Serving local communities for 22 years. Benefitting more than five million people in over 600 villages and 100 slums directly and indirectly. Seeing value through contribution of hundreds of volunteers associated with different projects. Initiating a strong international presence with the opening up of a special US chapter in 2016. A growing list of patrons, mentors and partners.
The year was 1998 when Sukarya took its first steps to improve the health of women and children in the rural areas of Haryana, Rajasthan and peri-urban localities and slums of Delhi and Gurgaon (now Gurugram).
The task was daunting. These were male dominated bastions and penetrating these fortresses of denial, exploitation and abuse were challenging. From hostility and mistrust to outright violence, Sukarya’s initial band of volunteers and founding team members encountered resistance that came in many forms. Adapting their strategy to suit local needs, Sukarya aligned its initial work to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In all its interventions, the spotlight remained on empowering people by building their awareness and equipping them with correct information. The formation of Women Self Help Groups (SHG) was a major success with visible results. The circle of goodwill and participation expanded manifold. With many positive stories being shared, Sukarya came to be regarded as a credible and dedicated organisation committed to improving lives of the marginalised and vulnerable.
Through quality services on comprehensive health care, antenatal care and reproductive and child healthcare, dramatic improvement was seen in hygiene and sanitation, nutrition, anemia, safe childbirth, maternal and neonatal mortality, immunization, breastfeeding and other health and developmental indicators.
Today, the winds of change are evident. Women are enjoying better health and men are more sensitised towards gender, girl child education, family planning and sharing of domestic responsibilities. Boys are participating more equally in the household and local administrations are paying greater attention to detail while rolling-out schemes and programmes. Champions and influencers are adopting important causes while pushing for change in behaviours and actions.
Building a team that became part of the change process
Sukarya has been fortunate in having a team of people who are committed, who care and who are optimistic about bringing change in the geographies they are in. This is a vibrant, multi-skilled group comprising of development professionals, doctors, media persons, civil servants and social activists. Their shared vision is to contribute towards a “Better Health, Better Society”. Its core beliefs have been set by the Founder and internalised by each team member while at all times remaining deeply committed to:
- Creating improved access to quality health, which is a fundamental human right;
- Providing basic education to every child and contributing to a more equitable, balanced and successful world;
- Giving priority to economic self reliance of women, paving the way for their dignified and respectful contribution to household and society;
- Achieving socio-economic growth in the rural hinterland, more so in far-flung places; and
- Eliminating social evils like dowry, child marriage, child labour and chronic neglect of women.
Working towards inclusion and sustainability
To make all its interventions sustainable, Sukarya works in partnership with community members, Village Health Committees, panchayats (village heads), women and men at the grassroots. Each of its projects strengthens existing village structures and mechanisms and creates new entities, where necessary.
Following a collaborative and participatory process all efforts, right from inception and ideation to planning and implementation are undertaken jointly. Community health workers work closely with Sukarya’s professional and medical teams to build awareness, making sure timely interventions reach those who need them most.
As communities began to respond to Sukarya’s interventions, there was an organic growth that saw a new phase emerge, moving from health to gender, livelihoods, education and mental health and wellness. The interconnectedness of each of these domains became more deeply entrenched with corresponding results and outcomes seen in individuals, families, communities and blocks and districts where Sukarya had a presence. As of 2020, the five pillars of Sukarya’s work are:
- Maternal and child health care including nutrition
- Women empowerment and livelihood generation
- Education for children in peri-urban areas/slums/living on the streets
- Empowering & protecting adolescent girls
- Mental health and wellbeing
Inception & Registration
Sukarya’s core values have guided its high standards of governance, accountability and transparency. Regularly exchanging information and encouraging donors, stakeholders and patrons to visit ongoing projects, continuous efforts have been to upgrade quality of services and find most efficient ways of disbursing funds that can reach the last mile.
Sukarya was registered as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the year 2000 under the Indian Trust Act 1982. It received its Trust deed registration (# 7373) on the 3rd of August, 2000 and its FCRA registration (# 231660689) on 31st March, 2006.
To ensure all compliances were in order, it received its Income Tax Act 80G certification (# DIT (E) 2008-2009/S-2784/790) followed by the Income Tax Act 12-A registration (# 645) on 15th January, 2001.