About Disha

DISHA is a membership-based, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1985 and registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1958.

Disha’s mission is to empower the marginalized people by widening the scope and space of economic and social participation, and enable increased participation of the poor in mainstream governance and enterprise.

Disha has created new social institutions based upon the principles of equality, justice, equity and freedom, where all citizens become empowered stakeholders, thereby able to influence the formation and governance of state and corporate policies that affect their lives and livelihoods.

These community based institutions are robust and actively working to improve the economic and social conditions of poor and marginalised communities, includingdaily-wage labour, tribals, dalits, landless persons and women.

Over the years, DISHA has initiatied and supported various community-based processes, including the formation and strengthening of vilage-level groups such as issue-based groups,the un-organised workers associations, co-operatives, women’s groups and youth groups. Supported by its budget analysis and research activity, Disha works with the groups to build their capacities for self-analysis and self-advocacy in such a way that systems and strutcres of governance are more open, transparent and responsive to the needs of the poor. Moreover, all of DiSHA’s activities are inter-connected and complement each other.

DISHA’s strategy broadly seeks to address problems at three levels:

  • Sensitization & awareness generation about the barriers & hurdles which hamper communities’ economic security & social institutions, as well as organizing them to address their own developmental issues including Land, Water, Livelihood, Labour.
  • Promoting leadership among the members through skill-based training; seminar, workshops.
  • Formation and strengthening of community-based organisations.

Over the last 25 years, Disha has played a key role in advocating for laws such as the Forest Rights Act, 2006, PESA, the MGNREGA, 2005,the Unorganized Sector Social Security Act, 2009 and The national Food Security bill-2013. Following the enactment of these laws, Disha is now monitoring their effective enforcement thus to ensure that the government’s laws/policies/programs/services and schemes relating to poor and marginalized communities are reaching them.

we work to influence public policy on behalf of poor and marginalized communities by research, dialogue with the policy makers and people’s representatives, budget analysis and media advocacy at appropriate levels – State, Central government - to influence public policy.

Disha's Work Area

Disha works in 1301 villages of 36 blocks of seven most backward districts in northen eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.

Sl. No. District Block Village
1 Dahod 7 249
2 Panchmahal 6 170
3 Mahisagar 5 110
4 Choto Udaipur 3 114
5 Sabarkantha 8 381
6 Aravali 6 252
7 Banaskantha 1 25
Total 7 Districts 36 1301