Godavari Dange Receives Rama Govinda National Award

    2nd Feb 2018


    For her exceptional work in the field of climate community resilience, Godavari Dange of SSP received the Rama Govinda National Award 2018 on January 28. Godavari is a pioneer in the field of climate resilient agriculture, which promotes SSP's one-acre model of farming. She is the Secretary of Sakhi Federation in Maharashtra, and also the Director of Vijaya Sakhi Women-led Farmer Producer Company Osmanabad, Maharashtra, India.

    Godavari has been instrumental in disbursing funds worth more than Rs. 2.4 crores for food security, sustainable agriculture, water conservation, environment innovations and women-led enterprise towards building greater leadership of grassroots women.

    Godavari's achievements bear greater significance in the light of her past, a life forged in hardship. Hailing from a small village in one of the most climate-threatened regions in Maharashtra, India, Godavari spent her childhood guided by social norms. She stopped her education after standard VII and never left the house unaccompanied. She was married at the age of 15, and by the time she was in her early 20s, Godavari had become a mother of two and a widow.

    For a year, her intense grief left her with no strength to leave her bed, and no desire to keep living.

    Godavari's recovery was slow, but once she made a come back to life, she was determined to be strong. Her journey began in 2000 when she joined an SSP self help group. She started to interact with other rural women and soon started to mobilize self help groups across the village and beyond. She gained insights into the financial, health, and agricultural challenges her community faced and was soon working towards their solutions. Within one year, Godavari founded the first women's federation to work on women's economic and leadership development. It currently has more than 5000 members.

    After the severe drought in the Marathwada region in 2012-15, as a solution to combat the rampant crisis, Godavari mobilized more than 1000 women farmers to come together in collectives and grow vegetables and food crops to improve food security.

    For a woman who can speak only her mother tongue fluently, Godavari has travelled to 16 countries for various global conferences and awards. In 2011, Godavari represented grassroots women’s networks in India at the UN-CSW in New York. She represented grassroots women leaders and farmers from SSP to receive the UNDP Equator Prize 2017 in New York in September. In 2012, Brazil, she showcased the critical role of grassroots women in sustainable development in Rio+20. Godavari was a panelist at the UNISDR, Geneva, 2013, to present the initiatives taken by rural women in times of drought.

    Godavari participated in the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, 2015, and was the Global Ambassador to the UN in the IFAD and Huairou Commission on Rural Women in Sustainable Agriculture, a global initiative.

    For over 2 decades, Godavari has been working in women's development. "Godavari and rural leaders like her inspire us every day to combat global challenges locally," says Prema Gopalan, Founder of SSP. "These ordinary women who lead change don't isolate themselves. Their strength is their collective."

    "My association with SSP educated me, and transformed me from a grieving widow to an empowered leader," says Godavari. "It is your right to learn," she adds, "and it is your duty to teach others."

    Swayam Shikshan Prayog receives the Equator Prize on Sept 17, 2017 from UNDP at New York

    21st Sep 2017

    Godavari Dange and Kamal Kumbhar our grassroots women leaders and farmers from Maharashtra were in New York together with Naseem Shaikh from Swayam Shikshan Prayog. They received the Equator Prize 2017 award from Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator in a gala event hosted by the Equator Initiative partnership on September 17, 2017 at New York. We were among 15 winners from 12 countries.

    Women Transforming India 2017

    29th Aug 2017

    Kamal Kumbhar, a serial entrepreneur from Swayam Shikshan Prayog wins NITI Aayog’s Women Transforming India, 2017 Award Kamal Kumbhar (37), a dynamic grassroots leader from SSP received the prestigious `Women Transforming India 2017’ award from Ms. Pooja Thakur, Wing Commander, Indian Air Force at the Award Ceremony held on 29th August, 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The award was launched by NITI Aayog, in partnership with United Nations in India and MyGov. Press Information Bureau, Government of India, NITI Aayog -

    SSP is declared as winner of Equator Prize 2017 by UNDP

    30th Jun 2017

    Swayam Shikshan Prayog is one of the 15 winners of Equator Prize 2017 by UNDP. SSP has been selected from 806 nominations from 120 countries for its women led climate resilient agro-ecological farming model and entrepreneurship and has empowered more than 72,000 women in the Marathwada region of India.

    Kamal Kumbhar from SSP has received the 2017 Woman Exemplar Award of CII Foundation in the Micro enterprise category from the Honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. A proud moment for all of us !!!

