We, Swayam Shikshan Prayog, are a leading learning and developmental organization that empowers grassroots women to enable sustainable progress in underserved communities in India.
We have transformed the communities where we work, by building self-reliance, and resilient communities based on education, health services, and financial support. Over the past two decades, we have supported community-driven initiatives in rural India through women’s self-help groups and social businesses.
SSP pioneered a range of innovative programs aimed at
We believe that women are the most powerful change agents for development in rural India. We take pride in having kindled a progressive model centered on women empowerment to steer community empowerment and resilience.
We equip rural women through self-learning avenues and foster them as entrepreneurs, leaders and changemakers in their communities. We enable grassroots women to set up social ventures that serve their communities, and provide access to finance, skills and markets to grow their enterprises.
SSP and its group of social enterprises including SSK, SSEN, SAST and SURE facilitate women to lead self-help groups, social enterprises and community-centered initiatives that offer a wide range of financial services, skill-building and livelihoods generation, sanitation and health-enhancing opportunities to build resilience among rural communities. We provide information, products and services in impact sectors such as clean energy, safe water and sanitation, health and nutrition, agriculture and food security.
SSP partners with a consortium of 5,500 self-help groups (SHGs) in marginalized regions. Our initiatives are strengthened through women’s leadership, partnerships with local government bodies, state governments and corporate partners.
Community initiatives and peer-to-peer exchanges help us advance our mission to a larger canvas. Our proven models are being replicated in similar contexts in countries such as Kenya, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia through local women’s groups.
SSP formally launched in 1998, drawing strength from our early learnings during the community-led reconstruction partnership after the Latur earthquake in 1993.
The Latur crisis was a case study for post-disaster rehabilitation and an early learning in disaster reduction. Beyond that, it gave us an opportunity and impetus to mobilize rural women for large, community-centered efforts.
These women were recognized for the extensive infrastructural reconstruction accomplished in the disaster-struck communities. In time, SSP mobilized these women into self-help groups.
Leveraging the insights gained during the quake, we developed a replicable model for disaster management and reconstruction that was applicable in India as well as abroad. Gradually, we honed our expertise in recovery and started building models for building community resilience.
To us, the inherent challenges of rural life were linked to sustenance, clean water and sanitation, as well as preventive health services for women and girls. SSP drew large programs aimed at development centred around women’s participation and leadership to address these issues.
We planned innovative business models based on non-traditional products as income generators for vulnerable communities. SSP nurtured enterprises that offered platforms for rural women to build products that benefited the community, and assisted these businesses to grow.
Gradually, we built a support system for our chain of women’s savings and credit groups - Sakhi entrepreneur networks - through rural business school, marketing and distribution systems, health entrepreneurs and social micro finance institution (MFI).
SSP encouraged these women to assume larger leadership roles. Trained women SHGs partnered with local governments and guided their communities towards resilient development, through new livelihood opportunities that increased household assets and incomes.
Our efforts succeeded and as a result, we now have clusters of informed women as consumers, producers, borrowers, entrepreneurs and community leaders in the 2000 villages where we operate.
|1993- 2006||Development focus, in partnership with government projects||Housing & Infrastructure Water & Sanitation||SSP began its work as a consultant to the government in 1993, to drive rehabilitation efforts across 1,300 villages in the earthquake-struck region of Latur, Maharashtra. It was legally registered in 1998, and built on its women-led approach to drive resilience and development across various disaster-prone regions for a decade. It developed a movement of over 1 lakh women in self-help groups (SHGs), to increase access to finance and livelihoods.|
|2006 - Present||Enterprise focus, development through sustainable rural enterprises and corporate partnerships||Water & Sanitation Clean Energy Health and Nutrition Sustainable Agriculture||In 2006, SSP co-created a grassroots business model with BP Energy, to develop rural women entrepreneurs to sell clean cookstoves. It provided them access to finance, skills training and rural distribution platforms by setting up various for-profit enterprises (SURE, SSEN, and SSK). It went on to train community women leaders and entrepreneurs in the areas of preventive health and sustainable agriculture.|
|Mr. Adolph Furtado||Chairperson|
|Ms. Prema Gopalan||Secretary|
|Mr. V.C. Nadarajan||Treasurer|
|Mr. Sampath Kumar||Member|
|Mr. Nisheeth Kumar||Member|
|Dr. Aravind Chinchure||Member|
|Prof. N. Vinod Chandra Menon||Member|
|Ms. Payal Randhawa||Member|