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Help create future women leaders  by Milaan Be The Change

Needs more donors to continue operations

Empower a girl to fight social barriers

Thank you!

This program is fully funded because of donors like you.


Rupali is now a role-model for her entire community!

Rupali is an 18-year-old girl with four sisters from a poor family in Uttar Pradesh. Her father, who was the sole breadwinner of the family, passed away in 2014. The family was devastated and did not know how to move forward after the tragedy.

Their lives became harder when her aunts tried to take their home and property away. Since they did not have a boy in the household, the extended family told them that none of the girls were entitled to the property. But Rupali was not willing to give up.

She decided to step up and do something to help her mother and four sisters. She began a tailoring business from her home to earn some money. With the money that came in, she was able to go to college and provide for her family.

When Milaan heard of Rupali, they offered to enroll her in their Girl Icon Fellowship. They gave her a social action grant with which she bought a new tailoring machine to better support herself and her family.

Along with the grant, the Girl Icon program also supports her to work with girls in her community. She promotes the importance of education for girls and fights against social injustices. Today, her community looks up to her as a true change-maker and role model.

Milaan aims to have a girl leader in every block in India who will use her voice, choice and power to advocate for Girl's Rights. A monthly donation can help a strong girl like Rupali change lives. You can give with confidence because every program on our platform is GIVEASSURED.

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About The Program

What the beneficiary gets
What you get
Tax Exemption
Periodic Reports
Program Description

The Milaan Girl Icon Program is a 2-year leadership development initiative for adolescent girls between the ages of 12-18 years who have demonstrated the willingness and ability to challenge social barriers that restrict the unleashing of girls’ potential and voices.

Donations to this program will be used to fund the learning grant and social grant of a Girl Icon student.

The program includes a learning grant as well as a social action grant. Learning grant is for their personal development and social action grant is for campaigns for social change.

Milaan believes in the power of girls and women to drive, change and transform their communities into spaces where there is education for all, gender equality, and accessible opportunities.

This program empowers adolescent girls from some of the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in India by helping them make informed choices and take control of their lives. The program equips the Girl Icons with the knowledge, skills, courage and confidence to stand up, raise their voices and take charge.

The Leadership Design Framework entails:

Leading Self - Courage and Confidence

Leading Others – Leadership and Influence

Leading Social Change – Collective Action

The two-year leadership journey is composed of

20 days of residential training, a learning grant of INR 20,000,

A Social Action Grant of INR 5000 for 3 projects

72 hours of mentorship support.

Each Girl Icon forms a peer group of 20 adolescent girls in their respective communities and facilitates 60 hours of Leadership Development Training aimed at creating awareness around social issues in their respective communities.

This experiential leadership journey equips girls with requisite knowledge, skills and networks for being a leader to challenge the status quo, break barriers and create a more equitable society.

The proposed Girl Icon Program will aim at empowering and enabling 100 Girl Icons and their 2000 peers in some of the most marginalized communities to be future leaders and to drive change.

Milaan is looking to scale this program in future to work with 500 Girl Icons and 10,000 Girl Icon Peers with the potential to scale globally utilizing digital smart solutions.

Building this network of strong and empowered young women, Milaan Foundation shares the stories of progress created by as they drive systemic change for girls around the world.

‘The Sustainable Development Goal #5 (2015-2030)’ is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

When you donate to this program you will help in creating safe spaces for adolescent girls to engage with self and society.

With this they can become future leaders and work towards finding solutions for the problem of their communities.

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About The NGO

Milaan Be The Change
Milaan Be The Change Logo
Milaan Be The Change

Milaan Foundation is a non-profit, social development organization, which envisions an inclusive and equal world, where every girl has the knowledge, skills, and social environment to pursue her dreams and explore her full potential. Over the last 13 years, Milaan has worked with more than 40,000 children and young people and advocated for safer and more inclusive spaces for them at various state and national platforms.

By 2030, Milaan will empower 10 million girls across India and build a movement of Girl Leaders with a thriving ecosystem of change-makers and networks.

