Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on


I get several communications from 'ordinary' people who ask what they can do to REALLY make a difference. Of course this depends on their circumstances and the issues that they want to engage with, but here is what I tend to suggest as a sort of first step:

 1. Expose the wrong doing through the media, letters to the editors, the authorities, tv channels etc. 2. Gather a group of people living close to you, or close to the area you are trying to protect and get them to be part of the 'defence team'. This need not be large, but it must consist of people who care nearly as much as you do. 3. Get someone to take some photographs or video clips so that there is evidence of the wrong doing. 4. Gather any information you can and try and make friends with an 'insider' who may be part of the organisation doing the damage because often they will be happy to part with hard information, if you truly protect them from reprisal. 5. Share your concern and your preliminary findings with credible individuals and groups and offer to be the eyes, ears, and legs for 'next steps' so that these already over-worked people are not merely told: "Go there. You will see a problem. You solve it." 6. FOLLOW THROUGH EVEN IF AT FIRST YOU DO NOT GET MUCH RESPONSE. The people doing damage rely on the fact that "Koi baat nahin... log jaldi hi bhool jayenge." Trust me, even these simple steps are easier said than done.