Counseling & Guidance to Needy Men & Women
MAVA has in the last 21 years, provided face-to-face & telephonic counseling and guidance to over 20,000 men and women facing marital conflict and other gender problems. This has been done through a trained team of experienced counselors. Necessary legal support is also provided by the organization. A heartening fact is that a large number of distressed women , apart from men, have been approaching the organization.
Youth Helpline for distressed youths
MAVA started, in September 2009, Yuva Maitri Telephonic Helpline (No. 022-26826062) for distressed youths across Mumbai on problems, anxieties and dilemmas faced on matters of Relationships, Sexuality and Violence.
Gender Sensitization Programmes
Mass awareness programmes on gender issues for different target groups like school and college youth, community mandals, voluntary bodies, residential colonies and employees of business organizations are organized by MAVA. This is done by using different, innovative media like interactive workshop sessions, games, street-plays, essay and poster-competitions, wall- newspapers, radio-plays, poetry reading sessions, talks and discussions by veterans in the field. For the past 8 years, MAVA has been organizing special initiatives for young men on ‘Gender and Masculinity.’ The pioneering initiative, which began in Pune in 2006, has been spread to youths in over 6 other districts of Maharashtra. For details, see Information on Yuva Maîtri.
For the last 5 yrs., MAVA has been also organizing pre-marital guidance workshops (in English & Marathi) for boys & girls desirous of marriage and needing basic inputs on various aspects of marriage. Apart from one-day workshops, MAVA also arranges personalized guidance on pre-marital aspects for individuals.
Publication of 'Purush Spandana' (Male Vibrations)
MAVA brings out Purush Spandana (meaning male vibrations) - an annual magazine in Marathi. Published since 1996, the magazine contains short stories, first -person accounts, interviews, poems, analytical articles and media-trends that voice sentiments of men. The subjects cover a vast canvas of contemporary issues ranging from misuse of sex-determination tests, dowry system, woman sexuality and male psyche. The writers hail from varied professions. The said magazine is the first systematic effort by men to publish issues concerning men and women. Attempting to provide a platform (exclusively) for men, of varied age-groups and backgrounds, to spontaneously express their innermost thoughts on personal lives, upbringing, man-woman relationship, companionship, beauty, friendship, aspirations, vices, violence and various gender-related contemporary issues, the magazine provides fresh insights in understanding men's attitudes.
Addressing Specific issues
In 1995, when a 19 year-old college girl Dipti Khanna was badly burnt by an acid attack in 1995, MAVA raised over Rs. 75,000/- by appealing to well- wishers and members of the public to contribute towards Dipti's medical treatment expenses. Most touching was the gesture of prisoners from Nashik Central Jail who sent Rs.11,000, putting in their savings. The underlying issue behind the attack - the perpetrator's non-acceptance of a woman's negative response, was discussed by MAVA activists at various levels. Similarly, the issues of jilted love resulting in heinous forms of violence on girls in various parts of Maharashtra and the public's apathy to these incidents have been raised in a big way by MAVA in the last 7 yrs. On the occasion of 8th March- International Women's Day, every year, MAVA organizes symposia, workshops on contemporary gender issues like Section 498 A and Domestic Violence, Misuse of Sex-Determination Tests, Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment at the workplace . Men from the field of art and culture are invited for the programmes to express their concerns and solidarity on gender issues.
Networking with women's groups and like-minded bodies
This is done through referral of cases of domestic violence whenever their / MAVA's intervention is required and by jointly organizing activities aimed at tackling specific gender issues. Joining hands with leading women's bodies like Vacha, SNDT Women’s University, CORO, MAVA has been involved in projects which help youth in questioning and changing 'stereotyped' roles of men & women in society.
Organizing a series of one-day workshops on self-defense for women
Empowering them against attacks by men on streets, in buses-trains or even in homes. Over 5000 women from different backgrounds and age-groups, across the city, have participated in these workshops. Requests for similar workshops from educational institutions, corporate and specific groups have been coming to the organization recently.