In the build up to Independence Day last year, the national flag became a huge rallying point with the government’s ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign. This Republic Day, a network of 119 organisations and individuals are trying to make the Preamble to the Constitution of India a similar rallying point, and connect it to our everyday lives through a “Har Dil Mein Samvidhan” campaign. 

The idea is that for instance, if a village somewhere is not getting drinking water, the villagers can refer to the document, and learn that the right to clean water is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian constitution and nobody can be deprived of it. They can thus petition for it and bring about change.

“We want every Indian to use the constitution as a life guide,” says Ram Pappu, Programme Director of Mission Samriddhi, a social impact enterprise supported by Polaris Foundation, which is funding the ambitious campaign. He describes how this January, Kollam in Kerala became India’s first constitutionally literate district. Over 16 lakh people in the district were educated on various aspects of the Constitution so that with the knowledge of their rights they are empowered. 

While the Constitution with its values of equality, liberty, justice and fraternity has been the bedrock on which India’s growth and aspirations have moved, the sad fact is that a large majority of Indians are simply not aware of their rights and duties. The effort of the Har Dil Mein Sammidhan campaign is to make every district like Kollam.

“It is a year-long campaign and the idea is that by the time we achieve the milestone of 75 years of Republic next year, we would have reached all 763 districts of the country,” says Vinita Gursahani Singh, Managing Trustee, We, The People Abhiyan, one of the key organisations executing the campaign. Some others are CORO India, Samvidhan Pracharak People’s Movement, Teesri Sarkar Abhiyan, Blue Ribbon Movement and Civic Act Foundation.

The facilitators will be using board games, theatre, art, songs and storytelling for people to make the connection between their daily lives and what’s etched in the Constitution. “There will also be videos that unpack the Constitution,” adds Pandey. Ram Pappu says that celebrities will be roped in too to help the campaign pick up steam.

“Knowing the constitution means you can demand accountability from elected representatives and government functionaries,” says Gursahani. “As the prime minister himself said once KYC is also Know Your Constitution,” she concludes.