The B. V. Foundation for the Promotion of Peace and Harmony was created in 2006 to promote peace in the Visakhapatnam district of India. Our CC holds monthly interfaith meetings, observes religious festivals, and organizes special programs to celebrate United Nations Day, International Day of Peace, and International Day of Nonviolence. We also visit religious sites to promote interreligious understanding and harmony.
The URI Charter Principles and URI's commitment towards religious harmony and global peace attracted different religious groups in our community, and we decided to form our CC in Andhrapradesh, South India. We donate spiritual books of all traditions to the rural libraries. We run a bi-monthly magazine called Satyam (Truth) and we also celebrate different religious festivals.
We were formed at the European URI conference in Dobogoko near Budapest, Hungary in March 2000. Our aim is to organise a conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ""Millenium Rainbow of Mostar"" (English) / ""Mostarska Duga Novog Milenija"" (Bosnian). This event will bring young people together in Mostar, half of them from Bosnia and Herzegovina (of Bosniak, Croatian and Serbian background), the other half from various European countries. The conference programme will be comprised of different elements, e.g. workshops on communication skills; lectures and discussion-groups; a pilgrimage to important places of different traditions in the Mostar-region (Catholic, Muslim, Serbian- Orthodox, Jewish); an art-exhibition, fashion-show and a concert; prayers for peace of all religions involved; trip to seaside; workshop on environmental challenges; ceremony on Mostar-bridge with an inter-religious choir; introduction to URI; and to develop an action-plan for further activities.
Under the direction of Dr. Mumtaz Ali Khan, Executive Director of the Centre for Research and Development of Dalits, the Bangalore CC programs for integration and understanding are helping breakdown the isolation and separation of Muslims. Our chief purpose is to quell inter-religious and inter-cultural violence.
This is the second CC registered in the hi-tech city of India called Bangalore. National integration and unity is our chief goal. We collaborate with Rotary Club, Y.M.C.A and other similar organizations to promote peace and harmony. We regularly attend the Leadership Training under the South India Zone. We deputed two delegates for the TPA training in Peace Building at Kottarakkara and we are thinking of starting a seeding program in Bangalore.
We are working with women and child rights in combating violence against them which is also part of maintaining overall peace in the community and society at large. We have worked with police sensitivity on gender issues and child rights so that women and children get social justice in the hands of the law enforcing agencies. We do advocacy for pro-women and child-friendly policing at all levels. Our future plans will be to coordinate with our South Asian partners and share each other's experiences. Our members advocate for peace and tolerance through their deliberations in various seminars and workshops. Our expectation is to organize a South Asian Regional Seminar at Dhaka and disseminate the purpose and principles of URI more widely in the region.
Our activities started in November and since then we have organized two principal events with the objective to introduce URI’s Purpose and Principles to the community. During the first event, we counted 70 participants representing more than 30 religions. For the second one, more than 500 participants attended and learned about URI. Our objective now is to strengthen the group and reach out, integrating more people and developing projects together with the community.
Be Empowered Through Awareness and Knowledge
The idea of BETHAK-Pakistan was conceptualized by a group of concerned activists and community leaders in October 2004, as non-profitable and non-political organization that would work for the interest of the disadvantaged and marginalized sections of the society by building their capacities through awareness, education and skill based development. BETHAK is an acronym of “Be Empowered Through Awareness & Knowledge”. In Punjabi language the word BETHAK is a distinct stratum of society where people sit on a certain place to discuss their plans and lines of action for the development of a society. Founders keeping in view the plight of the marginalized communities in southern Punjab, Pakistan who had lived for a long time under the situation so oppressive that their capacity for critical consciousness had been silenced. These poor people as small farmers, field workers and daily wages workers were intimately forbidden to think for themselves. They had absorbed an attitude of passivity, submission and self deprivation imposed on them by that culture. BETHAK aimed at making these people aware of their position as a group, so that they could unite and work for positive change which demands love and acceptance of all without any distinction of caste and creed. This is what BETHAK stands for.
BETHAK envisions a society where there is JUSTICE, EQUALITY, PEACE and PROSPERITY for all the members of society to make social change more visible in implementation.
The mission of “BETHAK” is to cover a broad range of activities to eliminate religious, gender, ethnic, racial and all sorts of discrimination and support human development activities and implement a policy of more equitable sharing and distribution of love which can be a common platform for economic, social, and human goals.
GOAL & OBJECTIVES:
Strategy and Approach
BETHAK is actively engaged in “Rights Based” approach for proper human development in all areas of its activities. This approach is based on conviction that each and every human being is a unique individual and has every right to receive respect, protection and help from other members of society for its proper development. A right based approach is not limited to charity or simple economic growth but its activities involve a process of changing systems, actions and priorities to enable and empower people of BETHAK’s target areas in all spheres of human development.
Our strategy is based on:-
Our purpose is to promote values that engender a peaceful society.
Our CC promotes human rights, women's rights, and worker’s rights issues through community workshops, research, and legal assistance.