Triumph over prejudice and ignorance is a triumph for us all.

Dame Judi Dench / KARUNA PATRON

Karuna has been working with Dalit and Tribal communities in India and Nepal for 40 years. Despite huge economic growth in South Asia, these communities continue to face constant barriers of exploitation and exclusion.

The caste system is an ancient form of discrimination that denies people their basic rights and keeps millions trapped in conditions of modern-day slavery solely on the basis of birth. Those most affected are known as Dalits, literally meaning “broken people”.

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Our 3 areas of focus

education

Education for all

Education is crucial to Karuna’s Dalit and marginalised communities, who historically have been denied education and suffered from high drop out rates. We work holistically with schools, parents and children, providing support structures to enable disadvantaged children to take full advantage of the mainstream school system. Karuna ensures that children are informed about their rights and can develop a sense of agency – becoming positive role models for one another and the change-makers for the next generation, taking their futures into their own hands.

education
96%
96% Of children in Karuna projects continue their education past the age of 14, almost double the national average
education
COVID-19 Update

Children from marginalised communities will be worst affected by school closures, leading to increased equality, early marriage and child labour. Read how you can help us change this.

SUPPORT CHILDREN
livelihood

Dignified Livelihoods

Karuna supports Dalit and marginalised people to break out of degrading, caste-based occupations that get passed down from generation to generation. Our work first helps people form a different vision for themselves, then develops that vision into reality through vocational and skills training. Building networks and fostering an enabling environment, together we can create a shift in mindset within the community as well the individual that supports dignified, caste-free livelihoods that can become a living reality, challenging the stigma of caste and inspiring others to do the same.

livelihood
Quotation Marks
The result of our work ensures that the next generation becomes less affected by castediscrimination.
livelihood
COVID-19 Update

The lockdown has led to an unprecedented livelihoods crisis with millions of returned migrant labourers needing to find new and sustainable livelihoods. Read how we are helping people to find sustainable and resilient livelihoods.

SUPPORT RESILIENCE

Karuna supports Dalit and marginalised people to break out of degrading, caste-based occupations that get passed down from generation to generation. Our work first helps people form a different vision for themselves, then develops that vision into reality through vocational and skills training. Building networks and fostering an enabling environment, together we can create a shift in mindset within the community as well the individual that supports dignified, caste-free livelihoods that can become a living reality, challenging the stigma of caste and inspiring others to do the same.

livelihood
Quotation Marks
The result of our work ensures that the next generation becomes less affected by castediscrimination.
gender equality

Gender Equality

Dalit women often face the “double discrimination” of both caste and gender. Karuna’s work challenges these traditional caste-based gender attitudes so that women from marginalised backgrounds are valued equally and can enjoy equal access to the full range of rights and opportunities needed to realise their potential. Leadership and skills training enable women to become leaders in their communities, asserting their own choices and needs and empowering change in others. Likewise, we work with groups of men, encouraging them to become active agents for gender equality.

gender equality
Quotation Marks
If women can get independence they will face less harassment. I am capable and I want to prove it.
gender equality
COVID-19 Update

We will continue to focus relief efforts on women and girls, who are particularly vulnerable in times of crisis, ensuring they are protected from violence and trafficking as a result of reduced family incomes due to the pandemic.

SUPPORT EQUALITY

When an individual’s life changes, they can change their community. When a community changes, they can change society.