Our genesis lay in the year 2000 as ‘We for Yamuna’ campaign, a collective response towards growing apathy towards one of the most polluted rivers of the world. Since then the organization has gathered popular and powerful voices for the support of this cause and has emerged as the loudest and strongest voice in India on the matter.
Apart from this campaign, Swechha has grown over the decades to work on other issues of sustainable development and social change and has had considerable impact locally, nationally as well as internationally.
Swechha is an organization dedicated to enabling ourselves and others around us to ‘Be the Change’, in making a visible difference to the Environment- both Physical and Social. Our mission is to inspire, create and support – a just, equitable and sustainable society, for everyone and forever.
In the last twenty years of work, Swechha has grown in its Vision, Programs and Outreach. The European Commission, UNDP, UNV, UNEP, The American Embassy, British Council, Nokia Siemens Network, SRTT, CNN International, NDTV etc are some of the institutions that we have worked with along this journey. Our strategic work on advocacy and outreach has made us one of the high-impact organisations of India, on issues of sustainability, lifestyle and policy.
We strongly believe in the powerful combination of people’s potential and energy mixed with the knowledge and wisdom on issues of sustainable development. Our interventions hence, follow the pedagogy of intensive interaction with the citizens(especially youth, children and women) and the governments to engage them in the process of Change though Campaigns, Events and Programs.
Swechha is one of the Six stories on ‘CNN – Be the Change’ and its activities were reported on CNN every week for one year in 2008-2009, and continues to inspire people all around the world. www.cnn.com/bethechange
IN THE NUMEROUS THINGS WE DO AT SWECHHA, THERE ARE THREE KEY FOCUS AREAS WE ADDRESS:
Swechha believes that education needs to be holistic, contextual and empowering. Apart from the basic belief of ‘Education for All’, which remains one of the core campaigns of Swechha and its communities, we look at quality of education, capacity of educators and socio-political significance of educational institutions. We work with children (in-school, out of school), Teachers (Government as well as Pvt Institutions) and Managements on the issue. Education is one of the core prerequisites for active governance.
We strongly believe that all of us need to Wake up and Act on the criminal ways in which our needs and growing wants are damaging and affecting the Environment, both Physical and Social. Whether it is a drying Yamuna, an overflowing Landfill, or a fast depleting green cover of the city, there is an urgent need for all of us to Know, Lean and Act on these concerns. Climate Change is a cumulative impact of several local and global environmental inactions or irresponsible actions.
Swechha has engaged with this particular theme primarily because of the felt need and demand from our community members, especially women and the adolescents. We as an organization have stressed upon sustainability of an idea and building a strong financial foundation around each and every of our interventions. Similarly we have been pioneers in India in the field of social enterprise, without necessarily calling it a ‘social enterprise’ all these years. Our programs under this theme focus on financial empowerment, women’s empowerment, livelihood and fair trade.