White peace Rally- Kokrajhar12

Building peace and justice

Building Peace, Piece by piece:

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

2012 was a watershed year for the ant. With horror, we watched the shattering of harmony and long-held relationships as Bodos and Bengali Muslims fought it out. The poorest and the most vulnerable – women, children, elderly – bear the heaviest burden of conflict. Long after the violence ends, the poisonous effects of conflict lingers.  Mending broken relationships and discovering spaces for peace is what we have been attempting since 2012.

  • Promote “Sahayak Manch” (cooperation forums) in villages affected by ethnic violence to use dialogue and explore non-violent actions for settling conflicts and jointly solving problems.
  • Instead of fighting each other, organize people to fight together for their rights and entitlements.

Electricity companies decided to put up power transmission towers and high tension wires in farm lands without consulting the farmers to whom the land belonged. Bodos, Bengali Muslims and Rajbongshis, putting their community differences in the back-burner came together to stop this. Over 500 people from Chirang and Kokrajhar districts sat in a peaceful protest dharna, seeking clarity and proper policy, which had now evolved to form the ‘Chirang Land Protection Committee’.  

 

Legal Aid Centre

“Peace is not the absence of War, but the presence of Justice”.

Peace and justice being two parts of the same coin, after 2012, we started a Legal Aid Centre at the ant campus to offer free legal advice and help for people who need. Lawyers and para-legals help solve cases of the community through both legal advice and legal aid. 70% of the cases that come to us are of domestic violence.

 

Somaina (name changed) was thrown out of her husband’s house after 12 years of an abusive marriage. She filed for alimony which the family refused. With help from our lawyers and team, we went all the way to Guwahati High Court and successfully got a settlement amount of Rs.5 lakhs and monthly support for her and son.

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