ExcellenceIn Citizen Power

Jhatkaa “झटका” is a new campaigning organisation committed to building grassroots citizen power across India in effective and innovative ways enabling people to act as the tipping point on an issue.

Jhatkaa’s Mission

An inclusive, sustainable, and equitable India, built and maintained through the democratic power of an engaged citizenry. We aim to advocate solutions based on 21st century realities and transform the public narrative on citizenship and democracy.

VOICE OF THE UNHEARDLeaders in Grassroots Mobilization

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Jhatkaa looks for moments where the members’ passion for justice in inclusivity, sustainability, and equality match an opportunity to make a difference. Whether it is an urgent parliamentary vote on a land acquisition bill or an outbreak of ethnic violence between native communities and immigrant refugees, Jhatkaa is at the forefront mobilizing the citizens to have their voice heard. There are some instances where these moments can be completely reactive such as working around the clock to put meaningful action in front of members in response to breaking news. In other instances, actions can be part of a more proactive strategy. For example, the Jhatkaa team may be working with allies for weeks or months to prepare a response to an anticipated crisis or to precipitate an opportunity. This combination of proactive and reactive actions enables the team to strike the balance between taking timely, leveraged action and still making concerted progress towards strategically significant goals.

OUR MILESTONESSustainable Collective Action With Positive Results

  • Governor of Karnataka Defends Open Space

    Over 11,000 Jhatkaa members signed the petition asking Karnataka Governor Vala to stall the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which would have reduced public spaces like gardens and parks by 5%. The governor did just that and sent the bill back to the legislature for review.

  • Plans for a Steel Flyover Cancelled

    More than 1.6 lakh Jhatkaa members took action on our campaign asking the government to look at all alternatives before cutting trees for development purposes. The government decided not to go ahead with the dreaded steel flyover, thus saving more than 800 big and beautiful trees.

  • Ban on Emergency Contraceptive Pills Lifted

    Jhatkaa members signed a petition ot lift the ban on emergency contraceptive pills in Tamil Nadu. The state’s Drug Control Director has submitted a proposal to the Center asking them to ensure that ECPs are available over the counter across India by moving them from Schedule H to Schedule K of the Drugs Act.

  • Unilever Agrees to Compensate Ex-Workers After 15 years

    Eight months after Jhatkaa and the Chennai Solidarity Group launched the viral “Kodaikanal Won’t” music video and petition, Hindustan Unilever agreed to compensate 951 of their ex-workers in Kodaikanal after they were poisoned with mercury pollution from the factory.

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Jhatkaa in the News: Press Hits

Residents Restart Campaign Against Compost Plant

An online petition has been started, which got over 3,5000 signatures until now. The petition is addressed to the Chief Minister and BBMP officials. The petition states that while the plant was meant to process 70 tons of waste, it currently receives about 300 tons.

Air Pollution: Going the Dehli Way?

Bhavik Lathia, Campaigns Manager of Jhatkaa.org states, “We have a long way to go when it comes to public awareness, but I’m really optimistic. Jhatkaa is a public mobilization group and people are increasingly on mobile phones. We launched a platform called Air Alert where anyone can start a campaign on air pollution.”

New Space for Marginalized Voices

In Kondaikanal, India, hundreds of workers were affected by mercury exposure at what used to be Hindustan Unilever thermometer factory. Jhatkaa, a non-partisan group that uses digital technology to mobilize Indian citizens to hold decision makers accountable, decided to take on Unilever – a corporation worth billions.

Our Impact at a glanceCollective Impact & Local Collaboration.

Jhatkaa collaborates with civil society to engage citizens to hold corporate, cultural, and government leaders accountable in real time at key decision moments through various digital communication platforms.

Why do we need Jhatkaa ?

There is no group doing what we’re proposing to do. India already has hundreds of thousands of NGOs and local movements speaking up for an inclusive society, a sustainable planet, human rights and accountable politics, but hardly any of them capitalise on digital technology for advocacy in the way we propose. Our unique value add is not expertise on a particular issue, nor is it another petition or social media service that helps groups function online. Our unique service is building a constantly growing army of engaged citizens in the millions who are ready to take action online and on the ground to make India a more democratic, sustainable, inclusive and equitable country.

How does Jhatkaa decide on what issues to campaign on ?

We look for moments where our members’ passions for justice in inclusivity, sustainability, and equality match a real opportunity to make a difference. When we find such opportunities we first consult experts in the field - this could be NGOs, government officials, academics and grassroots workers. After we formulate an appropriate campaign we test it out with a subset of our membership to see if they are excited about it and if it is being picked up by the public more broadly. If it is of interest to citizens then we run it, if people aren’t interested in it, we move on to try something new.

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