Disaster has been one of the key thematic areas of intervention for Madhyanchal forum since its inception in 1996. The unprecedented flood caused by severe rains in Aug 2006 in 22 districts of Madhya Pradesh threw life out of gear. Madhyanchal Forum helped the government screen and identify the beneficiaries for immediate relief. Its members proactively galvanised the government machinery to act quickly for rescue and relief work. A series of consultations among affected families, dialogues with government officials were organised. Its member Janpad played a pivotal role in the process.
Networking & Alliance Building
Networking and alliance building for approach towards community rights has been core to Madhyanchal Forum's strategies. A greater emphasis all these years has been on making alliances of CBOs at the grassroots in the form of institutionalized inter and intra village networks across six states. The existing networks were expanded to inter project area and Panchayat and block level. The CBOs were consolidated for development of norms and processes. Apex body meetings were organized and the representatives discussed on common issues of their villages and chalked out strategies for solving them. Apart from regional networks, there was concrete focus for strengthening issue-based networks. execution of macro issues such as promotion of rural livelihood (NREGA Rally), Governance (Panchyat Policy Analysis), migration of pastoral communities, Disaster Mitigation (Flood relief policy advocacy) measures and social audit.
Study on Gram Sabha
In 2006, Madhyanchal Forum conducted a study on Gram Sabha to make it stronger and more accountable to the people. This massive exercise aimed at presenting Gram sabhas as a strong pillar for sustainable development in the rural areas rekindling the spirit of 93 amendment of Panchyati raj Act. One of the chief recommendations of the study was to ensure that every member of Gram Sabha attends the meetings and remains updated about its functions. The study covered the status of gram sabhas in 30 districts covering 305 gram Panchyats. 8400 respondents were interviewed out of which 35% were women. Respondents included elected Panchayat representatives, Aganwadi worker, school teachers, health workers and forest and gram sabha members. The major objectives of the study were to find out reasons for the low participation of people in gram Sabha, awareness level of elected Panchayat representative and the reach of Panchayats.
The government has a greater role to play in ensuring peoples' access to livelihood resources. They include basic needs, water, food security, employment, sustainable agriculture etc. The people enjoy certain rights related to livelihoods. In order to make people aware of them, Madhyanchal forum organised a series of regional workshops to find out obstructions to the smooth functioning of Right to Information (RTI) and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), which promises 100 days of employment for a family in a year. Four regional workshops each at Dhar, Jhabua, Sahdole, Satna and Padher (Betul) were conducted in which all the stakeholders of the NREGS program were consulted about the status of implementation of the program. District collectors and CEOs were special invitees in these workshops who presented the status report of implementation of the program.
Rozgar Guarantee Samvad Yatra
Madhyanchal Forum undertook an ambitious social audit -cum - awareness generation program covering all 18 districts of Madhya Pradesh which are covered by NREGA. The campaign flagged off by Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Honourable Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, MP in December 2006. The chief objective of the campaign, popularly known as Rozgar Guarantee Samvad Yatra, was to build awareness on NREGA and RTI. The yatra also focused on situational analysis, social audit and submitted a recommendation based on the situational analysis to the government. The campaign highlighted the following issues such as registration as worker and receiving a job card, applying for and receiving work, peoples' participation and control over the planning process, organization of the worksite and measurement of work, payment of wages or payment of unemployment allowance, social audit, monitoring of the complaint and redressal mechanism.
Campaign against GM Crops
In 2017, Madhyanchal Forum partnering with CBO leaders, women federation members and farmers across the state approached the Governor of the Madhya Pradesh to intervene in the matter of GM foods, which was on the verge of obtaining permission for large scale trials and seed production in the state. Madhyanchal Forum also submitted a memorandum demanding government to take precautionary approach related to GM agriculture, given that millions of lives and livelihoods depend on agriculture here in India. Copies of this memorandum were also submitted to the Honorable Chief Minister Madhya pradesh, Agriculture Minister Madhya pradesh and Health minister Madhya Pradesh.
Workshop on Forest Bill 2006
A state level workshop was organized in MP to have deeper understanding on the forest issues and claim holder's entitlement from a policy statement and perspective. 45 participants from forum members and NGO representatives from the tribal areas attended the workshop and land rights movement activist, lawyer, policy analyst and social activist gave the policy input, perspective and experience of campaign for land rights. The campaign highlights the entitlements, role of institutions and the process of claiming land rights under the provision of the act. During the campaign input and assistance was provided to fill claim forms of the claimants, enlighten the members of forest rights committee and gram sabha. Pumplates and posters were distributed among the tribal people to share information and knowledge about the act and entitlements. Village meetings were organized with the CBOs and ederation members to raise public concern and create pressure on the institutions to process the claim forms and access to the benefit. The campaign covered 225 villages with collectives and people's organizations.