CORO was formed with the aim of propagating adult literacy in the slums of Mumbai. Literacy was seen as a tool to mobilise marginalised people to solve their own issues. CORO was established primarily by privileged individuals (eg upper caste, well-educated people from different social organisations) who came from outside the community. Over the last 25 years it has evolved into a grassroots-owned organisation led, shaped and managed predominantly by Scheduled Caste and Muslim women and men.Our people
We work to address violence against women and girls, help women to step up to leadership roles in their communities and local government, and empower women economically through the formation of self-help groups and entrepreneurial initiatives.
We help rural communities to gain access to crucial land and forest rights, thereby enabling them to create sustainable livelihoods. We also work on water and other natural resourcesconservation projects to do with .
We empower those who are most marginalised by India’s caste system to claim their rights. We work to address the legacy of caste-based atrocities. And we stand up for the rights of disabled people and workers in the informal economy.
Much of our work is about helping individuals and communities exercise legal rights – for example, the right to food and the right to education – that are not currently being fully implemented by the relevant authorities.
We work with young people on issues to do with sexuality, health, hygiene and sanitation. We also work with schools to ensure gender equality is properly addressed in the classroom for children in their early adolescence.
We offer a range of skills development opportunities for young people, women, tribal and Dalit communities, enabling them to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and those around them.
In marginalised communities, people are discriminated against on the basis of caste, class and gender. One of the biggest challenges is an acceptance of discrimination or oppression as part of ‘fate’ - combined with a culture of silence. Raising awareness of rights and challenging social norms is key in overcoming such hurdles and through capacity building programmes, CORO is changing mindsets - from ‘victim of circumstance’ to ‘change-maker’.
We have an ambitious growth plan to celebrate 25 years of experience and impact. At a time of great social challenge and debate in India, we are well placed to broaden and deepen our impact by expanding our operation, network and geographical reach.Find out how you can help