• 1999
    Babul Music Video.

    Babul was a beautifully shot, stirring music video that explored the reality of domestic violence behind the façade of modern society through the eyes of a young girl. The idea behind the video was to bring out conversations on domestic violence into the mainstream when the issue of domestic violence was hardly ever spoken about in public. It was always considered a “domestic issue” which did not require or deserve any external intervention.

  • 2005
    What kind of a man are you.

    The campaign focused on use of condoms within marriage. Where the discourse was around feminisation of HIV infection and women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. The campaign addressed the male audience, directly asking men to use condoms and act responsibly to protect their partners/spouses from sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. It also tried to educate women on the need to negotiate condom use as a means to protect themselves.

  • 2007
    Is This Justice?.

    Breakthrough developed a multi-media campaign, ‘Ye Kaisa Insaaf Hai?’ to bring public attention towards growing incidences of stigma and discrimination faced by women living with HIV/AIDS, most of who have been infected by their husbands or male partners. The women are either shunned by the family and community or are forced to live on the periphery of society after the death of their husbands. The increase of HIV/AIDS amongst women is another manifestation of women’s unequal status in society. The consequences of contracting HIV/AIDS is severe – women face homelessness, increased violence, loss of jobs and families and lack of access to treatment and care. This sensitive yet potent campaign was developed pro bono by Piyush Pandey (Executive Chairman Ogilvy & Mather). It included TV and radio spots, and print ads in four languages: Hindi, Kannada, Marathi and English.

  • 2008
    Bell Bajao.

    Our ‘Bell Bajao!’ campaign launched in India in 2008, was a cultural and media campaign that calls on men and boys to take a stand against domestic violence. The campaign seeks to reduce domestic violence against women and to highlight the role that men and boys can play in reducing violence. Bell Bajao’s award-winning series of PSAs has been viewed by over 130 million people. The announcements, inspired by true stories, showed men and boys stepping up and ringing the bell to interrupt overheard domestic violence. In 2010, Breakthrough’s video vans traveled 14,000 miles through cities and villages screening these PSAs and involving communities through games, street theater and other cultural tools resulting in a sustainable, on-ground process of transforming hearts and minds.

  • 2011
    Nation Against Early Marriage.

    In 2011, Breakthrough launched its campaign on Early Marriage. Subsequently, in 2013, the first United Nations Human Rights Council resolution against child, early, and forced marriages was adopted; it recognizes child marriage as a human rights violation and pledges to eliminate the practice as part of the U.N.’s post-2015 global development agenda. In 2013, this campaign was rechristened ‘Nation Against Early Marriage’.

  • 2012
    Mission Hazaar.

    In response to the 2012 census, which saw the sex ratio of India fall from 927 to 919 girls per 1000 boys, Breakthrough launches the #MissionHazaar campaign, which is subsequently adopted by the Government of India in 2015 for its Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign.

  • 2012
    #AskingForIt and #ShareYourStory.

    In 2012, the violent gangrape of ‘Nirbhaya’ shocked the nation. In an era of outrage and calls of change, Breakthrough launched the #AskingForIt and #ShareYourStory campaigns. The #AskingForIt campaign raged against victim blaming whereas the #ShareYourStory campaign encouraged women to share stories of harassment with their sons, so as to generate empathy in them.

  • 2013
    Streelink Programme.

    Acknowledging the rampant sexual harassment at the workplace and the lack of redressal mechanisms for the same, Breakthrough launched a pilot programme of intervention among women garment factory workers in Bangalore, Karnataka. After this, we launched the Streelink programme in Delhi NCR with garment factory workers in 2016.

  • 2016
    Nari Shakti Puraskaar.

    Breakthrough was awarded the Rani Lakshmibai Award for Best Institution for Research & Development in the field of Women Empowerment by then President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Our programme to prevent sexual harassment was a national programme that caught everyone’s attention after the insights from our survey “Harassment in Public spaces and the domestic sphere” were published in a popular daily newspaper. As part of this programme, we launched campaigns like “Asking for it”, “Share your Story with your Son” and “Make it Safer” that continued to engage audiences on the issue of sexual harassment.

  • 2017
    JPAL Evaluation of Taaron Ki Toli in Haryana.

