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[16days_discussion] [WorkingWithBoysandMen] Social Activist Harish Sadani selected as Grand Winner at Ashoka Changemakers' Global Competition

Aminah Carroll aminahyaquin at
Mon Jun 7 10:40:07 EDT 2010

Congratulations, Harish, and alhumdullilah!

Peace and Blessings, 


To: devika at
CC: sahitya at; Trainings at; ysikand at; pukar at; arathod95 at; at; info at; harsh.mariwala at; poisonivy786 at; jedleson at; sdurai at; Caroline.Liou at; james.lang at; WorkingWithBoysandMen at; deepak.saileja at; wesleyd at; mukund.gorakshkar at; bachut at; kalyani.jha at; raintree4 at
From: harsh267 at
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 09:14:02 +0000
Subject: [WorkingWithBoysandMen] Social Activist Harish Sadani selected as Grand Winner at Ashoka Changemakers' Global Competition


Hi All,

After all the sweat, perseverance of efforts (despite many many disheartening moments) by a determined, committed and passionate team of mine, here's a cheering news!

I have been selected as Grand Winner at a global online competition organized by Ashoka Changemakers, US and Campus of Excellence. My entry titled "Yuva Maitri (Friendship Among Youths)" was selected, among 155 entries received globally, by the Changemakers international online community and a team of 3 distinguished judges at a competition on the theme of Preventing Violence Against Women.

A communication sent to me by Ashoka Changemakers quotes Our entire team is excited to highlight you as a leader in the field of preventing violence against women. As a winner, I would be soon receiving a prize money of USD $ 5000 and an invitation to participate in Campus of Excellence event to be held in October 2010 at Spain.

The award winning entry, adjudged as the most innovative solution to raise awareness about gender-based violence and take action to prevent it, is an initiative implemented through Men Against Violence and Abuse (MAVA), Mumbai engaging and mentoring young men on a wider range of gender matters and redefining Masculinity. 

As a part of the 'Yuva Maitri' initiative, I have been passionately working since August 2006 with a sizeable number of male youths (in age-group 18 to 20 years) in 2 districts - Pune and Mumbai. Select youths -- from colleges and rural communities, possessing leadership skills and creative potential, are being sensitized and intensely trained to communicate with their peers and other young men on gender, healthy relationships, masculinity and sexuality-related matters.

Through experiential learning, personal dialogue and revisiting formation of gender norms, the core group of male youths -- after receiving intensive training on the subject through varied, innovative ways like wall newspapers, focused group discussions, debates, games, street-theatre, films, special campaigns and other outreach programs -- have been engaging their peers and many other young men across Maharashtra. 

The trained communicators have been providing safe, non-threatening platforms (physical and psychological) to many young men to comfortably unwind, open up, communicate, share their fears, thoughts, dilemmas and concerns, get exposed to newer ideas on men and masculinity, self-introspect on a wide range of Man - Woman Relationships and other gender matters. And in the process of collectively addressing gender matters, they have been evolving and promoting alternative, positive models of masculinity that are gender-equitable. 

A significant aspect of the initiative has been enabling the communicators question traditional male stereotypes in society, chalk out a Personal Change Plan, which will help them to work on their own attitudes towards women in their lives (mothers, sisters, wives of brothers) and evolve appropriate alternatives.

MAVAs initiative, only of its kind in India and with encouragement by College Faculty and Universities, grassroots voluntary organizations and womens groups, is been gradually up-scaled from Pune and Mumbai to 3 other districts of Maharashtra state: Satara, Kolhapur (since June and July 2009 respectively) and Jalgaon (since December 2009).

Population Council India had supported the initiative for 2 years (since inception) through the prestigious 'Health and Population Innovation' Fellowship awarded to me. International Bodies like UNIFEM and UNFPA have been inviting MAVA for Consultation Meets to share its innovative strategies in reaching out to men to prevent gender-based violence. While SwissAid India has been supporting the upscaling of MAVAs initiative in Mumbai and Satara, MAVA is currently seeking financial support to advance its missión in Kolhapur and Jagaon.

Please find attached link to my entry, that has won the Grand Prize. In case you are unable to view it, please log on to and see Competition on Preventing Violence Against Women. I'm sure you may find it interesting to read the comments (35 in all) and discussion generated through the entry.

So three cheers to all, who made this possible!

Harish Sadani
Men Against Violence Abuse (MAVA), Mumbai
Phone: 09870307748

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