TANDA (Towards Advocacy, Networking and Developmental Action)

Locations: Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune

Sponsor: HDFC Ltd., Caring Friends, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India and TISS Research Council

Towards Advocacy Networking and Developmetal Action (TANDA) started as a field action project (FAP) in year 2011. This FAP is based on nearly two years of student fieldwork with the Pardhi community in Mumbai through the Centre for Criminology and Justice, School of Social Work, and contribution from seniour activists Mr. Simpreet Singh from the Ghar Bacaho Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA).

In 2010 May, Tata Institute of Social Sciences gave Fellowships to Mr. Mayank Sinha and Ms. Paankhi Agrawal (alumni of TISS) to work with the Pardhi community in Mumbai. Mr. Sinha had done one year of fieldwork with the Ghar Bacho Ghar Bano Andolan and worked with the Pardhi community in Mumbai as part of his field work during his MA in Social Work from TISS (2008-10). Ms. Agrawal had done her M.A. dissertation on the Pardhi community living in Mumbai, as part of her MA in Development Studies (2008-10). For the Fellows working on the issue, it took time to build the rapport with the Pardhicommunity. However, in the given duration, the major activities done included: community profiling, community mapping, enumeration of the Pardhi families in Mumbai, housing rights status, survey on the education status of the children between 7–14 years, caste certificate status and SHG (Self Help Group) formations. All these activities posed serious challenges which included rapport building, lack of available literature, local power dynamics, lack of programmes and schemes for these communities, etc. At the end of the fellowship, TANDA emerged as a Field Action Project of TISS. The operation of TANDA manily based Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai Municipal Corporations.

Vision: Towards creating self-reliant NT-DNT communities and the fulfillment of their fundamental rights


TANDA works towards “creating self-reliant NT-DNTs and ensuring the realisation of their constitutional and entitlement rights, as citizens of India”. TANDA strongly believes that NT-DNTs should organise themselves to advocate for their rights and dignity. The project aims to play the role of a change agent through generation of knowledge, capacity building and networking with different stakeholders on relevant issues towards policy advocacy.

Target group

DNTs: DNTs (Denotified tribes) are those communities who were declared as the criminal under the Criminal Tribes Act. In Maharashtra, there are fourteen such communities which were declared as criminal. They are Berad, Bestar, Bhatma, Kaikadi, Kankarbhat, Katabu, Lamani, Phase-Pardhi, Raj-Pardhi, Rajput-Bhatma, Ramoshi, Vadar, Waghari and Chhapparbandh (appendix - 1). Later in 1952, the Government of India had repealed the Act the criminal communities are denotifed. In Maharashtra they are categorized as DNT or Vimukta Jati.

NTs: NTs (Nomadic Tribes) are those communities who, under the Government Resolution No. CBC-10/2006/P.No.94/MVC-5 of Dept of Social Justice, Cultural Affairs & Special Assistance, have been recognised by the Government of Maharashtra as NT-B, NT-C and NT-D. Under these categories, there are 34, 1 and 1 communities respectively. These communities in Maharashtra known as NTs or Bhatkya Jati.

At present, TANDA is engaged with Pardhis, Wadaris, Masanjogis and Banjaras and is working with around 500 families. Its major thrust is to build a women’s organization that would facilitate women from the NT and DNT communities to come together and collectively resolve the various issues and problems that they face in their day to day life. Tanda is also dedicatedly working towards producing literature about the NT and DNTs, considering the scarce literature available about these communities through surveys and research. Tanda is alos adopting various techniques like holding meetings or screening socially awakening movies in the communities to strengthen the solidarity among the people of the NT and DNTS.

