Citizen and Civil Society

A liberal and dynamic democracy is based on the principles of good governance through vigorous participation of informed citizenry. Understanding and reforming the institutions of democracy are essential for its survival and growth. Democratic process incorporates not only voting but also citizen participation and engagement in government. It is this second aspect which most readily offers the opportunity for empowerment by encouraging citizens to care about issues within their community and providing them with a feeling of ownership

There is a mounting disillusionment with government, based on concerns about corruption, lack of responsiveness to the needs of the poor and the absence of a sense of connection with elected representatives and bureaucrats. Citizens need to play a more active part in decisions which affect their lives. In this context, the questions of how citizens, including the poor, express voice and how institutional responsiveness and accountability can be ensured have become paramount. The solution seems to lie in a more active and engaged civil society which can express demands of the citizenry and a more responsive and effective state which can ensure the delivery of needed public services. Advocacy and citizen participation are now widely accepted by civil society and government institutions as means of ensuring greater transparency and accountability.

Rakshak works towards long term goals of responsible and informed citizenry having efficient and implementable public policies backed by good governance. These goals cannot be achieved by funding few specific educational and social projects. Our efforts will complement and amplify the efforts of countless other non-profits working at the grass roots level by helping create more transparency, responsibility and accountability of citizens and administration.