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Peace Building Programs

Location: Kandhamal District and Bhubaneswar, Odisha

The otherwise-peaceful state of Odisha has seen a spate of unprecedented communal violence in recent times, followed by a spurt of Left-wing extremism in different parts of the state. SNEH has initiated strategic peace-education interventions for school and college students in Bhubaneswar, and in the Kandhamal district of Odisha (the latter, following communal conflicts in Kandhamal in 2008). SNEH also conducts peace-building programs for slum communities in Bhubaneswar, and is an active member of the state-level citizen’s forum, ‘Odisha Nagarika Samaj’.

SNEH’s Centre for Peace and Non-violence in Bhubaneswar, called ‘SAMPRITI’, functions as a training-cum-resource centre for peacebuilding and reconciliation in the state. ‘SAMPRITI’ has a library stocked with resource materials like books, journals and research papers on peace and conflict studies. The Centre also provides a platform for regular interfacing among scholars, academics and activists who are also available for consultation and information-sharing on issues related to social unrest, violence and communal strife. At the time of social unrest and communal conflicts SNEH mobilizes the peace builders of the state to rush to the problem areas to diffuse tension and violence and usher in peace and normalcy. Training programs on various peace building and conflict resolution aspects are organized regularly for different stake holders at SAMPRITI.

SNEH has been working with the violence prone marginalized slum community in Bhubaneswar to minimize domestic violence and restore family peace. The slum youths are also mobilized through various sporting and cultural activities to wean them away from violence. SNEH has been organizing various training programs for slum women, community leaders, youths and adolescent girls and boys on peace building and conflict resolution in SAMPRITI.

Keeping in mind the growing violence and strife on educational campuses, SNEH has initiated peace-building and conflict-resolution activities by involving students from the various colleges of Bhubaneswar since 2010. Young MSW students undergo a series of training programs on peace-building and conflict-resolution. They subsequently work as peace ambassadors in their respective colleges, and in society in general.