Vacancy for a Research and Advocacy Associate in Sangama, Bangalore

Location Bangalore

Vacancy for a Research and Advocacy Associate

Full time experienced person

Sangama (www.sangama.org) is a human rights organisation working mainly with sexual minorities, sexworkers and PLHIV (People Living with HIV). Our work includes human rights advocacy, support for community-based organisations and community lobbying and campaigns

We are looking for a research and advocacy associate for our special projects.

Job Profile

The role involves working with the Project Director from concept design to coordination and execution of research projects and advocacy activities.

The person will primarily be responsible to facilitate, contribute and document the research work undertaken as well support the fellowship programme. Other responsibilities will include support the development of fund raising strategy including proposal writing, maintaining relationship with funders and help send in the reports

Who we are looking for

– At least 6 years relevant experience at a middle/senior position in human rights/ social justice/ community collectivization work

– Comfort to work with working class sexual minorities/ sexworkers/ people living with HIV

– Committed to social justice in the context of class, caste, gender, sexuality, religion etc.

– Team player and ability build alliances with various social movements and other larger social change processes

Skills

Ability to

– combine research, project management and advocacy. A strong theoretical grounding and good methodological, analytical and writing skills (in English) required.

– communicate in Kannada

– independently plan and coordinate training programmes

Salary will be based on experience and skills. We believes in affirmative action and particularly encourag people from the marginalized backgrounds to apply, including: sexual minorities, people living with HIV, dalits, adivasis, women, religious minorities and people with disabilities.

Interested candidates can sent a brief bio to sangama@sangama.org or shubha.chacko@gmail.com as soon as possible.

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Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities face discrimination in HIV+ people’s network

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: HIV News <hivtalk@gmail.com>

PRESS NOTE

 

Sex Workers and Sexual Minorities face discrimination in HIV+ people’s network

 

 

Arunodaya Network Of Positive People (ANP+) is a registered district-level network of HIV Positive People in Bangalore Urban District, Karnataka. Its members include HIV positive persons from the communities of ex workers and sexual minorities, who face discrimination even in HIV positive people’s networks due to their occupation/ sexual orientation/ gender identity. The Annual General Body meeting and the elections to elect the new board representatives are scheduled to be held on 28th October (Thursday). But on 21st of Oct 2010, a few members complained that their nominations were rejected on unfair grounds i.e. for being a sex worker or a sexual minority person. The rejected members filed their nomination under the general category. The election rules of the society do not prohibit any member contestingin open category, which is also an universal principle of justice. The candidates who were rejected were from the reserved category (sex workers and sexual minorities) and filed their nomination for the general category post (Open category).

 

 

As per society’s rule, the elections should be conducted democratically and the bylaws of the society should be shared with each and every member of the society. The rejected members have complained that Arunodaya Network has failed to provide a copy of the bylaws to other board members and ordinary members.

 

 

Rejected member’s quotes:

Usha, member of Arunodaya Network for the last 3 years:

For the last 3 years, I am a member of Arunodaya network. When I became a member, one of the board members in the year 2006 gave me counselling. Based on the counselling, the network registered me as a member under the general category. I filed my nomination under the general category. But my nomination was rejected as they considered me under the reserved category which is completely wrong as per their documentation. The Arunodaya Network asked me to put my nomination for the reserved post. In this election, 1 post is reserved for a female sex worker and one from the community of sexual minorities. It is completely unfair to ask me to contest under the reserved category. Rejecting my nomination for the general category is a violation of my right as a member. This is completely undemocratic and against the rights of sex workers.

 

Vijaya Kumar, members of Arunodaya Network:-

Since last 6 months I am the member of the network. I am actively associated Arunodaya Network. I identify myself  as a Bisexual. The Arunodaya network registered me as a member under the reserved (Sexual Minority) category. Even though I am a reserved category member, I am interested to contest in the election for the general category post, which is my right as a member. I wanted to contest from general category to prove that there are sexual minorities who are capable of winning elections, without reservation. This was my sincere effort. I wanted to bring my other sexual minority friends to the mainstream. But rejecting my candidature, they have discriminated me and have violated my rights. If they cannot provide me a chance, as a District Level Network (DLN) what support can they provide to other sexual minorities? I want fair, democratic election process so that there is no discrimination.

