TANDA (Towards Advocacy, Networking and Developmental Action)

Locations: Navi Mumbai, Purulia, West Bengal

Sponsor: Tata Motors, Bombay Community Public Trust, Tata Trust, Sarvajanic Seva Trust

Towards Advocacy Networking and Developmetal Action (TANDA) started as a field action project (FAP) in year 2011. This FAP is based on nearly two years of student fieldwork with the Pardhi community in Mumbai through the Centre for Criminology and Justice, School of Social Work under guidance of Prof. VIjay Raghavan. In 2010 May, Tata Institute of Social Sciences gave Fellowships to Mr. Mayank Sinha and Ms. Paankhi Agrawal (alumni of TISS) to work with the Pardhi community in Mumbai. Mr. Sinha had done one year of fieldwork with the Ghar Bacho Ghar Bano Andolan and worked with the Pardhi community in Mumbai as part of his field work during his MA in Social Work from TISS (2008-10). Ms. Agrawal had done her M.A. dissertation on the Pardhi community living in Mumbai, as part of her MA in Development Studies (2008-10). For the Fellows working on the issue, it took time to build the rapport with the Pardhicommunity. However, in the given duration, the major activities done included: community profiling, community mapping, enumeration of the Pardhi families in Mumbai, housing rights status, survey on the education status of the children between 7–14 years, caste certificate status and SHG (Self Help Group) formations. All these activities posed serious challenges which included rapport building, lack of available literature, local power dynamics, lack of programmes and schemes for these communities, etc. At the end of the fellowship, TANDA emerged as a Field Action Project of TISS. The operation of TANDA manily based Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai Municipal Corporations.

Vision: Vision: Towards creating self-reliant NT-DNT and marginalized communities and the fulfillment of their fundamental rights, to create an equitable, inclusive, productive, healthy, educated, informed and dignified society by addressing inequalities in education, health and livelihood by enhancing knowledge, information, skills of the community and effective advocacy.


TANDA works towards “creating self-reliant NT-DNTs and and other marginalised communities ensuring the realisation of their constitutional and entitlement rights, as citizens of India”. TANDA strongly believes that NT-DNTs should organise themselves to advocate for their rights and dignity. The project aims to play the role of a change agent through generation of knowledge, capacity building and networking with different stakeholders on relevant issues towards policy advocacy.

Target group

DNTs: DNTs (Denotified tribes) are those communities who were declared as the criminal under the Criminal Tribes Act. In Maharashtra, there are fourteen such communities which were declared as criminal. They are Berad, Bestar, Bhatma, Kaikadi, Kankarbhat, Katabu, Lamani, Phase-Pardhi, Raj-Pardhi, Rajput-Bhatma, Ramoshi, Vadar, Waghari and Chhapparbandh (appendix - 1). Later in 1952, the Government of India had repealed the Act the criminal communities are denotifed. In Maharashtra they are categorized as DNT or Vimukta Jati.

NTs: NTs (Nomadic Tribes) are those communities who, under the Government Resolution No. CBC-10/2006/P.No.94/MVC-5 of Dept of Social Justice, Cultural Affairs & Special Assistance, have been recognised by the Government of Maharashtra as NT-B, NT-C and NT-D. Under these categories, there are 34, 1 and 1 communities respectively. These communities in Maharashtra known as NTs or Bhatkya Jati.

At present, TANDA is engaged with Pardhis, Wadaris, Masanjogis and Banjaras, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe (Sabar tribes- Purulia West Bengal) and is working with around 2000 families across Navi Mumbai and Purulia district of West Bengal. Its major thrust is to build a women’s organization that would facilitate women from the NT, DNT and other marginalised communities to come together and collectively resolve the various issues and problems that they face in their day to day life. Tanda is also dedicatedly working towards producing literature about the NT and DNTs, considering the scarce literature available about these communities through surveys and research. Tanda is alos adopting various techniques like holding meetings or screening socially awakening movies in the communities to strengthen the solidarity among the people of the NT, DNTS and other Marginalised communities.

