Mahila Abhivrudhi Mattu Samrakshana Samsthe (MASS)

Founded: 1997

Headquarters: Belgaum, Karnataka

Geographical Focus: Karnataka

Lives Impacted: 6,000+

Organization Overview:

Mahila Abhivruddhi Mattu Samrakshna Samsthe (MASS), a membership association of ex-Devadasi* women, was set up with a mission to end the Devadasi practice in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. MASS works with ex-Devadasis from the Dalit community, their children, and other Dalit women and children at risk to secure citizen rights and access to education, livelihoods, and healthcare.

*Devadasi- a social practice, where a young girl is devoted and married to a deity, before she reaches puberty, to act as a caretaker. Recently, this practice has been used to push girls into prostitution.

NGO List

  • Chetna Vikas

    Founded: 1985

    Headquarters: Deoghar, Jharkhand

    Geographical Focus: Jharkhand

    Lives Impacted: 374,000+

    Organization Overview:

    Chetna Vikas was set up by a young team of social activists on the Gandhian principles of Swaraj (Self-Rule). It works with women, children with disabilities and school dropouts, as well as informal labour from tribal communities – Santhal, Birhor, and Kol tribes in the Dumka, Deogarh, and Banka districts of Jharkhand and Bihar. Key focus areas for the organization are livelihood & income generation, youth empowerment, inclusive education and community rehabilitation centres, and resilient child protection governance systems support.

  • Chitrika Foundation

    Founded: 2005

    Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana

    Geographical Focus: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

    Lives Impacted: 405 (weavers)

    Organization Overview:

    Chitrika Foundation supports perishing weaving communities by mobilization, capacitation, and support with tech-based management systems, marketing, and financial services with the aim of enhancing ownership, economic returns, and market procurement.

  • Cod Nerc

    Founded: 2005 

    Geographical Focus: Mizoram  

    Organization Overview:

    Cod Nerc focuses on building community leadership through the collectivization of target communities into Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, Joint Liability Groups, and women’s groups. They focus on building the institutional capacities of such groups, including training in financial management, compliance and strategic planning with the objective of building independent institutions. In addition to this, they have also created pathways for community members to play a key role in decision-making pertaining to Cod Nerc’s programs by forming decision-making groups for each program they run. By mandate, these groups have representation from the communities that these programs serve, along with specialists and staff who take collective decisions on program financing, implementation and planning. 

  • Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project

    Founded: 2019

    Headquarters: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

    Geographical Focus: Madhya Pradesh

    Lives Impacted: 90+

    Organization Overview:

    The Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project (CPA Project) was founded in 2019 as a research and capacity-building intervention. CPA aims to create a society the voices of Bahujan communities are represented and treated with dignity through India’s legal justice system.

  • Dalit Manavadhikar Kendra Samiti (DMKS)

    Founded: 2004

    Headquarters: Jaipur, Rajasthan​

    Geographical Focus: Rajasthan

    Lives Impacted: 200,000+​

    Organization Overview:

    Dalit Manavadhikhar Kendra Samiti (DMKS) founded in 2004 in Jaipur focuses on addressing caste-based violence. The organization works institutionally to combat violence and customary practices prevailing in Rajasthan. DMKS works towards building awareness and agency within the community for impactful implementation of existing laws to bring about social justice and address the unique challenges of vulnerable communities.

  • Darbar Sahitya Sansad (DSS)

    Founded: 1986

    Headquarters: Khordha, Odisha

    Geographical Focus: Odisha

    Lives Impacted: 63,000

    Organization Overview:

    Darbar Sahitya Sansad works in rural Odisha with farmers and migrant workers from tribal communities (Kondh, Lodha and Juang tribes), Dalit, and OBC (Pradhan, Behera, Barik, Ojha, Maharana, Sahoo) communities, with the mission to build their confidence as well as capacity to enhance their socio-economic condition and agency.

  • Deepshikha Samiti

    Founded: 1994

    Headquarters: Delhi

    Geographical Focus: Delhi

    Lives Impacted: 150,000

    Organization Overview:

    Deepshikha Samiti started out under the as part of a collective of community-based organizations, and later became an independent organization with the aim of improving the socioeconomic status of women and the transgender community through policy advocacy, skill development, awareness raising, and community mobilization. 

  • Development Association for Human Advancement (DEHAT)

    Founded: 1989

    Headquarters: Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh

    Geographical Focus: Uttar Pradesh

    Lives Impacted: 200,000

    Organization Overview:

    Development Association for Human Advancement (DEHAT) aims to ensure the right to survival, development, protection, and participation of children and their families in underdeveloped districts of Uttar Pradesh, near the Indo-Nepal border, that are human trafficking hotspots. It works on the thematic areas of child protection, livelihoods, education, and health services, with Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and minority communities in the region.

  • Diksha

    Founded: 2001

    Geographical Focus: West Bengal

    Organization Overview:

    The organization aims to empower children residing in and around red-light areas to break an intergenerational cycle of forced entry into sex work and has created a safe space for children within these vulnerable communities to report any form of distress. Diksha has enabled this through a model focused on building youth leadership who are trained and mentored to become the first points of contact for any child in a situation where they are feeling unsafe. Youth leaders and women’s collectives built by Diksha are now trained to address community issues and sensitive cases independently, especially in areas like Kalighat where sex work is prevalent.

  • Disha


    Geographical Focus: Gujarat

    Organization Overview:

    Disha has created new community-based institutions based on the principles of equity and freedom, where all citizens are empowered stakeholders, thereby able to influence policies that affect their lives and livelihoods. These community-based institutions are robust and actively working to improve the economic and social conditions of marginalized communities, including daily-wage labour, tribals, Dalits, landless persons, and women.

  • Diya Foundation (DF)

    Founded: 2011

    Headquarters: East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya

    Geographical Focus: Assam and Meghalaya

    Lives Impacted: 30,000+

    Organization Overview:

    Diya Foundation came out of the personal experiences of Martin Rabha around violence, tribal drudgery and discrimination faced as a migrant worker’s son. With capacity building as the base approach, it works with pottery makers, fishermen, tea tribes, Rabha and Garo tribals and minorities. Along with improving economics, Diya Foundation also work on health, gender equality and bridge education.

  • Dr. Ambedkar Sheti Vikas Va Sanshodhan Sanstha (ASVSS)

    Founded: 1984

    Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

    Geographical Focus: Maharashtra

    Lives Impacted: 50,000+

    Organization Overview:

    ASVSS works with Dalits and Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribe (VJNT) communities in the drought-prone region of Solapur. By fostering leadership among youth and women, the organization focuses on building interventions through community consultations and developmental processes based on equality, liberty, and social justice.