Educate Girls empowers communities to facilitate girls’ education in rural India and helps them take a stand against gender inequality. Educate Girls believes that if girls in educationally backward districts are educated, they will have the potential to enter the formal economy, gain employment and lift their families out of poverty.

Working in partnership with the Government, the community, and with the help of 12,000+ community volunteers (called Team Balika), Educate Girls has helped ensure higher enrolment and attendance for girls as well as improved learning outcomes for all children.

Established in 2007, Educate Girls has grown from a 500-school pilot project in Rajasthan to now serving over 25,000 schools spread across 16 districts in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.


We aim to achieve behavioural, social and economic transformation for all girls towards an India where all children have equal opportunities to access quality education.


We leverage existing community and Government resources to ensure that all girls are in school and learning well.


Our goal is to improve access and quality of education for around 16 million children cumulatively by 2024.


Safeena Husain
Safeena Husain
Founder and Executive Director

I once met an out-of-school girl and asked her “What do you want to be?” to which she replied, “Nobody has ever asked me this question so I have never thought about it.” The same girl is now enrolled in school by Educate Girls and today she aspires to be a police officer! This is the power of education.

Safeena, a London School of Economics graduate, has worked extensively with rural and urban underserved communities in South America, Africa and Asia. After returning to India, Safeena chose the agenda closest to her heart – that of girls’ education – and founded Educate Girls.

Safeena’s efforts to bridge the gender gap in education in India have been widely recognized. She has been conferred with the 2017 NITI Aayog’s Women Transforming India Award, the 2016 NDTV-L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Award, and has in the past received the British Asian Trust’s Special Recognition Award from HRH Prince Charles for outstanding contribution in education. Moreover, Educate Girls has received the prestigious 2015 Skoll Award, 2014 WISE Award, the 2014 USAID Millennium Alliance Award, the 2014 Stars Impact Award and the India Development Marketplace Award in 2011 from the World Bank.

Under Safeena’s leadership, Educate Girls initiated the world’s first Development Impact Bond (DIB) in education, a proof of concept that ties funding to outcomes. In 2018, on its completion, the Educate Girls’ DIB surpassed both its target outcomes by achieving 160% of its learning target and 116% of its enrolment target. The results are testimony to the fact that Educate Girls continues to deliver quality at scale and value to every single child in the program.

Senior Management Team
  • Arun Kumar Singh
    Director - IT
  • Devarajan Iyer
    Director - HR
  • Maharshi Vaishnav
    Director - Development & Communincations
  • Sandhya Krishnan
    Director - Program
  • Vijaylakshmi Saxena
    Director - Finance
Names arranged alphabetically.


Board Members
  • Safeena Husain
  • Ireena Vittal (India)
  • Luis Miranda (India)
  • Sumit Bose (India)
  • Ujwal Thakar (India)
  • Gaurav Gupta (USA)
  • John Somoza (USA)
  • Lisa O’Driscoll (USA)
  • Michael Pollack (USA & UK)
  • Eric Levine (UK)
  • Kris Tay (UK)
Advisory Council
  • Aditi Thorat
  • Gul Mukhey
  • Hansal Mehta
  • Jasmeet Kaur Srivastava
  • Pooja Bhatt
  • Pragni Kapadia
  • Roopa Kudva
  • Sarath Divella
  • Swati Apte
  • Tara Kapur
Names arranged country-wise and alphabetically.
Names arranged alphabetically.


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