Locale of Action

1) Maharashtra- Navi Mumbai (Digha, Ganapatipda, Mahaveer quarry, Indira Nagar, Patani, Turbhe Naka)

2) West Bengal- 8 blocks of Tribal dominent district Purulia 


Focus of Action

1) Education

2) Health

3) Livelihood 

4) Citizenship Entitlement

5) Women Empowerment

Current Projects: Education

Improving Educational Status of Students from Marginalised communities by improving access to education by providing special coaching

Recognizing the importance of education for these communities, TANDA has been working with children from NT-DNT and other marginalized group children between the age group of 6 and 16 at three different locations in Navi-Mumbai. TANDA has setup Community learning centers with a library and two teachers at Digha, Airoli; Ganapathi Pada, Thurbe and Mahavir Quary, Thurbe Navi Mumbai. TANDA started its work with NT DNT communities at the beginning, however, now TANDA has been working with all marginalized community people residing at the urban slums of the Navi Mumbai and trying to expand our community learning centers to adjoining regions.

Ever since its inception, TANDA’s CLCs have been working on bridging the gap between children, their families and the school:

·         By focusing on strengthening academic learning, through regular classes for children, where teacher teaches the school academic course using ‘active – teaching’ method and e-learning programs, strengthens the understanding, conducts regular tests to evaluate the academic progress the child has achieved.

·         By Boosting creativity through activities like drawing, craft, games, theatre, dance and through fun learning workshops on ‘engaging with science through toys’

·         By enhancing their world view through exposure visits to Museums, Planetarium, Zoos, and Educational Institutes, historical places etc.

·         By encouraging community and parent’s participation in their children’s education through regular parents –teachers’ meetings, school visits, awareness sessions on health - hygiene, educational schemes and programs, citizen entitlement etc.

TANDA has successfully provided formal and informal education to nearly 400 students from 1st standard to 10th standard so far.

Objectives- Education Initiative 

·         To enkindle interest in children towards education and knowledge

·         To specially focus on rigorous coaching for SSC students through regular coaching classes, e-learning program and tests

·         To promote all holistic development of children and to boost confidence and motivate children to take themselves and their society towards progress

·         To support socio-economically weak for their higher studies by means of scholarships   

·         To assess nutritional status and prevent and control malnutrition among children less than five years residing at project area

·         To assess and improve reproductive health of women by preventing preventable diseases and health outcomes during and after pregnancy

·         To increase community participation towards making public health system accountable to people and eventually accessible and efficient  

·         To initiate process to constitute state level network of like-minded NGOs and CBOs pertaining to malnutrition and women’s health


Target Groups:                    

1)      Higher Secondary School Group: Children enrolled in eight to tenth standard between the age group of 13 – 16. Special focus is needed for children in SSC as board exams plays an important role in their future higher studies goals

2)      Middle School Group: Children in the age group between 10 – 13 years, enrolled in fifth to seventh standard form the secondary group. This group will be groomed, both academically and mentally, for Higher Secondary School. 

3)      Primary School Group: Children in the age group between 6-10 years, enrolled in first to fourth standard. The main focus on this group is to strengthen their basics and develop curiosity and fun for learning.


Main Programs: There are currently Community Learning Centers currently operation at Digha, Ganapatipada and Mahaveer quarry areas of Navi Mumbai. Education program would be implemented through these CLCs. At each CLC 2 teachers would be appointed, one for Primary-Middle and other for 8th to 10th standard.

1)      Regular Coaching Classes: The program focuses on teaching and strengthening academic school syllabus. Classes are being conducted for 2 hour each for primary and middle school (1st to 7th standard) while 3 hours for higher secondary school i.e. 8th to 10th standard on every week day.

2)      E- learning Program: The program is implemented regularly as a part coaching as it helps to clearly understand the concepts of Science, Mathematics and English subjects. The Program is also fun learning activity as it is visual rich and also consists many games through which a concept could be understood.

