All posts by Kutchina Foundation


Who says girls can’t play football?

Girls from villages around Patna are breaking new ground by playing football, a traditionally boys sport without parental or social interference. They are playing the game, breaking taboo and making it a weapon to fight for their rights in a state notorious for human trafficking and child marriage.

All this because, Pratima had been married at a tender age and had to face several hardships in her marriage. Then she’d made a promise to herself – to try and save as many girls as she can from the atrocities of child marriage. In 2008, she initiated Gaurav Gramin Vikas Manch and went from village to village in order to educate parents and young girls about how difficult child marriages can be. She’s been able to stop numerous child marriages with her relentless efforts.

PratimaKumari, the brain behind introducing football among village girls said, “We have started an initiative called ‘It’s My Body’ amongst girls to promote football in order to create awareness against child marriage. It was not only difficult, but impossible to get sufficient time and free space to talk to these girls and inform them about bad the ill effects of child marriage on their health, education and lives. So, we decided to bring them to the field to play football to boost their confidence, increase their willpower and fill them with awareness to take their own decision in life.”At the club, girls meet, communicate, interact and create awareness. Perhaps most innovative is that they are using the game of football to build confidence and stand up on their own to say no to marriages before the age of 18.

Nearly 500 girls in 25 villages have been successfully trained to play football. Thanks to the game, these girls have got incredible self-assurance to move ahead in life. It is something that provided them with acceptance and invigorated them to say no to child marriage. PratimaKumari, a Krritikaunder the helm of Kutchina Foundation has been promoting football through her organization, Gauraav Gramin Mahila Vikas Manch.

Pratima Kumari, a Dalit admits that child marriage is a massive social problem among Dalits, Other Backward Classes and Muslims due to low literacy rate. Keeping education as the main agenda in mind, when Pratimastarted working among Dalits and other marginalized sections, she requested and convinced parents during meetings in villages to let their daughters complete higher education. She and her associates have used football as a tool to reach out to the root of the problem.

Gaurav Gramin Manch gives them power, both physically and mentally, a feeling of accomplishment and a platform for social development as they challenge the widely held idea that girls belong at home. Pratima’swork has been recognized by CREA, a feminist human rights organization based in New Delhi which also helped her organize regular training for the girls. She’s been able to stop 100+ child marriages with her relentless efforts. Way to go girl!


I can achieve anything I want

Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hu! a show on empowering women and the girl child, has reached 400 million people, been dubbed in 11 languages, aired on 239 radio stations and given saas-bahu entertainment serials a run for their money. Take a look.

The show, launched in 2014, has already had a run for two seasons, completing over 170 episodes. It has been translated into 14 languages and is broadcast on 240 radio channels as well as over the Internet. The third season’s filming is on the way.

This television show is aimed at targeting social issues like gender discrimination, child marriage, domestic violence and extends to protecting women’s rights and understanding issues pertaining to them in a patriarchal society.

The show has been partly funded by UK foreign aid Department for International Development and conceptualized by the Population Foundation of India, an NGO that works towards promoting gender-sensitive population policies and programs.

Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon is the story of a young woman named Sneha Mathur, who is a doctor by profession and how she quits her job in Mumbai to go to her native village Pratappur and work there. She comes across many challenges and addresses various taboos like menstruation, contraceptives, and masturbation. Through this show, the audience vicariously sees and understands the plagues of the society around them and how they need to be looked at and dealt with.

According to a report by The Guardian, the makers of the show spent an entire year traveling across the country’s rural parts and researched the social problems that exist and plague the country, more notably the villages.
The spectacular success of the serial is a case in point that education through entertainment is one of the most successful ways of bringing about a positive change in the attitudes of people around difficult social norms. People have grown to trust the powerful messages of this programme.This fact, coupled with Doordarshan’s phenomenal penetration in rural India, leaves little doubt that this show can be a game-changer in the field of media-based social action.

