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empowHER India has been working persistently to engineer positive and sustainable change to holistically provide women access to economic opportunities and social justice through Self-Help Groups (SHGs) so they lead a life of dignity and well-being through better health, hygiene, sanitation and education

Our Vision

Empowering women to create an equitable society

Letter from the founder

25 years ago, at the peak of my corporate career, I realized that giving money for social upliftment is not enough. I wanted to go beyond writing a cheque and hoping that somebody else would work for rural communities. People like me had to come forward to contribute their time and their resources to solve the pressing issues faced by rural communities. When I first visited Panvel, I saw poverty, lack of resources and no infrastructure. But I also saw hope and the desire for change in the eyes of the people I met. Their stories spurred me into action. My wife Urmila and I began a small initiative to help people around the villages of Panvel by conducting health camps and distributing food grains, utensils and clothes. This simple act had a profound impact on the community. When provided with the basic necessities for survival, many people came forward to put in requests; they had no water, no electricity and no roads. Without this infrastructure, they said, it was impossible to alleviate poverty in the region. We realized that while charity was a good beginning, we had to work with the community to improve their standard of living. With this thought, the Nere-Waje committee was formed to implement projects which in the years to come would lead to overall prosperity in the region.

The journey taught both Urmila and me many lessons. We realized that while infrastructure creation did improve the quality of life for a community, women were at the centre of development. It was our most significant learning while working in rural areas. We began working with women and listening to their stories while working on possible solutions. Formation of Self Help Groups was our first step towards the goal of women empowerment, construction of toilets and providing them access to water came next.

Today, empowHER India continues to carry forward our mission to transform rural communities with women leading the way. I hope you will join the empowHER India family as we work towards our mission to establish an equitable society.




Sanitation project initiated with the construction of 6 toilets at Umroli village



Launch of empowHER India’s first Water ATM as a part of the clean drinking water project and completion of construction of 2000 toilet



SKS Chakshu Foundation becomes empowHER India with a thematic focus on women



Launch of the Micro-entrepreneur programs



150 Self Help Groups’ federation grows to a membership of more than 2000 women



Economic Empowerment of Women initiated with Women’s Self-Help Groups at Nere village



Foray into Education with the Rakesh Jain Secondary School and Balwadis (play schools)



empowHER India takes birth as SKS Chakshu Foundation
  • Financial Inclusion

    Financial literacy and financial inclusion are the stepping stones to women empowerment. We work with women to enable access to finance through our network of Self Help Groups.READ MORE

  • WaSH — Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

    empowHER India works on WASH to provide access to sanitation and clean drinking water to the communities. We believe these are the fundamental rights of every citizen.READ MORE

  • Education

    Educating young minds today is key to mould conscientious citizens of tomorrow. Our school promotes holistic education for all.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)