About Us

A Field Action Initiative of TISS for Dignified Livelihoods with Marginalized Women in Mumbai Slums.

Udaan is a field action initiative of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) at Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation, School of Social Work. Udaan is an effort towards building a community based micro enterprise of marginalized women for creating dignified livelihood opportunities.


The women of Udaan come from the slums of Baba Nagar at Rafiq Nagar, M – East ward in Mumbai, which is a low income neighborhood situated adjacent to the 900-acre vast Deonar dumping ground, the largest and the oldest dumping ground in India since 1927. Most of the women are migrants and previously used to work as rag pickers. Their houses are made up of tin sheets that get unbearably hot during summers and yet their houses are often under the threat of demolition. The neighborhood is highly dense, lacks basic sanitation, and has open gutters. The access to healthcare facilities is also limited and many cases of cholera and tuberculosis have been observed.


Ever since its inception in 2017, Udaan has been trying to address the intersectionality that the women face on a daily basis at the junction of socio-economic and gender based marginalities, and have formed a women’s Self Help Group (SHG) named as ‘Kamal Mahila Bachat Gat’, encompasing a micro-saving unit and a micro-entrepreneurial unit. Udaan works on the principle that challenges in communities from the slums can best be addressed by honing their existing skills and encouraging their agency, especially of women, and help them develop alternative livelihoods in order to come out of the vicious circle of poverty and other social stigma.

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Dr. Swati Banerjee

Project Director, Udaan

Chairperson and Professor,

Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation (CLSI), 

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, 


Right Livelihood College, RLC – TISS

(a collaboration with Right Livelihood Award Foundation, Stockholm)





Udaan, a field action initiative,

Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation,

Tata Institute of Social Sciences,

V.N. Purav Marg, Eden Gardens, Deonar,

Mumbai, Maharashtra 400088