Society for Community Health Awareness, Research and Action (SOCHARA)

Works through community action and partnerships, teaching and training initiatives, research, knowledge dissemination, policy advocacy and engagement with the public health system

  • Bronze Certified 2023
  • FCRA
  • 80G
  • 12A
Transparency Rating:
Transparency Rating
The transparency rating is calculated based on the amount of information available for the organisation.
Claim this profile
Bronze Certified Bronze Certified


  • Headquarters

    Bangalore, Karnataka

  • Since


The Society for Community Health Awareness, Research and Action (SOCHARA) and its operational divisions have advocated for a health and development mo Read moredel centered on the community. This approach envisions a movement in community health and tackles public health issues from a community-centric perspective. Even after two decades of establishment, SOCHARA continues to actively engage in and fortify health movements both in India and globally. Its focus remains on supporting and collaborating with people, communities, professional organizations, and governments to promote fair health and development, striving towards the objective of 'Health for All'. In India, significant disparities exist among different social groups concerning health and development indicators. These disparities are stark when examining health data in terms of caste, class, gender, and geographical location. Therefore, it is crucial to view health and healthcare systems through the lens of equity to ensure socially just health actions. SOCHARA approaches community health actions through a blend of research, inquiry, introspection, innovation, and consideration of the socio-political, cultural, economic, and environmental contexts. This approach to 'community health' is also being nurtured among future community health leaders through SOCHARA's fellowship and various training programs. SOCHARA actively participates in various initiatives such as the Global Peoples’ Health Movement (PHM), the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (India's PHM chapter), local PHM chapters, and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). These initiatives aim to fortify the public health system based on the principles of comprehensive primary health care. The focus is on ensuring fair access to high-quality healthcare, addressing health determinants, and reducing health inequalities. Currently, SOCHARA operates through three clusters situated in the capitals of Karnataka (Bengaluru), Tamil Nadu (Chennai), and Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal). Each cluster pursues its distinct work agendas within the framework of the society's objectives and the vision of achieving Health for All. Since its institutional journey began in 1984, particularly after its registration in 1991, SOCHARA has addressed numerous public health challenges through innovative actions, training, research, and advocacy initiatives. Vision/Mission Statement SOCHARA embodies an interdisciplinary consortium of community health professionals employing diverse approaches to advance the overarching goal of achieving universal health coverage for all. Its endeavours revolve around community engagement, collaborative partnerships, educational programs, research endeavours, knowledge dissemination, advocacy for policy reforms, and active involvement within the public health system. The primary focus areas encompass the development of the public health system, addressing social determinants of health, and fostering community-based health initiatives with a perspective rooted in social justice. Objectives: • Raise awareness regarding the principles and application of community health among individuals engaged and interested in health-related sectors. • Advocate for and bolster community health initiatives, whether initiated voluntarily or through governmental programs. • Conduct research on policy matters pertaining to community health, including methodologies in community healthcare, training of healthcare personnel, and the integration of medical and health systems. • Develop educational strategies aimed at enhancing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of individuals involved in community health and development. • Engage in dialogue and collaboration with health planners, decision-makers, and implementers to facilitate the formulation and execution of health policies oriented towards community well-being. • Establish a library, documentation centre, and interactive information hub focused on community health initiatives.


  • Community Health Cell (CHC), Bengaluru

    The Community Health Cell (CHC) functions as a pivotal unit within SOCHARA. Collaborating with an extensive network comprising non-governmental and governmental institutions, health advocacy groups, developmental campaigns, and grassroots movements, CHC actively engages them in the overarching movement towards 'Health for All'. Its contributions align with SOCHARA's objectives, employing various approaches such as training sessions, interactive discussions, participatory reflections and reviews, research and evaluation, peer group support, networking, and fostering solidarity.
    Originating in 1984 as an experimental study-reflection-action initiative, CHC emerged from a group of individuals who transcended the confines of the Medical College. Their primary goal was to bolster and facilitate community health initiatives at the grassroots level, particularly in Karnataka.