    One of our effective initiatives Taaron Ki Toli, a school-based curriculum was designed to promote systematised awareness about gender-based discrimination and its forms amongst adolescents. The programme was rolled out in 150 government schools of Haryana and aimed to create a positive shift in the behavior and attitude of the students by reinforcing and enabling them to question prevailing gender norms in their families/communities.
    After a successful run of 3 years, our program got evaluated by the global research centre Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and we saw that both the gender attitude index and the gender behavior index have shifted significantly for students who are recipients of our programme.

  • 1999
    Mann ke Manjeere .

    Mann ke Manjeere was an album, music video, and ultimately an entire campaign that promoted women’s claiming of public spaces. Mann ke Manjeere: An Album of Women’s Dreams launched Breakthrough as a human rights organisation. It tells the true story of Shameem Pathan, who courageously broke out of her abusive marriage and became a truck driver to support herself and her child away from her violent husband. It won the 2001 National Screen Award in India for best music video and nominated for MTV’s ‘Best Indipop Music Video’. The full campaign, focused on promoting women’s rights and bringing attention to domestic violence, was based on the music video and album. It reached 26 million households via six satellite music television channels, effectively mainstreaming discussions about domestic violence issues throughout South Asia and reaching as far as Tajikistan, Indonesia and the United States.

About Us.
The Breakthrough Story

Almost every woman in India has experienced some form of sexual harassment or violence at some point in her life. Oddly, no one ever spoke about it. Not till a young human rights organisation called Breakthrough stood up and said, “This is not acceptable. Violence against women and girls must stop.” In 2001, Breakthrough resolved to grab the issue by its collar with a music album called Mann Ke Manjeere. The album became a video. The video became a campaign and the campaign slowly built itself into a movement. Women, men, villagers, city-slickers, government and corporates; Breakthrough has invited everyone into the growing discourse on gender equity.

We may be small but we will not stay quiet.

Relying on surprising partnerships, unexpected media platforms and messaging that permeates to bold action on the ground, Breakthrough has gone about transforming one home, one workplace, one community at a time to make a positive difference to the millions of girls and women who have been held back from participating in society. Each person’s experience reflects the truth the organisation is built on: Violence against women and girls can end with you.

About the founder.
Mallika Dutt

Mallika Parvati Dutt has a lifelong commitment to co-create a world where all beings can thrive. Mallika is a leading innovator in storytelling and culture change and has produced multimedia experiences that have reached millions of people to shift hearts and minds. She brings together the power of ancient wisdom and spiritual practices with contemporary technologies and tools for creative connection and transformation. She combines her creative advocacy for a thriving world with a coaching, speaking and strategy practice that connects planet, people, and purpose.

Mallika is the founder of global human rights organization, Breakthrough, and led the group as its President & CEO for 17 years. She has served as Program Officer for Human Rights and Social Justice at the Ford Foundation’s New Delhi Office. She was Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, an institution that was at the forefront of the global movement demanding recognition for women’s rights as human rights. She has served as the Director of the Norman Foundation, and is also a co-founder of Sakhi for South Asian Women.

Mallika draws from the richness of multiple spiritual traditions and has trained as an energy medicine health coach with The Four Winds. She has a certificate in yoga from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center and studies Zen Buddhism with Ryushin Konrad Marchaj. She currently co-teaches an annual Institute on Women’s Leadership at the Omega Institute. Her approach focuses on shifting the old “command and control” leadership model towards “connect and collaborate,” supporting people who are playing a central role in this important evolution.

Mallika has served on several boards and committees and is a member of New York City’s Commission on Gender Equity. She has been the recipient of several awards and received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2016.

Mallika began her career as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. A graduate of NYU Law School, and Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, she is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from her undergraduate college, Mount Holyoke.

Meet the team that steers our organisation.
Sohini . Bhattacharya
Joshy . Jose
Sunita . Menon
Leena . Sushant
Ditipriya . Ghosh
Urvashi . Gandhi
Priyanka . Kher
Yogita . Verma
Nayana . Chowdhury
Our Board.
The guiding force behind our team.
Bishakha . Dutta
Benu . Kumar
Mallika . Dutt
Neelam . Deo
Priya . Paul
Sanjeev . Duggal
Santosh . Desai
Suneeta . Kar Dhar
Alpana . Kirloskar
Our Work.
To ensure every women and girl in the world have their freedom to be.
Get Involved.
Join the generation that is working to make the world equal and violence-free.