Our demands:

1.       The Arunodaya Network should conduct fair and democratic elections according to its bylaws and the law of the land.

2.       There should be no discrimination for the reserved category members contesting in elections.

3.       Reserved category members should be provided equal opportunities.

For more information: Vijaya Kumar (95387 09146), Usha (80507 68692)

Vacancy for PROGRAM DIRECTOR in Sangama, Bangalore

Employing organization: Sangama, Bangalore

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Issue: October 12, 2010

Closing Date: October 20, 2010

About Sangama: Sangama, a human rights organization founded in 1999 works mainly with sexual minorities, sex workers and people living with HIV in India through human rights activism, community led campaigns, providing support to community based organizations, producing documentary films, reports, etc. Helping community organizations in providing health services and advocating for health rights is an important part of our work.

Sangama’s work is organized into 2 separate programs. Sangama-Vikasa focuses on service provision and developmental activities whereas Sangama-Sangharsha focuses on activism.

Sangama is looking for a suitable individual for the position of Program Director, Sangama-Vikasa

1. Program Director – Sangama Vikasa

Sangama looks for a Program Director to take us forward into the next stage of development.

We are looking for someone who:

– Has at least 5 to 7 years of relevant program management/direction experience in the health or development sectors, including at least 3 years’ at the senior management level experience.

– Understands the principles of social justice and has a clear analysis of class and caste, gender and sexuality, age, religion and disability, and other factors which stigmatise and exclude certain sections of people.
– Is able to lead an organisation concerned with social change and human rights – turning a clear vision and direction into a practical strategy and work programme.
– Is able to write clear and concise English – including reports, proposals, concept notes etc.
– Is able to communicate verbally in English with funders and other international organisations, and in Kannada with local groups and individuals.
– Is able to draft a business plan and translate this into team work plans, and oversee them through to completion.
– Is able to manage complex projects, as well the capacity to seek out and initiate new ones.
– Has a high degree of initiative, and the ability to think strategically and creatively.
– Is efficient and pays attention to the detail of organisational and people management – does what they say they’ll do.
– Is able to build and maintain a wide range of links and networks
– Is experienced at using a collaborative and consultative style of management and enables others to do likewise.
– Understands (i) the principles of creating and leading diverse teams, (ii) a work culture which actively benefits from its diversity
– Respects the history, values and profile of Sangama while taking it forward into a new focus and areas of work.


Previous experience or knowledge of issues of sexuality – while an advantage – is not a pre-requisite.

Salary will be based on experience and skills.

Sangama believes in affirmative action and encourages people from marginalized backgrounds to apply for this post, including: sexual minorities and their family members, sex workers and their family members, people living with HIV and their family members, women, dalits, adivasis, religious minorities and persons with disability.

 

Interested candidates may apply by sending their complete CV (with contact details of self and 2 people who know their work as references) to sangamavikasa@gmail.com by 20th October, 2010.

 

In Solidarity

 

Arockya Selva

Administrator

Sangama

City activists take plunge into politics with BBMP polls

http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/1851-praja-rajakiya-vedike-bbmp-elections-candidates

This council election will see Veena, a transsexual, and Anil, a former teacher, contesting from Okalipuram (Ward 196) and Hebbal (Ward 21) respectively. Both represent citizen group Praja Rajakiya Vedike.

By Vaishnavi Vittal
15 Mar 2010, Citizen Matters

In what is their first step towards mainstream politics in Bangalore, a group of city-based activists have come together for the BBMP council elections by floating two independent candidates. These activists have formed a group called the Praja Rajakiya Vedike, which will support the candidates in these elections.

Says Elavarthi Manohar, one of the members of this group, “We have all fought with regard to human rights, women’s rights, sexuality minority rights. We wanted to bring about a change. So we all got together”. Manohar is also the founder of Sangama, a sexuality minorities human rights organisation for individuals oppressed due to their sexual preference.

