Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha


People should believe that they can change things. It is not about a few activists fighting for other people’s rights. Anybody who has imbibed this understanding should be able to go and fight for their rights.

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“Negotiation has to be in the language of rights. A large mass of people have to imbibe the understanding that this is their right. That is the most difficult.”

CASAM- Center for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalisation

Advocacy is an important component of the work SANGRAM has undertaken since inception. The organization has now started a resource centre that would pool all the knowledge of the grassroots to inform policy at both the national and international level. SANGRAM will continue to work with local self-government at the village and district level.

CASAM, the Center for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalisation is envisaged as a resource that will advocate for the reduction of stigma, violence and harassment of marginalized communities. The centre will advocate for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of people who have been marginalized because they have challenged the dominant norm. The centre will also collect; document and process information on various issues that affect people who are in multiple sex partnerships within and outside a commercial context. The multi – tired model will try and connect the lessons learnt from the grassroots work of SANGRAM to policy advocacy at both the national and international level.

The centre will have four major objectives

  • Collate and build a resource, which will house the knowledge base on issues of stigma and marginalisation
  • Design campaigns against stigma and marginalisation.
  • The center will help bridge, broaden and build coalitions to address issues of stigma and marginalisation.
  • And help capacity building of the marginalized communities to combat stigma and marginalisation.

CASAM will take forward the work that SANGRAM has built over 14 years at the grassroots that has used the rights based approach to advocate for a better livelihood for marginalized communities be they sex workers, men who have sex with men or people living with HIV/AIDS especially women and children.

Advocacy campaigns

At both VAMP and SANGRAM, advocacy is seen as a process that is used at multiple levels – with the various arms of the state, local bodies etc. Since 2000, the sister organizations have participated in two major advocacy campaigns:

  • A national and international campaign around the Nippani incident, in which women in prostitution and sex work were not allowed to hold meetings in their own office
  • A national campaign around the Baina episode, where women in prostitution and sex work were forcibly evicted from their homes and asked to leave the state of Goa
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