Project information

Combating violence against women in India

We empower grassroots leaders to combat violence against women in marginalised communities via training, mentoring and support. They also use their new-found skills to tackle wider issues of social inequality. We currently work across Maharashtra and will expand to Rajasthan and New Delhi in 2015.

January 2015 - December 2015

Charity information: Leaders' Quest Foundation

Leaders' Quest Foundation logo
  • Need


    Violence against women in India is endemic. Women and girls are discriminated against, abused and killed on an unparalleled scale. Societal attitudes tolerating violence against women compound the problem. Traditional attitudes also lead to discriminatory practices such as female foeticide, girls leaving school early and child marriage.

    Other forms of social inequality – such as lack of access to education, sanitation and health services – are also common to marginalised communities in India.


    We invest in grassroots leaders because their potential to drive change is tremendous. Our one-year Quest Fellowship Programme provides them with the knowledge and skills to empower women to tackle violence. Our fellows set up counselling centres, register abuse with the police, lobby local authorities, and change mindsets around gender.
    These leaders often step up to tackle other areas of social inequality such as access to toilets, education and health services, as well livelihood generation.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Empower 35 grassroots leaders to reduce violence in marginalised communities, reaching 70000 people


    » Our year-long Quest Fellowship Programme will provide intensive training, experiential learning, mentoring and financial support to grassroots leaders
    » Fellows will use their training to set up women’s groups to educate them about their rights and the Domestic Violence Act (2005)
    » Fellows will build relationships with the police to ensure they report cases of violence properly, and will build women's confidence to register cases
    » Fellows will create peer-group counselling services for victims and help women access legal services if they wish to bring cases of abuse to court

    What success will look like

    Success will be visible changes in the community, eg increased cases reported to police, more victims receiving counselling and a reduction in violence in homes and on the street

    Aim 2

    Treat men as part of the solution to violence, not just the problem


    » Fellows will set up men’s groups to challenge traditional attitudes around gender and violence that can lead to violence against women occurring
    » They will help men and women work together to tackle violence from a rights-based perspective

    What success will look like

    Success will be the development of a strong group of men with the necessary understanding and skills to work with women to reduce violence

    Aim 3

    Enable our 35 grassroots leaders to use their training to tackle wider issues of social inequality


    » Our method will enable fellows to transfer their new skills to address wider inequality, eg lack of toilets and inadequate health services
    » They will mobilise their communities by raising awareness of these issues and building campaigns.
    » They will lobby local authorities to provide better services.
    » They will help women set up projects to generate livelihoods

    What success will look like

    Success will be the engagement of our 35 fellows to tackle other social injustices in their communities

  • Impact


    We will increase the capacity of local leaders to empower women and change mindsets which will reduce gender violence. By advocating that violence is a societal problem, we will establish the trend of dealing with it collectively. This will create an environment where communities can campaign against other social injustice.

    We will demonstrate success by surveying community members, fellows, organisation heads and local officials to gather data proving violence reduction and improved services


    Weak performance by community-organisation partners may lead to poor programme delivery and outcomes. This will be mitigated by building collaborative relationships and agreeing clear responsibilities, performance metrics and reporting requirements.
    Fellows may drop out. This will be managed by rigorous selection processes and ensuring partner organisations/mentors provide support.
    There could be resistance by men and other powerful groups. Awareness-raising campaigns will help mitigate this.


    Donors will receive annual reports including fellow case studies as well as regular email updates with inspiring stories of our fellows’ work.

    We will also update donors on the progress of public campaigns in which our fellows and their communities participate .

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £75,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £22,500 Fellows’ support costs Stipend/living allowance for each fellow
      £15,750 Fellow recruitment/training Identifying promising leaders and providing intensive training throughout the year
      £15,000 Project costs Seed funding and field staff to support implementation of fellows’ projects
      £11,250 Programme resources Capacity-building of partner organisations and administration
      £6,750 Mentor training Ongoing training and support for mentors at partner organisations
      £3,750 Evaluation Interviews and surveys with key stakeholders to assess and document our impact
  • Background


    New Delhi and Rajasthan are among the top three states with maximum crimes committed against women in India. Half of married women in rural areas report being victims of violence. Many residents in Maharashtra, New Delhi and Rajasthan suffer from abject poverty, compounded by disempowering attitudes towards women. There is also low employment, an absence of basic amenities, and poor public health and sanitation in marginalised communities in all three states.


    35 community leaders will gain the knowledge, confidence and skills to mobilise women who experience violence in marginalised communities in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi to understand and claim their rights and access support services. Each of our fellows will work with up to 500 families so we estimate that 70,000 people will benefit.

    Women in these communities will benefit from a reduction in violence. Communities as a whole will enjoy increased access to basic amenities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Leaders’ Quest Foundation has been working with CORO, our partner in India, since 2008. CORO has more than 20 years' experience of rights-based work and an in-depth understanding of grassroots issues. Together we have trained and developed 683 grassroots leaders working in 212 organisations in Maharashtra. We have deep relationships with community organisations in Rajasthan and New Delhi to lead our expansion.
    93% of our fellows complete our programme and 89% continue their community work.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sujata Khandekar

    Founder of CORO, our implementing partner. Sujata brings her vision, experience of grassroots leadership and strategic thinking to this project.

    Mahendra Rokade

    Director of CORO. Mahendra looks after overall operations and delivers training to our fellows.

    Rahul Gaware

    Programme Coordinator in Maharashtra. Rahul is a graduate of the fellowship programme whose responsibilities include monitoring and evaluation.