Society for Community Health Awareness Research and Action (SOCHARA) is an independent non-government organisation registered under Karnataka Societies Registration Act 17A (1960).
The Society for Community Health Awareness, Research and Action (SOCHARA) and its functional units have promoted a people-centred paradigm for health and development, envisioned through a community health movement and a community health approach to public health problems. Two decades into its inception, SOCHARA continues to participate and strengthen health movements in India and around the world, supporting and engaging with people, communities, professional bodies and governments for equitable health and development, towards the goal of ‘Health for All’.
In India, large variations are seen between social groups in indicators of health and development. These stark variations emerge when one considers caste, class, gender and geography while analyzing health data. It is therefore imperative to look at health and healthcare systems through an equity lens for socially just health action. SOCHARA approaches community health action through research, enquiry, reflection, innovation and taking into account the socio-political-cultural-economic-environmental context.
This ‘community health’ approach is also being nurtured in the next generation of community health leaders through its fellowship and other training programmes.
SOCHARA’s participation in the Global Peoples’ Health Movement (PHM), the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (the Indian chapter of PHM), the local PHM chapters, and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), to name a few, are aimed at strengthening the public health system based on the principles of comprehensive primary health care, ensuring equitable access to good quality care, addressing health determinants and reducing health disparities.
At present, SOCHARA works through there clusters, functional from three state capitals in the country - Bengaluru, Chennai and Bhopal. The clusters are:
Each of these clusters has their individual work agendas, within the purview of the society’s objectives and the vision of Health for All. During the institutional journey from 1984, and especially since 1991 when the society (SOCHARA) was registered, many public health challenges have been addressed and responded to through innovative action, training, research and advocacy initiatives.