Nirmanshree is a women-led social enterprise to facilitate the participation of women in housing. The project is implemented by Habitat for Humanity India and funded by the European Union. It aims to contribute to the empowerment of marginalised women through creating economic opportunities and improving access to services and entitlements related to housing including drinking water, sanitation and energy with a focus on poor, marginalised and vulnerable women and girls in rural and peri-urban areas.

The action will be implemented across four districts in Odisha and Maharashtra. The project will provide technical and entrepreneurial skills related to housing to 3,000 women and strengthen their livelihoods through the women-led social enterprise model. The project also aims to improve the quality of habitat of 200,000 families through the inclusion of women in planning processes and effective delivery of housing and other services at the local level and will create a favourable environment to influence program and policies on Gender-sensitive housing policies and programs in India. The intervention will contribute to environmental sustainability by improving access to climate-adaptable and green housing.

The project will support 3000 marginalized women with technical and entrepreneurial skills, establish 50 women-led social enterprises and improve housing conditions for 200,000 families through services and market linkages in the states of Odisha and Maharashtra.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 1. How will Nirmanshree impact women?

Nirmanshree will address gender inequalities that exist in India’s housing sector, such as barriers to owning land, insufficient engagement in decision-making, low wages, lack of skills, and limited training opportunities that prevent women from improving their capacities to ensure decent livelihoods in new market conditions. The project will create economic opportunities around habitat development, i.e., the housing ecosystem consisting of housing, energy, water and sanitation, energy and livelihood. It will improve access to services and entitlements related to housing, including drinking water, sanitation and energy. Through this project, 3,000 poor and marginalized women and girls will have access to technical and entrepreneurial skills, strengthening their core capabilities to help them demand social entitlements and basic services related to housing.

The project will contribute to the following SDGs:

SDG 1 (Poverty reduction by income enhancing by facilitating decent employment for women in the housing sector); SDG 3 (Good Health & Wellbeing - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for women by promoting climate- climate resilient); SDG 8 (Decent Work & Economic Growth - Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment for women); SDG9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - Build climate-resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable consumption and foster innovation); SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities - Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by providing sustainable housing solutions to women in cities); SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption & Production - By promoting resource and energy efficiency in housing sector, sustainable and green infrastructure, and providing access to housing support services and green jobs) and SDG 13 (Climate Action - Developing climate-resilient housing solutions to combat climate change and its impacts).

2. What are the expected short-term and long-term impact of the project?

In the short term, Nirmanshree will address the growing demand for skilled workers in the housing sector by building the capacity of existing women’s federations and developing women’s skills for housing solutions and entrepreneurship development.

In the long term, Nirmanshree as a social enterprise will be established to strengthen the voice of women and related agencies for undertaking policy dialogue with decision-makers to enhance women's participation in habitat-related interventions. Women and girls that were part of the project would be able to participate at the local level in planning, designing and implementation of service delivery (habitat development) for poor families with particular emphasis on vulnerable women.

3. Who are the target audience (beneficiaries) and on what criteria will they be selected?

Nirmanshree aims to work with women entrepreneurs from selected women’s federations, particularly single women, girls, widows, and women living with HIV/AIDS.

4. In which districts will the project be operational?

Habitat for Humanity India will implement Nirmanshree in Dhenkanal and Jajpur in Odisha, and in Osmanabad and Beed in Maharashtra.

5. What is Nirmanshree’s project timeline?

 Habitat for Humanity India will implement Nirmanshree for three years, from January 2020 to December 2022.

6. Would Habitat for Humanity continue its involvement with the communities after the end of the project?

 Yes, Habitat for Humanity will continue its involvement with the project through the establishment of the social enterprise, Nirmanshree. Habitat India will continue using the services/products developed and produced by Nirmanshree in some of its housing projects. Habitat India will recommend the same to its partners.

7. What are the expected communication material and publications to be developed with EU emblem with the project logo?

  • Training material /modules
  • USB lanyards with the presentation for the project staff and trainers
  • Banner/stand-up banners for the training and other events
  • IEC Material-posters, leaflets / large signs at project sites and community events
  • Eco Friendly /re-usable training bags/kits with logo
  • Project Video and small promotional video clips for campaign
  • Press release and media kits during events
  • Webinars

Project Nirmanshree was launched on August 6th by Ms. Delphine Brissonneau, Attaché – Cooperation Section, Delegation of the European Union to India.

Watch the Launch Video