POWHER is an award-winning, charitable trust based in Delhi providing opportunities for women and people with disabilities for empowerment and rehabilitation.

They provide trainings, and make products for sale with a special emphasis on using waste and materials that would otherwise be thrown away. An example of their baskets made from repurposed plastic packaging can be found in this POWHER_Catalogue

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They have a broad range of very practical bags for conferences and office use and MESH often accepts orders for customization which POWHER is able to fulfil. You can see some POWHER products here on our website.

This impact story provides some insight into how POWHER works.
In India, if you are poor and have a child with disabilities the chances are you will have to face a whole host of disappointments and struggles.

Manju was just about 15 when Sonu was born. He arrived with a large birth-mark across his face and in time they realised he was hearing and speech impaired. Manju’s husband is a gardener and they live in rented rooms in Delhi. Work as a gardener did not bring in enough money to manage their affairs so Manju wanted to work but she needed to have her son with her. She could not leave him at home alone and bosses were not willing to have her son around and they did not provide any facilities for child care, so Manju changed jobs many times. It was all about juggling!

Sonu couldn’t go to school because of his hearing and speech impairment; many people in the street made fun of his birthmark and disability and there was no outlet for his frustrations except to make trouble with the neighbours and have furious bouts of stubborn anger. If Manju stopped working the family situation became worse, so as Sonu grew older Manju would leave him at home. He began to mix with the wrong kind of youngsters and became involved in stealing and drinking.

This miserable cycle of low income, disability, no child care, no school place, and eventually going astray is certainly recognizable amongst poor families raising children with disabilities. The uncaring attitude of society and state leaves the whole family vulnerable.

Sonu ended up in a de-addiction centre before he was 17 years old.

Then Manju heard about an organization called POWHER and applied for a job. POWHER seeks to provide employment and training opportunities to low-income families especially those with disability. Manju works full time for POWHER and when their team heard about Sonu they invited him to be a trainee on a monthly stipend. He has completed training and will stay there until he is 18 when he can be assisted into dignified employment and will have a better chance of keeping out of trouble.