A Trust registered in 1985 by a group of women who saw the need for focused, practical research and training and communication for the non-profit sector. Shakti has always explored areas that need to be researched and also talked about.
The initial focus has been on Women and Health issues. A few themes researched- “Who Determines Women’s Health: The Social Trap”; “Campaign against Amniocentesis”; “Occupational Health Hazards of Self-employed Women”; “Blind Spot in Health Policy” “Ill health, Early death-Women’s Destiny?” These were major contributions to developing a perspective and network of women health activists in India.
Shakti was one of the first to do sexual behaviour studies when India starting talking about HIV/AIDS. Networking has been Shakti’s strengths. Starting with women’s health issues it enlarged its scope to do research, training and networking with those working on a variety of issues with different perspectives.
Times have changed radically in the past decade. With the internet and technology at our finger tips, Shakti hopes to explore new ways of doing research.
Recognising the importance of engaging especially the youth in the development debate- sustainability, alternative technologies, livelihoods development. Shakti is in the process of developing projects to attract girl students/interns to be part of monitoring and implementing of various government policies in India today. At Shakti, it has always been about empowering women through new and innovative programmes and it will continue to be focus as well as of our concern to us.
In addition, Shakti wishes to continue its focus on consultancy skills of design of all aspects of research and communication of results and provide the same to anyone who would look to research interesting, innovative and —areas of debate and discussion.
Shakti Back into Action.. Connect on Research, Connect with the Young…
Supported in Helpline for Lesbians. Shakti, supported the setting up of a help line for Lesbians ‘Aanchal’ so that lesbians can meet and discuss their problems in the privacy of their own groups.
The first Sexual Behaviour studies in India were done by Shakti to develop communication strategies for prevention of HIV/AIDs. Pioneering studies were to understand the sexual behaviour patterns and attitudes towards sexuality amongst youth, blue collar workers, white collar workers, tribal as well as rural population to cover the State of Maharashtra. A total of 4,000 men and women were covered in Pune, Nasik, Thane and the rural pockets outside Pune. Funded by the Ford Foundation, Shakti worked closely with many NGOs and the Directorate of Health Services, Govt. of Maharashtra (1994-8). A two-day workshop on AIDS awareness and Sexual Research in Marathi was organized on Jan 17, 18 1995 in Pune attended by voluntary organizations from Mumbai, Pune, Miraj, Nagpur, Beed, Sangli, Nanded, Baramati, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar.
Work on Sex Trafficking – Shakti also assisted groups working on Sex Trafficking. Shakti is actively supporting the project of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, a project aimed to end sex trafficking. Apne Aap has set up a centre for women in sex work in Kolkata, and Shakti supported their endeavour to set up a similar community centre in Mumbai. Apne Aap perspective is to empower women to run their own community centre, a credit centre and to develop a succession policy for their children.
Women in Unorganised sector: A Study to understand the nature of organisations that are helpful to women in their occupation and to develop public policy for such groups. Women in five occupational groups were studied- fisherwomen, homeworkers, women caterers, domestic servants and sweepers and the organisations covered were unions, women’s organisations, caste-based organisations, an NGO and a cooperative. The study was funded by the Ford Foundation. The Study indicated that that the sort of organisation was related to the nature of the occupation, whether individual or family work involved, and the strategies to assist them should take this into account. The study was published as a book ‘Invisible Hands: Women in Home-based Production.
Women and Appropriate Technology – The Intermediate Technology Group introduced new technology in the wool spinning industry called charkha spinning. Shakti researched how a new innovation was introduced for women; attempts were made to understand the social challenges faced therein and to develop strategies for improving the acceptance of the technology among women.
‘Women and Naturopathy’ – Workshops organised with Rural NGOs on the theme Health. Women have often been the target for new drugs, and there was a need to bring an alternative perspective to the health movement. Workshops were organised in rural women’s health centres which used the framework of self help. Traditional remedies were documented. The Proceedings of the Workshops were published as “Women and Naturopathy”.
A monthly Newsletter ‘Campaign News’. The newsletter was to keep women activists and researchers in touch with the initiatives taken by women’s groups on health related issues. This was circulated to over 1500 activists in India and abroad.
A Publication as an outcome of the Workshop “In Search of Our Bodies – A Feminist Look at Women Health And Reproduction In India”. Contributions from eminent academicians and researchers- Dr. Vibhuti Patel, Padma Prakash, Malini Karkal, Mira Chatterji, and Dr. Mira Savara
Workshop on “Feminist Perspectives on Women, Health and Reproduction in India”. This was first such workshop possibly in India then.
Shakti was registered as a Trust in 1985 by a group of women who came together, on feeling the need for focused at the same time on-the-ground, practical research as well as training and communication for the NGO sector, to set up an organization that was later registered as a The Shakti Trust in 1985.
Mira Sava, a PhD in Sociology is the Founder of the Shakti Trust.
Dr. Mirra Savara (Consultant, Corporate Social Responsibility),
Arwah Madan, (Associate Professor & Researcher, Economics)
People Associated with Shakti
Srinivasan Satgopal (CEO, Ecotech IT Solutions)
Sridhar C.R (Data Scientist)