We Build | March 2023⠀
Habitat India Logo
We Build | March 2023
We Build: March 2023


Dear Friends,

Greetings from Habitat for Humanity India!

Women's empowerment has always been a key focus area for us at Habitat India. We firmly believe that when women are empowered, entire communities benefit. Our work in the area of housing and sanitation has shown us time and again that women are the primary drivers of change in their families and communities.

When women have access to safe and decent housing, they are able to take care of their families better, they are able to pursue education and livelihood opportunities, and they are able to participate in decision-making processes in their communities.

Over the years, we have worked to ensure that our programs are designed to cater to the needs of women. We have put in place measures to ensure that women are equal partners in the planning and implementation of our projects through our housing interventions with the Irulas and Farmers’ Widows. Empowering women is at the centre stage where we have provided livelihood opportunities to women through mandav style cultivation, brought them together through self-help groups and helped them start their own micro social enterprises. We have also focused on providing training and capacity building opportunities to women so that they are better equipped to take on leadership roles in their communities through projects such as Nirmanshree – a project funded by the European Union.

On 8th March, we will celebrate the International Women's Day. I urge you to join us in our efforts to empower women and our communities. Your support can make a real difference in the lives of women and their families. Let us work together to build a world where women have equal opportunities and access to safe and decent housing.

Dr. Rajan Samuel, MD

In partnership,

Dr. Rajan Samuel
Managing Director
Habitat for Humanity India

Voices From The Field
Voices from Field

Jhunbala Malick, Jajpur, Odisha

At the age of 31, Jhunbala Malick is a key member of Saraswati (Self Help Group) SHG, Kacheri Gaon located in Jajpur district, Odisha. Members of the SHG do not take any decision without consulting her. Frail in appearance, Jhunbala, is a woman of resolve, courage and commitment.

Jhunbala had to quit her studies when she was in class 5 to look after her ailing father who was suffering from a heart disease. As soon as she turned 18, she was married off. However, her married life ended within two months upon realising that her husband was an alcoholic. She couldn’t stand his abusive and aggressive behaviour and returned home.

‘Main kyon aise aadmi ke liye meri zindagi barbad karu?’ (Why should I spoil my life for a man like this?), says Jhunbala. 13 years later, she doesn’t even remember her husband’s name. She started helping her family by working as an agricultural labourer, selling agricultural produce. Jhunbala toiled to make all the arrangements for her younger sister Jhilimani’s marriage and saved money for her younger brother Debabrata’s education so that he could complete his class 12 studies. She was proud to see that Debabrata started working as a mechanical fitter and could support the family financially. However, Jhunbala and her family were dealt with a brutal blow when Debabrata was murdered in a local dispute.

Life started changing gradually for Jhunbala when the SHG was formed and the members were trained by Habitat to start a micro enterprise of vegetable cultivation. This intervention helped all 10 women earn around 1.5 lakhs over a period of 8 months.

During monsoon their entire village is inundated due to flooding from the Kharasuan river. This experience taught them to grow seasonal crops like bananas, tomatoes, brinjal and cauliflower.

Being a single woman, Jhunbala receives a pension under the Odisha State Government Madhu Babu Pension Yojana scheme and monthly ration as she belongs to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. She used the income received from vegetable cultivation and her postal savings to rebuild her home and safeguard her ailing parents. Despite suffering through several setbacks, she never gave up but worked hard to rebuild her life and her family.

In 2022, Habitat for Humanity India partnered with Standard Chartered Bank India to create livelihood opportunities for women in Maharashtra and Odisha through capacity building of Self Help Groups and seed fund support. The project has supported 969 women like Jhunbala and has turned out to be a lifeline, providing previously inaccessible financial and collective growth opportunities to women and allowing group members to be successful entrepreneurs. Jhunbala’s strength and perseverance inspire many in her community as she continues to be a vital member of the Saraswati SHG, working towards economic and social upliftment. Her story highlights the resilience and courage of women in the face of adversity and their ability to overcome the most difficult challenges. “I want to expand the vegetable cultivation activity so that all the SHG members can earn well. Self-sufficiency brings self-respect and dignity. I am thankful for the opportunity to build my livelihood,” says a firm-looking Jhunbala with a wide smile.

Key Updates

Habitat India’s 4th Charity Golf Tournament

Habitat India’s 4th Charity Golf Tournament

Habitat for Humanity India organised the fourth edition of its charity golf tournament at the prestigious Willingdon Sports Club in Mumbai on 4th February 2023. Proceeds from the charity golf tournament will be used to build energy-efficient homes in Maharashtra.

Corporate executives and prominent business personalities participated in this charity golf tournament in support of Habitat’s vision.

