Sewa International's SHE - Sanitation, Hygiene And Empowerment Project for the Girl Child
Sewa International is a Hindu faith-based, humanitarian, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) service organization. We undertake disaster rescue, and relief and rehabilitation work as well as implement development projects globally.
Sewa International’s SHE Project for the Girl Child was conceived to provide sanitation and hygiene facilities to girls who belong to the vulnerable section of Indian society so that they can overcome social and cultural norms of the till now accepted practice of open defecation outside of the home. Along with sanitation facilities, we also focus on menstrual hygiene and education, Empowering women and girl child through skill development workshops.
There are several ‘rights’ given to citizens of India but the right to a safe, secure, and healthy life at home and in schools is not one of them. Thus, we believe a “Right to Sanitation Facilities”, especially for our women and girl children who face several challenges everyday just to attend nature calls in a safe and secure environment, is much needed. We are committed to providing such toilet facilities in communities, neighborhoods, and schools, where they are not available so that we can ensure both dignity and safety to women and girl children.
Sewa International does not discriminate beneficiaries, volunteers and staff on the basis of race, color, religion, nationality, age, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal and state laws.
#Yes! I can go to school..
Unlike her friends, Saritha who is physically challenged, could not walk long distances to attend her nature calls. She is immensely thankful to Sewa's team for building her a toilet. She is also successful in influencing her family to use the toilet. Her orthodox mother-in-law, who strongly felt that a toilet in the vicinity of a house is unacceptable, now uses the toilet instead of defecating in the open field. We need strong women like Saritha, who will propagate our mission and help us build swatch and surakshit bharath (clean and safe India).
Sixteen year old Aisha, studying in Urdu medium at Basava Theertha Vidya Peeta (BTVP) aspires to become a doctor. While interacting with the girls at BTVP, the lack of toilet facilities in the school was a major concern. On most days, girls skipped drinking water to avoid using open fields as toilets. After the installation of toilets in her school, Aisha welcomed Team Sewa with a huge smile on her face thanking us immensely for fulfilling the promise we made to them. Going through all the challenges in installing the toilets was worth that smile.
Thank you Sewa International for providing toilets to our school. Now, we don't have to wait until we get home. We can concentrate on classes without worrying about taking a break to walk a long distance to attend nature calls in open fields, avoiding prying eyes. We are locking the toilets after every use, and we clean them by assigning cleaning duties among ourselves.
Pushpa, Grade 9 student from Lucknow government school
This village has not seen a toilet since our ancestors have moved and settled here. Since we don't have any open field that we can use for nature calls, before sunrise, we use our house terrace to attend nature calls and then dispose them outside our village. We come from a poor economic background, and toilets are a luxury for us. Thank you Sewa International for travelling miles to help us, thank you for building community toilets. We don't have much words to express our gratitude. We are happy that our little girls do not have to go through what we have suffered for such a long time.
Durgaben, Baluva village- Uttar Pradesh