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South India

Our vision

Sponsoring Presbyteries:

Visit the Chethana Web site

Celebrating life with dignity in a network of relationship.

Our mission

Enable and equip Adivasis, Dalits, women, sexual minorities, small and marginal farmers and rural artisans to:

  • Challenge and resist homogenization of cultures and systems
  • Reclaim/assert their political, economic, social, and cultural rights
  • Take control over their lives and resources as individuals and communities to fashion an alternative paradigm of life and governance in society.

Chethana’s focus constituencies are the most marginalized communities in India

Chethana is a fellowship including 16 grass root organizations and two movements (Arundhadiar Coordination Forum, Tamil Nadu, and Handloom Weavers’ organization, Andhra Pradesh).

  • Dalits (the untouchables, those who fall outside the four Varnas in the Hindu caste hierarchy)
  • Adivasis (Tribals, Indigenous People)
  • Women: rural, agricultural workers, urban poor
  • Small and marginal farmers
  • Rural artisans: Bamboo workers, handloom weavers

Our perspective

Poverty is not the result of a lack of resources. Poverty is caused by:

  • Unequal access and distribution of resources
  • Lack of relative power and social opportunities
  • Unjust social structures and political organization

Issues addressed

Women demonstraing and holding up Chethana signs.

Women demonstrating in Tamil Nadu for women rights. Photo by Shiamala Baby.

  • Landlessness
  • Land rights
  • Unemployment
  • Migration
  • Land degradation and resource depletion
  • Mechanization
  • Caste discrimination and violence
  • Gender discrimination and violence
  • Globalization

Our goals

  • Just social/economic organization
  • Human rights
  • Concern for the marginal
  • Preservation of the ecosystem
  • Participatory democracy
  • Cultural pluralism
  • Decentralized governance


Critically analyze society while remaining in solidarity with and working along side the vulnerable, disposed and the victims of development; recognize their potential to work towards fulfillment of the mission, pursue interventions of resistance and create alternatives to life, livelihood, identity and governance.

In this process Chethana will work in partnership with state agencies, local governing structures, wider networks, news media, research and academic organizations and international partners.

In the network of Chethana the organizations are spread over the five states in India, with the highest concentration in the two states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, in the Southern part of India.