Government Resolutions and Orders for Nomadic Tribes and Denotified Tribes

  • Central List of OBCs for the State of Maharashtra [ Download ]
  • List of Nomadic Tribes and Denotified Tribes for the state of Maharashtra - 2006 [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing caste certificate and caste verification certificate for Chapparband (Muslim) community ( छप्परबंद ( मुस्लीम धर्मीयशंसह ) या व्यक्तींना जातीचे प्रमाणपत्र व जात वैधता प्रमाणपत्रबाबतच्या मार्गदर्शक सूचना ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Nomadic and Denotified tribes on Caste Certificate ( अनुसूचित जाती, विमुक्त जाती, भटक्या जमाती, इतर मागासवर्ग व विषेश मागास प्रवर्गातील व्यक्तींना द्यावयाच्या जाती प्रमाणपत्रांच्या कार्यपध्दतीबाबत.- वास्तव्याच्या अटीबाबत ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing BPL Ration Card to Pardhis and Kolathis ( राज्यातील सर्व विडी कामगार तसेच सर्व पारधी व कोल्हाटी समाजाच्या कुटुंबांना तात्पुरत्या स्वरुपात बी.पी.एल. ची शिधापत्रिका देण्याबाबत ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing Caste Certificate to Kolathi and dombari ( कोल्हाटी / डोंबारी ( भटक्या जमाती - ब अ. क्र.१५ ) जाती समाजाच्या व्यक्तिंना जाती प्रमाणपत्र व त्याची पडताळणी कामी येणा-या अडचणी - मार्गदर्शक सूचना ) [ Download ]
  • Government Resolution for Issuing caste certificate for those nomadic and don't who don't have documentary proofs ( विमुक्त जाती, भटक्या जमाती प्रवर्गातील व्यक्तींना जाती प्रमाणपत्र देताना विचारात घ्यावयाच्या पुराव्याबाबत ) [ Download ]


TANDA is currently working with about 1200 families from Pardhi, Wadars, Masanjogi, Banjara in its area of operation in Mumbai (Pathra Chawl, Jaiambe Nagar and Mukti Nagar) and Navi-Mumbai (Ulve, Digha, Ganpatpada, Ambedkar Nagar, Koperkharane, Indira Nagar, Turbhe Store).  i) Field Intervention: Some main interventions/programmes of TANDA include:  NT-DNT Women Leadership programme through building skill (holding meetings, running campaigns), perspective (empowerment, gender, society), information-sharing (preventive health, women laws) and creating spaces to engage with government machinery (visit to police station, ration offices).  VAJRA NT-DNT Women Sangathana is a collective of 17 SHGs in TANDA’s field areas in Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai. The Sangathana has drastically cut down the external borrowing from private money lending sources and is paving way for economic independence of women through their self run small businesses. It is spaces that collectivises their voices, provides support to address gender discrimination and develops ‘courage’ to pave way for self-amelioration.  Community Learning Centres (CLCs) focuses on education of children and community organising. It runs literacy and life-long learning programmes for adult members and education and development courses for children via remedial classes, art-craft, theatre, sports and other extra-curricular activities.   Through CLCs training is provided on violence against women, rationing, government schemes & programmes, citizenship entitlement, preventive and reproductive health care.  ii) TANDA’s research creates evidence-based knowledge to guide the State to plan intervention for holistic development for the NT-DNTs. Some keys researches undertaken include Modernisation of Traditional Skills among OBCs: Livelihood Programmes for Nomadic, Semi-Nomadic and De-Notified Tribes in Maharashtra for Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (2015), Situational Analysis of Religious Minorities among NT-DNTs (2015), Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission- Nomadic Tribes and De-Notified Tribes: Addressing invisibility of marginalisation and violence (2013) and Report on the Status of Pardhis in Mumbai City (2012).  Notes and chapter submissions have been made to United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and United Nations Working Group on Human Rights highlighting the plights of NT-DNTs. iii) Advocacy: National Alliance Group for Nomadic and Denotified Tribes has been revived in 7 states in India to build leadership among NT-DNTs and to create the critical social and political momentum for emancipation of NT-DNTs. TANDA is working in close collaboration with national and state level stakeholders including Supreme Court Commissioner on Right to Food, Special Cell in police stations, Ration Kruti Samiti, BHASA Academy, Budhan Theatre, NT-DNTs Constitutional Rights Group and others to bring about relevant policy and institutional changes to realise the rights of NT-DNTs.


  • Report on the Status of Pardhis in Mumbai City [ Download ]
  • Report on Urban Nomads: The Masan Jogis (Based on the Field Work Experiences in Mumbai) [ Download ]
  • Health issues of a branded community in an urban slum of Mumbai [ Download ]
  • Living on the edge [ Download ]

In Media:

  • पारधी समाज उपेक्षितच Published in Marathi Mitra dated August 25, 2012 [ Download Article ]