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About IMSE

A society based on egalitarian principles and food sovereignty.

Ending socio-economic exploitation by enabling people to claim and exercise their democratic rights through social movements and participation in democratic decision-making.

The journey so far:

The Institute for Motivating Self Employment (IMSE) started its journey in 1973, being founded by a group of radical students and youth, led by Mr. Biplab Halim, the executive director of the organisation.

Since its inception, IMSE has been trying to organise those living on the margins of society and create awareness among them so that they can raise a collective voice for a better society, free from exploitation.

In the past few decades, the organisation has been able to extend help to more than a million people with its activities. However, the journey has been an arduous one for IMSE which has faced various impediments and had to weather many-a-storm during its long journey.

IMSE's works to strengthen grassroots level governance and effective participation of poor, particularly women, in decision-making process so that they themselves can decide their development priority. IMSE has been able to develop a network of 8000-strong women groups in West Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. The organisation has been able to set up its village-level units in more than 700 villages in Eastern India.

The women's network has successfully promoted gender equality at various strata of society and spread awareness about their basic human rights. IMSE implements Economic Empowerment Programme among 43,000 rural women, living below the poverty line. The grass root level organisation has also been promoting agrarian reforms and their implementation. By doing so, IMSE highlights an alternative development paradigm.

During its journey spanning over more than four decades, IMSE has led several large-scale movements for promotion of unionization among the unorganized workers, against non-implementation of their minimum wages, against eviction of the poor and destruction of their livelihood. Some of IMSE's success stories include large-scale peasant movements in West Bengal for Operation Barga and land reforms in the 70s, anti-eviction resistances by the fisher folk in Bhograi Baliapal in Orissa, anti-eviction movement in Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal in recent times. It has also empowered tribal communities, to a great extent, to assert their claim over Common Pool Resources (CPR) in Dumka, Jharkhand.

It encourages voluntarism among people to organise the deprived sections of society so that they may learn to raise their voices for a just society.


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