Transforming Self and World!

People to People is a social charity in Nagpur, Maharashtra. It helps people from all different backgrounds, ethnicity and religions. Started in 2008 by the initiative of Tejadhamma Khobragade and others, it focuses on women’s empowerment, children’s education and the promotion of community well-being. The charity is guided by the values of Buddhism and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

People to People Society is working in Nagpur India, formed to contribute in Educational, Environmental, Cultural, Health & Social Areas. we working especially in Women Empowerment area by running Self Helf Groups in slums and villages in Nagpur District.

Nagpur is a city of 2.5 million people in eastern Maharashtra. In 1956, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar led a mass conversion of 500,000 Dalit people to Buddhism, at Deekshabhoomi. Since then, the city has been a place of inspiration for the oppressed to educate and agitate for change. The city is also home to the famous Nagpur orange.

Nagpur is located at the exact centre of the Indian peninsula. The city has the Zero Mile Stone locating the geographical centre of India, which was used by the British to measure all distances within the Indian subcontinent

Hinduism is the majority religion in Nagpur city with 59.46% followers. Buddhism is the second most popular religion in Nagpur city with 25.57% following it. In Nagpur city, Islam is followed by 11.95%, Christianity by 1.15%, Jainism by 0.90% and Sikhism by 0.68%. Around 0.10% stated ‘Other Religion’ and approximately 0.20% stated ‘No Particular Religion’

Dr B.R. Abedkar Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 – 6 December 1956), popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar, was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist movement and campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables (Dalits), while also supporting the rights of women and labour. He was independent India’s first law and justice minister, the principal architect of the Constitution of India, and a founding father of the Republic of India.

Ambedkar was a prolific student earning doctorates in economics from both Columbia University and the London School of Economics and gained a reputation as a scholar for his research in law, economics, and political science. In his early career, he was an economist, professor, and lawyer. His later life was marked by his political activities; he became involved in campaigning and negotiations for India’s independence, publishing journals, advocating political rights and social freedom for Dalits, and contributing significantly to the establishment of the state of India. In 1956, he converted to Buddhism initiating mass conversions of Dalits. His work has been continued by his followers in India and supported by the Triratna Buddhist Community, started by Urgyen Sangharakshita

Cast discrimination Ambedkar’s birth in an ‘untouchable’ community made him undergo humiliating experiences. In those days untouchability was deeply entrenched in the minds of the caste Hindus. It did not spare any indigenous population which took its place outside the Varna system. The touch, the shadow, even the voice of the low caste people were deemed to be polluting to the caste- Hindus. At school, like every untouchable child, Ambedkar was a victim of this castes segregation. He was asked to sit away from the upper caste boys and was forbidden from mixing with them. His Sanskrit teacher refused to teach him at all. The other teachers did not touch the notebooks of their ‘untouchable’ pupils; refused to entertain even an oral interaction for fear of getting polluted.

Once Ambedkar and his elder brother were travelling by a bullock cart. They were thrown out by the cartman when he came to know their ‘untouchable’ identity. They could resume the Journey only by paying double the fare. However, his brother had to drive the cart; the cartman followed it on foot. While caste discrimination is technically now illegal in India, discrimination is still prevalent. Dalits are forced to work hazardous low paying jobs, have restricted education opportunities and suffer bureaucratic repression. There is also regular examples of murder and rape of Dalit peoples. People to People is totally against caste discrimination and strives to create a casteless society in India.

Slum Communities & Homeless Families People to People’s operational areas are slum communities and homeless families. Even after the 60 years of independence, they still lack the basic necessities of food, shelter, livelihood and education. There is a lack of water, no sewage or solid waste facilities, lack of public transport, pollution and housing shortages. Infant mortality is as high as it is in rural areas where there are no amenities.to entertain even an oral interaction for fear of getting polluted.

Families live in very narrow alleys that do not allow vehicles (like ambulances and fire trucks) to pass. The lack of routine garbage collection allows rubbish to accumulate in huge quantities. During the rainy season, homes get flooded and waterborne diseases spread. Government hospitals are regularly crowded with slum-dwelling patients.

Many slum dwellers work in the informal economy. This can include street vending, drug dealing, domestic work, and prostitution. In some slums, people even recycle trash for a living. They sell either the odd usable item or strip down broken goods for parts or raw materials. Some are forced into anti-social or illegal activities, just to feed their families. Read More

Women Women are the lowest rung of the social ladder and form the bulk of marginalized groups. They lag behind men on virtually every indicator of social and economic status. The survival of the family becomes the major responsibility for slum and homeless women. To feed their families, they usually find work in unregulated sectors of the economy. As a result of this, harassment is common and their rights are routinely violated. They can also suffer heavily from domestic violence.

A lack of knowledge around health issues is common. This, along with their lower priority in the family, lead women to ignore their illnesses.

People to People’s self-help groups give women access to much-needed information and guidance, on the topics above. The groups have also inspired women to start their own small businesses, through the help of microloans, education and confidence building. This has resulted in more financial resilience for their families, along with a stronger voice in family matters. Read More

Street Children People to People has a long history of helping children through education. We understand that it has the biggest long term impact on their lives and the lives of their families. For parents that have no education themselves, convincing them to send their children to school can be challenging. The children are a source of incoming for their families. They are forced into careers of begging, stealing and child labour.

Tejadhamma, one of the founders of People to People, was one of these children. He had to steal coal with his brothers to feed his family. He had to take on demanding manual labour that still affects his health to this day. But he understood that education was his only way out of poverty and put any spare money he earned towards his schooling. Today he, along with the rest of the People to People team, are working tirelessly to help children escape the cycle of poverty. People to People accomplish this by educating poor families on the importance of schooling, giving scholarships to attend school and providing accommodation in children’s hostels, if required

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