3)      Monthly Evaluation: The program emphasizes on regular evaluation of the academic learning through monthly tests and two midterm exams.


Secondary Programs:

1)      Life Skills: the program is aimed on teaching different components of life skills such as communication skills, interpersonal relationships, perspective development, critical thinking, survival instincts, understandings of child rights and social system.

2)      Art Education: the program focuses on developing creativity, art appreciation and creative expressions and through Theatre, Art, Music, Dance etc. These activities are conducted on alternative Saturdays every week.

3)      Exposure trips: Exposure visits are organized to improve knowledge of students as well as to enable them to enjoy like other private school students.

4)      Teacher Training: Regular trainings for teachers are organized regarding teaching skills, evaluations methods and subject based trainings and to improve the documentation process.

5)      Individual counselling: Individual counselling is provided to each student in order to keep them motivated, providing them space to express their concerns, reducing exam phobia and keeping their interest in education.

6)      Scholarships: Scholarships would be provided to the students for their post matric education in order to support them for higher education as there is a higher drop out of students after SSC due to financial problems.


2) HealthCurrent: Projects 

Improving maternal and child health of marginalized communities residing at urban slums of Navi Mumbai

The nomadic nature of living of DNTs adds to the exclusion and atrocities they experience as they deprived of health care, education and nutrition leading to high rate of illiteracy and frequent cases of malnutrition in the community.

Most of the families have been migrated from different corners of Maharashtra such as drought affected regions Yavatmal, Parbhani, Hingoli, Ahmadnagar, Amaravati, Akola, Solapur. Similarly, some of the families have been mirated from adjoining states Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand etc. most of the families have migrated due to scarcity of livelihood opportunities at their native places and settled at the periphery of Mumbai suburbs. Overall educational attainment o these people is extremely low. Many of them do not possess any skills, hence, working as cheap labors at menial jobs. The monthly income of most of the families is as less as 8000/- to 10,000/-.

Prevalent poverty, lack of education, lack of skills, pathetic slum living conditions, lack of basic amenities and poor sanitation contributes to poor health status of people living at urban slums. Women and children are the frequent victims of poor health status due to various reasons as mentioned above. Poverty, lack of awareness, less education and traditional practices of early child marriages are common in the slums. Early marriages result in early regency and increased birth order of the family. These conditions affect health of mother and child adversely. Thus women, adolescent girls are suffering from anemia, they are subjected to risk pregnancies and post-natal complications. Further, due to lack of money they do not seek treatment from health personnel in time which worsens their heath up to the large extent. Similarly, lack of awareness, poor food habits and ignorance contribute to have higher malnutrition among children under the age of 6 years. Very few children are availing services from ICDS centers. 

Recognizing the health needs of women and children TANDA has been working with them since 2016 at Digha, Ganapatipada and Mahaveer quarry area of Navi Mumbai. We have been catering services to pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls and children under the age of 6 years. TANDA has been working with the more than 850 families in Navi Mumbai (Digha, Airoli; Thurbe Store, Ganpatipada and Mahavir Quarry of Thurbe) with focus on child education, health and women issues.

Objectives-Health Program

·         To assess the malnutrition under the age of six years aged children of marginalized communities

·         To provide nutritional supplements to the malnourished and children under the age of five years

·         To provide nutritional supplement to pregnant women and lactating mothers

·         To provide medical assistance to malnourished children with the help of concerned govt. health facilities

·         To encourage institutional deliveries

·         To provide Ante Natal Care (ANC) care to pregnant women and Post Natal Care (PNC) care to lactating mothers

·         To increase awareness about prevention and control of malnutrition

·         To provide referral services to women and children


Key activities being implemented at 3 project locations at Navi Mumbai and Purulia District- West Bengal

1)      Assessment of health of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating mothers and newly married women

2)      Health and Nutrition Center 

·         Sensitization of both mother and father towards full immunization of children

