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  • Writer's pictureSamanta


Early days as we began the journey


It is defined as a coming together of "men" from Van Gujjar community to discuss social, interpersonal issues. It is said to be a mechanism of the community to address all issues pertaining to any gender, age etc.


Over the past 3 years as we have worked with the people we have observed men often sitting in groups. In these sit ins discussions and are decisions happen. All the decisions from setting a date of the marriage to conflict resolution are made, though women have no role in the PAINCHI.

The women need occasions such as marriage, death, birth etc to come together. As we identified this gap we got our heads down as to what is to be done. We had conversations with stakeholders - women, men, youth and elders. We collectively agreed to creating a space to enable voices of women.

Over 3 months after meeting hundreds of women, conversations, discussions, sharing the ideas we formulated a plan to break stereotypes and enable free expression. We experienced rejection, acceptance, love and disdain. Our determination kept us going enabled by our work on Education, where we had been engaging mothers since day one to the education of children. This was how the 'The Painchi Project' was born.


Since December 2020, Samanta has been working on breaking the stereotypes by bringing women together. Creating a space for the women to talk, to discuss, to laugh and to take decisions. This small step is creating opportunities for the women to learn new things and share their indigenous knowledge with each other.

Discussions bring laughter ans smiles to the cohort


The discussions in the groups are around -

Importance of education for children


Skills & Knowledge

Van Gujjar buying 'Khind', a traditional bed-sheet for winters


We believe that working with mothers/women/adolescent girls is the need of the hour if we intend to propagate the agenda of education. The communities need to have role models and flag-bearer.

Tanya & Prashant

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