WHO WE ARE:
Dhanak of Humanity is a not-for-profit organization comprising of interfaith couples, inter-caste couples, and individuals who believe in Dhanak’s cause. Founded by a few interfaith couples, Dhanak 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 an individual’s Right to Choose in matters of Marriage or Relationships, against religious conversion for the sake of marriage, against Honour-Based Crimes, and against 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, LGBTQIA couples, and individuals who choose to assert their autonomy.
Over the years, Dhanak has touched the lives of over 5000 individuals. Dhanak’s expertise has developed because 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 LGBTQIA 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:
- Individual’s Right to Choose
- 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)
- For Austerity Measures in Marriage and Celebrations
ADVOCACY & NETWORKING:
- Amendment of the Special Marriage Act and changes in State Rules
- Demand for an Act against Honour-Based Crimes
- Demand for Safe 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 the rainbow – a beautiful yet rare phenomenon. Similarly, interfaith/caste marriages are uncommon 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 only add to the richness of our lives. Not only can we co-exist, but we can also enhance the quality of our lives, thanks to the diversity that comes along with 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 “Dhanak”. The idea was to help people with similar backgrounds come together and form a support structure for each other at a small group & individual level. More importantly, we wanted to counter the spread of communalism in the society.
We believe that differences in religious backgrounds bring with them 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.