A Comprehensive Program Approach
NISHTHA, a registered NGO located in West Bengal, India, has over 35 years of program experience in the areas of health and hygiene, women and girl empowerment, legal advocacy, water resource installation and maintenance, vocational support, and education for sustainable agriculture. NISHTHA supports over 250 villages in rural West Bengal and has recently expanded its programming into Bhutir Char, a region of very poor and desperate victims displaced from their homes by the shifting course of the Ganges River.
Changing Social Norms
Over the past decade, NISHTHA has consciously moved its programming strategies from benefactor models to change agent models and is making a difference in several key areas. For example, NISHTHA has implemented a comprehensive program aimed at eradicating child marriage and keeping girls in schools. They have implemented vocational support programs that train women and give them the financial support necessary to start a business. NISHTHA runs five health clinics for women and girls, in addition to educating school children about reproductive health and hygiene concerns. Through a partnership with Water for People, NISHTHA has installed water taps in villages and clean drinking water and hand washing stations in schools. They promote organic agriculture throughout the villages they serve and have assisted women in developing home gardens to contribute to their family’s nutrition and to add extra income through surplus sales. Furthermore, NISHTHA works tirelessly to empower women to claim their rights and advocates for those who are oppressed.