Over the last two years, these activists held meetings and consultations to understand the work and agendas of various political parties in the state. “Big parties are not transparent. Small parties work only during elections”, says Manohar. This was when they decided to form their own political party to create a conducive environment wherein every stakeholder would be equally respected irrespective of their caste, colour or creed. That’s how Praja Rajakiya Vedike came to be formed with about 20 to 30 core members and about 200 supporters. It is however not yet a political party.

For the upcoming elections, two candidates – Veena S, the first transsexual in south India to contest in an election and A Derick Anil, a former teacher and activist – will contest from Okalipuram (Ward 196) and Hebbal (Ward 21) respectively. The duo filed their nomination papers today.

South India’s first hijra contesting from Bangalore’s Okalipuram

Thirty-four year old Veena who works for Dalit rights, sexual minorities, sex workers, domestic workers and garment factory workers, says she decided to contest in the polls as she had always wanted to get into politics.

Veena, contesting bbmp elections

Veena, a transsexual, will contest from Ward 196. If elected, she says she will ensure that the voice of the people will be heard. Pic: Vaishnavi Vittal

Incidentally, Veena is also the first transsexual in South India who will be contesting in an election.

Hailing from a poor Dalit family, Veena was born and brought up in Okalipuram. She has studied upto 10th standard. From a young age, when she was a boy, she always knew she was different. “I didn’t like being a male”, she says. Tortured and teased by both friends and family, she eventualy got herself castrated and underwent a sex change operation. Initially her parents and four siblings treated her as an outcaste. Today, however, she is the sole bread-winner of the family.

“I’m proud to be a woman today”, she says proudly. Veena doesn’t speak English fluently but understands the language. She speaks Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.

Veena has previously worked with Sangama in the area of HIV-AIDS. She has also worked as Treasurer at Samara, a community organisation of sexual minorities and sexworkers. She recently resigned from this job as she now works full time for Praja Rajakiya Vedike. She is also the Vice President of the Karnataka Sex Workers Union, member of Dalit Mahila Horata Koota and is the President of an Anekal-based group called Sanchaya Nele that works with Dalit women.

For the BBMP elections, Veena says there are several problems in her ward that she is looking to start working on. She says the Corporation school in the area is being closed because of the Metro Rail construction. “Where will the children go to study? I want to fight this,” she says, adding that she also wants to build toilets, a playground, library and proper anganwadis.

Her anger and frustration towards the ruling government is clear when she says, “They want to make green city, silicon city and spend crores on painting the walls. Couldn’t they give this money to the poor?”

Having lived in a low income neighbourhood (commonly known as a slum) herself, Veena says she wants to empower the people of the ward so that their voices are heard.

Even as this is her first election, Veena is confident of winning this time. “Everyone has been supporting me – lawyers, media and others. This has given me the courage to fight. I won’t stop”.

Though Veena belongs to the sexuality minority community and is the first transsexual to contest in an election in Bangalore, her contesting in the election has more to do with her work as an activist than her sexuality. “I don’t think me being a hijra is going to affect votes or the elections”. But she also hopes that more people like her come out and contest in elections next time round. “Things are not like before. Today, when you tell people something, they listen. It gets them thinking.”

Former teacher and PT instructor contesting from Hebbal ward

Taking the plunge along with Veena, is her friend and colleague A Derick Anil, who is contesting from Hebbal.

This former English teacher and physical education instructer, has been actively involved in activism from a young age. Anil has been involved with issues related to consumers, environment, women, agriculture, tribals, Nethravati river diversion and beedi workers. He has previously worked with the Nagarika Seva trust, Society for People and Action for Development, and Centre for Research on Environment, Development Innovations, Technology & Trade (CREDITTe), mostly in the area of research. Anil has a masters degree in sociology.

Anil contesting elections

Anil, who is contesting from Hebbal, wants to make it a model ward. Pic: Vaishnavi Vittal

He now works independently and is working with regard to Right to Information (RTI), water and sanitation issues.

Ask him why he decided to contest in the elections now and the 37-year-old says, “In my entire activism life, I realised that the decision making body is the government. Many things are promised. Very little is done. Out of what little is done, few lobbies come and hijack that also. That made us think of alternatives”. Politics was one of them, for Anil and his activist friends.

