An articulate feminist force in Andhra Pradesh that commenced in 1992. A member of National Alliance of Women, National Centre for Advocacy Studies, INSAF Women's Commission and Asian South Pacific Bureau for Adult Education. Registration: Society.
To undertake participatory, socially relevant and action-oriented research on women of all classes and castes, with special emphasis on poor Dalit women and girl children.
Run by a collective, as a free space for all to work on projects and teams of their choice; provides an umbrella to different perspectives and initiatives.
On-going projects - on prostitution and widowhood - has collected material that has to be arranged and analysed; held two workshops with both widowed and single women; conducted a state-wide survey on existing social welfare hostels; brought NGOs and government officials together at meetings to solve the problems that inmates face. Conducts regular press conferences and get-togethers at the district level on gender issues; publishes articles and reports on gender issues in the local press.
Provides legal aid and counselling - listens to women's problems, provides options but lets women choose their action; works with women in two urban slums to process applications and certificates and to admit children to hostels; helps them deal with police cases; has established a presence in basils to deal with the cases of the bastis' women; has set up a tailoring centre for dropout school girls to build up a core of young leaders; bulk-purchased essential food items are supplied at cost price to sangam women; small savings' scheme has helped save Rs12,600 of which Rs10,000 is loaned out in small consumption loans of Rs300/
Rs500 per individual; two women secured bank loans of Rs10,000 each, with Asmita standing surety for Rs20,000.
Cultural events, campaigns and protests -participates in rallies and public meetings organised by NGOs like RADS to protest against violence and abuse of women. Jatras (fairs) reach out to poor urban and rural women at the grassroots via Manila Chaitanya Jatras -events that combine cultural performances like dance and plays with audio-visual material, posters and speeches on their lives and rights. Training and staff development - staff undergo regular training and attend workshops conducted by sister organisations like Association for Improved Management; reaches out to other grassroots organisations via training events; works with staff and village-level organisers of different NGOs in training workshops; conducts training for other NGOs working with poor urban and rural women.
Creates space for women to come together for creative writing, dialogue, analysis and reflection for feminist action on critical issues; provides necessary resources to empower women from underprivileged groups; a context for building solidarity networks with other movements for civil and democratic rights.
Released a series of theoretical feminist writings about Andhra Pradesh that provides an overview on women's struggle; translations; a paper on devdasis; publications in Telegu on subjects as diverse as the anti-arrack movement in Andhra Pradesh to a report on two decades of women's movements in India.
Pinnacle Award for creative and conceptual excellence instituted by DDB Needham - International Advertising Network Agency for Womanscape (Mahilavarnam). Plans To develop a feminist perspective, capability, efficiency in young women to bring second-line leadership into the mainstream.