“I would say that if the village perishes, India will perish too. India will be no more India. Her own mission in the world will get lost. The revival of the village is possible only when it is no more exploited.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Who we are

The Institute for Philanthropy and Humanitarian Development (IPHD) is a nonprofit based in Jodhpur, Rajasthan that engages in the development of Indian rural villages through projects in four main programs: Saheli Women, Skills Development, Girls’ Education, and Female Health.

Founded in 2013, by Jodhpur native Madhu Vaishnav, IPHD offers skills development to the ladies in rural India and to fashion university students from countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany. The fashion interns become a part of our organization, that works with women from our adopted village to implement development projects that improve the quality of life for rural community members.

In 2014, IPHD adopted the village of Bhikamkor, a traditionally conservative and impoverished community approximately 65 kilometers north of Jodhpur. In Bhikamkor, IPHD runs a community center and a female health clinic. In just a few years, women in Bhikamkor, with IPHD’s help, have made remarkable strides in rising above the poverty line and bettering their community. Read our Impact Report 2018/19 to learn more. 

The Saheli Women is a social enterprise, recognized as an ethical fashion atelier which gives a platform for cooperation between international brands and the ladies of the studio. We want to provide sustainable development, therefore, all the materials we are using to create our beautiful garments are also of a high level of sustainability.

In the future, IPHD hopes to adopt additional villages so that our programs can have far-reaching impacts across multiple rural communities in Rajasthan. 

Saheli Community Center

In Bhikamkor, IPHD operates the Saheli Community Center. The center has a library, health, and education outreach office, female health and helpline and the production facility for our ethical fashion social enterprise Saheli Women.

Saheli, the Hindi word for “female friend,” reflects our commitment to fostering a safe space exclusively for women and their children. The Saheli Community Center, which also provides a kitchen with electricity and a bathroom with plumbing, has a zero-tolerance policy against gender, religious and caste discrimination.

Saheli Health Clinic

IPHD also manages the Saheli Health Clinic, Bhikamkor’s first and only female health center. The clinic is staffed by a female gynecologist, with assistance from the IPHD health outreach team, twice a month.

The Saheli Health Clinic attends to adolescent girls and women who, prior to the center’s opening in July 2017, did not have access to a doctor to address their menstrual and reproductive health needs.