Our belief. Theory of Change

“If you empower one woman, you have empowered a community.”

Built on more than 30 years of grassroots-level philanthropic work, empowHER India’s theory of change and development is simple. Empowering women transforms villages and communities. This is given legs by its founders’ belief that one can never be satisfied when it comes to doing work for the benefit of others. It is a journey forever. A belief that motivates the energetic team at empowHER India to work relentlessly and tirelessly for the development of villages, communities and women.

Initial hands-on experience with a cluster of villages in the Panvel region of Maharashtra in India, helped them reach a fundamental realization. That it is only when women have equal rights, opportunities and support systems, that their families, communities and nations prosper. Hence a journey that began with eye care camps 30 years ago, soon gathered a vision to transform entire villages in the Panvel region, by empowering women.

Formerly known as SKS Chakshu Foundation, empowHer India’s life mission is to establish an equitable society where all women are empowered to realize their full potential and become catalysts of transformation for themselves and their communities. Today, women in these villages are leading the change and nurturing growth, ushering in a quiet but solid transformation in Panvel.

empowHER India believes in the word ‘Evolve’ – Like a river that must run its course from source to destination springing life and hope on its course. A word that has helped them drive focus areas of development, mobilise support, build new capacities and reach more villages. But the desire as ever remains to do more, help more.

  • Financial Inclusion

    Women in rural India have a long history of being suppressed by an unjust patriarchal order. The lack of financial access severely hinders their path to self-reliance and empowerment.READ MORE

  • Micro-Entrepreneurship

    empowHER India enables rural women to become micro-entrepreneurs through skill training, mentor support, access to financial credit and industry-related workshops.READ MORE

  • WaSH — Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

    Our focus is not only to build toilets, but also to strongly engage with the communities to make them understand the importance of sanitation, hygiene and ensure they use toilets.READ MORE

  • Support services

    empowHER India provides low-cost legal support services to women for issues such as domestic violence, marital issues, property disputes, gender discrimination and more.READ MORE

  • Education

    empowHER India runs a state-of-the-art school in rural Panvel, educating rural students till grade 10 with commendable success rate of over 90 per cent in the Secondary School Certificate Board exams.READ MORE

Where there is a will, there is a way.

empowHER India enables women to become micro-entrepreneurs through skills training, mentoring support, access to credit and vocational training with the help of Self-Help Group networks that we have created in the villages we serve. Today we are proud of our 160+ women entrepreneurs who have returned some of the sweetest smiles and 1500+ women on the road to entrepreneurship.


  • I had the privilege of visiting Waghachi wadi village in Panvel with the SKS Chakshu foundation’s team. It was an extremely fulfilling experience . The dedication and the determination of this organisation with the main objective of bringing empowerment to women is heart-warming. The toilets being built will go a long way in giving dignity and respect to women and young girls and the education to these young children will give them the opportunity to find a brighter future.
    I would like to congratulate empowHER India’s entire team ‎for working towards this noble cause.

    Oisharya Das (Executive Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank - Wealth)
  • empowHER India, for us, has been the ideal partner organization. Their team is completely committed to the cause they work for. Their concern to ensure that everything is done for the best interest of their students is inspirational. No stone is left unturned and they are ready to go that extra mile. They work together as an excellent team and the results are fantastic — an amazing haven for children where each child has a smiling face and is getting quality education in a safe and beautiful environment. My heartiest congratulations to the trustees, staff and all connected with this great organisation. They have built a wonderful team.

    Arti Vakil (Wishing Well)
  • “We have a medical centre in our village that is run by empowHER India. It not only benefits the poor of our village but also those from the neighbouring villages. A doctor comes thrice a week to conduct check-ups. The cost of treatment is very less (INR. 10) and all — women, children and old people — are treated at this centre. We are grateful to empowHER India for having started this much-needed facility in our village.”

    Jijabai Bhagat (resident of Usarli Village)
  • “There is a river in our village which dries up in the summer. We have a well in the village, but it is not sufficient to fulfil our water requirement. In 2008, empowHER India started women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in our village and soon we formed five groups. In one of the meetings we decided to come together and dig a bore well in the village for community use. Since the cost was more than we could afford, empowHER India offered to help us with the expense. Thanks to them, a bore well was dug in 2009 and our water problem was solved.”

    Sangita Patil (Shri Ganesh SHG President, Umroli)
  • “Our main source of income is farming from June to November. During the rest of the year our field remains unused. An empowHER India worker suggested setting up a kitchen garden where we could grow vegetables for our own consumption. Since we have our own bore-well, we face no water shortage and therefore decided to implement the idea. Now, we have cut down on our expenses by growing our own vegetables and also have a steady income source by selling the excess throughout the year. Thanks to empowHER India, we are able to maximise the use of our land.”

    Seeta Mali (started kitchen garden, Umroli)
  • “I am a student of the Rakesh Jain Secondary School in Shivkar and I am extremely proud to study here. The facilities provided at our school are like those in city schools. Emphasis is given to all-round education. Facilities like a modern science lab, computer lab and equipment for different sports are also provided. The school also conducts IBT (Introduction to Basic Technology) courses that provide vocational training in knitting, embroidery, farming, welding, electrical repair, etc. This course prepares us to face the competitive world once we pass out of school. We thank empowHER India for giving us this opportunity.”

    Yogita Chandrakant Dhavale (student)
  • “I live with my parents and brother. My father works in a private company, while my mother is a housewife. I study at the Rakesh Jain Secondary School, where I learn technical jobs such as welding, repairing household appliances, fitting electrical boards etc, through the IBT training. I am motivated to learn these techniques as I know there are 25 per cent reserved seats in the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) for those with IBT training. This knowledge is also useful in everyday life. I can start my own business for electrical repairs. I know I have a chance of a good future now.”

    Satish Shankar Bhoir (student)
  • “We are farmers by profession but we couldn’t support ourselves by farming alone. We needed another source of income. I took a loan from a Self-Help Group of which I am a member and started a general store. Initially, I stocked only a handful of items but gradually I started stocking a variety of daily-need products. I now earn enough money to support my family and want to further expand my shop. Thanks to the guidance of empowHER India, I am financially stable and independent.”

    Asha Madhavi (general store owner, Umroli)