    27th Apr 2017


    After receiving the Woman Exemplar Award, Kamal said to Ms. Prema Gopalan, Executive Director, SSP "I have never felt so happy in my life, and I'm proud that women like me are now recognized by CII and the President of our country. When asked about her message, poor women need to stop being afraid, and start two or three businesses at a time, so if one fails, they have at one business to support their families." “Kamal is one our grassroots women leader who is a mentor to many thousands of women. I have known her since 15 years, when she entered the bangle business, and soon shared her market connections with over hundred new women, helping them to earn incomes. She next approached the Electricity Board, to get the bill collection contract for many women. After that she grew her network to women in unconventional sector - as solar energy entrepreneurs with an ambition of creating solar communities and tackling environment”, Prema Gopalan. Kamal Kumbhar is a serial entrepreneur and leader of the grassroots women’s network of Swayam Shikshan Prayog from Hinglajwadi, Osmanabad, Maharashtra.
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    SSP honored over 150 grassroots women leaders on International Women’s Day and the week as part of our 1000 women strong gatherings!

    10th Mar 2017

    SSP honored over 150 grassroots women leaders for their outstanding community initiatives on 8th March 2017 Women's Day and the week as part of our 1000 women strong gatherings ! Click here to read the news on these Sakhi Melavas

    SSP Wins UN Award for Climate Change Solutions

    16th Nov 2016

    SSP won the 2016 United Nations Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award (UNFCCC) for rural community leaders combating climate change in Morocco on November 16, 2016. Click here to read the booklet, profiling some of our exemplar Sakhis or women entrepreneurs who won it! download

    Upmanyu Patil of SSP Addresses The Economic Times 4th Annual Rural Strategy Summit

    23rd Sep 2016

    The Economic Times 4th Annual Rural Strategy Summit was held on the 23rd of September in Mumbai. This is the most exclusive annual gathering of the leading stakeholders working across different industry sectors in the rural domain, coming together to discuss, deliberate and analyze the latest trends in the sector, in a disruptive an ever changing environment. Upmanyu Patil, Swayam Shikshan Prayog was a speaker at this event.

    SSP Chosen as Key Implementing Partner in HSBC Skills For Life Program

    22nd Jul 2016

    Swayam Shikshan Prayog has been selected as one of the key implementing partners under HSBC Skills For Life program. HSBC Skills for Life is a five-year INR 1 billion (£10 million) commitment by HSBC India that will support NGOs in India to provide employment and entrepreneurship-linked skills training for disadvantaged young people and focus on livelihood enhancement and financial education of women. SSP was selected as one of 16 partners to implement the program in Maharashtra from over 800 NGO's across across 28 states in India in July 2016. SSP will train over 350 adolescent girls in entrepreneurship and vocational skills in Marathwada region of Maharashtra.

    Unleash: Opportunities, Aspirations, Leadership. Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment for Global Change

    5th Jul 2016

    Ms. Prema Gopalan, a speaker on the panel Intern-linkages between Energy Transitions and Gender at the first India-Africa Women’s Forum to address how women's equal and active participation can be encouraged in various areas.

    Book Launch and Discussion on ‘Crisis and Gender’

    17th Jun 2016

    Chennai played host to a panel discussion on ‘Crisis and Gender’, with experts in the field from across India interacting with the participants. The discussion followed the launch of the book ‘Women and Disasters in South Asia: Survival, Security and Development’.

    Photo Essay by Atish Patel

    7th Jun 2016

    Learn about how SSP supported by Misereor Germany and Huairou Commission in partnership with thousands of women farmers mitigated the impact of drought in Maharashtra, India through this powerful photo essay by Atish Patel.

    SSP’s wPOWER Program in Social Shorthand

    29th May 2016

    Learn about ​the ​wPOWER program ​led by Swayam Shikshan Prayog ​(SSP) ​supported by the US Department of State and USAID ​/India that's empowering rural women and helping to bring about a greener tomorrow.

    Empowered women in drought areas take up farming

    6th May 2016

    The Better India and TOI has featured our women leaders and highlighted SSP's efforts. Women in drought-hit Maharashtra prove they’re better farmers by bringing home the food and keeping suicides at bay.

    Finalist for Social Entrepreneur Award 2015

    3rd Nov 2015

    The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation selected Ms. Prema Gopalan as one of the four finalists of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2015.

    Marathwada Drought Crisis: Women’s Collectives Instill Hope

    16th Sep 2015

    Osmanabad, Latur and Beed districts in Marathwada region of Maharashtra are facing the worst ever drought of the century. The Swayam Shikshan Prayog has empowered women as decision makers and changemakers in this situation.