·         Health education provided to pregnant women and lactating mothers regarding malnutrition, anemia, feeding practices, hygiene and immunization


3)      Community Health Worker scheme

·         2 community health workers have been identified for every 50 households, they are being trained first so that further they could identify and provide first aid and referral services to women from the respective communities regarding ANC, PNC, malnutrition, anemia and infectious diseases

·         Community health workers visit houses on periodic basic to provide information upon malnutrition, food habits, sanitation, anemia, ANC, PNC, infectious diseases, vaccination, referral linkages etc. They encourage institutional deliveries, full immunization, breast feeding practices, personal hygiene etc.

4)      Referral Services and linkages

·         The health and nutritional center serve as a first unit of referral services to malnourished children and women with any health issues, such cases are referred to NMMC and other concerned health facilities in order to avail appropriate medical care. 

5)      Ante Natal Care and Post Natal Support

·         Community health undertake regular checkups and provide first aid treatment in consultation with concerned govt. personnel

·         Home visits are made by the community health worker to pregnant women periodically to assess health and to identify risk pregnancies

6)      Information, Education and communication

·         Posters and banners are being displayed at appropriate places in order to spread awareness about prevention, control and detection of early sign and symptoms of malnutrition and health issues of women.

·         Periodic medical caps and educational sessions would be organised towards spreading awareness among community.

·         Information of various programs and schemes about malnutrition, anemia, pregnancy and adolescent girls will be provided.  


 3) Adolescent Girl’s Health: Current Project

TANDA was also engaged with 250 adolescent girls whose health, nutrition and vaccination was monitored on regular basis. Community health worker (CHW) visits each adolescent girl twice in a month in order to provide information about menstrual hygiene, puberty changes, anemia, reproductive health, sanitation and hygiene. Every month on Tuesday of the last week adolescent girl’s orientation session is organized. Session enables adolescent girls to discuss about issues related to menstruation, anemia, use of sanitary napkins, puberty age group changes in body and mind. These sessions provide them platform where they receive important information in a friendly environment. Also, girls are given THR to have optimum nutritional intake during the puberty age. Girls are encouraged to use low cost sanitary napkins to reduce Genito-urinary tract infections. Similarly, girls are made aware about Anemia, malnutrition, its causes, signs and symptoms, govt. initiative to treat it and ways to prevent these health conditions. All adolescent girls are provided iron and folic acid tablets from UHP. Every 2nd and 3rd Friday iron and folic acid tables are distributed to adolescent girls. TANDA takes responsibility to mobilize girls for these special days to avail services and receive information provided by experts. TANDA has frequently organized awareness session i.e. once in the months at CLCs. TANDA has built capacities of adolescent girls to train other adolescent girls who are out of reach of TANDA. They identify their peers and make them aware about menstruation, hygiene, sanitation, health food habits, iron and folic acid supplements etc. it is deliberately made planned by TANDA so that in case when TANDA will not be working in field the knowledge would be spread though.


4) Child Health- Malnutrition: Current Project 

In order to address the health inequalities TANDA has been working at 3 project locations. The objective of the health initiatives is to make enable the communities to maintain optimum status of health. This is being achieved by making health services available, accessible, affordable, accountable and efficient. We are offering nutritional services where it is required but not available such as Mahaveer stone quarry region where there is no sanctioned ICDS center. We make health and ICDS system accessible by people by means of becoming a catalyst between the public system and common people. Similarly, we monitor the public system with encouraging community participation and making people to raise question regarding quality of services. This helps to make the system more accountable and people centric. Currently TANDA has been monitoring nutritional status of nearly 160 children under the age of 6 years.


