Sama was initiated in 1999 by a group of feminist activists who were involved in the autonomous women’s movement which views health from a broader perspective and finds linkages of women’s well being with various determinants of health. Sama means “equality” in Sanskrit and other Indian languages. Sama considers health a fundamental human right and believes this can be achieved by strengthening public health system, regulating private sector and curtailment of multiple forms of discrimination based on caste, class, gender, religion, ethnicity, ability and sexual orientation.

Historically neglected and marginalised within public health, the mental health policy in India has suffered setbacks due to the stigma surrounding it. However, there is a growing prevalence of mental health issues in India impacting a large section of young people as well as adults. Fear of ostracism which prevents early detection and cure, is especially heightened for some vulnerable sections of the population which already operate within a framework of intersecting structural subordination, for instance young women from marginalised sections of society. Sama’s ongoing engagement with young people and its report “Dataspeak: Early Marriage and Health” has indicated lack of data and analysis on mental health of young women, including those in situations of early marriage.

Sama’s current initiative aims to build an understanding which departs from a medicalised approach of ‘mental illness’ and explores young women’s perceptions of mental well-being and coping mechanisms through their narratives.

Sama has extensively worked in partnership with local NGOs, organisations and forums. This ensures need based, effective and enduring interventions at the local level.


Sama – Resource Group for Women and Health
B-45, Second Floor
Shivalik Main Road
Malviya Nagar
New Delhi – 110017