Nirantar:n., adj: ceaseless or continuous.
We are a non-profit organisation working on gender and education over the last two decades. We are an active part of the women’s movement in India and draw our values from feminist principles. We are firmly rooted in community-based work, which informs our research and advocacy too.
Nirantar started with a focus on adult women from rural marginalised communities; and slowly extended its work to include Dalit, Adivasi, and Muslim girls as well. Also, we have started looking at young people as a political constituency, expanding our work to urban poor communities, and enabling empowering education for young people.
Our initiatives and mandate are driven by the need to ask 'why', to build a critical understanding of social structures to move towards greater equity and gender-just society. Through our work, we seek to push boundaries of the ongoing discourses and address inequalities and injustices.
Nirantar’s work in education involves designing, implementation and study of non-formal but structured learning processes, as well as formal education, such as school and higher education. We use gender and sexuality lens, which furthers the opportunities of perspective building of people involved in conceptualising, developing, and implementing educational interventions.
- Women's Literacy, Education, and Empowerment: Includes curriculum design, developing contextual resource material, building organisation’s capacity, program support, research, and advocacy on broader issues of literacy and empowerment.
- Young People’s Education: After working for more than 10 years with never enrolled or early dropout Dalit, Adivasi, and Muslim girls in rural areas, we have also started working with girls from urban poor/resettlement communities who are predominantly of Dalit and Muslim identities. Slowly and consciously, we are also including boys in both rural-urban settings in our fold of activities.
- Mainstream Education: Initiatives and research on pedagogy and content involved in formal education. It is informed by a gender and sexuality perspective, especially focussing on State policy and program initiatives. Also, it incorporates strengthening teachers’ training and textbook writing in formal education contexts, along with non-formal education spaces for urban marginalised adolescents.
- Early Marriage, Young People and Empowerment: Addressing issues around young people and marriage, through developing research methodology for broadening discourses of gender, age, sexuality and consent. Our work also focuses on building capacities of fieldworkers to talk about issues of gender and sexuality with young people.
- Sexuality and Gender: Includes capacity building as well as the development of teaching-learning materials, for organisations that work on issues of gender and sexuality, with young people, NGOs and government programmes. While talking about Gender-based Violence (GBV) and Sexuality, which has been a focus of our work in this field, we try to open up the discourses on issues around sexuality, moving beyond sexual violence.
- Trainings and Capacity Building: Conducting annual and customised trainings, workshops, and courses for strengthening capacities and building perspectives of activists and organisations working with marginalised communities. The trainings are done on diverse issues ranging from adult literacy to gender, sexuality, caste, and identity issues. Through these trainings, we try to connect the theories with practices to address the challenges of implementation faced by field workers, teachers, educators, and people working in civil society organisations and government programmes.