CHETHANA is a network of South India based social action groups and community based people's organisations supported by Presbyterian Hunger program (PHP), USA since 1996.
BIRDS, one of the partner organisations of the Net-work, has been acting as financial custodian since the year 2002. Besides financial management, BIRDS also organizes training events for the partner organizations on good accounting practices and FCRA related matters.
CHETHANA Net-work is an autonomous entity and has a General Body constituted of representatives from the member organizations. The General Body elects the National Core team, which is responsible for making administrative decisions, monitoring and reviewing the functioning of the network programs and also the member Organizations.
Chethana focuses on alleviating poverty and hunger by addressing the root causes of hunger such as caste and gender inequalities, landlessness, lack of control over natural resources, and the neo-liberal economic policies. Its mission is to enable and enhance the potential of the marginalized and thus, enable them to take control of their lives as individuals and communities. Human rights, concern for the marginal, preservation of the ecosystem, participatory democracy, cultural pluralism and decentralized governance are acknowledged as core values of Chethana.
CHETHANA seeks to address the issues of hunger and poverty collectively through micro and macro level analysis, advocacy, development of alternative survival strategies and international solidarity.
Land and Livelihood remains the overarching theme. This is derived from a political and cultural understanding of Land as mother earth and the source of life. Life is understood to be organized around a set of values and relationships cantered on land and "Agri-culture"- a culture that respects, sustains and promotes the earth and its ecology. Land rights and land alienation remains fundamental concerns.
- Since 2012, the focus issue of Chethana has been conservation and regeneration of seeds and traditional wisdom subsumed under the general theme: "Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture through Conservation and Regeneration of Traditional Seeds".
- Right based Initiatives address the questions of Landlessness, Land alienation, Livelihood Rights and ownership, control and management of Natural resources by mobilising and organising people around these issues by creating public awareness, legal actions, and influencing legislations through advocacy and lobbying.
- Alternative Livelihood Initiatives: While improving small farm productivity, concurrent attention must be paid to on-farm and non-farm employment which has a base in the natural resources specific to an area. Alternative Livelihood program is aimed at promoting an agro-processing, agro-business and non-farm employment revolution in the rural areas with small women's groups as the basic unit of operation.
- Despite diversity in language, religion and caste, the CHETHANA remains as a "Family"committed to each other.
- When the general culture is very much authoritarian, CHETHANA has been successful in maintaining a democratic and participatory form of administration and functioning. While secular and pluralistic, there is a general acceptance of a Spirituality based on respect for life and its inter-dependence and inter-connectedness, values of sustainability and justice, and an acknowledgment of a higher calling that transcends one's own self and the present.
- Most of the network partner groups have been involved in sustainable agricultural practices and have a knowledge base which they can share with others.
- There are groups with strong national linkages, political perspective, action strategy and technical knowledge who can help other groups with their knowledge and expertise. One of our own groups will be acting as Technical Support Group (TSG) for seed conservation and regeneration program.
- Chethana has linkages with CSOs and people's movements and Social Institutions at the national and regional levels that can support it with theoretical and practical advice and also provide us with synergy to take its campaign agenda to national levels
Chethana Net-Work Governance Structure