About Us

Welcome to People To People Soceity

About Us

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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.

Nagpur

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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.

Dr B.R. Abedkar

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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

Caste Discrimination

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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 Varnasystem. 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 Sansknt teacher refused to teach him at all. The other teachers did not touch the note books 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 cart man when he came to know their 'untouchable' identity. They could resume theJoumey only by paying double the fare. However, his brother had to drive the cart; the cart man 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

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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.

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.

Even worse is the condition of homeless families. Slum dwellers at least have place to stay and can cover their heads with polythene or bamboo roofs. Homeless families are often forced to take shelter in open drainage pipes or under trees. Their situation becomes very precarious in the rainy season.

Women

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Women are lowest rung of 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 micro loans, education and confidence building. This has resulted in more financial resilience for their families, along with a stronger voice in family matters.

Once women get the right information and skills, they can create their own future. People to People is providing them a platform to get organized, mobilized and demand for their rights.

Other issues that impact women include:

Illiteracy

Lack of Information

Lack of Employable Skills

Unequal Say in Household Matters

Malnutrition

Anemia

Reproductive Tract Infections

Early and Repeated Pregnancies

High Maternal Mortality Rates

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

Children

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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 through educating poor families on the importance of schooling, giving scholarships to attend school and providing accomodation in children’s hostels, if required.