Rupantar: Committed to Development through Social Transformation.
Rupantar, meaning social transformation, is a non-government organization (NGO) that has been working in the field of development in Bangladesh since 1995. It is registered with the Social Welfare Department of the Government of Bangladesh (vide registration number 530/92) and with the NGO Affairs Bureau (vide registration number 1170/97). The Head Office is located in Khulna and all project/program activities are implemented through area offices that are situated at Batiaghata, Mongla, Dacope, Koyra Bagerhat, Saronkhola, Satkhira, Assasuni, Shyamnagar, Kaliganj, and Hatibandha-Lalmonirhat. In course of time Rupantar could successfully initiate its activities not only in the country but also abroad like China, India, Sweden, Thailand and Lao PDR.
Over the last 18 years in working in the development field, Rupantar has proven to have the capacity and experience in dealing with different issues. Having initially started with cultural activities such as Pot songs and folk drama to raise awareness and address issues of degradation of socio-ecological resources in the southwest coastal region, Rupantar has expanded its field of expertise to include problem areas such as: democracy and governance, climate change adaptation, human rights, water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH), environment and disaster management, child protection and women’s empowerment.
Rupantar believes in working with people without going for any direct service delivery: it believes that people if are aware of their problems and search for solutions with determination they can effectively do everything at their own initiative for their own betterment and development. It is committed to establishing democracy and good governance at the grass-roots level through peoples’ participation and promoting human rights including rights of women, children, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups. It has built up considerable experience in the area of community mobilisation and leadership, voice and accountability and local governance strengthening.
It started with cultural activities using alternative theatre, folk drama and popular publications for the grassroots poor male-female. It started research on the folk culture of the Sundarbans Region to find out the scope for mainstreaming the folk culture in development. It identified a number of almost extinct folk cultural media that were used as education and communication media in the past. These cultural media are now being developed and updated to be used as communication media. The methodology of awareness campaign using cultural media and popular publication is known as “Rupantar Method of Development Communication”.
Rupantar to-day stands as a unique development organization with special characteristics towards contributing in mainstream development process in Bangladesh. Rupantar is a leading regional organization, providing support and leadership too many local organizations. It has originated various networks and is an active member of others networks like: Election Working Group (EWG), We Can Campaign, Amar Odhiker Campaign (AOC), ATSEC, Child Protection Education and WaSH cluster members, NIRAPAD Bangladesh, International Rural Women Day observation national committee, Gender and Development alliance, National Alliance for Development Theatre, Asian Regional Theatre Education Network (ARTEN).
Rupantar’s projects and program are being supported by Bangladesh government organizations like Ministry of women & children affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), department of cooperative etc.; International donor agencies like SDC, USAID, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, GIZ, IOM. Commonwealth of Learning (COL); National, International NGOs like Manusher Jonno Foundation, The Asia Foundation, Oxfam GB, Save the Children, Plan Bangladesh, HAP International, Concern worldwide, Water Aid and BCAS.