Mission & History

Our Mission

juthica-and-mother-teresaShadhika founder, Juthica Stangl, with Mother Teresa

Shadhika addresses gender inequality in India by investing in the education, empowerment, and economic self-sufficiency of young women and by teaching young men to respect women and girls.

By providing funding and support to women-led non-profits in India, Shadhika empowers at-risk young women to realize their aspirations for a better future.


Our Vision

More girls delaying marriage, more girls succeeding in secondary school, more girls succeeding in college, more girls participating in the mainstream economy, more girls empowered to make their own decisions, and more girls transforming their communities.


Our Values

We ground our work in the following core values to inform and carry out our mission:

  • Respect for women and girls
  • Education is vital
  • Change must be local
  • Our heart is at the core of our work
  • Operate with transparency, honesty, and integrity
  • Model the leadership of women
  • Invest in building local capacity to direct change


Our History

Juthica Stangl, a native of Kolkata, India, founded Shadhika in 1992. Juthica started Shadhika to raise resources to create a shelter for women freed from Kolkata Prison’s “non-criminally insane” wing.

At that time, women in Kolkata were often declared “insane” by the groom’s family – and therefore incarcerated — when their families were unable to deliver the agreed-upon dowry to the groom or when they failed to produce a male child in time.  With the help of our supporters, Shadhika was able to respond to this injustice and provide the seed funding to create the Paripurnata Half-Way House in 1992, our 1st project in India.

Over the following twenty years, Shadhika operated as a small organization raising less than $100,000 annually to provide support to a number of non-governmental organizations assisting several hundred women and children throughout India.

In 2013, Shadhika’s Board of Directors completed a strategic plan which sharpens our focus to combat gender inequality in India by investing in girls’ education, empowerment, and economic self-sufficiency. As part of that plan, the Board has committed to expanding Shadhika’s reach throughout India and to grow our grant-making pool to over $500,000 by 2019.

Read our Strategic Plan: Shadhika’s Strategic Plan  (2017-2019)