India in the eight decade of Independence has a young demographic that wants quick results and is impatient with the nuances of inclusive and socially just governance. There is a need to re-embed in Indian society the ideals of our republic and work towards making the constitution a living document with the state and its organs functioning as responsible duty bearers, and ensuring that the rights enshrined in the constitution are a reality for every citizen.
This requires a multifaceted approach, working with multiple stakeholders-the state, state mechanisms, private institutions, civil society and communities. The engagement will have to be purposive and continuous. The capacity of each stakeholder will need to be enhanced so that they can fulfil their roles–as duty bearers, service providers, as watchdogs or as active citizens. Multi-actor platforms, system-wide engagement, vertical and horizontal integration, a human rights approach–are all intrinsic needs of this effort. The initiative will need to be informed by the needs at the community level, the constraints in the state mechanisms and the progress in knowledge and innovation by the defenders.
HRF will continue to function as a platform organisation–bringing together these diverse, but vital, components of the system–and also be a backbone support organisation for the democratic action of civil society and community. Platforms will provide space for meaningful interaction of all stakeholders. The support for democratic action will, in addition, include capacity building, evidence building, citizen’s watch, identification of best practice or system gaps, and dissemination. Capacity building will include skills required for each of the above functions and those required (advocacy, negotiation) for meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement.