Campaigns have been used as a tactic by the Sangathans, with support from ANANDI. Campaigns are issue based (violence against women, access to government schemes, etc.) and generally seek to raise awareness about these issues within the larger community and region. Campaigns are generally organized at the Block and District level of the state. The campaigns are carried out in highly visible public spaces, such as markets or meeting grounds, over a period of time. The campaign tactic used by ANANDI differs from others, in that it is carried out over a longer stretch of time and targets the general community. Within the campaign tactic, ANANDI has used participatory tools and exercises to catch the attention of community members and engage them in dialogue about the identified issue. When organizers are able to obtain a sufficient audience they generally carry out workshops and break-out sessions where community members can voice their opinions and brainstorm ideas.
Campaigns often include local leaders as speakers during the public campaign. ANANDI has been able to leverage its relationships to have police officials, local government officers and prominent activists speak or facilitate workshops. This tactic is used to gain the attendance of a larger number of community members and to legitimize the campaign in the eyes of the community. For example, during a campaign to end violence against women, ANANDI used its relationship with Professors from a local law college to develop and implement legal awareness workshops.
Campaigns are also a way for Sangathan members and community organizers to gather information about women’s experiences, to identify gaps in services, barriers to services and entitlements, and to identify emerging issues such as a rise in domestic violence or caste based discrimination in a particular region or village. Considering that campaigns often involve government stakeholders, gathering information from attendees during the campaign itself, regarding their experiences of a specific issue, is an effective strategy to increase official recognition of a problem and request accountability.
This is a crosscutting strategy with the purpose of strengthening accountability mechanisms of relevant institutions (state and non state) to take special cognizance of women’s rights. ANANDI believes that issues from the field can be linked through research, networking and advocacy related work in regional, national and international debates to mainstream gender concerns and influence policy. It does this through the following strategies: