What We Do

Shadhika combats gender inequality and breaks the cycle of poverty in India by investing in women-led locally based non-governmental organizations working in India in the following focus areas:

Copyright by © Monique A. Tuttle 2016

Many of the girls and young women Shadhika supports are orphans, abandoned, or come from poor families that earn less than $1.50 a day. Because of this, most of the schools these girls attend are sub-standard and they do not receive the 21st Century Skills they need to be successful at college or at jobs in the formal economy. Shadhika’s Supports for Success program addresses this gap by providing supplemental education for at-risk girls and young women ages 10-24 in the areas of English, computers, and life skills.

Because their parents are primarily day laborers or domestic works, the girls we serve have little to no understanding of what kinds of jobs are available to them, how they would find a job, and how to comport themselves in the workplace. Shadhika provides job readiness training to help overcome these obstacles, place them into jobs, and transition into the formal economy for girls and young women up to 25 years of age.

Copyright by © Monique A. Tuttle 2016

Improving outcomes for women and girls will not come solely from investing in girls’ advancement. To this end, we support programs that to teach boys and young men between the ages of 10-24 to respect women and girls. Our Boys for Girls program provides training on human rights, sex education, anti-violence, and leadership development.

Shadhika’s 2016 Partner Retreat in Kolkata, India.

Shadhika provides technical assistance to build the organizational capacity of our partner sites in India. The success of Shadhika hinges on the success of our partners. Each year, we hold a 3-day retreat where participants learn new skills, share best practices, and collaborate on common issues. We also conduct an organizational assessment of each partner and work one on one with them to address key issues. Made possible through the generous support of two donors, this annual event brings together senior program staff from each partner organizations Shadhika supports throughout India.


Our Philosophy

280-PhilosophyShadhika believes that equal rights and access to opportunity are basic rights — regardless of where you are born, your race, class or gender. Unfortunately, in India today many girls are denied these rights simply because they were born female.

At Shadhika we are working to ensure that all girls – but in particular those girls most at risk – have equal rights and access to opportunities. For us, this is not just a social justice issue, but also an economic, health, and political issue.

Investing in better outcomes for girls not only helps to lift them out of poverty, but has a profound ripple effect on their families, their communities, their countries, and, ultimately, our world.

For over twenty years, by investing in the education, empowerment, and economic self-sufficiency of at-risk girls in India, Shadhika has helped lift thousands of girls out of poverty and begun to break the cycle of gender inequality by creating positive role models for our next generation of girls and boys, developing more women leaders, and breaking down cultural biases that favor men over women.


How We Work

To carry out our mission, Shadhika:

We bring together donors who are interested in investing together to support women-led NGO’s in India working in our target areas
We invest in India-based NGO’s who are working directly with at-risk girls and local communities in these program areas
Through regular site visits we ensure accountability and help build the capacity of our grantees to increase their impact
We work with other funders and non-profits in India and globally to eliminate gender inequality and empower girls