As a child, Anil says he harboured the dream to become the Chief Minister one day! “But that was emotional. I was later averse to politics”. It was in 2007 when he started giving it a serious thought and eventually decided to dive in.

About his ward Hebbal, he says he would like concentrate on the issues of water, waste, sanitation and roads. After elections are over he plans to get information through RTI on all the developmental work that has been carried out in Hebbal in the last three years.

Anil wants to make Hebbal a model ward and envisages that a time should arrive when should not have to knock on the door of an elected representative. “Everything should be available to everyone. There should be equitable distribution”.

He feels that his experience as an activist and involvement in various issues makes him an ideal candidate to win.

“We will ask people for Re 1 and one vote”

Even as both Veena and Anil are using these elections to gain experience in electoral politics, they are working strategically to win. “Opponents are working with money, muscle and liquor. When we go on our door-to-door campaign, we will ask people for one rupee and one vote”, says Veena. They are using this strategy to also mobilise funds for their campaign. Veena and Anil together are looking to spend not more than Rs 4 lakhs on the elections. They are looking for funds from friends, relatives and supporters.

Praja Rajakiya Vedike will use banners and pamphlets to promote their candidates and go around in autos with loudspeakers.

Mainstream parties versus independent candidates

As Manohar explains, the Vedike’s main aim is to bring about a clean, efficient and transparent governance process. They are clear when they say that they are not just a social movement.

Siddharth Narrain, a lawyer with Alternative Law Forum or ALF, feels that this is an indication of the current scenario of politics. “It brings in a different perspective. Both these candidates are raising broader issues. No mainstream politician will focus on the harassment that is meted out to hijras”, he says. ALF is a Bangalore-based lawyers’ collective and has worked with regard to sexual minorities’ rights.

Narrain feels that independent candidates like Veena and Anil have better chances of winning in these local elections. “If they win, it’s a sign that people are fed up with mainstream political parties”.

But those in mainstream politics themselves do not think much of these independent candidates contesting in the elections. BJP MLA (Yeshwanthpur) Shobha Karandlaje feels that these candidates should instead support mainsteam parties like the BJP. “Will they win as independents? It’s not possible when we are working in full force”, she says.

Shobha adds that she herself has worked on issues concerning sexual minorities and will continue to do so.

Congress MLA (Mahalakshmi Layout) Narendra Babu feels that as long as you are committed to serving the public, you can contest. “It doesn’t matter who you are. You need to be service-minded”, he says, adding as an after-thought, “It’ll be better if they contest as a party candidate.”

Meanwhile, for Praja Rajakiya Vedike the BBMP election is the first step in their entry into politics. They are looking to eventually form a political party that respects diversity, equality, non-violence and individual freedom. For now, their eyes are set on winning the city council elections.

15 Mar 2010

Vaishnavi Vittal is a staff journalist with Citizen Matters.

Vacancies in Samara (Bangalore), a sexual minority organization adrressing HIV-AIDS and human rights issues

Samara Logo


Samara, a community organization of sexual minorities and sexworkers in Karnataka is recruiting people at senior level. It is a good opportunity for people committed to sexual minority and sexworker human rights issues. Here is Samara’s AD:

———————

Vacancies in a HIV Prevention Project  (Bangalore City)


Samara, a community organisation of sexual minorities and sexworkers, is implementing a focused HIV-AIDS prevention project among sexual minorities in Bangalore City. The main goal of the project is to build an effective, result based and sustainable model for HIV prevention with men who have sex with men and transgenders.


Project Manager (1 post)


Key Roles and Responsibilities


· Managing the implementation of all project activities

· Supporting and handholding the staff

· Monitoring the project outputs and reporting on results, including sending regular reports to the funding agency

· Responsible for staff recruitment, induction and capacity building

· Assist Project Direction Team in conducting regular review and planning meetings with staff

· Establish linkages with other organizations for various purposes


Qualifications and Skills Specification

· Minimum 3 years of experience, preferably in HIV-AIDS Prevention Projects

· Ability to manage high calibre/high performing teams

· Fluency in Kannada and English


Organizational Development Coordinator (1 post)


Key Roles and Responsibilities


· Provide day today hand holding support to the organization

· Facilitate and organise capacity building workshops

· Give inputs for proper governance of the organisation

· Support and ensure proper project implementation

· Provide strategies for effective community mobilisation and collectivisation.

