Sustaining peace, re-building livelihoods: the Gujarat harmony project
In February 2002, a burning train carriage set off some of the worst communal riots in the prosperous state of Gujarat that post-Independence India has ever witnessed. Civil society remained largely silent, partly out of fear, and institutional response was limited. This paper describes how the Gujarat Harmony Project is attempting to reconcile Hindu and Muslim communities who have traditionally been living alongside each other, though not necessarily always in peace. The article focuses especially on the difficult role of women as survivors, actors, and leaders at the community level, and explores their efforts to work through their pain and transform conflict situations. This paper is based on a review of the GHP that I undertook this year. Neither CARE, nor any of the GHP partners, is responsible for, or necessarily in agreement with, the comments made here.
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