PANAJI, JULY 10: Asserting that Zero tolerance to gender related violence is a pre-condition for functioning of the family economy, a civil society pre-BRICS consultative process held here on week-end called upon BRICS nations to take up gender related issues in their countries to provide equal rights to women in political, economic and social spheres.

The civil society will also hold an International Consultation in Delhi in the last week of July.

In the wake of large-scale farm suicides across the nation, the participants recommend that BRICS nation make agriculture as a priority sector, particularly protecting the interest of small and marginal farmers, said the resolution on agriculture.

A regional pre-BRICS civil society consultation held a day-long consultative process to discuss the people’s issues which ought to be taken up by BRICS taking place in Goa under India’s chairmanship, this year.

About 50 members of civil society and social movements from Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Gujarat converged in a regional pre-BRICS civil society consultation organised by National Centre for Advocacy Studies(NCAS), Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA), People’s Budget Initiative (PBI), OXFAM India.

The consultation demanded that India, the host nation should take initiative to institutionalise the civil society BRICS scheduled to be held in New Delhi on October 3-4, so that formal space is opened up at such a crucial event for taking up the voices of civil society upfront. “In the backdrop of jobless growth, and the growth pattern that has led to rising inequality, the development visualised by BRICS nations should be sustainable and should manage the adverse impact of economic growth on environment and be rooted in a human rights framework,” said Amitabh Behar of WNTA.

New Development Bank

Considering the reality that almost 50 per cent of world’s poor live in BRICS countries, the civil society has been engaging with the formation to play a profound role, particularly on how the New Development Bank (NDB), a creation of BRICS countries operates becomes crucial, said the meet. India will host eighth BRICS Summit in Goa from October 15-16.

The objectives of the consultations are to influence the agenda and outcome of BRICS process, influence the process to institutionalise the “Civil BRICS”, and raise awareness among the civil society in India about these global processes and their impact on lives and the economy.

Key recommendations that emerged out of the consultation included that the NDB should invest in agri insurance, agro-credit, agro-processing, etc, to make agri-sector a viable livelihood option for farmers, and called for special investments to sustain the rain-fed agriculture.

Acknowledging that the health and education sectors in India have been hijacked by the private sector due to faulty policies, it demanded that these sectors be treated as essential services and a human right, not as commodities, and called for huge public investments in universal health care and education.

Mining ban in Goa

The meet resolved that mining destroys forest and affects livelihoods of tribal communities and thus it demanded that the ban on mining in Goa should continue.

The cooperative model of mining ownership, in which the community has a stake, was encouraged.

Policy initiatives should be taken in tribal areas to strengthen agriculture and animal husbandry, and forest based products, which sustain the livelihood of tribals. Expressing concern over continuing discrimination against Dalits and minorities in India, it called for State intervention to ensure access of Dalits to rural credit and promote sustainable entrepreneurship.