CORO for Literacy work towards a society based on equality and justice. They do this by empowering leaders in the most marginalised communities to steer collective action for social change.
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.
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’.
They mobilise and inspire local people and concerned authorities to stand for equality and justice in gender-related issues.
They 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.
-Accessing natural resources
They help rural communities to gain access to crucial land and forest rights, thereby enabling them to create sustainable livelihoods. They also work on water and other natural resourcesconservation projects to do with .
-Defending the rights of the marginalised
They empower those who are most marginalised by India’s caste system to claim their rights. They work to address the legacy of caste-based atrocities. And they stand up for the rights of disabled people and workers in the informal economy.
-Holding bureaucracy to account
Much of their 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.
-Empowering young people
They work with young people on issues to do with sexuality, health, hygiene and sanitation. They also work with schools to ensure gender equality is properly addressed in the classroom for children in their early adolescence.
They 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.
Where is CORO for Literacy