Thought for Grass root institutionalization:

The big gap in reaching out the Government Programs and the NGOs inability to facilitate effective empowerment of the masses,driven Shri.S.A.Rahim to plan towards reaching out to the population and few NGOs from Tirupati Region of Andhra Pradesh belonging to the Southern states leadership of INGO-JAC agreed to mobilize grass root population and achieve goals of equitable development and empowerment. A Brainstorming debate on various issues were held by NGOs at Tirupati,the biggest pilgrim center of India in the year 2001 and decided to stimulate all NGOs for grass root actions for the betterment of communities through a participatory approach .

A workshop Organized by the Economic Department of Sri Venketswara University by Dr.Prof.Ranga Reddy ,wherein a paper presented by Mr.Rahim emphasizing the need to mobilize the women into Self Help Groups with clearly specified twin issues viz.Livelihood and Environmental Security was later made lively with the title “Livelihood and Ecological Security Groups”, thereby focusing on developing Community Based organizations (CBOs) towards total empowerment of poor people with focus on gender equity.


PEN India(Participatory Employment Net India) was formed at later stage of NGOs meeting ,wherein Department of Economics, Department of Adult Education and the Environmental Team from Engineering College under the Leadership of Late Prof.Ramprasad of College of Engineering under Sri Venketeswara University ,Municipal Commissioner, TUDA Vice Chairman took active part.SHG in the name LES Groups (Livelihood and Ecological Security Groups) with 10 to 15 members were formed and 20 groups Clusters were organized and got registered under societies Act in both urban and rural areas.This Organisation of the SHGs got widely spread in Andhra Pradesh including Hyderabad Region,Tamilnadu and Karnataka States and there was immense hope of reducing urban –rural divide, income generation programs, waste management and Environment friendly initiatives till such time the Government of Andhra Pradesh launched DWACRA Groups with Governmental patronage.

The organization worked tirelessly to eradicate poverty and empower women and help farming in Mahabub Nagar,Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad Districts,northern Karnataka along with Chittoor ,Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh,Tiruvallur ,Kancheepuram and velore Districts of Tamilnadu,Hoogly and 24 North Parganas of West Bengal. PEN India took Active Partnership for the Mission 2007 spearheaded by Dr.M.S.Swaminathan and One World South Asia and facilitated number of Volunteers from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and many got Awards from Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam and other distinguished leaders.

Andhra Pradesh Chapter for “Every Village a Knowledge Center” was organized by PEN India in collaboration with One World South Asia,MSSRF,ICRISAT,NABARD,Department of Telecommunications ,Government of India,MANAGE,Center for Environment Education and Government of AP and become instrumental in facilitating ICT and other Technological Interventions in AP,Karnataka,Tamilnadu,West Bengal,Madhyapradesh and Maharastra states.Shri.S.A.Rahim was the voice of grassroots people and institutions and represented all important seminars and workshops and took initiatives to translate into reality in various states of India.A Smile India Project involving number of NGOs was introduced and much awareness was created in number of states towards gender equity and environmental justice,however it was stuck up in the middle forcing to search alternatives.


PEN India took initiatives in 2001 for Community Based Actions for environment through its SHG namely Livelihood and Ecological Security Groups and due to this credit on it arms it was selected by CEE (Center for Environment Education) to become a partner for the Eco city program jointly launched by Ministry of Environment and Forests(MoEF),Center Pollution Control Board(CPCB),GIZ,UNDP GEF SGP in six pilgrim cities of India.On the basis of the specific requests from UNDP GEF SGP,National Coordinator,P.S.SOdhi and GIZ Director ,Juergen Bischoff ,PEN India leadership took special interest and proved the Solid Waste Management System, first time in India at Tirupati and made it as a successful model.PEN India facing all odds from Municipal officials ,after failures of previous initiatives put hard work and demonstrated “Source Separation “of waste into wet, dry and hazardous wastes and made all these waste into resources for livelihood of women through Compost production,bags,mat and other useful products and established “Zero waste “systems for Tirupati Eco system. This was appreciated at Puri workshop and Kottayam from Kerala too was entrusted to PEN India based on the request from Kottayam Municipality to implement by GIZ and UNDP GEF SGP.

It is a matter of proud that PEN India shown the way for India’s Solid Waste Management and the Value of Source Separation Technique leading to Zero waste Management and shown as a successful venture through Community mobilization which was supported by MoEF,UNDP GEF SGP,GIZ,CPCB &CEE

Though the waste management is an opportunity for the poor and marginalized people for their livelihood and an opportunity for NGOs and CBOs to manage it with simple and least cost methods on a sustainable basis,the huge money being earmarked to urban bodies and easy profit making for many companies and contractors and nexus the officials could snatch away the rights of working Community Based Organisations ,exposing the people of most urban conglomerations to the wrath of all sorts of diseases like Dengue, Malaria, and many other disease including Cancer.PEN India with highly successful record it made ,though pleaded with then Central Minister for Environment ,Mr.Jairam Ramesh to leave the area by proper legislation to NGOs,though promised ,never done and that has exposed many urban populations to health hazards.

Leaving aside all pains and problems PEN India with support from GTZ(GIZ),UNDP GEF SGP,MoEFCC,CPCB,CEE and TMC shown very clearly that Grass root Waste Management System can work well for the Nation and zero waste management created employment and business for the Poor and now every state Government, Local Body Officials who created all hell for us to implement it ,along with big companies are following it, however we feel that we are not doing justice to develop Responsible Citizens. Also PEN India also intervened in Panchayat Projects to develop Green Panchayats on the basis of invitation from Kidangoor Panchayat of Kottayam District in Kerala and there we tested and developed a PAT (Psychic Amendment Technique) with Participatory Survey and shown vividly that every individual human being can be modeled for an Eco-friendly Life style and all issues related with soil degradation, global warming and consequent Climate Change effects can be addressed in a pro earth and pro people manner ,provided the policy makers help with conscience to achieve people’s life in harmony with Nature.

Climate Change:

PEN India opted Climate Change Catastrophes as a tool to inspire the people to get involve in proper waste management and this awareness and the earlier attempt to bring community into action for ecological security along with livelihood security and participations in various seminars and workshops inspired for involving the Communities towards Action for Climate Change, that ultimately helped to evolve a National Movement for Climate Change namely ESCON(Ecological Security and Climate Organizations Net) to make people unite and act for the protection of our Mother Earth. The struggles,tirals and road blocks faced to get involve communities forms the basis of Grass toot institutionalization of people and promoting a demand driven actions to address Climate change.