Sources: Indian Express, DD, First Post

UN award

West Bengal wins prestigious UN award

The West Bengal government has received the prestigious UN Public Service Award for its initiative to combat child marriage and ensure education to the girl child in the state. West Bengal’s ‘Kanyashree Prakalpa‘ initiative rigorously seeks to reduce the high child marriage rates and low female education rates in the state.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received the honor at a ceremony held in The Hague, Netherlands on behalf of her government for the initiative. Started in 2011, Kanyashree Prakalpa is a conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at educating and empowering girls and it bagged the award for proving efficient in reaching the poor and vulnerable sections of the population.

Citing the impact, the initiative had, the UN said it led to a “drastic reduction in child marriage, increase in female education and female empowerment.”The UN Public Service Awards are given by the world body to institutions from across the world for their innovation and excellence in providing public services. It highlights the pivotal role of public services in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The West Bengal government was among the 12 institutions from 11 countries that were recognized by the world body on UN Public Service Day. Speaking at the ceremony, Mamata Banerjee said “Public service is service for all; it means continuous monitoring and regular service for the people.”

She constantly emphasized that her government is focused on empowering the girl child from all sections of society and simultaneously outlined measures taken to ensure basic amenities, healthcare, food support and education to people in her state.

Way to go!!


Instagram series that celebrates gender equality

The history of women’s movements in India still remains patchy and unfamiliar to most. An Instagram series by Delhi-based illustrator, graphic designer and comic book creator Kruttika Susarla traces important moments in the history of women and gender equality movements in India. Susarla highlights the role of some significant organizations, individuals and movements who changed the terms of debate around gender equality in India in different ways. The series has been careful to focus on intersectionality, by including the stories that reveal how caste, class and religion affect women in India.

Take a look!

The Pink Chaddi Campaign
In January 2009, a group of right-wing activists from Sri Ram Sena attacked women and men in a pub in Mangalore. Pramod Muthalik, the founder of the group claimed that it was a violation of Indian culture and announced that they would forcibly marry off unmarried couples seen in public on Valentine’s day. This caused nationwide outrage that eventually led to the Pink Chaddi Campaign—a non-violent protest where a group of young women sent pink briefs to Muthalik’s office. The campaign was started by Nisha Susan who is a writer, journalist and one of the founders of The Ladies Finger, a feminist online magazine. Muthalik received over 2000 ‘chaddis’ from across India and abroad—he and his supporters were held in preventive custody on Valentine’s eve by the state government.

Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Aandolan
BMMA is a secular, Muslim feminist voice that emerged in 2007. Activist Zakia Soman founded the organisation to advocate for Muslim women’s equality and rights. Their focus is specifically to make reforms in the Muslim Personal Law in ways that would not oppress women and save them from marginalization. They seek to repel the practice of verbal Triple Talaq and polygamy + amend clauses in the Muslim personal law that not only leaves women at the mercy men in the family but also prevents them from inheriting any property. A draft for ‘Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act’ was released in June 2014

Anti-Dowry Movement
anti dowry
Delhi saw one of India’s first anti-dowry movements with the formation of ‘Shakti Shalini’ an NGO jointly set-up by Satyarani Chadha, feminist, artist and activist noted as the face of the anti-dowry movement in India along with Shahjehan Aapa, a middle-class working woman who would eventually become the face of the 1970s feminist movement in India. Satyarani’s 20-year-old 6 months pregnant daughter was burnt alive in her in-laws’ home following harassment for dowry. Following this, Satyaraniset on a 21-year fight against gender related harassment and violence and helped survivors empower themselves. She spoke about what kept her going and she says, “Every time a girl in a village dies in a dowry related incident, I see my daughter die!”

1stwomen’s school in India
savitribai phule
Savitribai Phule and her husband, Jyotirao Phule set up India’s 1stwomen’s school in BhideWadi, Pune in 1848. She’s considered one of India’s first modern intersectional feminists and a lot of organizations focused on working for gender equality follow the footsteps of the duo’s work. Through their efforts, they fought to represent minorities, educate women and fight gender and caste based oppression. At a time when it was uncommon for the girl child to go to school, she and her husband campaigned and convinced their community to encourage educating girls—they opened many schools for women and minorities and protested against ill-treatment of windows and rape victims.

