Widows Empowerment Project – Uttarakhand, India

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$15,500 $15,500
Project Code: IND-CHR-WEP-P01


This project provides economic empowerment for more than 20 widows each year in remote villages in rural Uttarakhand, northern India. The widows will be given agricultural equipment and seeds, and taught how to maximise their outputs. Some will also be given a goat and taught how to take care of it. They will be provided with business training and networks to sell to, enabling the women to maximise their returns and avoid being taken advantage of. The expectation is that they will eventually be able to send their children to school as their financial situation improves.


We ran a one year pilot project with this partner and we were impressed by the results and the thought they put into the design, identifying key risks and ways of mitigating them. Our partners are passionate about restoring the widows to positions of respect within their communities by giving them financial independence. Widows in rural India are the lowest of the low, and are often excluded from community events and never given assistance or shown they have worth. Our partners are not just seeking improved financial stability but culture change within the community.


$15,500 for the first year of a three year project.

The budget provides for tools and equipment, goats and project managers for school fees for children.


Widows occupy a very precarious position in rural Indian communities. Often the villagers turn on a widow, claiming that she ‘ate her husband’. She is often stripped of her land and taken advantage of by traders and buyers. Hers is the lowest position in society and she is last to be included in any event, if at all. This often means that widows are extremely poor, struggling to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.


  • Widows will become financially independent and secure.
  • Children will be able to attend school and improve their future employment chances.
  • Widows will gain a sense of worth and self respect.
  • Village communities will learn that widows have value in their own right.

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