Book notice: Hope in sight

Improving People's Lives: Lessons in Empowerment from Asia, edited by Mukul Sharma

Published: Wednesday 15 October 2003

-- Improving People's Lives: Lessons in Empowerment from Asia Editor: Mukul Sharma The Commonwealth Foundation 210+10 pp Rs 280

Widely divergent in terms of their socio-political, cultural and economic experiences and realities, the countries of the Asian continent, and the non-governmental organisations (ngos) working there, have a set of common concerns to address -- rural development, community organisation and women's empowerment. Successful developmental initiatives and strategies form the subject matter of this book. A product of the Commonwealth Foundation's second ngo Documentation Fellowship Programme, it features "subjective, objective and reflective accounts" of four ngos and their developmental techniques in select Asian countries. In the face of "economic growth [that] has actually succeeded in dehumanizing society...[where] many feel more victimized than benefited", these reports of people's empowerment -- of the rural poor in Pakistan, plantation workers in Sri Lanka, marginalised women in Malaysia and civil society groups in India -- sound very encouraging indeed.

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