  • Centre for Public Health and Equity (CPHE), Bengaluru

    The Centre for Public Health and Equity (CPHE), situated in Bengaluru, operates as a vital functional unit within SOCHARA. CPHE primarily concentrates on public health education and policy advocacy, advocating for a redefined public health approach emphasizing health equity, social justice, the underlying determinants of health (including gender considerations), inclusive and responsive health systems, and the development of health policies.
    Formally established in December 2008 during the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Community Health Cell (CHC), the original functional unit of SOCHARA, CPHE has evolved from CHC's extensive groundwork in public health education, health policy research, action, and advocacy across regional, national, and global platforms over numerous years.

  • CHC Extension Unit (CEU), Chennai


    The Community Health Cell extension unit (CEU) in Chennai has been actively involved in various initiatives since 2004, striving to attain the objective of 'Health for All' while reinforcing Tamil Nadu's public health system. Collaborating with communities, civil society organizations, and the government, CEU's efforts have focused on enhancing public health accountability to the people. Over recent years, CEU has undertaken endeavours such as raising community awareness, facilitating community-led actions to fortify the system, monitoring the health system's performance, and engaging with the government to advocate for people-centric policies. These efforts have been channeled through a project known as 'Community Action for Health in Tamil Nadu' (CAH). Presently, the team is actively working on enhancing its research capabilities and documentation practices.

  • CPHE- Bhopal, Resource Centre for Public Health

    CPHE-Bhopal, the Resource Centre for Public Health, is dedicated to advancing the Vision of the Madhya Pradesh Community Health Fellowship Programme (MPCHFP), which emerged as a civil society-driven initiative to enhance the capabilities of individuals in community health. Building upon previous experiences in training and supporting those interested in community health, along with active involvement in the policy processes related to public health education, the initiative integrated insights from the review and recommendations of the Community Health Fellowship Programme to create a new fellowship venture for Madhya Pradesh. By establishing a network comprising civil society organizations focused on health issues, hospitals, people's movements, and academic institutions throughout Madhya Pradesh, the Resource Centre commenced its operations following a public launch in October 2009.

  • Initiative on nutrition and health

    Since 2013, the CPHE Bhopal team has been actively engaged in Indiranagar slum, focusing its efforts on anganwadis to tackle various challenges related to malnutrition and maternal health. The team provided support to Anganwadi workers and supervisors to organize "sneh shivir" sessions as part of the "Suposhan Abhiyaan". Fourteen children from Indra Nagar were selected to receive regular feeding, health check-ups, weighing, and training for both mothers and caregivers. Among these children, 6 were identified as moderately malnourished, 7 were severely malnourished, and 1 was within the normal range.
    The team conducted health education sessions for mothers using diverse methods. They screened videos and documentaries on childcare, nutrition, growth monitoring, and hand hygiene. Subsequently, discussions were held with the mothers to assess their understanding of these critical issues.

  • Community Health Library and Information Centre (CLIC)

    Community Health Library and Information Centre (CLIC) CLIC serves as the knowledge hub of SOCHARA, preserving its technical, cultural, and literary heritage while offering reliable reference services with expanding collections and resources. The library houses a diverse collection of resource materials on community health, accessible for all users.
    CLIC aims to:
    • Encourage health action leaders to prioritize social change processes over exclusively medical or health-related interventions.
    • Emphasize information that empowers and enables individuals rather than solely providing technical services.
    • Support the dissemination of the Primary Health Care philosophy not only at grassroots levels but also in secondary and tertiary healthcare settings, and among policymakers.
    • Ensure essential health information reaches decision-makers in healthcare, academics, activists, researchers, journalists, media outlets, issue-based movements, governmental field projects, voluntary sectors, and

  • School of Public Health, Equity, and Action - SOPHEA

    SOPHEA, a dynamic institution in evolution, is committed to educating a diverse cohort encompassing researchers, activists, community developers, as well as public health and community health professionals. This commitment is intricately entwined with principles of justice, equity, cultural sensitivity, community health interventions, and holistic development, achieved through instructional programs, research endeavours, and advocacy initiatives. The knowledge derived from community engagement and active participation contributes significantly to enhancing health, upholding human rights, and fostering social justice by addressing disparities, diseases, and disabilities.
    SOPHEA endeavours to equip public health professionals with a comprehensive understanding of public health, research methodologies, innovative techniques, and strategies to address community health concerns.

