Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group
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Goals and Objectives

Our Vision

Inclusive, sustainable, equitable growth for all.

Our Mission

To reduce ecological footprints and increase environmental justice through systemic change brought about through partnerships, capacity building at the grassroots, advocacy and research, and sustainable, scalable models on the ground.

Our Context

Chintan was established in December 1999 as a means of addressing issues of sustainable consumption and environmental and social justice. It soon attracted others who wished to create and promote strategies that secured environmental and social justice in a rapidly transforming India.

We believe that it is increasingly critical to work directly with the poor and marginal communities in India and form new kinds of partnerships to move us closer to our vision of an environmentally and socially just world. Our grassroots experience informs all of our work, right up to advocating for better policy at the state and central level. Our work is also informed by several other ongoing dialogues - the Millennium Development Goals, several international conventions, such as the Stockholm Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, the Convention of the Rights of the Child and The Rio Declaration of 1992, which we re-envision in our specific context.

India, along with most of the developing world, is undergoing an extraordinary transformation, driven by both globalization and urbanization. Despite its role as a key player in world affairs, India is home to 300 million people who live on less than a dollar a day. A special characteristic of the urban Indian dynamic is the informal sector that provides essential services that run the city. Given that waste, along with water and energy, are the vital markers of urban viability, Chintan used this as an entry point into the arena of sustainability. We therefore work with hundreds of thousands of informal sector waste-recyclers: waste pickers, waste buyers and waste reprocessors. They ultimately carry the burden of providing critical recycling services to major cities in India, where consumption generates tons of waste every day.

Our Approaches

Our main approaches involve capacity building for green jobs for the informal sector, inclusion of the urban poor in policy making, research and advocacy on issues of environmental justice and environmental governance, helping children working in recycling to phase out and go to school and education and awareness-raising with diverse groups. We work in partnerships, constantly learning and evolving through our work.

Interview with
Robert O. Blake, Jr.

Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Robert O. Blake, Jr. talks to Bharati Chaturvedi on the occasion of Chintan being awarded the first ever Secretary's Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls

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