Vikalp Sansthan2020-12-03T10:16:37-07:00

Vikalp Sansthan • India


Vikalp Sansthan was created in 2004 by a group of young social workers determined to fight for children’s futures by ending child marriages, gender-based violence and gender discrimination. Usha Choudhary, one of the founders of this monumental movement, personally understands the fear, power imbalance, and cultural pressures involved in child marriages, having narrowly escaped her own marriage at just 15 years old. Usha is just one example of the many powerful, determined and resilient members of Vikalp Sansthan – their collective personal experience and passion for change fuels the entire organization and inspires the community.

“Vikalp” means “alternative” and Vikalp Sansthan’s goal is to find and promote alternatives to the existing social structures that contribute to and promote discrimination, violence and inequality. To enact change from the grassroots level, Vikalp ignites the younger generation to be agents of change to promote equality and opportunities, regardless of gender.


Vikalp’s mission is to empower youth to end gender-based violence and discrimination by creating alternative and creative ways for them to voice their opinions, integrating them in the process of social development and creating a future which is just and equal for all.

Vikalp Sansthan has developed a Youth Task Force responsible for reporting child marriages in their villages, counselling and educating community members against child marriage, and organizing awareness campaigns throughout the region. Vikalp Sansthan also has a strong focus on increasing access to education for girls because studies show that when the education of girls increases, rates of child marriage decrease. Additionally, Vikalp is working directly with parents to discourage early marriages and encourage them to keep their daughters in school.

Vikalp aims to target the issues of gender discrimination and violence in a holistic way, by:

  • Conducting public awareness campaigns led by youth volunteers, changemakers and community partners;
  • Conducting discussion forums at the local level to build community awareness and capacity around preventing gender discrimination;
  • Advocating to local governments and community leaders on the issues women face;
  • Motivating community members to address gender based issues through various networks and support groups, as well as links with government and other institutions;
  • Raising awareness in local media and increasing coverage on issues around violence against women;
  • Sensitizing men to the experiences and issues women face;
  • Holistically empowering survivors of violence, providing women with access to legal services, counseling, and regular follow-up;
  • Developing and encouraging self-respect and self-worth in women and young girls in order to assist women in recognizing their inherent value and strength.


Vikalp Sansthan became an official partner of GoPhilanthropic in March 2017. Since the start of the partnership, the GoPhilanthropic community has supported:

  • The establishment of a Vikalp Helpline and Support Center which provides women and girls with a safe place to report abuses, receive counselling and obtain assistance reporting abuses to the authorities. The center also connects women with other referral services and hosts gender related workshops for boys and girls in the community.
  • The running costs of a Sports for Empowerment Program to encourage girls to learn a new skill, develop self-confidence and better understand their bodies, health and capabilities. This program also provides a gateway to initiate larger conversations about empowerment, girls’ rights and alternative channels for growth with the ultimate goal of keeping girls in school and free from child marriage.
  • The monitoring and evaluation of their program’s impacts and outcomes.

VIDEO: Violence Against Women

VIDEO: Free of Old Age Customs


The Vikalp team members personally relate to the trials and tribulations young girls and women face on a daily basis, making them powerful role models and leaders in their community. Their combined passion and eagerness for change makes the organization an outstanding force for gender equality.

Despite enormous scale of child marriage in Rajasthan, Vikalp Sansthan is one of very few organizations specifically working to address this deeply embedded cultural practice. Their courageous and vocal advocacy has positioned them as regional leaders of the global Girls Not Brides movement. They widely disseminate their message and approach, mentoring smaller organizations and hosting consultations to generate discussion and coordinated action to protect girls.

Additionally, Vikalp recognizes and harnesses the incredible power and potential of youth in India. They have mobilized over 400 passionate young volunteers which act as bridges into their communities, providing incredible reach and potential for change. The young leaders campaign for their own rights within their own families, schools and networks and enact widespread change from the ground up.



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