M.V. Mathew

Ashoka Fellow
Edoor, Kerala, India
Fellow Since 2002


This profile was prepared when M.V. Mathew was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Mathew's program works to enhance people's levels of awareness, empowering even those living in India's remote areas to take control of their own rights. Mathew's broad view draws support from many groups of people, linking a basic human rights agenda to compelling local issues like consumer product safety and protection from police abuse.
His organization, NOCER (the National Organization for Consumer Education and Research), builds coalitions and publishes information to increase attention and involvement for current issues. NOCER's trainings, direct organizing, and publications inform citizens on a wide array of legal protections guaranteed under Indian law. To continue fostering a culture of political awareness and advocacy, NOCER has built a decentralized network of multipurpose centers to enhance work relating to human rights. The centers provide legal aid, serve as an alternative–intermediary–dispute settlement forum, and advocate on a wide variety of social issues that affect the lives of smaller urban and rural communities. The ultimate aim of NOCER's work is to empower local communities by equipping them with necessary legal expertise to solve issues affecting them.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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