Welcome To MASUM

MASUM was co-founded by Dr. Manisha Gupte and Dr. Ramesh Awasthi in 1987 during their five year stay in the drought-prone Purandar block of Pune district. It evolved out of a commitment to women’s rights within and outside the home, working with a feminist perspective and a human rights approach. MASUM’s primary belief is that people can resolve their own problems collectively with some amount of external support; thus, rather than create dependence on itself, MASUM focused on strengthening people’s perspectives on democracy, equality, secularism and social justice. In order to emphasise people’s participation in decision-making at every level, the staff is mostly local, especially women from marginalised sections of rural society. Leadership building from subordinated groups since its inception helped to build a strong second line leadership; thereby MASUM meticulously avoided the pitfall of founders handing over the organisation to their children or family members.


  • To strengthen women’s self reliance and consciousness of human and constitutional rights.
  • To empower women to put pressure on the State for fulfilling its obligations towards its people.
  • To nurture women’s physical and emotional health.
  • To provide vocational training and credit facilities to women for economic empowerment
  • To create a sustainable and humane mode of development through people’s active involvement.
  • To create a progressive space in society for all subordinated groups, and to specifically resist casteism, sexism, religious chauvinism, homophobia and able-bodied hegemony
  • Programmatic Themes

  • Addressing multiple patriarchies and their inter-sectionality with other systems of discrimination.
  • Addressing structural and overt causes of ill-health and gender-based violence.
  • Non-discrimination, equality, human rights based approach and social transformation based on social justice.
  • Child and youth rights centred perspective and building leadership skill to deal with their issues
  • Empowerment of women and youth as individuals and as collectives for progressive social change.
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