WHO WE ARE:
Dhanak of Humanity is a not-for-profit organization mostly comprising interfaith and inter-caste couples. Dhanak, founded by a few interfaith couples, began as a support group in 2004. It was registered in 2012 under the Societies Registration Act.
Dhanak has evolved organically, and over the years it has emerged as a Champion organization working for the promotion of the Right to Choice in the matters of Marriage and Relationships. It works against Honour-Based Crimes and Forced Marriages in India. Dhanak’s unique footing, passion, and experience drive the core team.
Dhanak is the only organization in India working on a spectrum of issues and challenges faced by interfaith and inter-caste couples, LGBT couples, and individuals who choose to assert their autonomy. In the last few years, there has been a marked increase in the number of inter/intra-caste couples seeking support.
Over the years Dhanak has touched the lives of over 1300 couples. Dhanak’s expertise developed as a result of learnings based on real-life experiences of struggling couples; be it dealing with their own value system and stereotypes, their families, or with the administration and legal systems.
Dhanak’s members volunteer to support new couples and families whenever and with all possible means.
WHAT WE DO:
SUPPORT TO ASPIRING COUPLES:
- Counselling & Guidance to Aspiring Couples
- Legal Guidance and Aid to Aspiring Couples
- Protection, Support, and Financial aid to Couples in need
- Protection and Support of LGBTQ couples on request by network organizations of CHAYAN
- Facilitation for Marriage Solemnization & Registration
SERVICES TO INTER-RELIGIOUS/CASTE COUPLES AND FAMILIES:
- Registration and Solemnization under Special Marriage Act
- Protection and Legal support for prevention of Honour based crimes and safety
- Reconciliation with Parents
- Facilitate stay at Government Safe House for Couples in Need of Protection
- Linkage with Support Group for Counselling & Support
- Perspective Building on issues related to interfaith & gender-just living and universal human values and Support System
- Volunteering Opportunity
SENSITIZATION AND AWARENESS BUILDING:
- Right to Choice
- Against Honour-Based Crimes and Forced Marriage
- Marriage without Religious Conversion
- Gender Equality in Relationships
- Awareness on Provisions under the Civil Marriage (Special Marriage Act)
ADVOCACY & NETWORKING:
- Amendment of Special Marriage Act and changes in State Rules
- Demand for an Act against Honour-Based Crimes
- Demand for Homes for Couples for Security and Protection
- CHAYAN: A consortium of organizations working on Right to Choose, convened by Dhanak
- Forum of Parents and responsible citizens for intervention in mixed cases
- Collection of secondary and primary data related to marriage from different states of India
- Collection of secondary data related to incentives given to mixed marriages by state governments.
Dhanak is an Urdu word for rainbow, which is a beautiful yet rare phenomenon. Similarly, interfaith/caste marriages are not common in our society. Just as rich colours get together to complete a rainbow, we believe that the differences in our religious backgrounds are like different hues that add to the richness of our lives. Not only can we co-exist, but we can also enhance life’s quality thanks to the diversity that comes along due to the differences in our religious identities.
Our journey began in 2005 when a few interfaith couples decided to get together with the intention to form a forum which we decided to name as Dhanak. The idea was to help people with similar backgrounds to come together and form a support structure for each other at small group & individual levels. More importantly, we wanted to counter the spread of communalism in society.
We believe that differences in religious backgrounds bring with it some unique issues and experiences, and we understand these well. We are confident that there are many such people who believe strongly in our vision and wish to be a part of it and support it.
We invite all to join us as “Friends of Dhanak”. Dhanak also looks forward to being associated as “Networking Partners” with like-minded groups and organizations that share Dhanak’s overall perspective of universal peace & harmony.