Indian-American human rights activist and cultural entrepreneur Mallika Dutt founded Breakthrough in 2000 with Mann ke Manjeeré – a music video on women’s rights.
Based in India and the United States, Breakthrough’s multimedia campaigns address global issues including violence against women, sexuality and HIV/AIDS, and immigrant rights and racial justice. In India, Breakthrough primarily works across four programme areas on preventing violence against women and girls – early marriage, gender biased sex selection, sexual harassment and domestic violence. Breakthrough has launched integrated online and offline campaigns on each of the four programs across six Indian states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Bihar and Delhi. The campaigns on ground add depth and structure to the online campaigns and amplifying the message, while scaling up the participation of people.
Some of its campaigns are “Asking for it” where Breakthrough used a combination of digital and on-ground events to mobilize audiences on the issue of safety and security of women and girls in public spaces. The “Board the Bus” campaign called women commuters to come together to initiate a public dialogue between the government, transport organizations and the civil society, on the issue of safety on buses in Delhi to tackle the broader challenge that women face while using public transport. The “Selfies 4 School” campaign promoting education for girls and demanding a delay in marriages of adolescent girls till they turn 18, asked audiences to support these girls by posting a selfie on the campaign page.
In Lucknow, Breakthrough launched a campaign to demand “Muavzaa nahi Suraksha” (Security Not Compensation) where people gathered calling for action and accountability from duty-bearers to address issues of violence against women in the state with all seriousness.
All the campaigns put together have engaged millions of people in India and abroad through social media campaigns.