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.
What we do
We challenge stereotypes of the voiceless Muslim woman. We claim the rights of minorities and women to resources denied to them.
We build bridges of friendship among communities hostile to each other.
We speak against hate, we speak for kindness, for empathy, for love.
We believe if we were able to reach out to each other, beyond the difference of religion, race, ethnicity, caste, sexuality, gender and everything aimed at dividing us, we will be able build bonds of empathy in place of hostility and a more humane and peaceful world.
Who we are
We are a group of adolescents and women who came together in 2012 to address the growing sense of alienation and othering that we experienced.
A just and equal society respectful of diversity, celebrating difference and interdependence.
To empower marginalized communities to access their fundamental rights, creating spaces for dialogue among diverse sections in society, and collaborating with government and civil society towards justice and equity.
Sports for Peace: Parcham’s football program was initiated to bring together Muslim and non Muslim girls together in one team as teammates, building trust and friendships. The football training is interspersed with perspective building in line with our vision statement.
Starting in the neighbourhood of Mumbra (a ghetto of Muslims on the outskirts of Mumbai) we have expanded to Mumbai city where we train girls in the eastern and western suburbs. We have reached out to nearly a 1000 girls and hosted tournaments based on a spirit of cooperation rather than competition.
Our goal is to establish a football academy for Dalit, Muslim and Adivasi girls.
Creating Inclusive Cities/ public spaces: With the belief that the personal is political, Parcham engages with issues of exclusion of women from public spaces by claiming these spaces, visibilizing our presence whilst engaging with the government towards creating inclusive cities. We choose to practice in open grounds so as to create a new normal of young girls in public space. We used our experience of difficulties in finding a safe space to practice football to successfully lobby with the elected representative and bureaucrats to allocate land for a sports ground for young girls.
We convinced the local government to initiate a football program for girl students of the public school where one of our volunteers has been taken on as coach. Prior to our intervention, the sports grounds were used exclusively by boys while girls remained in class or the corridors. We aim to contribute to the discussion on planning of cities to make them just, inclusive and equitable.
Citizenship Education: Being socially conscious citizens is important to Parcham’s vision. We promote secular thought and an understanding of the Constitutional rights and responsibilities and values such as empathy among children and youth. We manage a library for children to get them hooked to reading and broadening their worldview. The library space serves as a meeting space for discussions and debates on a range of social issues. Our work on citizenship education is aimed at creating informed and responsible citizens.
Research and Publications: Parcham’s annual publications are an attempt to create awareness of the pluralism and diversity in the country. We document erased and forgotten histories to counter false narratives aimed at creating animosity. We believe in the need for evidence based advocacy to further our vision of a just society.
Because you want a society free of hate; hate for women, for Muslims, dalits, sexual minorties, anyone who is different. You want a society which respects and celebrates diversity.
Parcham works with adolescent girls to create this kind of world. We work to strengthen their confidence, to get them to believe in themselves. We work to build bridges between communities which have been divided by misconceptions and animosity. We work to create a dialogue, build friendships and trust. We work to break stereotypes, to create positive images in place of the demonization of identities.
To do this we seek support. You could help us with setting up the football academy, volunteer to coach, you could donate to support our activities, you could be our ambassador in creating awareness of our work in your networks and on social media.
For more information write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org