Tribal community is the pioneer of Gandhian Swaraj and they have all the solutions to achieve SDGs. Emphasizing the need for community participation in governance, Jayesh Joshi, said this at the UN-High Level Political Forum session 2020 Side Event on “Indigenous Solutions to Achieve SDGs with Accelerated Actions” organized by Vaagdhara. He highlighted the recommendations for the development of the indigenous community which has practiced traditional cultures and who have retained their distinct socio-economic characteristics but have been the least benefitted for decades. Sharing the experiences and the vision of VAAGDHARA, he shared that ensuring rights of the children, sustainable livelihood & food security and upholding the “Tribal Voices” is the strength of Sovereignty which can deliver the best solutions to achieve SDGs.
Echoing Jayesh Joshi’s views Prof. Sudarshan Iyengar, Former Vice-Chancellor – Gujarat Vidyapith and one of the foremost scholars of Gandhi in India said that Gandhian Swaraj is a Sustainable Solution to achieve SDGs. He presented the Gandhian Swaraj as a trinity of “Vyakti, Samishti and Srishti” – Soil, Soul and Society. Professor said that the first two Sustainable Development Goals related to Poverty and Hunger could be fulfilled from Swadeshi and Gram Swaraj. Prof. Iyengar highlighted Mahatma Gandhi’s perspective on Swadeshi with the bottom-up approach having the first focus on the individual, then on neighbourhood, then village, district and so on.
Gagan Sethi, Chairperson of RRA Network, shared his views on the key policy asks from Government enabling indigenous communities to achieve SDGs. He said that there should be a decentralised mechanism for resource distribution. The tribal community should be empowered to decide and allocate resources themselves according to the indigenous needs and conditions. The development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels holds the key to the social and economical development of the indigenous community.