Across India (as in the rest of the world), this question is being answered by a multitude of grassroots and policy initiatives: from meeting basic needs in ecologically sensitive ways to decentralised governance and producer-consumer movements, from rethinking urban and rural spaces towards sustainability to struggles for social and economic equity. Unfortunately, documentation and public awareness of such initiatives in India is poor. There are very few attempts to consolidate and present in a cohesive manner, the range of these alternatives.
The Vikalp Sangam website is one response to these gaps. It features alternatives in the full range of human endeavour as they take place in India, and through this to help build bridges amongst them, learn from each other, and together present a challenge to the mainstream system. This is part of a larger process in which the co-host organizations are involved, at networking alternatives in India and internationally.
Alternative initiatives featured here can be practical activities, policies, processes, technologies, and concepts/frameworks. They can be practiced or proposed/propagated by communities, government, civil society organizations, individuals. Vikalp Sangam website showcases grassroots and community initiatives across the country in the areas of environment and ecology, food and water, health and hygiene and livelihoods. It is a platform to share stories of viable alternatives to our country's unequal and unsustainable development paradigm.
Since 2014, Vikalp Sangam has published more than 1700 original and curated articles including perspectives, reaching out to more than 4 lakh people. Vikalp Sangam has published dozens of articles written in Hindi, and republished many articles in several languages including Tamil, Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, and so on (most of the stories and other material linked, published and republished on VS are in English). During the same period, the project has has also documented 20 initiatives as case studies and produced close to 100 videos on alternatives. The website also offers free access to more than 70 pages of resources (audio-visuals, books, articles, reports, newsletter, websites, networks, tools, products & services).