Milaan Foundation is a registered charitable organization as Milaan - Be the Change (NGO) with the Registrar of Societies, New Delhi under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 as on 18th October 2007. The organization is also registered under 12A, 80G under Income Act Tax 1961 and is eligible to receive foreign donations under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

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Founded in 1991
NGO Leadership

Dhirendra Pratap Singh

areas of operation
Area of Operation
Area of Operation

Girl Child | education

location of work
Location of Work
Location of Work

Uttar Pradesh

Awards And Recognitions
Awards And Recognitions

2015: Late Justice Mr. N L Abhyankar Award

last audited
Last Audited
Periodic Compliance Checks by GiveIndia

Renewals FY 19-20

Program Updates

Program Updates

28 November, 2021

Bridging the Gender Digital Divide


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Activities and work undertaken in the last 5-6 months

COVID-19 has further impacted girls with information poverty due to lack of access to information and opportunities. For young women to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for their families and achieve economic empowerment its imperative to harness the power of technology and provide them with knowledge and skills to continue to move forward. In the last few months, we designed sessions for young women to engage them through virtual workshops. Session on access to government schemes: To ensure girls can benefit from government schemes, we designed a session on building their knowledge on government schemes accessible and available for young women. The session also focused on how to avail schemes and sharing of forms. Additionally, our team also focused on supporting girls in availing the schemes. Session on street harassment: we continue to witness a steep rise in cases of violence against girls and women in Uttar Pradesh, to address the same we collaborated with Breakthrough to conduct a session on street harassment and ways to deal and mitigate the risk. The session was engaging and provided girls with a safe space to share their concerns. A session with Leap Skills and SHEROES: In partnership with SHEROES, we conducted a session on job opportunities and how to identify the right job for you. VP of leap skills especially joined the session to share her story and answer questions. A thoroughly engaging session was joined by over 80 young women to address their queries and provide them with pathways to achieve economic empowerment. Shadhika Scholars: Through the Shadhika scholarship program, we engaged young women to apply and receive support for their higher educations. 12 girls have been selected and will be provided with a grant to complete their higher education along with laptops.

Challenges faced and next steps

In the next few months, we will focus on partnering with like-minded organizations to continue building capacity for young women to continue their higher education and join the workforce. We will identify internships, scholarship programs, govt schemes, full-time jobs, etc. Girls will also be engaged through Milaan Annual Girl Icon Leadership Summit - Haq Hai Aur Hausla Bhi to listen to the voices of women leaders and grassroots girl leaders.

Stories from the ground

Ruksar hails from a backward community where girls are even questioned on looking out of windows. A majority of girls are restricted within their homes and forced to do household chores. Despite these challenges, Ruksar has continued to fight for her right to be educated. This wasn't easy for Ruksar, she has made continuous efforts and negotiated with her parents to send her to school. Ruskar for over 2 years has worked in her community to amplify the voices of girls and ensure they are educated. We're excited to share that Ruksar has been selected for Shadhika Scholarship Programme, this means that Ruksar will now fulfil her dreams and start her higher education with help of the grant. She will also be awarded a laptop. For Ruskar this is the beginning of her economic empowerment and ensuring her younger sister will be educated. She is the FIRST GIRL in her family to ever go to college. Ruksar has broken the shackles of patriarchy and created a new narrative for herself.

23 March, 2021

Enabling technology to empower young women


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The effect of COVID-19 on women and girls is devastating, the nation-wide lockdown to slow the transmission led to serious threats to their physical, mental and psychological well-being. Adolescent girls have suffered the most due to economic and food insecurity within families. They are the last and least to be fed, overburdened with household chores and facing the brunt of aggravated violence within homes. 

To respond to the urgent needs, from the onset of nation-wide lockdown, we launched the “COVID-19 Emergency Support Program” to support communities especially young in remote and rural areas. The biggest need was to address the looming hunger crisis. With support from girl leaders, we identified families most in need of food. 2000 such families were identified and supported with rations kits distribution led by Girl Icons. 

Amid the pandemic, our grassroots girl leaders have applied the leadership development skills they’ve learned through the Girl Icon Program to support their communities. Over 300 handmade posters were made and displayed by girl leaders to ensure the right dissemination of information and safety measures to stop the spread of the virus.  Our leadership training and your support to uplift girls saw the biggest impact in 2020. Girl Icons have strengthened support for girls and women by working with health workers and local stakeholders. A 24x7 helpline support for girls and women was also activated by Milaan to provide access to women counselors. Girl Icons stitched cloth masks and distributed them within their communities to communicate an important message of wearing masks at all times. For girls to hygienically menstruate, Girl Icons went door to door to teach girls and women to make cloth sanitary pads at home in the wake of the complete shutdown of supply chains. Their passion and commitment towards their communities have further strengthened in the pandemic. 2020 has shown us the impact of creating grassroots girl leaders and their innate potential to overcome challenges. 

5 July, 2020

Advancing Gender Equality Through Safe Spaces


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Advancing Gender Equality Through Safe Spaces

Engagement in public spaces is crucial for the development of girls from adolescence to adulthood. The opportunity to interact in public spaces with their peers enables them to access education, pursue a career, recreation and even engage with friends and peers which plays a vital role in their overall development. Their interaction with the world outside their homes is paramount to their self-confidence, self-awareness, and mobility. 

