The Synodical Board of Social Services (SBSS) is the development board of the Church of North India (CNI). CNI SBSS primarily works with dalits, adivasis, women and children to facilitate socio-economic transformation. CNI SBSS with Diocesan Board of Social Services (DBSS) is involved in the struggles of the communities with the mandate given by CNI Synod based on the Nazareth Manifesto (Luke 4:16-19). CNI SBSS implements its programs through Diocesan Board of Social Services spread across six states of India.
The Eleventh Five Year Plan recognizes that: “A major weakness in the economy is that growth is not perceived as being sufficiently inclusive for many groups, especially population belonging to the SCs, STs, and minorities. Gender inequality also remains a pervasive problem and some of the structural changes taking place have an adverse effect on women.”
In the growth process the Dalits, Adivasis and minorities have lagged behind. Income and Wealth inequality has increased. Keeping in line with India’s commitment to justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as mentioned in Indian Constitution; several Acts, Policies and Schemes were launched since Independence. In the last decade not only the number of such initiatives from State has increased but also the approach has changed more towards recognizing these not just as mere service doling instruments but as instruments for ensuring due entitlements/ rights of people.
CNI SBSS’s program focuses on the following that in turn contributes to the country’s growth:
• Ensure education, health, drinking water and sanitation, rights of dalit and tribal communities.
• Ensure entitlements of communities over government’s Social Security Schemes.
• Access and control over productive livelihood resources.
• Promotion of sustainable livelihood options.
• Building models of Church Mission engagement.
• Local Capacity Building to address issues of rising conflicts.
• Undertake research and studies and disseminate knowledge.