Working approach: putting the last first

Though Hirrak Development Center works in vast fields in sustainable development, the unifying thread is its working approach and philosophy that is prevalent in its each Programme. Hirrak Development Center works with and for the weakest and dispossessed sections of rural society in Dera Ghazi Khan and Muzaffar Garh Districts. Most of these groups are comprised of landless tenants, small farmers and women. Owing to unsustainable model of development pursued for last fifty years in the country these weakest and marginalized sections of society continued to suffer significant livelihood losses. Livelihood of rural poor and dispossessed section is very much dependent on access and control over natural resources. So they are adversely affected by gradual and continuous process of ecological degradation. Deforestation, loss of biodiversity and degradation of lands are some of very significant processes that struck the very basis of the livelihoods of these weakest and marginalized sections of society. The process of ecological degradation does not occur naturally. Rather, development policies putting so much emphasis on commercialization of natural resources and giving control to market and corporate sector over natural resources are major causes of ecological degradation. These policies are neither equitable nor environmentally sound. The policies of Green Revolution provide one of the vivid examples of this process resulting into ecological degradation and mounting inequalities. Hirrak Development Center believes to work on two levels. First is the gross –root level where in mobilization and organization of these weakest and marginalized groups facilitate these groups to capture micro –processes of ecological degradation and thus enhance their livelihoods capacities. The second level is macro-level that include policies on diverse natural resources and subsequent social and environmental impacts.Building creative linkages of these micro and macro to strive for reversals so that last could be put first. In other words, ecology and interests of weakest and marginalized groups should be given priority

Hirrak works through profile advocacy for marginalized people like women, small landless farmers, and indigenous people of river Indus with a focus on sustainability and rehabilitation. By organizing them at the platform of Traimet Sanjh (women organization), Haali Sanjh (farmer organization) and Sindho Bachao Tarla(organization of indigenous people near river Indus) for getting their economic, social and cultural rights. The development policy of state is in the favor of rich persons who further dispossess and exclude the poor people from their home, livelihood and they are being made deprived of their rights to education and health. The struggle of poor people from their own platforms has got some achievement and a strategy is being formed to strengthen the poor people organizations by developing their networks, dialogue, demonstrations, training and theater so that they can achieve their basic rights to land and can gain control on livelihood and can get health and educational facilities at the rural level. Learning from gained experience through 10 years and taken motivation from remarkable success, Hirrak will continue to take sides with poor and marginalized people and in developing effective strategies to streamline its work in the coming year 2016