At the advent of the restoration of democracy in Nepal in 1990 youth had a lot of enthusiasm and hope for the development of society. Many youths were looking for avenues to become a part of social change and reform. Against this backdrop, a group of energetic school teachers and youths conceived an idea of community institution that could inspire and mobilize people, especially youths and take a lead in overcoming deprivation, exploitation and marginalization of people through a process of prudent management and equitable utilization of resources, educating people to take charge of their own development. In 1991 this institution became the "Community Self-Reliance Centre (CSRC)". In 1993, CSRC developed into a fully functional organization following its registration as a Non-Government Organization (NGO) at the District Administration Office of Sindhupalchok district.
Since its establishment, CSRC, a social development organization, has been working for the cause of, as the name suggests, 'community self-reliance' through empowering processes. In its initial years, CSRC supported local people in remote communities of one district in Nepal. The focus then was primarily on non-formal education, group mobilization, for micro-finance, post-literacy income generations programmes and capacity development of women and other vulnerable groups.
In some course of the facilitating those activities, CSRC learnt important lessons, one of which pertained to the structural issue of the root causes of poverty linked with land distribution and its ownership. Landless, land tillers who constitute the majority of people in farming communities were deprived of their basic human rights. They neither own the very land, which they had been cultivating for generations, nor could they benefit judiciously from what they produced. The vicious circle of deprivation and poverty that went on for centuries was too deep-rooted an issue to let it continue unaddressed. CSRC was required to take a firm position whether to merely keep implementing the seemingly important but rather fragmented development initiatives like micro, finance, literacy and non-formal education programmes or to strive to address the bigger structural issue of land reform. Despite the risks involved and the threats received from feudal landlords, CSRC activists with the turn of the new millennium, decided to commit their time and efforts to work with deprived tillers to fight for their basic human rights by ensuring access of land rights. CSRC's engagement in land rights, which began from Sindhupalchok district, has grown into full-fledged national movement to secure rights of rights holders through pro-poor land and agrarian reform. The movement has gone on for 25 years and CSRC takes a pride in experiencing gradual but tangible impacts being made in the lives of the tillers.
Land for land poor farmers and their secure livelihoods.
Level of food sufficiency, level of participation and mobility, level of social status, quality of shelter, level of family income, level of education, level of health.
Simplicity and respect: CSRC believes in simple lifestyle of its members, leaders and staff in their personal and professional lives. CSRC is firmly guided by the principle of mutual respect and valuing each individual equally regardless of gender, class, ethnicity, race, religion or any other dimension.
CSRC strongly believes that every problem has a great solution. Therefore, CSRC does not glorify problems; rather, it strives for advancing alternatives.
CSRC strongly internalizes the significance of people's struggle for their betterment through non-violent means.
Results and Quality:
CSRC justifies its existence only when there are definite and tangible results with assured quality that the intended people can realize. CSRC is guided with the notion of highest possible quality of results as part of its accountability.
CSRC has inspired empathy with people whose fundamental rights have been denied curtailing their capacity to live a dignified life.
CSRC desires to see an egalitarian society with happy people. CSRC sees many structural barriers for people living in poverty and injustice. Therefore, CSRC takes the side of these people firmly to support their cause and mission of being prosperous and dignified citizens.
CSRC believes that self-reliance is fundamental for an individual, family, society and country to lead the sustainable development process. Thus, CSRC strives to become self-reliant in all its behaviors and actions.
Sustainable land use:
CSRC strongly believes that people love the land and environment, and are therefore the best architects to conserve and protect natural resources. They have the wisdom, knowledge and skills to develop and enjoy the benefits of the land in a sustainable way.
Commitment to the promotion and protection of 'all human rights for all'
CSRC believes in the interdependence and universality of all rights and is committed to advancing the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all- women, men and the third gender of all age groups as well as persons with disabilities- without discrimination on any grounds.
CSRC recognizes and respects pluralism and diversity of all ethnic, caste, religious and cultural groups engaged in the land and agrarian rights movement.
Inclusion of people from all socio-cultural walks of life in the processes and decision making structures of the land and agrarian rights movement is central to its success and the realization of land and agrarian rights.
In the struggle for attainment of land and agrarian rights, the movement is committed to adapt non-violent means of protest and expression. The movement relies on building a peaceful social movement as a means to achieve sustainable outcomes.
CSRC believes that fulfilling the aim of a transparent and accountable land administration cannot be realized without commitment to strictly adhere to the principles of Institutional Good Governance.
CSRC is committed to the fundamental principles of democratic practices. The movement strictly reinforces these principles at all levels and during the planning, implementation and monitoring of all activities.
CSRC adheres to the promotion of gender equality between men, women and third gender in all activities implemented to further the land and agrarian rights movement, including in the ownership and control of land.