Tulasi Mumda

Here’s The Story Of Tulasi Muda A.K.A Tulasi Apa

From starting in a verandah, Tulasi Munda‘s Adivasi Vikas Samiti School now provides education up to 10th standard. It enrolls over 500 students and interestingly, more than half of them are girls. Here’s everything you need to know about Odisha’s change maker!
The film TulasiApa has many interesting facets. Based on the life of Tulasi Munda, a social activist from a tribal community, it is the first biographical film in Odiya. The movie charts the hardships and struggles of a lone activist as she worked towards eradicating illiteracy and exploitation that was faced by mine workers in her region. Despite being a Padma Shri awardee and having taught more than 20,000 children in the last 40 years, she continues to remain a lesser-known figure.


Here’s everything you need to know about Odisha’s very own Tulasi Apa:
1. Tulasi was born in the year 1947, just a month short of India gaining independence from the British. Born in Keonjhar, one of the most backward regions of Odisha, Tulasi, very early in life displayed a different understanding of independence. She grew up with her own notions of freedom and slavery, unlike the conventional ideology that prevailed at large.
2. While other children tended to goats in the fields or worked in the mines, Tulasi wanted to study. Circumstances however were not kind enough and being the youngest amongst her siblings who went to work, Tulasi stayed at home helping her widowed mother with the household chores.
3. Her dreams of studying remained futile as there was neither a school in the village of Kainshi, where she was born, nor did anyone entertain the idea of educating their girl child.
4. Around the time she was 12 years old, Tulasi went to live with her sister in Serenda, another village in the Keonjhar district. Here she worked as a labourer in the iron mines, cutting stones and sifting iron from the waste; for which she was paid ₹2 per week. She never gave up hope and taught herself the alphabets as and when she could.
5. It was during 1961, when her undying thirst for learning brought her in proximity to great women like Malti Chaudhury, Roma Devi and Nirmala Deshpande, who were already well-known for their commitment towards educating women. Tulasi became a part in their village forays and struggles in different parts of the country.
6. It was also during this time that she met the social reformist Vinobha Bhave. He had visited Odisha during the Bhoodan Andolan Yatra. Inspired by his vision and commitment to donate land (bhoodan) and improve the lives of poor villagers, she set on a journey that would change the lives of many people from her village.
7. In 1964, she returned to Serenda and took up the resolution of fighting illiteracy and devoting herself to teaching children, especially girls. Tulasi believed that illiteracy was the worst form of enslavement and the root cause of everything evil around her – poverty, unemployment, drunkenness, superstition and fear.
8. Most villagers found the concept of education a waste of time for boys, who could work in the fields and mines to earn money, and preposterous for girls. However, Tulasi remained headstrong and managed to persuade Serenda’s local pradhan to let her use his verandah for a few hours of teaching.
9. As 30 tribal children trickled in, she started taking evening classes where alphabets and numbers were taught. The initial struggle of convincing parents was very tiresome. Tulasi had to visit each and every house, literally begging the parents to send their children for learning. She even sold murri (puffed rice) and vegetables to raise money.
10. More children were being left at Tulasi’s verandah classroom since many villagers worked all day long and could not look after their small children, something the teacher gladly obliged. Soon, the verandah was too small for of its occupants. In 1966, she shifted her school to a plot of land with a shed and began teaching the children under a Mahua tree.
11. Over the next 50 years, Tulasi helped establish 17 schools and succeeded in educating 20,000 boys and girls. Today, the Adivasi VikasSamiti School provides education up to 10th standard and enrolls over 500 students, more than half of whom are girls.
12. In the year 2001, Tulasi Munda was awarded the Padma Shri award in recognition of her undying spirit and sheer determination in eradicating illiteracy. Almost a decade later, she was bestowed with the Odisha Living Legend Award for Excellence in Social service.
An intriguing life tale isn’t it? Here’s what American journalistSydney J. Harrishad once said, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

The List Of Moral Values You Teach Your Kids Is Useless If You Don’t Live By Them Yourself!

Raising a family in today’s fast-paced, complicated and ever changing world can make it confusing for a parent to decide just which values to teach their children. As parents, we know that it’s up to us to teach our child to differentiate between right and wrong.

