The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) has been awarded Curry Stone’s 2016 Vision Award for their dedicated work in improving the lives of slum-dwellers across India. Founded by Sheela Patel, SPARC has worked at both the physical and policy levels, making change with dedication, numbers and force of will.

For the past 30 years, this practice has worked to organize, legitimize and advocate for India’s urban poor, seeking to achieve the improvement of living conditions and advancements in the recognition of their rights as citizens. We have greatly enjoyed getting to know this practice and their work over the last few years, and know that you will too.

SPARC’s activities are based on the principle that the urban poor can and must become the makers of their own destiny and can play this role if given appropriate structural support. The strength of this organization comes through their alliance with the National Slum Dwellers Federation (NSDF) and Mahila Milan (Women Together), a collective of women living in slums. The alliance works within provisional communities to address housing and sanitation challenges, move individuals towards financial independence, and help them gain visibility and access to public services.

Click here to read a full description of SPARC’s work and view a new film on their impact. If you would like to read more about their work, please view our expanded SPARC Dossier.