The name “Parcham”, meaning flag or banner is inspired by a poem by Majaaz. Parcham is based in Mumbra (Thane, Maharashtra). Our mission is to work towards a society that is respectful of diversity, celebrating difference and interdependence. The mission is geared towards empowering marginalized communities to access their fundamental rights, creating spaces for dialogue among diverse sections in society, and working with civil society towards justice and equity. Through our work, we attempt work to break stereotypes based on religion, class, caste, gender and other marginalization.
Mumbra with nearly 80 percent Muslim population has been stereotyped as conservative and fundamentalist, a breeding ground of terrorists. It is a ghetto characterized by poverty, where people live in a situation similar to slum dwellers except in buildings, many without access to water supply. A majority of the school going children are first generation learners. Mumbra provides little opportunity for formal employment with a majority of the youth driving rickshaws or setting up small shops for mobile repairs and such.
Parcham started its work in 2012 in Mumbra with the unconventional activity of football for adolescent girls. The activity brought together girls from both Hindu and Muslim community, building friendships across the religious divide. Since then, the young volunteers of Parcham have created history by successfully lobbying for reservation of a sports ground for girls.
We have taken up a number of initiatives towards reclaiming public spaces (cycle rally of girls, claiming public gardens and playgrounds, introducing sports in the Municipal schools and such like) all of which have contributed towards building a positive image of Mumbra.
In the current vitiated atmosphere, there is an urgent need to bridge divides among religious identities, for minorities to claim their right to the country as equal citizens. The future programs of Parcham will address this need.
We are as yet non-funded, functioning from our homes with our own meager resources. We hope to raise money to realize our ambitious plans, which include among others spaces for women to meet, bond and collectivize as well as read, write and study.
For more information please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The FB page for updates on our work is https://www.facebook.com/Parcham-274697706074624/