Shadhika Shadhika

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As an educated accomplished woman, I feel it is my responsibility to lift the next generation to dream big dreams and achieve their fullest potential in India and around the globe.

Strength & Confidence

By Signe Kurian, Board Member

October 14, 2020

All young women deserve equal access to education and an opportunity to determine the exact circumstances of their lives. As an educated accomplished woman, I feel it is my responsibility to lift the next generation to dream big dreams and achieve their fullest potential in India and around the globe. 

Shadhika’s work and mission are opening a world of possibilities that didn’t exist before for the young women we serve and it is inspiring to be part of that change. In many cases, it is a challenge to make a donation to an international organization and to be assured that your financial contributions reach those who need it most. With Shadhika, I know my donations have a direct impact on the lives of our young program participants because we work through local partners who are embedded in those communities. I find my work with Shadhika to be the most rewarding that I am doing.

I also find personal meaning in my role as board member. I am a mother of two children, whose father is from Bangalore. I want them to feel connected to India in a purposeful way beyond family visits. This past January, my daughter and I visited our Shadhika partners and the young women who participate in our programs. These young women are strong and confident. They are leaders in their community advocating for human rights and creating change on their own terms.

Signe pictured with Shadhika Graduates, staff, and fellow board members during the January 2020 India trip.

In Mumbai, we met Jyoti*. At the time, she was just finishing high school. She shared with us the many ways she and her friends had advocated for their rights and made real changes. She showed us a field across from her community that was only available for the boys to play on. Feeling that this was unfair, she organized her friends to collect signatures and submit their request to her local community leaders. These leaders reviewed her request and agreed with her. Now, the field is available to both genders. Jyoti* has used the same process to add street lights to increase safety, expand camera surveillance, and improve sanitation. Jyoti* is empowered and determined, and builds confidence in her own leadership with each victory. With Shadhika’s support, she is realizing her potential. Through our Shadhika Scholarship program, young women like Jyoti* can pursue their higher education goals as a stepping stone to the life they want to have.

Shadhika staff, Sabah Siddiqui & Vaishu Manjunath with Signe’s daughter in January.

My daughter saw first-hand the circumstances these young women strive to overcome. Their accomplishments and motivation left a strong impression on her, and she came home from that trip determined to do her part to defend human rights. She and Jyoti* are part of the Groundswell Shadhika aspires to generate.

Giving to Shadhika brings us closer to the change that these young women and my daughter want to create. Thank you for supporting them!

*Name changed to protect the privacy and safety of the young woman participant mentioned in this story.


If this speaks to you, please join us  by becoming a scholarship donor. With $1,500 a year, you are giving a full college scholarship to a young women at one of our partner sites. We welcome your input and participation!

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