Lack of safe spaces leads to decreased mobility and restricted access to public spaces. Creating a social environment for girls plays an imperative role in exercising their voice, choice, and power. Girl Icons have been conducting peer meetings every fortnight to provide girls safe spaces within their communities for girls to interact, learn through life-skills education, creative activities and share their hopes and dreams. 

These safe and sustained spaces are especially important for girls. These spaces assist girls to come together to have conversations and receive support in a setting free from judgment or discrimination. It allows girls to express themselves freely and publicly without fear of being made uncomfortable or unwelcome.

Having peer meetings also gives girls an opportunity to connect to others who may be facing similar challenges. This connection makes them feel less isolated and helps them develop more effective coping mechanisms. As a consequence, safe public spaces provided by Girl Icon are powerful platforms for healing, empowerment, and resilience.

Sustained spaces or platforms within the communities for girls to meet, grow and practice their skills and perspectives are central to the process of educating girls, enhancing their agency and reducing gender-based violence that impacts their ability to participate in personal and overall development. 

22 July, 2019


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Program Update

The Girl Icon Program was born in 2015 to empower adolescent girls (12-18years) through experiential life-skills based journey, providing safe spaces to amplify their voices of change and opportunities to sensitize and mobilize communities through collective social action.

Girl Icons participated in 6 day residential leadership training in Uttar Pradesh and Assam between December 2018 to January 2019. The curriculum covered goals and aspirations, education, rights and laws, gender and sex, communication and building confidence. A baseline was conducted to capture the knowledge level of girls.

In partnership with the Oculus VR for Good Creators Lab program and Malala Fund the virtual reality film 'GIRL ICON' featuring Girl Icon Rani was screened at SXSW film festival at Austin, Tribeca film festival in New York and Beijing International film festival.

Milaan planned, designed and facilitated the 3 part session at Dasra Philanthropy Week for 14 youth delegates from of 6 non-profit organizations – CINI, C3, Quest Alliance, SNEHA, Apnalaya and Milaan.

In June, Milaan will organize second training and will host an alumnae meet in Bhopal.

Story from the field

Reena’s father works as farmer and a daily wage labourer; her mother a home-maker. Reena is the 4th sibling of the 7 children. She recalls not having much exposure to the outside world while staying in her village. “I joined a government school and moved to Meghnagar hostel. I came to know about the Girl Icon program from the warden. I was sceptical, but applied anyway, hoping it will help me pursue my education. I think that was the first step that led to changing my life forever,” shares Reena from Jhabua in MP. "Ever since my journey as a Girl Icon, I have have become more confident. I come from a place, where I see girls mostly engaged in household works. They are trained to be good at household work. Their education and career are the least of their priority. I want the girls to understand the importance of taking stand and help them shape their future- which is not limited to the kitchen,” shares Reena.

“I want to be in police, to set an example for other girls. I want to end violence against women."

What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?2661
What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date8054
Village/City/State where project is locatedUttar Pradesh/Madhya Pradesh/Assam/Karnataka
Total Budget for the project for FY18-1917585000
Total Expenses for the project YTD17446784

30 October, 2018

Milaan Be The Change's Update


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Program Update

Milaan is working with 114 Girl Icons in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. In 2018, Milaan seeks to work with 10,000 adolescent girls led by 500 Girl Icons, building a network of strong and empowered young women. Milaan Foundation shares the stories of progress created by these Girl Icons as they drive systemic change for girls around the world. By 2030, Milaan seeks to work with 10 million adolescent girls on leadership development and build a strong network of 10,000 Girl Icons, at least one in every block of India. The Girl Icon Program was born with the aim to build one Girl leader in every block in India who will use her voice, choice and power to advocate for Girl's Rights.

Our Leadership Design Framework entails:
Leading Self - Courage and Confidence
Leading Others - Leadership and Influence
Leading Social Change - Collective Action

Story from the field

Rupali is an 18-year-old entrepreneur who is the sole bread earner of her family. She runs a tailoring business from her home and looks after her mother and four sisters since her father's death in 2014. After her father's death, her three aunts filed a case to banish Rupali, her mother and her four sisters from their home. Since she doesn't have a brother, they were not entitled to the property but Rupali is a feisty young woman despite the hardships. She is pursuing her Bachelor's at Can Societies' Nehru PG College, Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh.
Girl Icon program empowers girls to navigate social barriers and advocate for lasting change for generations. Rupali thinks it is necessary for girls to be independent - something that is possible only through education and through the program works with girls in her community to obtain formal education and fight against social injustices. She is a role model to many girls and engages as a changemaker in the community. With the Social Action Grant, Rupali has been able to buy a machine to support her family and education. Along with developing herself, she looks forward to completing her education and continue her fight against gender injustice.

Expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-1910000
Number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program this year6000