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A network of grassroots writers and organizations, Charkha works towards strengthening the leadership skills among adolescent girls, youth and social workers in the remotest villages through information, knowledge and development communication tools. Charkha’s Development, Gender and Communication workshops build their understanding of intersectionality that they utilise to highlight the development challenges of the disadvantaged, rural communities conveniently ignored by the mainstream media.

What We Do

Saksham

Adolescent Girls Programme

Girls’ capabilities built to individually and collectively speak up against the social norms that discriminate against them using different forms of communication – poem, articles, cartoons, puppetry, visual storytelling etc. This programme adopts a holistic approach to ensure girls have access to higher education, digital literacy, job opportunities, sports and bodily freedom. The goal is that adolescent girls live free from violence and with freedom to explore and make their own decisions. At present, we are working with over 1200 adolescent girls and young women strengthening their leadership skills.

Ekatra

Community Building Programme

Aims at strengthening the leadership skills among youth from rural areas by building their understanding of development, gender and introducing them to diverse forms of development communication. They utilize these skills to bridge the gap between their communities and the district level government institutions, local organizations and the media to take charge of their own development. We are working directly with disadvantaged, rural communities in around 110 villages in 5 states of India.

Avsar

Growth opportunities for Young leaders

Aims at strengthening the leadership skills among youth from rural areas by building their understanding of development, gender and introducing them to diverse forms of development communication. They utilize these skills to bridge the gap between their communities and the district level government institutions, local organizations and the media to take charge of their own development. We are working directly with disadvantaged, rural communities in around 110 villages in 5 states of India.

Samarpan

Strengthening Grassroots Leadership 

We engage with workers from grassroots organizations who have dedicated several decades to effecting change in regions beset by multiple challenges, utilizing their intrinsic knowledge. However, through our pilot study, we found that these individuals often lack the skills to effectively document their work, highlight issues, and communicate about them. Charkha's intervention aims to enhance the technical knowledge of these grassroots workers by involving them in discussions on intersectional development, feminist approaches and communication tools. This engagement equips them to document their work through writing case studies, best practices, social media posts, articles, visual storytelling, community building exercises etc. At present, we are working with over 60 dedicated social workers from 18 grassroots organizations in Rajasthan.

Where we work

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I am Rukhsar, and I belong to the border district of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. I joined Charkha when I was 14 years old, and it’s been more than a decade since this association began. On the recommendation of my teacher, I attended Charkha’s five-day workshop, where I learned about writing on social issues, and I wrote many articles. I have been writing ever since. I am currently working as a volunteer trainer with Charkha, and I am involved in training more than 20 women writers who are working with me. My writing has not only been a source of self-expression and knowledge development but has also brought about impact in my community and has connected me to the local authorities. Being awarded the Sanjoy Ghose Memorial Award in 2020 further strengthened my motivation to amplify social issues and be the voice for my own rights. Before I joined Charkha, I would be nervous about introducing myself anywhere, but now, I don’t even think twice. Charkha not only gave me the confidence to write but also the confidence to speak and believe in what I have to say. This confidence led me to my dream of becoming a lawyer. Today, I am practising in the Jammu High Court and living my dream every day

Rukhsar Kouser
Mendhar, Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir

16 April 2024

Photography Workshop in Leh, Ladakh

Following the success of last year's Development, Gender, and Media Workshop - Level 1 in Leh, Ladakh, the Charkha team is thrilled to announce the Level 2 workshop at EJM College, Leh. This time, we'll dive deeper into the intersection of development and gender through the lens of photography. Plus, we're adding a playful twist with a Play for Peace facilitator to make learning engaging and fun.

Support Us

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