Livelihood Resource Unit
The Livelihood Resource Unit started functioning in April 2004, with a focus on issues related to land, water and forest. Since the beginning, the Unit became involved in the Forest Land Rights Campaign, since 1995. The campaign expanded with linkages to other states, and ultimately, in 2006, the central government passed the "Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act". The Unit is actively associated with the Jungle Jameen Jan Andolan (Forest Land People's Movement) at the regional level, and with the Survival with Dignity Campaign at the national level. At present, the Resource Unit is working towards the effective implementation of the 'Forest Rights Act' in tribal districts of south Rajasthan.
The Resource Unit is also inclose networking with the state-wide campaign for NREGA and RTI through the Rozgar evam Suchna ka Adhikar Abhiyan (Employment and Right toInformation Campaign) that aims at proper and effective implementation of NREGA. The Unit is involved with regulartrainings on the NREGA Act; it is training train Mates (labour gang supervisors), various POs and Voluntary Organizations for effective implementation of the Act.
Unit is ensuring food security by making sure that the Supreme Court Orders in connection to food security are being implemented, and by networking at the state and at the national level. The Unit also plays an active role in collaboration with the POs and civil society organizations to monitor the Public Distribution System, spreading awareness regarding the school mid-day meal and other food security schemes of the government.
Local Self-Governance Resource Unit
The Local Self Governance Resource Unit (LSG) was formed in 2004, with the objective of working with the people to strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI). The working strategy of the Unit is to do direct fieldwork and intervention in a limited number of Village Council areas, and District, and also to work with and through partner NGOs in other parts of Rajasthan.
At present, the LSG Unit is working in 3 Blocks directly and indirectly in 81 blocks of 23 districts in Rajasthan, to train and strengthen the elected women representatives, and to encourage citizens to take active participation in PRI Gram Sabha (Village Assembly) meetings. A total of 5137 EWRs became members of the Association of Ward Councillor and Village Councillor (Mahila Panch-Sarpanch Sangthan).
Budget Analysis Rajasthan Centre
Budget Analysis Rajasthan Centre (BARC), set up in January 2002, is designed to help those working with the poor at the local levels, to learn how to use the budget data in their planning and advocacy work. The role of the Centre is to analyze the Rajasthan state budgets and public policies from a pro-poor and marginalized people's perspective in an attempt to promote transparent, accountable,participatory governance, and a people canteredperspective withregard to the preparation andimplementation of budgets.
BARC seeks to attempt to build partnerships with members of the Budget Analysis network in India, and at the same time, to act as a "watch dog". The Centre protects and strengthens the monitoring work of like-minded people while also looks into the common people's issues and joins in lobbying work. It interprets and analyses the budget figures combined with other data. The Centre is also involved in emphasizing issues that affect the daily lives of the tribals, women, and agricultural laborers, such as health, education, water, drought, food, security, and employment. Visit- www.barcjaipur.org for more details about BARC.
Education Rights Resource Unit
The Unit continued with the programme – to facilitate in establishing community monitoring of the Right to Education (RTE) Act at local level for better implementation that was started with support from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Activities carried out pertaining to better implementation of RTE act are – community meetings, awareness campaigns; holding public hearings, education dialogues, parent meetings to provide platform to their voices, lobbying and advocacy to build pressure on the Administration to make them accountable and redressal of the grievances made during public hearings. Apart from this, Astha has participated in state and national level events organized to discuss better implementation of RTE which helped in building pressure at policy level decision.
Single Women's Rights Resource Unit
Astha has been working with and for women from the beginning. However, while women's issues are quite well "mainstreamed" in Astha's work, still, some issues and tasks remain uncovered by our present structure. Therefore, it has been decided to establish a Women's Rights Resource Unit in Astha.
The focus of the work will be on marginalized, exploited, deprived women. Since April 2009, The Unit is working on women's rights and gender issues affecting large numbers (like; Female Feticide, sexual harassment at the workplace, needed social reforms and integration into the women's movement of Muslim Women-both locally and nationally etc.) and will not take up individual cases, case after case.
Tribal Rights Resource Unit
Tribal Rights are enshrined in the Constitution of India and have translated into several laws, but the implementation of those laws leaves a lot to desired! The Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act 1996, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 are important pieces of legislation, passed by the Central and state governments, but not implemented, and so, upto now, the tribals are denied the rights intended. There are many issues on which the Tribal Rights Resource Unit is working on.
The tribal people of Rajasthan are mainly of two tribes – the Bhils and the Meenas. The Bhils are almost entirely excluded in taking advantage of the reservations in education and in jobs. Tribal Rights Resource Unit is working with tribal group of Bhils - Bhils, Gametis, Bhil-Meenas, Garasias. Astha is also working with other primitive tribes of Rajasthan i.e. Saharia, Kathodia through network partners.
Differently Abled People's Rights Resource Unit
Astha took initiative to work on inclusion of people's with disability (PWDs) in mainstream society. Work areas chosen in 4 blocks of two districts (Udaipur and Dungarpur) with working area of existing POs.
Objectives behind this work – bring self-confidence among the PWDs, protect their rights, providing equal opportunity and participation; facilitate the PWDs to build People's Organization so that the efforts can sustained; identify and build leadership quality of leaders from the PWDs who can work for the PO to increase accessibility to government run social security and livelihood schemes. 590 PWDs took annual membership of PO.