Maldhari Rural Action Group

Who we are : About MARAG

In 1994 MARAG took its first steps in two blocks Sayla and Chotila of Surendrangar District in Gujarat. MARAG was established at the time when pastoralists were not recognized as development actors and there was no other organisation working  exclusively with them. Those initial steps today have shaped into a movement of the pastoralists in Gujarat and outside.


MARAG works on a three pillar approach  - 'Right to Governance, Education and Livelihoods' - to fulfill its mission. Working directly all over Gujarat, MARAG also  facilitates networks and alliances nationally and globally.


Unfortunately the second oldest occupation of the world, Pastoralism is on a decline and on verge of extinction at many places. MARAG continues to strive with the pastoralists and their livestock.


Founder Message

founder image

Neeta Pandya

Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Gram Swaraj meant a self-dependent, self-governed and an educated society. MARAG was formed to fulfill this dream. Taking a step forward, MARAG also dreamt that the marginalized are in the decision making to get access and control over common property resources.

In our country, 20 per cent people own 80 per cent resources. This means that 80 per cent of people depend on remaining 20 percent resources. This great inequity leads to undesirable problems and social unrest. Until a vast majority of society are marginalized and its victims, world peace cannot be attained. We believe that a civil society organization's commitment is to promote equity and peace. To achieve this dram, MARAG worked at various levels with the marginalized, children and women. In particular, MARAG focused on the pastoralist community among the marginalized.

The lives of pastoralists is linked to water, land, forest and livestock. Their traditional way of life demonstrates a sustainable living which has become very important in today’s context. On the contrary, this community is pushed out from the mainstream. The commons are grabbed in the name of development. MARAG dream’s to provide a platform so that pastoralists can raise their voice and secure their rights.

MARAG also envisions that women, indigenous peoples, laborers, pastoralists are equally involved in the social change process. Effective policy can result in positive results for our communities. MARAG successfully raised the grassroots issues at the global policy level by creating pressure groups. MARAG was able to take the voice of the marginalized in the global policies for Food, Land, livestock and indigenous peoples. In this process MARAG was also targeted by the government for being anti-national.

Nevertheless MARAG is committed to continue to fight for social equity. MARAG believes in the power of the community and their unity.  We hope that in coming future marginalized will successfully fight for the equitable distribution of common property resources; and through nonviolence and truth we will achieve Swaraj.