However, it’s not possible (or practical in any way) to just draw up a list of moral values for children and lecture them about it! When it comes to instilling moral values in children and teaching them to know right and wrong, parents need to lead by example. Plus, it’s important to start young. Studies have shown that even very young children copy their parents.
Let’s Learn To Respect Others
This is one of the most important values to teach children. They need to understand and acknowledge other people’s sentiments or presence in their lives and respect views and choices that are not the same as theirs. Make it a point not to criticize people simply because they have opinions different from yours. If you do need to disagree with people in your child’s presence, do so politely.
Let’s Be Liberal and Obliging
This one moral value is best taught to children by action and not by mere words. As a parent, if you follow this, then chances are the little ones will pick this habit automatically. So, all you have to do is to just set a good example in front of them so that they realize the importance of being generous and helpful.

Let’s Indoctrinate A Sense Of Responsibility
This is one moral value that can be taught as early as in the toddler age group! Just start by teaching them the importance of taking care of their toys and to arrange them when they are done with their playing. Also, teaching pre-schoolers to put their clothes in the laundry bag or helping clear the table helps to inculcate a sense of responsibility – this will help them be independent in life.
Let’s Never Hurt Anyone
Children must be taught from an early age that they should not hurt anyone physically or emotionally. They must be taught that hurting someone is a very bad thing and even if they hurt a person unintentionally, they should apologize immediately.
Let’s Learn The True Value Of Sharing
Teach the little ones the essence of sharing is caring. Try to celebrate a festival or a birthday by distributing goodies to an orphanage. Make it a family ritual if you will to make some amount of charity a mandatory family affair. By helping those who truly need your help, you will help the kids to evolve as well.
Children observe their parents closely, so it is very important to lead by example. Watch what you do as a little pair of eyes is always looking up to you!


Kutchina Foundation collaborates with RACSHA, celebrate their 1st anniversary

Even after moving centuries away from the stone age, why is it still so much of a taboo to talk about child sexual abuse? Why do family members in the know not help a child in distress? Why is the honor of a family so important that it prompts many to brush things under the carpet even if it means compromising on the well-being of a child?

Kutchina Foundation Women Empowerment Centre recently collaborated with RACSHA to commemorate its 1st anniversary. RACSHA that stands for Rise Against Child Sexual Harm & Abuse is an advocacy network of individuals and organizations fighting to prevent the mincing child sexual abuse that’s eating at the very core of our superfluous societal values! West Bengal’s State Minister for Information & Culture and the Chairperson of West Bengal Child Protection Committee were honorable speakers and guests for the evening.

The case of child sexual abuse in India
According to a research done by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India, 53% of children are victims of child sexual abuse in India. Globally speaking, India ranks second in terms of the highest rate of child sexual abuse. What is more worrying is the fact that mostly child sexual abuse is incestuous in naturewhich means that it is committed by a person who is a family member and has an easy access to the child.
To address the child sexual abuse hogwash, RACSHA was born. RACSHA is a network of organizations and individuals working for the prevention, recognition, addressing and healing of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. RACSHA is based in Kolkata and they have teachers, activists, lawyers, doctors, psychologists, social workers, special educators and corporates on their team.


RACSHA’s primary aims are – campaign, prevent and intervene to fight the root cause of child sexual abuse and collaborate with the Government to prevent such crimes. RACSHA comprises lawyers, doctors, teachers, activists, software professionals, social workers and others who are helping the programme to grow.
RACSHA completed a year on June 3rd 2017 and to mark the occasion, they celebrated the evening with Kutchina Foundation Women Empowerment Centre. Kutchina Foundation Women Empowerment Centre relentlessly works towards identifying, empowering and rewarding women of substance from the disadvantaged sections of our society.
Kutchina Foundation aspires to extend all round care and support to the disadvantaged girl child and women, thereby creating a pool of empowered and talented women activists and workers who would be the force multipliers in our society. For Kutchina Foundation, CSR is an inner calling carried forward with utmost passion, professionalism and care.