Akhil Bharatiya Samaj Sewa Sansthan
3. What are the broad aims of an alternative plan?
These need to be articulated clearly keeping in view the priorities on which there is near unanimity - priorities such as reduction of poverty, sustainability of livelihoods based on protection of environment, equality of women, welfare of other forms of life and social harmony.
- In economic development the most important aim should be reduction of poverty. Ideally all people should be in a position to meet their basic needs. Starting from a high level of poverty, we should be looking for a development framework in which percentage of people who can meet their basic needs rises steadily. In other words, trickle-down approach to reducing poverty is rejected in favour of a more direct approach to reducing poverty.
- Protection of environment in the form particularly of protection of farmland, pastures, forests, water-sources and air is the key to the sustenance of life and livelihood. The need for this has increased further in these times of climate change and global warming.
- All forms of injustice against women should be removed and women should be accepted as equal partners in the quest for creating a better world.
- All caste or religion based injustice and discrimination should be removed. Conditions of social harmony should exist in which people of all castes and religions feel secure and capable of realising their potential to create a better world.
- There should be concern for welfare of all forms of life, wild animals, farm animals, in fact all forms of life should be cared for.