In regard to achieving the objectives, Dhartee Development Society (DDS) has been engaged in community mobilization, capacity building, research, and advocacy and service delivery programs by adopting right based approach. Following are the main themes of DDS operations.
Community Development is an international concept to enhance capacities and skills of people by applying community participatory approach. This concept considers genuine community participation as an essential element for long-term stain ability of interventions. Community development generally improves lifestyle of people by providing them quality education, health services and skill enhancement whilst community mobilization is the basic tool to ensure community participation in interventions from developing, designing, implementation of project and its monitoring. Community mobilization process empowers all segments of society to organize their own democratically self-governing organizations. Hence, DDS initiated community development intervention in its operational areas. This program is aimed at mobilizing rural communities for taking collective efforts and actions for sustainable development. This program is also aimed at making communities more responsible as they can organize and plan together, empower themselves to reduce ignorance, poverty and create economic opportunities and achieve social, economic, cultural and environmental objectives. In regard with such a process, DDS focuses on formation of grass roots level institutions and strengthen them by providing managerial and technical training and raising awareness on socio-economical and political issues.
DDS is also mainly focused on conservation of the wise use of natural resources which are endangered like (nutrients, minerals, water, plants, animals, etc.) and cultural resources (different groups of people from different parts of the world). It may also include protecting the large collections of resources that make up a habitat or environment. Conservation is important to make certain changes don not happen too quickly. Rapid change can force animals, plants, places, or people to become endangered or extinct.
Environmental degradation is major concern of today world because production of most essential means of survival including food, fodder and fuel is linked with environment and due to its degradation survival is seen at risk at global level. The main factors contributing to degradation and desertification are over human and livestock population. Due to rapid increase in population, consumption patterns have also been changed which consequently put effects in change in traditional practices. Previously, farmers were cultivating 20% of land but now it is 100% under cultivation. This resulted in less production and the land has become unsuitable for crop cultivation. Farmers have also practicing cultivating land by using machines specially tractors rather animals driven cultivation. Due to use of machine and mechanized tools there has been erosion of fertile layer of the land resulting in patches of the white sand and zero germination of any type of vegetation. However, because of increased population, proportionally need more firewood and other purpose wood, which results in cutting more trees. DDS in this regard assists local people to enhance agricultural productivity and prevent desertification and deforestation in arid zones of Sindh through demonstration and training. DDS motivates and mobilizes communities to apply better varieties of seeds, forest plants and livestock. People are given messages of raising small folks of animals which are manageable and more economical to the households. Moreover, DDS has a team of environmental experts who frequently hold meetings with indigenous communities to develop mechanisms, interventions and strategies for preserving, conserving and caring for environment by preventing desertification and deforestation in the arid zones of Sindh. DDS focuses on tree plantation, wild life protection and promotion of sustainable land utilization through organizing seminars, demonstrations and technical guidance. These interventions will be resulted in encouragement of local communities on tree plantation, and protection of their local flora and fauna.
Arid Zones in Sindh are most disaster prone areas and usually hit by droughts which are recurrent phenomenon. Drought produces a large number of impacts that affects the social, environmental, and economical standard of living. Some direct impacts of drought are reduced crop, rangeland, and forest productivity; reduced water levels; increased fire hazard; increased livestock and wildlife death rates. A reduction in crop productivity usually results in less income for farmers, increased prices for food, unemployment, and migration. The many effects of drought can be listed as economic, environmental, or social. Drought is also associated with increases in insect infestations, plant disease, and wind erosion. Droughts may cause problems with insects and diseases to forests. Forest fires increase dramatically during periods of droughts. Farmers are not the only ones who suffer from droughts. Retailers who provide goods and services to farmers must deal with reduced business. This later leads to unemployment and loss of tax revenue for the government. Although drought cannot be reliably predicted, certain precautions can be taken in drought-risk areas. These include construction of reservoirs to hold emergency water supplies, education to avoid over cropping and overgrazing in drought-prone areas. Due to such a common phenomena, DDS considered initiating relief and rehabilitating interventions in disaster prone areas. In this regard, DDS executes relief operations and train people for carrying out work in emergencies.
Women, children and transgender are most deprived, vulnerable and ignorant segments in male dominated society and are in sorry plights and their rights and roles have been rigidly restricted. All these three ignored segment of the society are continued to be treated in many respects as second class persons. They do not have right to separate identity, basic education, health and income generating activities. Nevertheless, they do not enjoy complete range of basic rights of survival. Considering the poor status of children, women, and transgender in society, DDS initiates Women Empowerment & Gender Justice Program (WEGJP) which is aimed at ensuring participation of all segments in development process and providing them equal access to quality education, health services and income generating activities through building their managerial and leadership capacities and enhance vocational skills and raise awareness about fundamental rights to life including right to education, right to health and right information. Advocacy campaigns is basic tool to promote and protect right of ignorant segments of society.
Media is considered the 4th pillar of democracy. It plays a significant role in making public opinion on different socio-economic, political, cultural, environmental, and gender based issues. It is all around us, from talk shows we watch on television, the music we listen on the radio, to the books and magazine we read each days. Electronic Media is one of successful source to achieve a number of different goals ranges from entertaining to educating. Hence, escaping the role of Media and their influence is impossible. Media has given a boost to many development programs by giving proper coverage to them i.e. issues related to rural development and industrial development. It has helped in bringing out many cases of corruption and thus helped in making reforms in administrations. Media offers infotainment to people which means it is not only providing information to people regarding various fields but it is entertaining the people as well. Media also helps people in getting justice as many people approach to Media for justice. Moreover, Media creates awareness among people about their rights and details. In addition to this, a new and refined form of Media has come forward in the technology and it is online Media. It offers loads of information to people. Media is no doubt offering great service to people. Media is just making full use of article 19 which is related to freedom of expression. Considering the importance of the Media, DDS initiates a capacity building program for journalists to accept changes and adopt new patterns in the world of reporting. The program is aimed at enhancing capacities of Journalists through training workshops and engages them in the process of social change.
Enhancing skills and expertise are essential to build a society freed from hunger, degradation, gender discrimination, and any form of bias ness. To get rid of such biases and discrimination advocacy is the first and foremost strategy and tool to influence public opinion about socio-economic, political, cultural and environmental issues. Advocacy is a means to an end, another way to address the problems that organizations are aimed to solve through other programming strategies. Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing those who make policy decision. Hence, DDS through its advocacy campaigns focuses on socio-economic status of people living in arid zones, basic rights of women, children, and transgender, environmental concerns, rehabilitation of disaster hit populations, quality education and provision of basic health services to most vulnerable and deprived folks. In addition, DDS organizes training workshop to enhance capacities and raise awareness. Fundamental principles of organization, leadership skills, community management skills, technical knowledge, and disaster management are the major subjects of training workshop which aimed at promoting tools and enhancing skills to resolve problems effectively.
Human rights record in Pakistan is generally regarded as poor by domestic and international observers. UN Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that a world in which all human beings enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of belief, freedom from want and freedom from fear is the highest aspiration of all humankind. The global community recognized that it is equally essential to ensure that economic or social power does not dispossess the less powerful of their ability to meet their basic needs. However, every child, woman, man and transgender is entitled to enjoy his or her human rights simply by virtue of being human. Considering the violation and exploitation of human rights, DDS initiated to raise voice against this exploitation and unite indigenous communities on one platform to live a life with dignity, respect and honor. Moreover, DDS works for protection and promotion of human rights by getting involvement of all stakeholders including media, NGOs, rural communities, social and political activists into the matter.