Monday, 1 August 2011


Setu: Centre for Social Knowledge and Action is a non-profit organization based in Ahmedabad and registered as a trust and a society in Gujarat.

Setu, which means bridge in several Indian languages, aims to act as a link between social knowledge and social action. Since its inception in 1982, Setu’s activities have been focused on deprived, oppressed and marginalized communities like Adivasis, Dalits, women and the rural and urban poor of western India. Setu’s efforts are centred around issues of equity and justice, the primacy of local knowledge traditions and community control over natural resources.

Setu’s Grassroots Activities
At the grassroots level, Setu’s activities have been focused on direct action – mobilization and organization of local communities and establishing organizations of marginalized sections of society as well as supporting them to develop local leadership. During the last twenty-eight years, Setu has helped to establish organizations of Dalits, Adivasi women, pastoralists and fishworkers in different parts of Gujarat. While Gujarat is considered one of India’s most affluent states, these communities are yet to benefit from state’s prosperity.

Setu responded to the earthquake of 2001 by constructing 6000 houses for families belonging to marginalized communities. Setu also provided relief to about 1500 Muslim families after the communal violence of 2002 and also conducted public advocacy on the behalf of all victims. Setu has worked extensively with children since 1990, among children in state care, with children affected by earthquake and with children of migrant workers.

Setu has worked extensively in the field of education – running hostels for 600 children of migrant workers, education at the work sites for 1200 migrant children and coaching classes for over 5000 children belonging to marginalized communities. Presently, due to resource limitations, Setu has been compelled to scale down this successful intervention to cover just 400 children. Setu is currently engaged in public advocacy for just and proper implementation of the Right to Education Act in Gujarat.

Setu’s Research and Documentation Activities
Setu has a library of about 8000 books in English, Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi and documents and maintains an extensive newspaper clipping collection on civil and democratic rights, Adivasi and Dalit issues, women's issues, environment, communalism and ethnicity issues. Being the only such collection in western India, it is in great demand and used by scholars, students and activists from India and abroad.

Setu has conducted action research for the United Nations University, Tokyo in the 1980s. For the UNICEF, research and publication was carried out in the 1990s around the issues of girl child and unnatural death of women in Gujarat. During the last decade, research was carried out for the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi on the gender context of girls studying in municipal primary schools in Ahmedabad. Setu has published over 50 books and training materials in Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and English. Members of Setu have also authored books published by leading publishers and have contributed to scholarly journals and are frequently consulted by national and international media on a variety issues. 



1.         Ahmedabad: From Royal City to Megacity, Achyut Yagnik, Suchitra Sheth (Penguin India, 2011)

2.         The Shaping of Modern Gujarat: Plurality, Hindutva and Beyond
            Achyut Yagnik, Suchitra Sheth (Penguin India, 2005)

3.         Creating a Nationality : The Ramjanmabhoomi Movement and Fear of the Self
Ashis Nandy, Achyut Yagnik, Shikha Trivedy, Shail Mayaram (OUP, India, 1996, 1997)

4.         Lush Fields and Parched Throats: The Political Economy of Groundwater in Gujarat
Bela Bhatia, UNU/WIDER, 1992

5.         Micro Action Development and Social Justice: A Study of Small Action Groups of Weaker Sections, Sage, 1990  

6.         Refocussing Praxis (Report of Interaction Programme for Senior Action Researchers in South Asia, UNU-Asian Perspectives, 1987


1.         Contemporary Tribal, Dalit and Women's Movements in Western India
Contributors: Sujata Patel, Sharad Kulkarni, Shaila Satpute, Vibhuti Patel), 1985

2.         Closing Doors: (Study on decline in women workers in textile mills of Ahmedabad)
Renana Jhabvala, 1985

3.         Textile Workers Jobless & Miserable (A Report based on interviews with workers of closed textile mills in Ahmedabad)
Manishi Jani, 1984

4.         Communal Riots in Hyderabad - What the people say (Report of a participatory action research by Andhra Pradesh, Lokayan)
Compiled by Gorrepati Narendranath, 1984

5.         Needs and Rights: An Inquiry into the Grass-roots Approach to Human Rights
            UNU - Programme on Peace and Global Transformation  


1.                   Samanvay ane Satatya (Synthesis and Continuity)
A set of 8 booklets on multiculturalism, 2002

2.         Samajik Nyay mate Lokpervi (Public Advocacy for Social Justice)
            Achyut Yagnik, 1996 

3.         Girna Maldhari:Vipadaona Vanma (Situation of Pastoralists of Gir)
            Chandrasinh Mahida, Ashok Shrimali, 1996 

4.         International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, 1966
Trans: Achyut Yagnik, 1996

5.         International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, 1966
Trans: Achyut Yagnik, 1995 

6.         Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948        
Trans: Achyut Yagnik, 1994

7.         Vihoni: Gramin Gujarathma Vidhavao (Deprived: Widows in Rural Gujarat)
Varsha Bhagat Ganguly, 1994 

8.         Kishorioni Sangathe (With Adolescent Girls)
Varsha Bhagat, 1990, 1991 (2nd ed. published by Commissioner, Women & Child Development, Gujarat)
9.         Gujaratni Balika (Girls of Gujarat)
Achyut Yagnik, 1990

10.        Gujaratma Striona Kamot (Unnatural Deaths of Women in Gujarat)        
Varsha Bhagat, 1990, 1992 (2nd Edition)

11.        Chhevadani Kedie (Articles circulated at first Mahila Milap women's conference)
            Ed: Varsha Bhagat, 1989

12.               Dukaliya Baporno Sangath (Report on drought problems & relief measures)
Chandu Maheriya, 1988

13.               Jan mate Van (Forest for the people)
            Sunderlal Bahuguna
            Trans: Varsha Bhagat, 1987

14.        Vahelee Paradhanu Valonu (Report of a meeting of Social Activists)      
Josef Mekwan, 1986  

15.        Textile Workers Jobless & Miserable (A Report based on interviews with workers of closed textile mills in Ahmedabad)
Manishi Jani, 1984

16.               Kolta: Himalayma Shekata Dalito (Problems of Dalits in Himalaya)
           Kunvar Prasoon, Navin Nautiyal, Bharat Dogra, 1982


Nagardarwaja (City Gates) 1994              Jali (Pierced screens) 1995
Sarovar (Lakes and Ponds) 1996             Chabutra (Bird feeders)  1997
Vahanvatu (Maritime tradition) 1998        Jharokha (Balcony) 1999
Lokvadya (Musical instruments) 2000       Hinchka (Swing) 2001


1.         Vikas ki kimat: Singrauli me visthapan ki Samasya (Problems of resettlement on Singrauli)
Kunvar Prasoon, Navin Nautiyal, Bharat Dogra, 1985

2.                   Vikas, Samata evam Nyay: Udarikaran aur Vaishvikaran ke yug mein Bharat ke Adivasi Samuday (Development, Equity & Justice: India's Adivasi Communities in the Era of Globalisation and Liberalisation - Report of a roundtable), MRG-SETU, 1999

3.         Vikas, Samata evam Nyay: Bharat ke Adivasi Mahila-Balak par Vaishvikaran ka Prabhav (Development, Equity & Justice: Impact of Globalisation on Adivasi Women and Children of India - Report of a roundtable), MRG-SETU, 2002

1.         Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948        
Trans: Nagesh Hatkar, 1994 

2.         International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, 1966
Trans: Nagesh Hatkar, 1995  

3.         International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, 1966
Trans: Nagesh Hatkar, 1996