Centre for Equity Studies was founded in August 2000 as an independent organization engaged in research and advocacy on a range of social and economic justice issues in India. They examine the nature and causes of social injustice and inequity that befall the poorest sections of India to find ways to move towards a more equitable, humane and peaceful society. They therefore seek to influence and shape public policy and law in favour of the most disadvantaged communities in India through a range of work, which includes:

  1. Law and Social policy design and advocacy
  2. Research into the interface of disadvantaged people with government, law, policy and programmes
  3. Grassroots engagement to help develop alternatives to existing policy, programmes and laws.

Based on field-level research amongst various marginalized communities in India, the Centre proposes policy changes and engages people across the development spectrum in meaningful debates, including academics, civil servants activists and the communities with whom it works closely. The Centre also plays an implementation role in certain related areas such as homes for street children and health clinics for the homeless.

Website: http://centreforequitystudies.org/

Possible volunteering opportunities

The Centre offers a range of volunteer and internship activities, based on skill-set and interest. CES' current research focuses on the following areas:

  • State response following episodes of mass violence and the impact of such violence on survivors.
  • Condition and lived experience of sewer workers in urban India, state policies and implementation for such workers.
  • Experience, working and living conditions of urban home based workers in India, and a critical look at  the government laws and policies  for such unorganised labour.
  • Desk based research on public funding of higher education in India.
  • Field based ethnographic research on Sahariyas (and possibly other Particularly vulnerable tribal groups), their land holding status, conditions of education, health, and other rights and entitlements.

Ethical values

As a great part of the work of the Centre for Equity Studies centres on direct engagement with marginalised children, women and men, who face hunger, homelessness, caste, communal and gender-based discrimination, volunteers will be expected to adhere to certain organizational ethics - to ensure respectful, egalitarian, responsible and non-extractive engagement.

Preferred skills

  • This placement is NOT suitable for first year undergraduates.
    • Strong research skills;
    • Working with a team;
    • Working to deadlines.

    Approximate cost

    You should expect to spend about £1250 for eight weeks - this covers costs for food and accommodation, as well as local travel. There are no programme fees payable to Camvol.

    In addition to these local costs, volunteers will need to book return flights to India (typically about £550 if booked early), and apply for an entry visa, as required by the Indian High Commission (for visa charges, please check the Indian visa facilitation service website for exact fees).

    Vaccination and other medical costs have NOT been included in estimated costs, and applicants should take this into account while planning their budgets. If you intend to travel for recreation and tourism, these costs will be additional, so please budget accordingly.

    Financial support is available, including Camvol-CMEDT Commonwealth Travelling Scholarships; support from Colleges; and from the University. If selected, the Camvol Director can advise about funding opportunities.