A one-track, single-event notion of revolution must also be discarded because it leads to the complete neglect of crucial nitty-gritty detail that forms the heart of the transformation we dream of. It is this dry spadework that also contains solutions to immediate distress. Running mid-day meals in schools under active supervision of mothers, local people managing sanitation and drinking water systems, social audits in vibrant gram sabhas, participatory planning for watershed works, women leading federations of SHGs and workers running industrially safe, non-polluting factories as participant shareholders – all these and many more are the immediate, unfinished, feasible tasks of an ongoing struggle for change.
What is recognised, however, is that the participation of small and marginal farmers as isolated individuals in the marketplace has been a source of great exploitation and injustice for them. The idea, therefore, is to build powerful corporate institutions of the poor, led by women, who would be able to better compete in the market on the basis of their collective economic power. These include federations of women’s SHGs and producer companies. This kind of work, although still in its infancy, has already shown great promise in lifting the poorest people of our country out of poverty as they come to the market as both powerful producers and consumers