  • Training on Community Led Total Sanitation Method (CLTS)

    Training using the "Community Led Total Sanitation" (CLTS) method involves a participatory process employing various tools to guide local communities in understanding the detrimental effects of open defecation. This approach prompts communities to collectively analyse their own situation, known as the triggering process, and make a decision to cease open defecation.
    Tools employed during community triggering sessions:
    1. Rapport Building: Establishing a connection with community members to create a comfortable environment and gain their trust.
    2. "Faeces Calculation": This tool, often following the Defecation Map, reveals the extent of faecal contamination caused by open defecation. Community members appreciate this tool for its eye-opening insights.
    3. Defecation Area Transect Walk (Walk of Shame): Considered essential, this tool effectively influences the community by highlighting the impact of open defecation on their surroundings.

  • Substance abuse

    SOCHARA acknowledges alcohol abuse as a significant public health challenge, consistently integrating this issue into its policy formulations, research undertakings, advocacy endeavours, and training initiatives. SOCHARA has highlighted alcohol abuse as both a mental health concern and a leading cause of violence against women.
    To address alcohol abuse at the community level, it adopts a community health approach. This innovative initiative, termed 'Community Health Approach to Tackle Alcohol-related problems (CHATA),' was piloted to tackle this issue. Throughout SOCHARA's community health initiatives, feedback consistently highlighted concerns about alcohol abuse from urban slum dwellers and rural women's groups. During the Women’s Health and Empowerment training sessions, alcohol abuse emerged as a unanimous concern among women. Consequently, both community members and health workers urged us to address this problem.

  • Urban health

    The early engagement in urban health initiatives commenced with Dr. Mani Kalliath, who provided training to community health workers associated with Women’s Voice, a Bangalore-based NGO emphasizing a rights-based approach. Additionally, when the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the greater city corporation of Bangalore, initiated the India Population Project-VIII, it conducted training sessions for the medical officers of urban health centers focusing on management and ethical practices.
    SOCHARA actively participated in the feasibility study conducted by the BBMP for the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). It also extended support to RNTCP in fostering NGO partnerships aimed at enhancing implementation at the community level. The contributions were instrumental in highlighting the significance of urban health within the state health policy and the Task Force on Health.

  • Mental health

    Mental health has been an integral aspect of SOCHARA's ethos and actions, with distinguished psychiatrists and professionals actively contributing to its initiatives as society members and consultants. The approach revolves around sensitizing communities to understand that individuals dealing with mental health issues require empathy and support rather than discrimination and punishment. To address this, it conceptualized an innovative mental health program aimed at establishing a network facilitating mutual learning among facilitators.
    Since its inception, it has actively participated in workshops and training sessions concerning mental health issues, offering expertise as consultants and resource persons. SOCHARA has collaborated with Basic Needs India, a trust focusing on crafting suitable interventions involving individuals with mental illness and their families.

Leadership Team

  • Dr. Pruthvish S


  • Dr. Denis Xavier


  • Dr. Maya Mascarenhas


  • Mr. Gurumoorthy M

    Secretary cum Coordinator

  • Dr. Susanta Ghosh



  • Internal, External Assessors



  • Ethics and Transparency Policies


  • Formal CEO Oversight & Compensation Policy


Political & Religious Declarations

  • On Affiliation if any


  • On Deployment Bias if any


Registration Details

  • PAN Card


  • Registration ID


  • VO ID / Darpan ID


  • 12A


  • 80G


  • FCRA


  • CSR Registration Number

    Not Available


  • Headquarters

    No. 359, 1st Main, 1st Block Koramangala, Bangalore - 560034, Karnataka, India


Other Details

  • Type & Sub Type