Dilreen Kaur

Ritinjali continues to work towards our vision that all communities be empowered and sustainable in their absolute responsibility to the common welfare of its members. We envision communities devoid of prolonged poverty, crime, violence, substance abuse, illiteracy, apathy and oppression.

Over the last 13 years, Ritinjali has been working through a variety of projects and with varied community groups in many educational and development related endeavours. We have continued to focus directly on building community capacity and collective processes towards a more inclusive society. Our mission is to provide holistic education towards nurturing empowered, responsible citizens, capable of not only providing for themselves, but also of contributing actively to their local communities through enterprise, awareness and self-induced social responsibility.

Our work is centred on a series of principles, which seek to go beyond consultation to participation and beyond capacity building to consciousness raising and empowerment. It recognizes the changing and often hidden nature of the structural inequalities based on 'race', class, gender, disability to name but a few and seeks to be transformative rather than conforming, and emancipative rather than domesticating. Community work is not a process that takes place in a short time frame, as it seeks to address deeply rooted inequalities and forms of disadvantage. It takes varying lengths of time to achieve tangible results depending on the community with whom the work is carried out. For more information on our projects, you can visit our website, www.ritinjali.org. We also invite you to provide us with your comments and suggestions on our various initiatives to increase our effectiveness.

This issue of the Journal is really a presentation, a reflection and an analysis along with some personal journeys on issues related to education and raising social consciousness towards active participation in community development. Anjali Alexander talks about the Mobile Creches' interventions, emphasizing their focus on the migrant child. Dilip Cherian, in his article, berates large corporates for not giving community development any importance. He places responsibility on the citizens of India to carry India over from 'developing' to 'developed'. Abhishek Chaturvedi's thought provoking article discusses the challenges and crisis facing the development sector especially in India. Paro Anand writes about an issue, that today has great significance for the emotional health of the student community. She has highlighted the need to change the mindset of the students towards the aspect of bullying. It is Dinesh Singh's contention that if India is to stay ahead and keep the momentum it must have an economy that is powered by a knowledge base and driven by competent and well trained humanpower. He believes that such a requirement can only be addressed through a sound exposure to mathematics through our schools. Janaki Rajan has presented a new perspective on the Nursery School admission policy while Shalini Advani's article is a candid introspection on the real purpose of education. Ravi Singh in his article, talks about how we need to reorient teaching and learning in schools to engage people in negotiating a sustainable future.

Increasingly, government and civil society are recognizing that strong collaboration is a necessity for achieving social and community development. I strongly believe that a cting together, we do have the capacity to realize these objectives. And sparing neither effort nor strength, we can and shall build an India that truly belongs to all who live in it, unified in our diversity.

We hope you enjoy this journey with us, and look forward to receiving your responses and feedback at journal@ritinjali.org