· Build and maintain alliances with other organisations and individuals

· Liaison with the funding agencies for effective program implementation


Qualifications and Skills Specification

  • Minimum 4-5 years of experience, with the ability to provide strategic leadership oversight to the organizational design, management and implementation
  • Ability to manage high calibre/high performing teams
  • Excellent relationship management skills; with the ability to network
  • Fluency in Kannada and English
  • Excellent computer skills

Interested candidates can send in their CV along with three references to samaraban@gmail.com before 30th September 2009. Samara can be contacted by phone at (080) 22113795.


Samara is an equal-opportunity employer and encourages PLHA (People Living with HIV/AIDS), sexuality minorities, women, disabled people, dalits, adivasis, religious minorities, and people from other marginalized populations to apply for the above mentioned vacancies.

Regards

Yogesh
Programme Coordinator- Services
———–

Report Release: ‘Trade Union Protections for Sex Workers’, Bangalore, 9 SEP 2009

poster

Dear Friend(s)

Karnataka Sex Workers Union invites you to the

Releasing of the report

Trade Union Protections for Sex Workers

By Com. Ashim Roy (General Secretary, New Trade Union Initiative)

On 9th September 2009, Wednesday, at 4PM

At Ashirwad, 30 St. Marks Road, Opposite State Bank of India, Bangalore

Trade Union Leaders, Human Rights Activists and Sexworker Leaders will address the meeting after the report release.

This report, Trade Union Protections for Sex Workers, shares insights from a meeting held from January 30 to February 1, 2009, in Belém, Brazil, in conjunction with the World Social Forum. The meeting brought together trade unions, sex workers, and other activists who believe that workers in the sex sector deserve basic labour rights, including the right to organize and bargain collectively, to be free of discrimination and to be free from forced labor. The participants came from Bolivia, Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States. Critical issues addressed during the meeting included:

– The links between trafficking, migration and sex work.

– How a trade union analysis of sex work might help address problems such as poor working conditions, or sex worker health and safety concerns – issues that most states and NGOs do not typically care about, since they treat sex workers as either victims or criminals.

– How to shape a common agenda with trade unions, when many do not automatically come from the understanding that “sex work is work.”

– Strategies for organizing within mainstream labour movements, and the ways in which alliances with a union movement could help sex workers combat stigma and police violence, and lobby for legal change.

Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU) is a trade union of sexworkers (women, men and transgender) in Karnataka. KSWU strives to get sexwork recognised as dignified labour, demands labour rights that are guaranteed to all other workers and campaigns for the decriminalisation of sexwork. KSWU defends the rights of sexworkers and resists violence, oppression and exploitation by the police, goondas, government agencies and others. KSWU advocate for fair working conditions and social entitlements and full social security.

For more information, contact: 97310 18694, 99455 25411

In Solidarity

Geetha

General Secretary

Karnataka Sex Workers Union

“You can’t ignore us anymore!” – Transgender Activism in India, Public Lecture in Bangalore, 6th April 2009

Dear friends

A first in Bangalore – A Public Meeting exclusively focusing on diverse transgender issues in India….  

Aneka invites you to:  


“You can’t ignore us anymore!” – Transgender Activism in India  

On  6th April 2009 (Monday)  

From  5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.  

At Vishranti Nilaya, CSI Women’s House, 18 Infantry Road (Diagonally opposite The Hindu Office), Bangalore  

Five activists share their experiences and insights on working with transgender people in different parts of India.  

Issues of SRS – Challenges for Law, the Medical Establishment, State and Society  Tista Das (on M2F) and Christy Raj (on F2M)  

Being Transgender in Rural Tamil Nadu: Challenges in Organising – Muthukumar Natesan  

Working with Hijras in Bangalore: Dilemmas and Challenges Elavarthi Manohar  

Patriarchy and Transgenders: Challenges for the Feminist Movement in India Anindya Hajra  

Chair Person: C. K. Meena, journalist and writer 

In Solidarity  

Elavarthi Manohar and Shubha Chacko

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