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Distressed by the plight of the urban poor in search of housing and livelihood in cities, in 1985 a few likeminded architects, urban planners and social workers came together to establish MASHAL.

MASHAL is a non-governmental organization striving since 1985 to usher in development of the destitute irrespective of caste, class, sex and religion. It mobilizes and organizes slum dwellers to improve their living conditions. We execute schemes which integrate multidimensional, multilevel, and dynamic understandings of poor people’s livelihoods.

MASHAL also brings together aspirations of poor people with wider sectoral, inter-sectoral, and macro-economic questions about policies necessary for realization of those aspirations. We have collaborations with local, national and international organizations and establishments whether governmental agencies or NGOs, working for similar objectives in whatever way found suitable for the achievement of the objectives to assuage the plight of the downtrodden. Our main focus in this area is on providing basic services and infrastructure to the poor, particularly in slums and informal peri-urban settlements. It takes up Socio-Economic survey of the slums in order to study the socio-economic conditions of the slum dwellers.

MASHAL endeavors for the development of an eco-friendly society and enable the slum dwellers to live in hygienic condition by providing basic amenities, such as drinking water, street lights, roads, drains, community bathroom, storm water drain and community halls wherever possible. MASHAL team members are sincere and dedicated to champion the cause of the marginalized and under-privileged in society. We will persistently combat to break out of the vicious circle of urban impoverishment by taking the slum for what it is an urban habitat that has deteriorated and must be rehabilitated and organized jointly with the full participation of its inhabitants. It is now in a long journey towards welfare of the society.


  • Community development through public participation.


  • Provision of adequate shelter and a healthy living environment, with access to basic services as a human right.


  • Support to people’s initiatives: To assist and support people’s initiative in addressing issues of urban and rural poor communities in organizing housing, living environment, livelihood and quality of life. Emphasis shall be on people’s participation in all activities supported and promoted.
  • Research into urban housing: To study to conduct research in the related fields and document people’s actions towards improving housing in urban slums., environment livelihood, basic services and quality of life.
  • Participatory implementation of housing schemes: To plan, co-ordinate, monitor, implement, supervise and evaluate any area based schemes for improving housing and other basic services in the above mentioned areas with involvement of people, local authorities, financial institutions and other social organizations in a participatory manner.
  • Providing Expertise: To assist and lend expertise in the above mentioned fields to other organizations to take up the schemes in the above mentioned areas.
  • Building resource pool: To prepare and publish literature, reports, films, media material etc, in connection with the above objectives.
  • Training: To conduct training programmes for the promotion of the above mentioned objectives.
  • Livelihood: To work in the field for poor on livelihood, environment and other development issues.
  • Resource Management: To assist and render expertise to public bodies in resource management and good governance.

REGISTRATION – MASHAL is registered under the following legal provisions

1. Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950 Regd. No. Maharashtra/ 2164/85/ Pune, Dated-6th, Sept.1985
2. Society Registration Act, 1860 Regd. No. F/2930/Pune,Dated-2nd April, 1985
3. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976
4. Exemption under 80G of Income Tax Act, 1961 Regd. No. 4542, Dated-16th, March, 1989
5. Income Tax Act, 1961, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi. Regd. No. 083930157

Board Members of Mashal

1 Prof. Utpal Sharma President
2 Mr. Ashok Kulkarni Vice President
3 Dr. Sudha Kothari Vice President
4 Mr.Shanker Ramnathan Treasurer
5 Ms. Rita Panicker- Pinto Member
6 Dr. Meera Mehta Member
7 Mr. V.W. Deshapande Member
8 Dr. Prof Sneha Palnitakar Member
9 Ms.Neeta Pawar – Chalke Member
10 Mr. Sharad Mahajan Executive Director