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About Us

Our Vision

With the “personal is political” as one of our cornerstones, our concern is with the socially sanctioned forms of personal violence perpetrated on women within the home and outside. This violence can occur in the personal forms of dowry tortures, murders and other forms of marital violence, female infanticide and feticide, the sexual harassment and rape of women, the trafficking and commodification of women. Our wider engagement is also with the growing violence in society today: the more public and political forms of violence stemming from ideologies like those that propagate communalism, fundamentalisms, nationalism and militarism leading to greater human insecurity and institutionalised intolerance.

These forms of violence are facilitated by current models of globalization based on market and development fundamentalism that result in ever-escalating consumerism and impoverishment, displacement, devaluation and destruction of already vulnerable communities and cultures. They also result in the unchecked growth of an aggressively hyper masculine uni-polar world order and a universalised way of life in which there is neither space for the feminine, nor for dissent and difference. We believe the broad context in which violence occurs is intrinsically linked to violence within the home and the community. We work towards the vision of making violence against women unthinkable and creating violence free world for all, especially for the more marginalised and vulnerable communities.

Our specific objectives are:
  • · To strengthen women’s resistance to violence both within the home and within communities, cultures and politics
  • To make families, communities and the state responsible for and responsive to the growing violence against women
  • To create alternative spaces and fora for public debate and dialogue to bring about attitudinal and institutional changes in our society vis-à-vis discriminatory attitudes towards women
  • To make visible the deeper connections between increasing violence in the personal sphere of the home and the increasing brutalization of the larger public polity
  • To infuse into public and political life the feminine ethic of care and compassion and draw in all sections of society to strive towards a world free from all forms of war, violence, intolerance and conflicts
  • To affirm women’s knowledges and wisdoms as also that of all marginalized and vulnerable communities victimized by the dominant politics of progress and development.

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Our Beginnings

Vimochana, meaning liberation, was initiated in 1979 by women and men from within the Centre for Informal Development Studies (CIEDS) collective, that had come together in 1975 to seek a just, humane and creative society rooted in transformative politics. Vimochana grew out of the need for a public forum that would stand for organised resistance to the increasing violence on women and would be assertive in challenging the pervading apathy to the problems of women in the context of larger structures of violence and power.

 

The beginnings of Vimochana
lie not only with the visions of the women and men who initiated it many years ago,
but it begins and continues to do so with the experiences and lives,
of each one who comes weaving into it the different threads
the many colours, changing the patterns,  each thread making possible the rest .

 

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In the Dailiness of our Work

If you must search me out,
just knock at the door
in each street, of each city, of each country
It’s a curse, a benediction both
And wherever you find a free soul
that’s my home


                           ------ Amrita Pritam

Our interventions have been at multiple levels. In the dailiness of our work, they are at the deeply personal level of listening to women who have been victims of various kinds of violence speak about their pain and trauma, and responding to them through the provision of shelter, counsel, legal, social and moral support. These interventions enable women to make choices that will allow them to live a life of dignity, free from violence. We also initiate negotiations with the family and community to harness their support in resolving the problem, and try to facilitate justice through the police stations and courts when all other options have been exhausted.

At another level, we have initiated campaigns to bring about changes in various social and institutional structures to make them more responsive to women’s realities and experiences. At this level we target such structures as the law and judiciary, the media, religious institutions, family and the community. We have resorted to various forms of public protest like morchas and dharnas when it has been necessary to pressure authorities to take action, or as a means of social boycott. We have initiated innovative forms of protest like the Women in Black Movement for Peace through which we attempt to articulate another political vision. While we are based in the city of Bangalore and are focused on issues related to violence against women, we also network with other women’s and human rights groups at the local, national and international levels to extend our political vision and to encourage more effective interventions at a broader level.

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Our Team

Team details will be available shortly... under updation.

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