"Sanitation issues in the developing world affect women more than they affect men."
-Melinda Gates
Access to toilets is the first step towards Open Defecation Free villages. Every individual has the right to relieve themselves in a dignified manner. However, the major population of rural India still defecate in the open. Lack of sanitary facilities not only leads to a variety of ailments, but it also impacts women disproportionately. Women often have to wake up before dawn or after dusk to relieve themselves. Darkness being their only source of privacy, there is a constant fear of vulnerability throughout the day.

With the support of women, we initiated a pilot project in 2014, to build 6 Individual Household Latrines (IHhLs). Since then, empowHER India has constructed over 2500+ toilets which are benefiting over 10,000 individuals in Kajrat and Panvel. Our aim is to work in the most undeserved communities. We work in close coordination with the Government so that our goals and work is complementary to the government’s efforts. We conduct advocacy sessions to highlight the importance of sanitation and hygiene at a personal level and village level.

Every year, 23 million girls in India drop out of school after they begin menstruating due to lack of overall hygiene facilities in schools. 66% of schools in Raigad district do not have separate toilets for girls. 28% of Maharashtra rural government schools do not have safe and clean access to toilet facilities for girls. This is below the National average of 41%. This is why the construction of a toilet is essential for girls to reduce the dropout rate during adolescence, and to effectively help them manage their menstrual cycle. To guarantee a safe space for girls, improved educational outcomes, and health preservation sanitation facilities in schools is a must.

In 2022, empowHER India's sanitation program has taken a more refined approach by shifting its focus to adolescent girls from community women through the school Sanitation Program. In addition to the building of a child-friendly school toilet, the school WaSH program includes a behaviour change communication programme that engages students and other school stakeholders for long-term sustainability. The toilet is child-friendly, and the girls' toilet contains an incinerator so that they can easily dispose off sanitary pads and manage their menstrual cycle. The number of urinals and toilets units in the toilet block is proportional to the number of girls and boys enrolled in the school.

The Behaviour Change communication Program is meant for students as well as parents and other stakeholders in the rural education sector. A committee of devoted and involved parents is formed to lead the Behaviour Change Communication Program for parents. This committee encourages other parents and school stakeholders to develop school targets, and maintain the toilet sanitation goals for the betterment of the school so that girls do not drop out.

As part of the Behaviour Change Communication Program for students, a 10-month fun-filled activity based sessions and workshops program is conducted to guarantee that the students follow the right sanitation behaviour, learn fundamental hygiene etiquette, and ensure that the school sanitation structure is viable for a long-term.

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We make them understand the importance of toilets using various activities
Adolescent Girls Program
The lack of adequate intervention at the ground level prompted empowHER India to support adolescent girls
empowHER India works on WASH to provide access to sanitation
Clean Drinking Water
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Primary Health Care
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Educating young minds today is key to mould conscientious citizens of tomorrow.
Self Help Group
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