Ekta Parishad is a grass-roots movement that has campaigned for the rights of the poorest members of the population – the landless and the indigenous population – in Central and Southern India since 1991. More than two thirds of the population of India live on the land and want to continue to do so. This will only be possible if the land laws are protected and access to vital resources, such as land, forests and drinking water is not endangered by corruption and major projects instigated by the government or international companies.
The work of Ekta Parishad is committed to the principles of truth, justice and non-violent resistance. The approximately 400 activists are mainly residents of the affected villages which they are working for. Ekta Parishad, which is active in more than twelve Indian member states, organises peaceful protest marches and petitions for the attention of political committees, and works on projects with the local population – mainly women – aimed at economic development. About 150,000 individuals in more than 5,000 villages work together with Ekta Parishad. Janadesh 2007, the march involving 25,000 affected people walking a distance of more than 300 kilometres from Gwalior to Delhi ensured that Ekta Parishad placed basic land reform in India on the political agenda.