Parcham Collective (Mumbai, Maharashtra)
The work of the Parcham Collective has focused on breaking stereotypes, particularly around gender and of Muslim women in the country. Football has been a means for them to challenge the misconception of the vulnerable voiceless Muslim girl while also a being a means of bringing together Hindus and Muslims. In 2013, 40 young girls got together to train for football and the group decided to register the organization as Parcham. The activity of football brought together girls from both Hindu and Muslim community, building friendships across the religious divide. The girls not only learnt football but from experience of the difficulties girls face playing in an open field and the dropout it resulted in, initiated a signature campaign collecting nearly 900 signatures to lobby for a reservation of a sports ground for girls in Mumbra. Parcham Collective are proud to say the Commissioner of Thane Municipal Corporation agreed to the demand and created history with first such reservation for a ground for girls in any municipal corporation in the state of Maharashtra, probably the country. MISSION: Parcham envisions a just and equal society respectful of diversity and celebrating interdependence. Their mission is geared towards empowering marginalized communities to access their fundamental rights, creating spaces for dialogue among diverse sections in society, and working with civil society towards justice and equity. Through their work, they attempt work to break stereotypes based on religion, class, caste, gender and other marginalization. Apart from football training for girls, they conduct a range of activities to encourage the reclaiming of public space. Parcham Collective also believe in the need to promote education and financial independence for women through jobs in the formal economy which is their other activity.