Shadhika Shadhika


A weekly COVID-19 update from Shadhika's partners and the young women we support in India.

COVID-19: Hygiene Access

By Gillian Ford, Marketing Manager

March 30, 2020

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This week, the young women we support and our partners shared more about the current climate in India being under a lockdown. A common theme that came through from their reports was a lack of access to proper, preventative hygiene.

Wash your hands with our Making HERstory Interns

Shadhika’s four Making HERstory interns, Afreen, Pranjuckta, Reetu and Vidya, have all helped their families and close neighbors understand how to properly wash hands. In their videos, you can see the myriad of contexts in which they live and navigate to access proper hygiene.

Afreen shares: “Now, life is in our hands, so let’s wash them properly!”

Partner update from Vacha

Yagna, a Co-Project Director with Vacha–our partner site in Mumbai– shares:

“The field staff are  in touch with the adolescent girls and boys through use of family cell phones and be there for any crisis that may develop. We are distributing liquid soaps and soaps to Vacha kids. Our youth group has been a great support in this situation. With use of mask and gloves, they are distributing these sanitary material where ever possible. It was also difficult for us to get so many soaps and liquid soaps at a time.”

News from India

Last week, Swaminathan Natarajan with BBC News reported on the difficulties most developing countries are facing in light of the coronavirus outbreak. With nearly one billion people (which amounts to one in eight people) living in slum-like conditions globally, issues of overcrowding and lack of water access make these living conditions even more dire than they are on a daily basis. Many of Shadhika’s partner sites work in the slum communities, or bastis, in India. Our CEO, Kim Burnett, reflects on this situation:

“How do you wash your hands when there is no water and no soap? This is the dilemma many of the young women that Shadhika supports face. Living in compact, slum communities, water is often only available for certain times on certain days. Complying with World Health Organization guidelines is next to impossible. While our Shadhika grantee partners have stepped in and distributed bars of soap to many, safe hygiene is next to impossible.”

Read the BBC News article here. Learn more about how the United Nation’s is working to address the formation of slums in an effort to improve global housing access here.

Alumnae Update with Durga

Vaishu and Sabah, two of Shadhika’s India staff, caught up with fellow Shadhika Alum, Durga, who works as a chemist in a Mumbai pharmacy. She is on the front-lines of the fight against Covid-19 in her community. Her advice: “Don’t panic. Stay home. By hygienic. Help others who need help. This is the time for everyone to show some humanity towards people in need.”

Read her story here.

Global Impact

Want to learn how hygiene access during the pandemic is impacting other communities around the globe? Explore stories from our partners: 

Read more