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COVA organises training sessions to contain communal riots in AP
The ToT (Training of Trainers) Program on 'Mobilising Communities to Prevent Riots', organised by Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA) for members of Hyderabad Peace Coalition on November 18, was a success with over 30 committed people from diverse backgrounds participating despite being intimated at a very short notice.

AS MOST participants gave an encouraging feedback and showed interest in undergoing the entire Peace Alliance Partners (PAP) programme of six sessions (of which “Mobilising Communities” is one session), it was agreed to conduct the sessions on 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month for the next 3 months from 10 am to 1 pm at Oxford Grammar School, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad.

For those who missed out the first session last Sunday, there will a repeat on November 25 from 10 am to 1 pm at Oxford school.

The PAP programme trains participants in mobilising local communities to prevent conflicts and promote cooperation between different communities residing in an area; understanding and overcoming personal and organisations' bias that leads to communal and discriminatory behavior; strategies and actions to be undertaken before, during and after a riot situation; and deconstructing the political dynamics behind any conflict to work for its containment.

COVA executive director, Mazher Hussain said that they expect these conflicts to go on intermittently till 2014 - the next General Elections - not just in Hyderabad but in some other towns and villages of Andhra Pradesh as well. COVA has prepared a list of 45 sensitive localities in Hyderabad and 120 in different districts of the state - mostly in Telangana and Rayalaseema regions - that are vulnerable and could witness instigation of some conflicts. “Hence we all need to do whatever we can to address this issue and contain this menace,” Hussain said in a press release.

Besides working in communally sensitive areas, he said it is equally important to work with the educated middle and upper classes who seem to be becoming more and more communal by the day and the PAP programme also trains in working with these segments of society.

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