GRAAM conducts G20 International Conference on Delivering Democracy

The International Conference on Delivering Democracy: Retrospect and Prospect, held in April, in Bengaluru, Karnataka with over 200 participants was the highlight, in among 20+ events organized under the Civil20 G20 Working Group.

GRAAM conducts G20 International Conference on Delivering Democracy

The G20 International Conference on “Delivering Democracy - Retrospect and Prospect'' was held at The Art of Living, Bengaluru. The program was organized by Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement (GRAAM), the India Co-ordinator for the Delivery Democracy Working Group under Civil 20 G20. The program was attended by 250 delegates from 15 states of India. The two-day program, which was also live-streamed on GRAAM's YouTube channel, brought together individuals and civil society organizations from around the world to discuss the significance of democracy in the 21st century.

The event's first day commenced with a Bharatnatyam performance by Dr. Padmaja Suresh and the Atmalaya group, centered on the theme of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.” The inaugural panel also started the proceedings of the conference by lighting the lamp.

The distinguished panel included:
● Sri Sri Ravishankar, Spiritual leader and the founder of The Art of Living;
● Smt. Ritu Khanduri Bhushan, Speaker, Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly
● Dr. R Balasubramanian, Member HR, Capacity Building Commission, Government of India, Founder – GRAAM
● Sri Kiran DM, Sous Sherpa, Civil 20, G20
● Dr. Basavaraju R. Shreshta, National Co-ordinator, Delivering Democracy Working Group, G20 C20 & Executive Director, GRAAM
● Ms. Usha Subramaniam, Deputy Resident Representative, Hans Seidel Foundation.

All the panellists shared their experiences from their specialised domains and gave valuable insights on various topics in Democracy. The event revolved around the major theme of Delivering Democracy- Retrospect and Prospect.

Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji drew attention to the importance of human values without which democracy cannot thrive or function. He said, “In these trying times we must all come to each other's help and make people have faith in the order of truth and the road to prosperity”.

Smt. Ritu Khanduri Bhushan spoke about women's representation in democracy, stating, “It's time for women to step up and take the lead." Delivering a keynote on ‘Democratising Development in Bharat’, Dr. Balasubramaniam, emphasized that “The protests, the arguments about the absence of democracy, the expression of opinion all define a healthy democracy; democracy isn't just a matter of subject in Parliaments and government bodies, but it is at the core of our society and family.”
During the first session, the esteemed guests inaugurated Delivering Democracy campaigns that aim to bring about a positive change in Indian democracy. The campaigns, namely Shades of Indian Democracy, My Stance on Democracy, Panchayat 20, Campus 20, and CSO 4 Democracy, continued until June 30, 2023.

On the first day, the discussion focused on the importance of including and engaging youth in democracy, with experts discussing current issues faced by youth due to gender, caste, and other reasons. Many solutions to overcome the challenges and enable youth engagement in democracy were proposed. The panelists agreed that the older generation should provide exploratory spaces for youth at all levels to actively participate in policy-making and research and become active participants in democracy.

On the second day, panellists recognized the significance of civil society organizations (CSOs) in promoting transparency laws and other legislations to encourage responsible citizenship. They highlighted the valuable contributions of CSOs such as the transformation of Pratham's work into Nipun Bharat, the development of Dr. Rani and Abhay Bhan's work into the Asha Worker program, and the evolution of Asar foundation's initiatives into Parakh. The discussion also encompassed an array of schemes and tools that could help fortify and enrich the democratic framework. Panellists discussed how both the topics “Responsible Citizenry” and “Responsive Governance” are intertwined and mutually interdependent.

All insights and ideas across the G20 events will surely pave the way for a brighter future.

GRAAM urges all readers to strengthen the theme of G20 2023 "One Earth · One Family · One Future” and strive for just and equitable growth for all in the world.

What's Your Reaction?