa Women’s Service Society (WWSS), Madurai Uttarakhand 63. Association for Rural Planning & Action, Pithoragarh 64. Grameen Uthan Samiti, Kapkote 65. Kasturba Mahila Uthan Mandal, Almora 66. Mahila Haat, Almora 67. RLEK, Dehradun 68. Shri Bhubaneshwari Mahila Ashram, Tehri Garhwal


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Governing Council

National Team

State Teams

Kanika Satyanand Shankar Venkateswaran Rita Sarin Amarjeet K Ahuja Brinda Dubey Tara A Sharma

Rita Sarin Sriparna G Chaudhuri Maalan Adil Ali Bhaswati Das Srilakshmi H Divakar Subhadra Gupta Ruchi Yadav Rohini Ghadiok Radha Khan Ruhi Deol Prita Das Gupta N. K. Malhotra Paritosh Sasmal Guneet Sethi Bharani Sundararajan Amit Goyal Eunice Thong Nidhi Kumari Subrato Sahoo Jesse Dhuka Hema Chetri

Aradhana Nanda Bijendra P Singh Litali Das Beenita Meher Bimal Brinda Adige Preethi Herman Irudaya Mary Sandip Naik Neeraj Saxena Shibani Sharma Shriram Kevat N. Lalitha E. Kamalakannan Kanika Kaul Shabnam Khalid Virendra Shrimali

ia -Ind ject ith the o r r P rs, w ster, e e nge Hu partn t Jill L e Th and iden dent s si team bal Pre ce-Pre rod i o l V o G and o n nC Joh

Auditors AF Ferguson & Co.

Volunteers Aditi Chandak Shatam Ray Pooja Sarin

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


The Hunger Project State Offices

Arunchal Pradesh Office

Orissa Office

Tel: 0360 – 229 1742

Tel: 0674-259 5330

Bihar Office

Rajasthan Office

the hunger project Bank Tinialia, Eastern Press Building Itanagar – 791 111 Arunachal Pradesh

the hunger project Mehman Sarai (First Floor) Behind Imarat Rizvi, Bank Road Patna – 800 001 Bihar Tel: 0612 – 220 7705 Fax: 0612 – 223 1826

Karnataka Office the hunger project No – 4 (Second Floor) Opp. Ganeshpuja House Berlie Street Cross, Langford Town, Shantinagar Bangalore – 560 025 Karnataka Tel: 080 – 221 111 42

the hunger project 310, ‘A’ Block Bharati Tower Forest Park Bhubaneshwar – 751 009 Orissa

the hunger project A-3, Hawa Sarak Opposite Ram Mandir Near Bal Mandir School Civil Lines Jaipur-302 006 Rajasthan Tel: 0141 – 222 3123

Tamil Nadu Office the hunger project House No – 1, 2nd Main Road Nehru Nagar, Adayar Chennai – 600 020 Tamil Nadu Tel: 044 – 244 525 20

Madhya Pradesh Office the hunger project A – 450, Mansarover Colony, Shahpura, Bhopal – 462 016 Madhya Pradesh Tel: 0755 – 242 4736 Fax: 0755 - 424 6259


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008


Cover Montage: Faces of Inspiration - Panchayat women leaders in Bihar.

Shaheed Bhawan 18/1 Aruna Asaf Ali Marg Qutab Institutional Area New Delhi 110 067 Ph: 011-4168 8847-50 Fax: 011-4168 8852 Email:


The Hunger Project • Annual Report 2008

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