Walking for Freedom

Day 4 of Christian Aid's 'Count Your Blessings' calendar focuses on the situation of the poorest people in India and what some of them are doing collectively to improve things. 

Ekta Parishad is one of Christian Aid's partners. It is a people's movement whose aim is for India's poorest people to gain some control over resources for living, especially land, water and forest. It is dedicated to social action based on non-violent principles. 'Ekta' means unity. 'Parishad' means forum or space. Marginalized people are brought together to remind the government that it is its constitutional role to provide all the people with basic human rights and freedoms.

Ekta Parishad is currently campaigning for the government to hold to its land rights promises. The campaign's climax, starting on 2 October 2012 will be the Jan Satyagrah March when it is hoped that 100,000 landless peoples will walk together from Gwalior (near the Taj Mahal) to New Delhi - about 350 km. It is based on the 1930 Dandi march, a protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India.

According to Christian Aid the Jan Satyagrah march is likely to be one of the largest non-violent campaigns the world has seen. Here's a trailer for it:

There will also be a March for Justice in Britain in October 2012. (Details from local Christian Aid offices.)

Christian Aid's 'Count Your Blessings' Lent calendar suggests today giving 10p if your local MP has held an open meeting in the last 6 months. If you don't know, give 20p and (in the UK) find out by visiting http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ 

My MP is John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons. As far as I can tell from his website he hasn't held any open meetings in the last 6 months. Is he too busy with Speaker responsibilities? 


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