5) Vocational/skill training for Youths: Current Project

TANDA has been working to address the higher unemployment rate among youths. The primary objective of TANDA is to increase the school enrollment and to reduce school drop out of children from school going age group. We found that there are many youths who have studied up to secondary and higher secondary school level. We convinced many of them apply for correspondence education in order to continue their education. However, there were many youths who had dropped their education long back and were not willing to get enrolled again due to various reasons. Many of them were working in the unorganized sector and were involved in menial jobs. In order to address this issue TANDA organizes orientation workshops with the help of Tata Strive and other vocational training institutes at Digha, Mahaveer quarry and Ganapatipada centers (Navi Mumbai). About 188 youths from three centers had attended the orientation programmes during last year. Similarly, a large number of youths were subsequently oriented by those who had attended orientation program with the help of TANDA. Tata strive institute conducts more than 12 full time skill training programs for the period of 2 to 3 months free of cost. More than 60 youths both male and female have completed their vocational courses and are currently employed with reputed companies across Mumbai suburbs. Similarly, TANDA Purulia team has been supporting traditional handicraft skills of Sabar ctribe communities along with Fishery and Goat farming. 


Celebration of Vimukti Divas and Training of Trainers and Grass Root Workers

On the eve of national decriminalization day for NT and DNT people TANDA had organused a day long training of trainers and grass root workers of 50 NGO and community based organisations across Maharashtra on 31st August 2-018 at Tata institute of social sciences. More than 80 participants from 50 NGO and CBOs participated in the program along with community people and volunteers. During the session police and public relationship, rights of common man, history of NT DNT community, various issues of NT DNT communities and role of NGO worker was discussed in length. The idea of DNT resource center was proposed by TANDA which was widely appreciated by all participants in order to support students and NGO representatives and to bridge the gap between them. Prof. Vijay Raghavan, Prof. Ruchi Sinha, Prof. Rammaya and Mr. Machhindra Chavhan (ACP) were the key resource persons of the session.




 Government Resolutions and Orders for Nomadic Tribes and Denotified Tribes

  • Central List of OBCs for the State of Maharashtra [ Download ]
  • List of Nomadic Tribes and Denotified Tribes for the state of Maharashtra - 2006 [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing caste certificate and caste verification certificate for Chapparband (Muslim) community ( छप्परबंद ( मुस्लीम धर्मीयशंसह ) या व्यक्तींना जातीचे प्रमाणपत्र व जात वैधता प्रमाणपत्रबाबतच्या मार्गदर्शक सूचना ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Nomadic and Denotified tribes on Caste Certificate ( अनुसूचित जाती, विमुक्त जाती, भटक्या जमाती, इतर मागासवर्ग व विषेश मागास प्रवर्गातील व्यक्तींना द्यावयाच्या जाती प्रमाणपत्रांच्या कार्यपध्दतीबाबत.- वास्तव्याच्या अटीबाबत ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing BPL Ration Card to Pardhis and Kolathis ( राज्यातील सर्व विडी कामगार तसेच सर्व पारधी व कोल्हाटी समाजाच्या कुटुंबांना तात्पुरत्या स्वरुपात बी.पी.एल. ची शिधापत्रिका देण्याबाबत ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing Caste Certificate to Kolathi and dombari ( कोल्हाटी / डोंबारी ( भटक्या जमाती - ब अ. क्र.१५ ) जाती समाजाच्या व्यक्तिंना जाती प्रमाणपत्र व त्याची पडताळणी कामी येणा-या अडचणी - मार्गदर्शक सूचना ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing caste certificate for those nomadic and don't who don't have documentary proofs ( विमुक्त जाती, भटक्या जमाती प्रवर्गातील व्यक्तींना जाती प्रमाणपत्र देताना विचारात घ्यावयाच्या पुराव्याबाबत ) [ Download ]



  • Report on the Status of Pardhis in Mumbai City [ Download ]
  • Report on Urban Nomads: The Masan Jogis (Based on the Field Work Experiences in Mumbai) [ Download ]
  • Health issues of a branded community in an urban slum of Mumbai [ Download ]
  • Living on the edge [ Download ]

In Media:

  • पारधी समाज उपेक्षितच Published in Marathi Mitra dated August 25, 2012 [ Download Article ]