The idea of Anthropology without borders stemmed from the Questions: What is the acceptance of anthropological opinion in India and South Asia? What projects have anthropologists worked on? Where can Anthropologists fit/work in the society, beyond academia?
As a response to these questions, the Indian Anthropological Association, taking cue from the ASF, decided to set up ‘Anthropology without Borders’ – a network of professional Anthropologists as well as like minded organisations from India and South Asia that seeks to establish a link between groups seeking anthropological specialists who can act as critical readers, analysts, and reviewers of reports and documents to which such groups may not have access to otherwise. Anthropology by virtue of being rooted in the field and with access to people’s knowledge, can help in critically examining policy documents, reports, as well as lending a voice to the people themselves in different spheres.
Some of the areas within which Anthropologists have already established themselves like studies linked to migration, resettlement and rehabilitation, resource use, etc. could be the basis of beginning a relationship with non-governmental organisations as well as civil society groups that might need help in nuancing their work.
The experts would offer their advice to communities without charge on projects, get involved in community projects –research and/or development for a feasible duration. The main idea is to work for the community, to give something back and inculcate a voluntary work spirit among students through hands on, practical experience of working on community projects. The vision is to serve multiple goals – bringing water, sanitation, education; reviewing papers/interventions, policy for people; share stories, best practices, lessons learned as well as to grow as a community. The idea is also to make anthropological knowledge accessible to people regardless of boundaries and foster a feeling of community.
1. Cooperate for fair and sustainable development initiatives in active collaboration with disadvantaged people or communities. This process shall follow principles of human solidarity, non- discrimination and will be aimed at promoting self-sufficiency among civil society actors and groups;
2. Foster the socially responsible role of anthropologists and professionals;
3. Identify, disseminate and work alongside public institutions, multilateral organisations and private sector’s policies, programmes and sustainable socio-economic systems fostering social equity and inclusion
4. Promote the facilitation of trans-national dialogues and long-term partnerships with and within the less affluent countries;
5. Support participatory, democratic, multicultural and interdisciplinary processes and approaches in strengthening community solidarity as a factor of rural and urban social development;
Activities in the future:
(1) developing a forum on the Internet that would allow for the collaboration of anthropologists in different parts of the world and/or subfields;
(2) creating a system of information/informatics to promote participation opportunities for anthropologists (students, active scholars, retired anthropologists); and
(3) creating a reference database of “experts” who can be mobilized and are available to offer help in legal matters.
(4) form a platform for exchange of ideas, work, pictures, etc. through individual membership plus chapters in universities
(5) Incorporate member and groups into the fold
(6) Fix the Governing Laws for the Anthropologists without Borders
President - Prof. Soumendra Patnaik,
(Responsible for overseeing the functioning of the AWB)
Secretary General – Supriya Singh
(Incharge of the day-to-day functioning of AWB- administration, membership, outreach, execution of work)
Academic Council – Prof. Anup Kapoor, Prof. Nilika Mehrotra, Prof. Sukant Chaudhary, Prof. Avinash Kumar, Dr. Manoj Singh, Dr. Avitoli Zhimo.
(To act as Advisory body as well as to review the work from time to time)
1. Regional committees – north, south, central, east and west.
2. Policy analysis
3. Legal advisory
4. Outreach and Public Relations
(to look after different aspects covered under AWB)
Suggestions are invited from general public, policy makers, NGOs and civil society leaders to strengthen AWB, widen its activities, establish new linkages and defining existing and new work spheres.