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.

“Due to their interdependent nature, these three core issues (water, sanitation and hygiene) are grouped together. Without toilets, water sources become contaminated; without clean water, basic hygiene practices are not possible.”

-UNICEF

empowHER India’s work in the WASH sector to improve water supply, provide access to sanitation and hygiene stems from the knowledge that these interventions are central to improving the quality of life of rural women, who are deeply affected by these issues.

Sanitation

Access to toilets is the first step towards open defecation free villages and is a basic dignity to which every person is entitled. This is especially true in a country where a major section of the rural population still defecates in the open. While the perspective of sanitation is much studied, the significance that a sheltered defecation unit holds for women empowerment is often not fully understood. Women often have to wake up before dawn to relieve themselves. With darkness being their sole source of privacy, they live in constant vulnerability and anxiety throughout the day.

However, given the socio-economic status of the villages in Panvel, a toilet was considered a luxury – until women put forth a demand to make their villages open defecation free.

With the support of women, we initiated a pilot project in 2014 to build six Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs). Since then, empowHER India has constructed 2200 toilets which are benefiting over 10,000 individuals. We aim to eliminate open defecation completely by providing subsidized installation of Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs).

We believe in engaging with the communities to ensure that they use the toilets we construct for them. We also conduct advocacy sessions to highlight the importance of sanitation, hygiene and clean drinking water.

Clean Drinking Water

In the absence of water pipelines and tap water supply, women in rural India walk long distances to fetch water early in the morning before beginning household work. While this is strenuous enough, young girls are often brought along to fetch larger amounts of water for the household. Too often, this means women lose hours of their day that could be spent in income-generating activities, and girls must drop out of school. Furthermore, the quality of ground water is sometimes low, with the highest levels of contamination noted during summer months. This means that water may be unfit for drinking even after boiling.

Being the caretakers of their family’s health, this caused many problems for women, who were often unaware that the water they were drinking was unfit for consumption. Many women complained of repeated illnesses in their family and loss of work days.

With an aim to provide universal access to safe and affordable drinking water to all using a financially sustainable model, empowHER India started its first Community Based Water Purification Unit in 2019. By investing in infrastructure and advocacy efforts focusing on behavioral change, we aim to improve access to safe drinking water.

1

Online Donation

Financial donations can be made to our corpus fund or specifically for any of our ongoing projects or support initiatives. Donations to Chakshu Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law.

2

Mail Cheque payable

Cheques can be drawn in favour of SKS Chakshu Foundation. Please download, fill & mail donation form, along with your cheque.

3

Wire the donation

Wire transfer your donation through your bank directly to the A/c of S. K. S. Chakshu Foundation. There are provisions for donations from both domestic and foreign contributors.

4

Donate in kind

You can also contribute to our cause through donations in kind: like computers, sewing machines, furniture, etc. For more information on this please email or call us.

Testimonials

  • 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)