NAVSARJAN Xavier’s Cell for Human Development was established in 1986 under the Bombay Public Trust Act of 1950 and works under the aegis of Gujarat Jesuits.
The overarching goal of NAVSARJAN is to work towards improvement of urban governance and inclusive development with special focus on empowerment of women, children, communities and unorganised and seasonal migrant labourers.
The organisation approach to work and interventions with community based organisations (CBOs) and communities is right based. NAVSARJAN accompanies communities in their process of empowerment where people have the opportunity to realize their potential, their rights as citizens and contribute to wellbeing of themselves and others in the community.
The NAVSARJAN’s thematic areas of interventions are -
1) Women Empowerment, gender equality and community development through community based women’s organisations,
2) Child rights, safety and development,
3) Unorganised workers and seasonal migrant Labourers in the city
4) Free legal aid to support the marginalised communities especially the women and children.
Navsarjan envisions an egalitarian society, country and the world based on JUSTICE, freed of discrimination, marginalization of people and communities. It visions a society which values wellbeing of all, where all have equal opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute to the well-being of communities, country and the environment around. We dream of global citizenship for all with rights and responsibilities to respect, restore, develop and make our planet sustainable for all beings.
NAVSARJAN’s mission is to accompany the poor, marginalized and discriminated by working with the community-based organisations of the marginalized in their efforts to live a dignified and inclusive life as responsive citizens of India through promotion of human and constitutional rights.
Our strategy is educational in nature namely the interventions we design and implement are educative for NAVSARJAN as an organisation, communities and people with whom we work.
1) Participation and critical analysis: We believe that our interventions must be grounded in study, research, concrete data, information, analysis and interactions with people. Our interventions and efforts must be informed by critical reflection, thinking and people’s participation at all level.
We believe and make an effort that our need assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of what we do, why we do and how we do are informed with experiences of our people, relevant theories on the subject matter and effective practices available to us.
2) Cooperation and collaboration: We value cooperation and collaboration with like-minded civil society members and organisations. Sharing knowledge, experiences and resources help synergy towards common good.
3) Networking: Networking is important aspect of our efforts and interventions because people matter and others matter. Networking through various platforms and forums help us in advocacy for people’s cause and highlighting their issues with concern authority and people. They also help us in addressing issues and difficulties of communities.
4) Competency, commitment and integrity: Contacting, rapport building, mobilizing, organizing and awareness building are necessary steps towards community development. These steps required competent staff but that is not enough. Competency if not backed and integrated with commitment and constitutional values of equality, justice, democracy and inclusiveness may lead to skewed development. In our collaboration and networking, we do emphasis these values to strengthen authenticity and integrity in our efforts for the cause of the marginalized.
Accountability, transparency and integrity are important ethical values for us and therefore our finance management is well governed and managed by these principles.
Participatory, collaborative and inclusive management to us is more effective and thus the organisation has a team called NAVSARJAN management support team (NMST) which consists of heads of various unites/programmes. The team regularly meets to discuss, reflect and advice the director on issues important to our intervention among people, organisation effectiveness, finance, challenges, networking and any related issues. It meets periodically and anyone of the member can decide to call a meeting as and when s/he thinks there is a need to meet.
Right based approach being integral to our intervention needs articulation here.
What do we mean by Rights based approach?
A right based approach means that individuals and communities should know their rights. It also means that they should be fully supported to participate in the development of policy and practices which affect their lives and to claim rights where necessary. Rights-based approach to development is an approach to development promoted by many development agencies and non-governmental organizations to achieve a positive transformation of power relations among the various development actors.
Right based approach is about empowering people to know and claim their rights and increasing the ability and accountability of individuals and institutions who are responsible for respecting, protecting and fulfilling rights.
This means giving people greater opportunities to participate in shaping the decisions that impact on their human rights. It also means increasing the ability of those with responsibility for fulfilling rights to recognise and know how to respect those rights, and make sure they can be held accountable.
A human rights based approach is about ensuring that both the standards and the principles of human rights are integrated into policymaking as well as the day to day running of organisations.
There are some underlying principles, which are of fundamental importance in applying a human rights based approach in practice. These are:
3) Non-discrimination and equality
4) Empowerment and
5) Compliance to law of the land.