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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Sangram is a voluntary organization that works at the grass root level with a lot of activists, volunteers and paid workers. It is slowly gaining importance as a practical training ground for other NGO’s and GO’s interested in working on HIV/AIDS in a rural context. SANGRAM started its work with women in prostitution and sex work from South Maharashtra and North Karnataka way back in 1992 and has since fanned out among diverse populations. SANGRAM is based in Sangli district, which has the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in Maharashtra after Mumbai.

The organization works to create a collective consciousness among women, to increase their ability to negotiate safety independently, and strengthen women to assert their rights. Women’s Rights are particularly difficult to talk about, because they question traditional patriarchal structures. It also helps discuss official policies, legal and ethical issues which affect stigmatized and marginalized groups and to create spaces which these groups can use The organization helps to discuss the rights of women, people with diverse sexualities and people living with HIV/AIDS.

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Sex Work of their own Volition

In DNA, Mumbai December 2015

SANGRAM engaged in a debate with Pravin Patkar, rejecting the notion that sex work was violence and exploitation. The article calls for a more rights based understanding of sex work, placing the women at the centre of the discourse rather than abstract discussions. Read More

Sex Work and Dignity

In Mint Lounge, November 2015

Ms. Meena Seshu was covered in the MINT Lounge for her work with SANGRAM and the people in sex work, VAMP. Read More

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