“Those of us who have always lived in adequate housing may not have seen firsthand the struggles that many people endure every day just to survive without the protection of a house. I feel privileged to be part of this cause. Energy-efficient homes will definitely help people in need of decent shelter build strength, stability and self-reliance,” said Ajit Agarkar, former Indian cricketer who took part in Habitat’s Charity Golf Tournament for the second time.

Habitat for Humanity India’s 4th Charity Golf Tournament was supported by HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited, Goodrich Maritime, The Pant Project, The Ark Foundation, Transformia Advisors LLP, Value Quest, Anil Singhee and Decathlon.

Improved Access to Renewable Energy and Water for Government School Students in Haryana

Improved Access to Renewable Energy and Water for Government School Students in Haryana

Habitat India partnered with Ecom Express Limited to upgrade the Government Senior Secondary School, Bhangrola, Gurugram with improved access to renewable energy and water. The project that began in September 2022, to install a 10kv solar lighting system, RO plant, water cooler, sanitary vending machine and an incinerator was completed and handed over on 13th February 2023.

Mr. Vishwachetan Nadaman, Chief Operating Officer, Ecom Express; Somya Singh, Lead CSR Ecom Express; Captain Indu Kasana, Block Education Officer along with the school Principal Mrs. Bhawana Sharma and the school staff were present at the handover event. The project will benefit 1003 students.

School Renovation in Maharashtra

School Renovation in Maharashtra

In Batrapada, Dahanu, Maharashtra, Habitat India handed over the newly renovated Zilla Parishad School building to the community on 23rd February 2023. Supported by M&G Global Services, the project focused on the renovation and refurbishment of the school kitchen and one classroom, and a gender-segregated sanitation unit has been planned for students.

Hospital Infrastructure Development Project in Tamil Nadu

Hospital Infrastructure Development Project in Tamil Nadu

Habitat India handed over the Kemin Industries supported hospital infrastructure development project on 24th February 2023. The dedication ceremony took place at the Government Hospital, Gummudipundi block, Tamil Nadu. Habitat India has built a new patient waiting area and installed an RO drinking water plant for the public hospital. Ms. Aishwarya Ramanathan IAS, Deputy Collector of Thiruvallur handed over the project in the presence of Dr. Sureshkumar R, President, Kemin Industries; Mr. Sreejith Janardhanan, Vice President - Finance and Company Secretary, Kemin Industries; Mr. Sushanta Dey, Director – Marketing, Kemin Industries and other community leaders.

Hygiene Kits Distributed in Uttar Pradesh

Hygiene Kits Distributed in Uttar Pradesh

Habitat India distributed Hygiene Kits to 450 students in Government Composite School, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh under the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) program, aiming to sensitize communities and school going children on the basics of health and hygiene behaviour.

Mr. Kajal Debnath, Chief Regulatory Officer and Head – CSR, DFM Foods Limited; Mr. Akalesh Sharma, DFM Foods Limited; and Mr. Shashikant Shrivastav, Block Education Officer; Government of Uttar Pradesh along with Principal Mr. Jituram Vishwakarma and teaching staff attended the event. Supported by DFM Foods Limited, through their CSR initiative Craxcare, Habitat India is conducting Training of Trainers (ToT) sessions in Lucknow, Varanasi, Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand) Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Delhi.

Through this project, 10,096 students in 17 schools in 6 cities will learn about sanitation and hygiene through behavioural change communication and will get access to Hygiene Kits.

Water Wheels Distribution in Rajasthan

Water Wheels Distribution in Rajasthan

In February 2023, with support from Mahindra Rural Housing Finance Limited, Habitat for Humanity India distributed waterwheels to 1062 families in Barmer, Rajasthan.

Green Habitats and Habitat Young Leaders Build

Green Habitats and Habitat Young Leaders Build

Habitat for Humanity India launched its Green Habitats campaign to raise awareness of climate change and to urge youth to take urgent climate action. As a part of the campaign, youth across India are raising awareness and resources in support of Habitat India.

Student volunteer Tanvi Sriramaneni has pledged to raise INR 1,50,000 to support the Green Habitats Campaign.

Please visit https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/tanvisriramaneniforhfh to support her campaign.

Climate change has far-reaching impacts on the people of the country. However, the millions of families Habitat partners with are often among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which include increasingly common and severe weather events such as cyclones, floods and droughts. These events can result in tragic outcomes for families, including damage to or complete loss of their homes. We believe we have a responsibility to recognize that climate change has a disproportionate impact on the people we serve, and that to be accountable to them, we must address that impact through resilient housing.

Media Coverage
Media Coverage

Social Media

Stay connected with us on our social media platforms!


Enjoyed reading our newsletter? Subscribe to our mailing list today as we deliver impact straight to your inbox!  

To unsubscribe please click here [Sender_Name], [Sender_Address] [Sender_City], [Sender_Zip]