The Ground-Level Panel comprises 14 members from diverse backgrounds living in poverty and experiencing marginalisation who came together for five days to deliberate on their responses and recommendations to the United Nations High-Level Panel report on the post-2015 global development framework. They were not members of any government, private or non-governmental organisations or associated with any political parties or trade unions. Instead, they drew on their own experiences of marginalisation and exclusion to provide a ‘ground-level’ reality check to the High-Level Panel. The group represented several identities – there were seven women, one transgender and six men in the team, of whom three were children, one was over 60 and eight hailed from rural areas whereas six were from urban areas and nine were landless. The group had four Muslims, one Christian, a free thinker and the rest Hindu. There were six Dalits and three tribals, one person each from a disaster affected and conflict area and three persons with disabilities.
The following are the recommendation of the group after the five day deliberative.
Goal 1: Establish a corruption free society and state:Corruption is all-pervasive. Even national-level movements on corruption have been sidelined by political parties.
Goal 2: Promote Equity: The state shall recognise the need for creating a level-playing field so that everyone has an equal opportunity to realise their dreams. Therefore, there is need for reservation and targeted support, be they are poor, Dalits, tribals, minorities, women, the elderly, transgender, children, slums dwellers and people with disabilities.
Goal 3: Establish robust accountability mechanisms:There should be more transparency in the way that the state works and more information should be made available to the public, free of cost. This needs to build on the right to information and be proactive in sharing information. There should also be better grievance redressal mechanisms. An emphasis should also be placed on collectivisation of people.
Goal 4:Provide identities not doles: Groups that are excluded and marginalised – including the transgender community, people with disabilities, Dalits, religious minorities should all be recognised as equal citizens. Care should be taken to ensure that identities, rather than labels are established.
Goal 5: Create institutional spaces: to promote people’s participation in local governance and policy-making processes.
Goal 6: End discrimination and stigma: based on identities such as caste, language, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion and region.
Goal 7: Abolish such traditions and practices that sustain discrimination in society:as the caste system, dowry system, female foeticide and purdah system.
Goal 8: Create stringent restrictions on the sale and promotion of alcoholic and other addictive substances: and sever the profit motive of the state in the sale of alcohol.
Goal 9: Facilitating awareness, sensitisation and collectivisation of citizens:of all groups of citizens, on issues of excluded and marginalised groups as well as laws and policies. At the same time, create an environment to facilitate the creation of collectives of people to achieve this.
Goal 10: Promote a safe and secure home environment: so that vulnerability at households does not expose family members, especially children, to more risk. It is also important to maintain their emotional health.
Goal 11: Promoting interests of agricultural labourers, poor farmers, peasants, tribals and slum dwellers and their rights: They should be protected from advancing corporate investments on land and resources.
Goal 12: Protect the environment: by creating stringent systems which deter companies and other business establishments from polluting the environment.
Goal 13: Enforce mechanisms to prevent tax evasion by corporates: This tax should be rightfully paid to Governments who can in turn use this for the development of the poor.
Goal 14: Creating and implementing rigidly, such systems that protect workers’ rights, including their minimum wage and social security: for all private enterprises and bring parity between government and private wages.
Goal 15: Promote gender equality and safety in public spaces: this should apply to men, women and transgenders.