Shadhika Shadhika


“The thing that gives me the greatest joy is getting the full support of my father.”

–Afsana, young woman of Shadhika

We support the entire arc of a young woman’s development from adolescence to adulthood.

Through local partnerships, we provide young women with a continuum of support that enables them to complete their education, become economically self-sufficient, and serve as leaders for girls’ rights in their communities, inspiring the next generation of Shadhika leaders.

Our Programs

Supports for Success

We provide grants to local, women-led nonprofits to carry out after-school programming for girls from 10 to 18. As part of this program, girls learn about their rights and carry out community projects to advance their rights. They also receive educational support to help them stay in school until Class 12 and escape early, forced marriage.

Shadhika Scholars

Shadhika provides college and vocational scholarships to young women who have demonstrated leadership on girls’ rights issues under our Supports for Success program. In addition to full tuition support, recipients receive English tutoring, computer classes, a laptop, and job readiness training. As part of the scholarship, recipients carry out a community project to advance girls’ rights during their school year.

Leaders for Change Summit

Each year, Shadhika hosts our Scholars from across India for a four-day summit to learn new leadership skills and collaborate on their community projects. Meeting in teams based on their project focus (i.e. child marriage, right to education, sexual harassment, etc.), these young leaders share best practices, brainstorm on potential actions, and support each other to advance their cause. Through the summit, these young women leaders are building a supportive network to advance girls’ rights in India.

Making HERstory

Shadhika provides media internships to empower these young leaders to tell their stories firsthand. Through blogs, videos, photography, poetry, and social media posts, these young women leaders are sharing their personal challenges, strategies, and successes to advance their rights in their communities.

Alum network

After graduation, these young women leaders take a pledge to continue to “pay it forward” and mentor the next generation of girl leaders. Meeting annually, alums serve as advisors to Shadhika, helping us to improve our efforts in India.

Initiative to End Gender-based Violence

Finally, Shadhika has launched a multi-year initiative in three rural villages outside of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh that is working with boys, men, and “gatekeepers” such as elected officials, religious leaders, and police, to build awareness and understanding to mobilize action to prevent gender-based violence, specifically sexual harassment and domestic violence.