GEAG has engaged itself in various types of advocacy initiatives like policy advocacy, evidence-based advocacy and so on. One of the important components of advocacy has been the rights based advocacy by organising campaigns on two main issues:
Small and marginal and women farmers
Small and marginal farmers, comprising about 72 percent of the agrarian workforce of UP, are a neglected lot. GEAG’s efforts range from trying to securing land rights for them, especially women farmers, so that they get due entitlements and can secure livelihoods through sustainable agriculture. In this direction, GEAG has developed models of agriculture which are economically, socially and ecologically viable which are being taken up in advocacy with the government. GEAG has also helped the farmers to unionise by forming the Laghu Seemant Krishak Morcha (LSKM), registered under the Trade Union Act and the membership has crossed 2 lakhs farmers. Additionally, there is a network of NGOs working on Sustainable Agriculture (SAN-UP) which is being coordinated by GEAG. GEAG is also advocating for efforts which can help in building resilience to climate change resilience so that the farming community can better prepare themselves to withstand the risks and shocks of disasters.
Rights and Interests of Woman Farmers
Promoting gender equity is a central pivot of GEAG’s efforts. In order to advocate for the land and property rights of woman farmers, their recognition as a ‘farmer’ and their overall empowerment, GEAG launched a campaign titled – “Aaroh” which is spread in 70 districts of UP and spearheaded by nodal NGOs in five regions (Western, Ruhelkhand, Vindhya-Kaimur, Eastern and Central)
Climate change resilience
Gorakhpur city is subjected to chronic flooding and waterlogging situations which is an impact of climatic changes taking place. The urban poor residing in the low lying areas of the city are a neglected lot and become even more vulnerable in times of flood and waterlogging situations. The Ramgarh Lake in the city is a means of livelihoods for many such urban poor people. But unfortunately, the lake is under threats because of the increasing urbanisation. To save the dying lake, GEAG has been constantly advocating for protecting this lake through several research studies, campaigns and so on. Our advocacy efforts succeeded to the extent that the Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation (GMC) partnered with GEAG in our efforts to save the Ramgarh Lake. The GMC drew up plans and was successful in mobilizing funds from the central government to rejuvenate the lake.