Projects in South Asia

Find here details on ongoing as well as concluded projects in all of our three main working areas.

 Society

Spaces to Discuss Marxist Theory

How relevant is Marxist thought for us today? The annual international conferences organised by the South Asian University and RLS are devoted to discussing this question and strengthening networks of people from the left political spectrum.

 

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 Labour

Innovative Tools for Migrant Workers

Every year, millions of people in India leave their villages in order to find work in urban areas. Often, they belong to the most deprived and vulnerable social groups. Together with the Society for Labour and Development, RLS supports migrant workers in asserting their rights.

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 Labour

Empowering Migrant Labourers

In rural India, shrinking gains from agriculture forces more and more farmers to look for alternative sources of income. Outside the harvest season, many of them migrate to urban hubs with high hopes, only to find insecure jobs under precarious conditions. Our project partners Prayas and Kislay support migrants as well as their dependents in asserting their constitutionally granted rights. 

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 Agriculture

Sustainable Small-Scale Farming

India’s small-scale farmers are increasingly under stress: shrinking cultivable land, large corporations dominating seed and pesticide markets as well as the effects of climate change make it more and more difficult for Indian farmers to sustain themselves. With the support of RLS, Agragamee develops alternative modes farming with Odisha’s Adivasi communities to achieve food sovereignty and sustainable resource management.

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 Society

Documenting Social Exclusion

Despite considerable economic growth in recent years, many of India’s citizens still struggle to get access to basic public goods. Our partner, the Centre for Equity Studies, examines how state institutions fail to provide equal access to necessities like healthcare, sanitation and safe working conditions. Which groups are especially vulnerable to exclusion? How do different dimensions of exclusion reinforce each other? 

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 Agriculture

Workshop on forest rights, Rayagada District (Photo: RLS)

Strengthening Food Sovereignty

More than one fifth of Odisha’s population belongs to different Adivasi communities and the majority of them live below the poverty line. Being mostly dependent on small-scale farming and forest resources, they are especially vulnerable environmental changes. Together with Adivasi communities, RLS’s partner Living Farms develops alternative, sustainable farming methods to strengthen their food sovereignty.

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 Society

Welcome to India!

India Looks East

For a long time, India did not pay much attention to its eastern neighbours and had a difficult relationship with China. Since the late 1990s however, India has begun to increase its engagement and seeks to foster strategic relations with countries in South East Asia. This “Look East” policy aims at strengthening India’s position as a regional power and providing a counterweight to the influence of China. Our project is looking at consequences and outcomes from this policy for South Asia.

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 Agriculture

Women in Agriculture

Women in rural areas have especially felt the ramifications of globalisation and economic liberalisation. The research on women in agriculture, however, does not reflect the complex changes that are occurring with respect to their work and livelihood. In order to close this gap, the Foundation of Agrarian Studies is conducting a project that looks at the role of women in rural production systems in India.

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 Society

Social Movements as Actors of Change

The Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal have seen the emergence of various socio-political movements during the second part of the 20th century. Although many of them decisively influenced the course of Indian politics, the social context which allowed them to emerge is still poorly understood. A project funded by RLS and carried out by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (CRG) aims to change this.

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 Agriculture

Independence from Agro-Industry

Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) addresses the difficulties of small-scale farmers and provides them with training on alternative farming practices. The project encourages the farmers to combine traditional farming techniques with recent agricultural developments to secure their food sovereignty as well as independence from agricultural corporations.

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 Agriculture

Promoting Sustainable Farming

For farmers in India, it has become increasingly difficult to earn a living. Our partner Focus on the Global South supports small-scale farmers and advocates for a change in public opinion and policy, so that sustainable forms of agriculture become more viable for the farmers. This allows them to be independent from international companies.

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 Society

Promoting the Discourse on Climate Justice

The effects of global climate change are already tangible in South Asia. Those who suffer most from it, are the already marginalised sections of society. To contribute to the discussion on global climate justice, RLS facilitates the exchange of experts on climate change from South Asia and all over the world.

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Marxism is a revolutionary worldview that must always struggle for new revelations. Marxism must abhor nothing so much as the possibility that it becomes congealed in its current form. It is at its best when butting heads in self-criticism, and in historical thunder and lightning, it retains its strength.

Rosa Luxemburg