    Prema Gopalan Features on Mint – The Success of SSP

    9th Aug 2015

    Prema Gopalan, Executive Director of SSP featured on Mint in an article- Empowering Rural Women to Provide Health Services where she speaks about the Arogya Sakhi Program of Swayam Shikshan Prayog which trains landless women to provide basic health services at affordable prices.

    SSP has won the #mBillionth South Asia Award 2015

    23rd Jul 2015

    Swayam Shikshan Prayog was awarded the 6th mBillionth South Asia Award 2015 under the M-Health Category on July 23 2015, New Delhi, India. SSP received the award for its technology enabled project being implemented in partnership with Sofomo Embedded Solutions Pvt. Ltd for "Arogya Sakhi.

    Flood Preparedness Trainer’s Training at Nepal

    12th Jul 2015

    ICIMOD invited Mr. Laxmikant Malvadkar as SSP representative to deliver flood preparedness training of trainers to Nepal organizations. The two days TOT and 3 days village meetings were conducted from 27th June to 5th July in TRIYUGA region at Gaighat of Nepal.

    Training of Climate Change Leaders

    26th Jun 2015

    The project aims to cover 150 women act as climate change leaders from Latur, Osmanabad and Nanded districts, Maharashtra and contribute with their community. The first round of Training held at Latur on 25-26th June, 2015 was participated by 17 women leaders.

    Ms. Prema Gopalan with the British High Commissioner and Hon Minister Maneka Gandhi

    25th Jun 2015

    Ms. Prema Gopalan with the British High Commissioner and Hon Minister Maneka Gandhi at an event at Delhi to celebrate the launch of Young Women Social Entrepreneurship Development Program Phase II and the reception at his residence on June 25, 2015.

    SSP has been certified Transparency Badge from GuideStar India

    27th Jan 2014

    NGO information repository and first place to look for NGOs in India with searchable database of reliable and comparable information on over 6,500 NGOs. Search allows users to find and connect with NGOs within minutes.

    Info on Best Innovation Awards received by SSP

    27th Jan 2014

    Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) has won the Best Innovation: Social Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Business Models awarded by the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM) at the Maharashtra Rural Livelihoods Innovation Forum (MRLIF) on 27th January, 2014. MSRLM through the MRLIF aims at partnering with organizations that go beyond income generation activities and employment programs to include capacity building, financial inclusion, social mobilization and marketing services which are important elements of livelihoods enhancement.

    MRLIF is a forum which recognizes such innovations in areas of social and financial inclusion, livelihood and sub sectors, social entrepreneurship and inclusive business models. The award was presented to the Founder and Director of SSP, Ms. Prema Gopalan by eminent dignitary, Shri Jairam Ramesh, Honorable Minister for Rural Development. SSP was selected as the finalist amongst 38 finalists shortlisted from over 400 applications in Maharashtra. SSP shall partner with MSRLM to scale up its impact in Maharashtra by employing a co-creation model for the BoP that allows rural women entrepreneurs to directly collaborate with private corporations through our recently established Clean Energy Hub -an innovative platform designed to provide a one-stop-shop to the private sector for accessing the rural market and significantly improve clean energy access through the network of Sakhis.

    Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) has won the Best Innovation: Rural Energy Sector awarded by the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS) at the Bihar Innovation Forum (BIF) on 31st January, 2014. The Bihar Innovation Forum is an initiative of the Government of Bihar supported by the World Bank and implemented by the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS) in collaboration with the State Innovation Council. SSP was one of the 67 finalists shortlisted from 2000 applications received on a Pan India basis. The award was presented to the Program Director of wPOWER project in SSP, Mr. Upmanyu Patil and the Team Leader of Entrepreneurship Training Program, Mr. Laxmikant Malvadkar by eminent dignitary, Shri.Nitish Kumar, Honorable Chief Minister, Bihar. The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society shall partner with the winners to replicate and scale up their innovation in Bihar by facilitating access to Human Resources, Investments and Credit, Economic Capital and Last Mile Delivery Support. SSP seeks to partner with BRLPS and other private and public corporations in Bihar to employ a co-creation model for the BoP that allows rural women entrepreneurs to directly collaborate with private corporations through our recently established Clean Energy Hub -an innovative platform designed to provide a one-stop-shop to the private sector for accessing the rural market and significantly improve clean energy access through the network of Sakhis.



    • 15th
      A knowledge exchange platform complete with field visits, South Asia Learning Exchange was hosted by Sakhi Federation, Women Entrepreneurship & Leadership Institute (WELI) and Swayam Shikshan Prayog. The focus of attention was grassroots women-led initiatives in sustainable livelihoods, and food security. Women leaders from Community Women’s...