What We Do

Shadhika combats gender inequality and breaks the cycle of poverty by investing in local women-led nonprofits working in India in the following focus areas:

        Copyright © 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 age 10-24 in the areas of English, computers, and life skills.

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

      Copyright © 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 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.

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 of the partner organizations Shadhika supports throughout India.

Every October, the Shadhika Board of Directors meets to assess our performance and adjust our strategies based on what we are learning. Click the link to read our full 2017-2019 Strategic Plan.


Our Philosophy

Shadhika 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 Shadhika has invested in the education, empowerment, and economic self-sufficiency of India’s girls.  Our work has helped lift thousands of girls out of poverty and begun to break the cycle of gender inequality by creating positive role models for the 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 in women-led NGOs in India working in our target areas.
We invest in India-based NGOs 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 both in India and around the world to eliminate gender inequality and empower girls.