Thursday, December 22, 2011

Urgent Opening - Secretariat Coordinator, Coalition For GM-Free India

About Coalition: The Coalition for a GM-Free India is a loose, informal network of scores of organizations and individuals from across India, campaigning and advocating to keep India GM-Free, and to shift our farming towards a sustainable path. Consisting of farmers', consumers', environmental, women's and other organizations, this network is opposed to the environmental release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) given the potential adverse health and environmental impacts, in addition to the fact that GMOs also are taking away valuable research and other resources from more lasting solutions.

Given that GMOs and associated IPRs are used by corporations to control and expand their monopolistic markets, we are opposed to GMOs on those grounds too. The Coalition also looks at GM technology as an illustrative case for the need to democratize Science & Technology policy/decision-making, empowering individual citizens to have their right to informed choices.

The Coalition for a GM-Free India has been working since 2006 and is a constantly expanding force of citizens saying NO to GMOs in our food and farming, here in India.

The Coalition is seeking to strengthen its network and stepping up its campaign work and accordingly desires to set up a Secretariat in New Delhi. The Coalition is looking for a Coordinator who will manage the Secretariat, reporting to the Convenor of the network and thereby, taking forward Coalition’s main mandate at the national level, of keeping India GM free.

The Coalition works in close liaison with another civil society network called Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA). The Secretariat Coordinator would be working together with the Coordinator of ASHA.

The desirable qualities expected in the Secretariat Coordinator are:

-- Should be self-driven towards the cause of opposing GM technology and to the larger cause of protecting Indian agriculture;
-- Should be hard-working with the ability to handle the dynamic nature of campaign work having varying workloads from time to time;
-- Should have a flair for networking and ability to building liaisons with similar like-minded groups;
-- Should have a clear understanding of the issues related to GM technology, such as seed sovereignty, environmental hazards, corporate control, loss of biodiversity, etc., along with a fair knowledge of the current status of GM debate in India and its implications in near and long-term future;
-- Should also have a basic understanding as how the GM issue relates to the wider context of Indian agriculture;
-- Should have excellent communication skills in English and Hindi (additional language skills will be good), especially with the need of communicating with various members of the Coalition across the country
-- Should have decent writing skills in English as well as Hindi (any other Indian language is an added advantage of course); and
-- Should have some prior campaign/advocacy experience in the capacity of a full-timer/volunteer (Please elaborate this portion, while sending the application form)

We invite any eligible person who has the passion to work for the cause of making India GM-Free and has the ability to consistently work towards taking the campaign ahead. A graduate/post-graduate degree in the relevant field is preferable, but is not a restriction for applying.

The Role of the Secretariat Coordinator would be the following:

-- To take care of all the work at the Secretariat level, including correspondence with various members and external stakeholders;
-- To enable logistics for any national level workshops, events, direct actions, press conferences, etc. for the campaign work;
-- To take up some campaigning roles on issues of GMOs, seed sovereignty, corporate control over Indian agriculture, safe food, etc. Such campaigning roles would include appropriate research work, lobbying, media outreach, etc.;
-- To work on building outreach programs to reach out to different Student Groups, Citizen Groups, RWAs, Farmer Groups, Other NGOs, etc. with the aim of educating the wider public about the threat from GM technology. This task would require organizing documentary screenings, public consultations, public debates, lecture sessions, etc., along with building a volunteer base for Coalition’s work;
-- To represent Coalition in various fora and events at national level, along with traveling outside Delhi, when needed;
-- To take up work for creation/pooling of appropriate IEC materials for the GM-Free campaign, including collating such materials from different members/groups across several states; and
-- To prepare write-ups, press releases, articles related to the campaign from time to time, along with maintaining blog and website for the purpose of content generation

If you are interested and think that you are an appropriate candidate for this challenging post, kindly send your resumes to Nishank (Mob No: 9015867930) at, with the subject line clearly mentioning ‘Application for Secretariat Coordinator of Coalition for GM-Free India’ by Jan 10th 20. Please also make sure that you send a 750-word note on “Why GM Crops are a threat to Indian agriculture?” along with the application form. Please also provide three references in your resume.

P.S.: We need to fill-up this position as soon as possible, and it would be desirable if the selected candidate can take up the new role, preferably before the end of January 2012.

The Salary for the position of Coordinator is approx. 20K.