Mauna Dhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit social enterprise registered in Bengaluru, India. It aims to facilitate the revival and resurgence of personal and community identities by enabling the disenfranchised sections of society find their powerful voice and therefore their rightful place. The Foundation’s efforts are primarily focused on rehabilitation of women survivors and marginalized communities, the goal being to enable their integration into mainstream society through a holistic three-pronged methodology that includes:

  • Self-Empowerment

    Enabling the process of finding one's own internal strength and resources to drive self-development and growth.

  • Skill-Enhancement

    Creating and implementing a skill development framework that aids in transitioning from un/semiskilled to expert levels.

  • Sustainable Livelihood

    Providing enabling resources and networks to sustain an adequate income.

The essence of Mauna Dhwani is in the role it envisages for itself: the role of facilitating the transformational journey from lack of identity, lack of a voice and the silence of exclusion ‘Mauna’, to the liberating assertive and inclusive voices of individuals and communities, the ‘Dhwani’.

What we do

We at Mauna Dhwani believe that true development needs to be inclusive. Where every human being no matter how inaudible their voice is, where they are in the social rung, what their socio-economic condition is, is included…is heard, and has a voice.

We also believe that villages are the bedrock of Indian culture. Therefore any development intervention aimed at the villages needs to focus on preserving and giving new life to the villages. Equating urbanization with modernization and economic growth has in the past led to the destruction of the cultural fabric of our unique communities. At Mauna Dhwani our focus is on providing the means of a better life quality for below poverty line villages by leveraging the sense of community, respecting the environment, history, culture and traditions. Sustainable development that leverages the past, meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their needs.

Whether we work with women survivors or disenfranchised communities our methodology focuses on :
  • In-depth research not only of the demographics, statistics, and socio-economic conditions of the village; but most importantly the history, culture, legacy, tradition, behaviors, sentiment, needs, dreams and aspirations of the survivors/villagers/communities.

  • Framing the issue and defining the specific area of development based on the analysis of the voice of the community and the research.

  • Collaboratively creating a long term sustainable set of interventions

  • Testing the solutions with a chosen pilot group

  • Reviewing, making modifications and implementing on a larger scale

  • Handholding, coaching, mentoring and progressively creating leaders to handle the project independently and take over as Mauna Dhwani moves out.

Why we exist

There are some statistics that compel one to action.

  • 80% of India’s poor live in the rural areas
  • Highest numbers of unreported cases of abuse are from economically and socially marginalized communities
  • 1 in 3 women in rural India have been sexually or physically abused
  • Rapid urbanization has led to the destruction of traditional weaves and crafts
  • Since 1995, 3 lakh weavers have committed suicide across the country
Mauna Dhwani exists because we believe:
  • That rural development which holds the key for the growth of the Indian economy can only take place through a sustainable socially inclusive strategy

  • That communities/survivors who are marginalized need to be facilitated through a process of self-awareness and self-esteem followed by skill enhancement to enable them to own and take forward sustainable development

  • That the lack of access to healthcare, education, potable water and markets can be mitigated through timely, well-planned and facilitated interventions

  • That rural development models that preserve our traditional art, crafts, environment and social fabric can be created through a process of ethnographic research, collaboration with the villagers and access to the world.

  • That it is possible for conscious, committed, well-meaning professionals to play a catalytic role in mobilizing development interventions and being the voice of communities who have traditionally been silent in the last decades.