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GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS IN ASIA CREATING ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT MODELS FOR ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND INCLUSION

Date: March 20, 2021 (Saturday).

The grassroots are not passive bystanders in the onslaught of unjust economic arrangements which tend to favour big business. Local communities largely led by the women have been instrumental in reserving this trend through collective action, partnership and cooperation. These are not isolated stories or experiences. However dominant businesses and public officials are not recognising the full potential of these alternatives.

This panel highlights grassroots movements making a change improving the policy environment and enlarging the wealth at the bottom of the pyramid. Case studies are chosen from three Asian countries namely Indonesia, Philippines and India. There is an attempt to draw analysis from an SDG framework where the call is a for a balance commitment to socio, economic and environmental concerns.

THE OBJECTIVES

  • To highlight the resilience of grassroots movement, majority led by women who are addressing economic injustice by creating alternative economic models.

  • To share 2 country case studies on how the grassroots movements in India and the Philippines show case this counter- economic models where these people are taking control of the means of producing, marketing and enhancing the fruit of their labour

Two resource persons will reflect on how these grassroots action is collective action for economic justice as well as impacting local economics and policies of the governments towards create locations and decentralization.

PANEL

ROUND ONE: Case studies of alternative movements from the grassroots

ROUND TWO: Grassroots people movements and reflections on peoples movements & solidarity economy

Panel Moderator: Dr Denison Jayasooria (Malaysia) Chair of ASEC) provides an Overview of SSE and SDGs as well as draw lessons from the 4 presentation +on grassroots mobilisation for economic justice and inclusion.

Report

ASEC hosted a side event at the Asia Pacific People Forum on Sustainable Development on the theme “Grassroots movements in Asia, creating alternative development models for economic justice and inclusion”. The event was held on March 20, 2021 from 4.00pm to 6pm (Bangkok time) and was an online conversation. A total of 44 people participated. There was a panel of four speakers and participation of those present.

We started by hearing two cases studies on how rural women in South India and urban informal sector women in Manila organised themselves into self-help groups, social and community enterprises, thereby enhancing their potential as social movements in addressing poverty, economic exclusion and exploitation.

These concerns were well articulated by Mr Kumar Loganatha (India), who spoke on the collective empowerment of women through self-help groups and cooperatives from the ASSEFA Model, Madurai, South India working in over 10,000 villages impacting 1.7 million families. Ms Josephine ‘Olive’ C. Parilla (Philippines) President of PATAMABA WISE representing women workers in the informal sector enterprise illustrated the dynamics, resilience of women in charting through challenges and enhancing their potential by reaching out to over 70,000 women .

National, regional and global concerns on rise of neo liberal policies, the cut down on state funding for services, the rising inequalities and the shrinking democratic space were discussed by Dr Eri Trinurini Adhi (Indonesia) and Professor Emeritus Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo (Philipinese).

See here the whole ASEC report on side event : Grassroots Movements & Solidarity Economy in Asia