Shadhika College Scholarship Program, India

Forgirlsake is partnering with Shadhika, an organization that addresses gender inequality in India by investing in the education, empowerment and economic self-sufficiency of young women. As a contributor to Shadhika’s College Scholarship Donor Circle, Forgirlsake made a commitment in 2017 to donate $30,000 for three years to enable 10 girls to complete their college education. The funds cover costs such as tuition, transportation, books, tutoring, housing, food and clothing, depending on each girl’s need.

Aligned with Forgirlsake’s objectives, Shadhika’s vision is for girls to succeed in secondary school and college, to participate in the mainstream economy, to be empowered to make their own decisions, and to transform their communities. This mission is critical in India, where only 5% of women currently attend college (UNESCO 1999) and only 29% of Indian women above the age of 15 are part of the country’s formal labor force (UNDP 2011). Increasing the number of women attending college and participating in the workforce would have a profound effect on equality between men and women and on India’s economy and poverty rates. In fact, if India enrolled just 1% more girls in school, it is estimated that its GDP would rise by $5.5 billion (Global Campaign for Education and RESULTS Education Fund).

Despite all the economic benefits achieved when women are educated, college and career remain out of reach for most girls due to insufficient resources. Additionally, impoverished girls in India are at high risk for sex trafficking and other forms of abuse. To address this, Shadhika partners with local charities that shelter and protect women, create educational programs to promote women’s rights and leadership, and help prevent trafficking, oppression and violence against women. These charities turn to Shadhika for college assistance, and Forgirlsake will be one of their funding sources for the next three years. For more information on the Shadhika Scholarship Program, click here.

Power of a Girl

The Power of a Girl video is based on two Shadhika scholars at Vacha, Shadhika’s partner in Mumbai.