Soroptimist International Pune Metro East (SIPME)

About SIPME And It's Projects

In August 2008, the idea of a new club was mooted. For more than a year, members were enrolled along with six from the old club. In February 2009, NASI Extension Officer Annette Mascarenhas announced the formation of the club at the Executive meeting of NASI. The proposed club worked on projects and held more extension meetings to garner members. In September 2009, the petition for the charter was sent to the Federation and was approved in November. And on 31st January 2010, SI Pune Metro East was chartered by SIGBI Federation President, Jackie Mosedale, in the presence of SI President Hanne Jensbo and 35 Soroptimists from several countries. SIPME undertook exciting projects and some new members joined in.

Soroptimist International aligns its projects to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN and hence its consultative status with the ECOSOC! The projects undertaken by SIPME are:


'Health being a fundamental human right and a key indicator of sustainable development', SIPME decided to center four of its projects on good health and well- being.

Medical Outreach

Medical outreach project was started in the year 2002 at Phulgaon some 35 km from the city of Pune. A slow nurturing of the community by Anupama Sen gave an opportunity to attend to their challenges beyond medical needs. Rain water harvesting unit and further assistance for toilets to be built brought the project the Best Practice Award at the Glasgow Convention in 2007. After SIPME was formed the project moved with Anupama Sen in 2011. Regular weekly clinics were held along with annual medical camps with army doctors from the Medical College. Anupama Sen showcased this successful long running project at the Belfast Conference in 2012. Now that the Government has set up a Primary Health Centre in Phulgaon the medical project has wound up. SANITARY NAPKIN ADVOCACY PROGRAMME (SNAP) MENSTRUAL HYGIENE AND ECONOMIC UPLIFTMENT OF RURAL WOMEN Social preparedness for the sanitary napkin project began in 2012, took shape in 2014 and was launched in 2015 at Phulgaon. Soroptimist International Arnhem from Netherlands supported the initial idea and at SIPME’s first fund raiser in 2014, Ramesh Garware Charity Trust of the Pune based Garware industrial house- joined hands to give it a big boost. Apart from addressing the menstrual hygiene and the use of safe and bio-degradable sanitary napkins, it also empowers rural women by providing them with employment opportunities. A production unit to manufacture bio-degradable sanitary napkins was positioned at Phulgaon where SIPME already had its award winning Medical Outreach Program. Familiarity with the community helped in many ways. In 2017 the manufacturing operations were moved to Wai. Saheli Bachat Gat - a self-help group of 10 women undertook this income generating activity. In 2019, a new unit with upgraded machines to manufacture sanitary napkins with wings, was set up at Asu village near Phaltan. The product made here provides a sustainable, healthy and hygienic option of sanitary wear. With safe options girls no longer have to miss school during their menstrual cycle days. Thus, it tackles the problem of school absenteeism and drop out among girls. As the napkin is bio-degradable it accounts for a cleaner environment too. It is truly a project of the women, for the women and by the women.

Red Dot Campaign

SIPME has been pursuing the Red Dot campaign aggressively ever since it was initiated by the local administration. It involves educating girls on the correct methods for disposing sanitary waste. SIPME conducts regular awareness sessions with our partner Humjoli Foundation in schools and slums to teach girls a simple method of making newspaper bags and marking them with a RED DOT for disposal of used pads. SIPME plans to turn it into a mass movement for the health and wellbeing of garbage segregators.

Women And Wellness

'To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages', it is imperative to focus first on women's health. For only a healthy woman can ensure a healthy family.Project Women & Wellness, initiated in 2016, aims to create awareness and understanding about the challenges faced by women about their well-being It is an attempts to ensure that women assume an active role where their own health is concerned. It is an endeavor to make women participate in the process and make the right choices leading towards a more complete successful existence. Inspired by SIGBI President's tagline 'THINK ON IT', in 2019 SIPME decided to revive its Women & Wellness Project addressing mental illness as an illness like any other which can cured with medication and therapy. We look at mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and financial aspects of women's health, through our project activities. These are in the form of dialogue, workshops, seminars, advocacy and action. Captions under various photographs: Workshop on Bach Flower Remedies, Seminar on Mental Health, Workshop on Holistic living Reiki and Nutrition, Talk on Ovarian Cancer by a reputed Gynaecologist, Talk on Health is in your hands, Talk on Diabetes

We Care

Women undergoing chemotherapy go through emotional, physical and psychological upheaval. They are often very lonely and depressed, being unable to share their trauma. Understanding this, a new project – ‘We Care’, has been initiated by SI: Pune Metro East at a Vishranti Cancer Care Hospice.This Hospice provides free treatment to cancer patients from very low income or marginalized sections of the community. The patients while dealing with poverty are faced with the trauma of the disease. At Vishranti, our members spend quality time with the women undergoing treatment, giving them a sense of self-worth and belonging. They share experiences and involve them in creative artwork. The inmates have lauded this initiative and look forward to the visits by the members.

Kilkari (Sounds of Happiness)

Kilkari (Sounds of Happiness) is a community based project wherein SIPME works in partnership will Tara Mobile Crèches for wives and children of construction workers. SIPME contributes in all four verticals of nutrition, health, education and recreational activities which are designed for women keeping in mind their needs and requirements. SIPME also conducts summer camps and workshops for children to provide a stimulating environment that contributes to the all-around development of the children.

Educate To Change

Soroptimist International recognizes that access to education for girls and women of all ages is a fundamental human right and is vital for development, economic growth and poverty reduction. SIPME started the project 'Educate to Change' with the premise to help girls with quality education as a necessary foundation for their future endeavors. Project ETC empowers girls with increased access to the skills and the confidence needed to achieve their fullest potential. The beneficiaries are from marginalized community and are mentored by SIPME members, who encourage them and keep them focused.

Girls Moving Forward

GMF is an Award winning project wherein life skills are imparted through inclusive education using informal training methods to young women. These life skills aim at educating enabling and empowering the young women to lead a more rewarding professional and personal life. This project aims to act as a force multiplier which enables self-reliance, boosts economic growth by enhancing skills and will improve the lives of these young women by opening up opportunities for better livelihoods. SIPME aims to bridge the gap between their academic qualifications and the skill sets required in the job market thereby ensuring equity in opportunity.

Future Ready

Under this project Career Counseling Sessions are provided to under-privileged girls telling them about career opportunities available and how to prepare for interviews and group discussions. Girls from the rural and semi-rural areas belonging to economically backward communities do not have educated parents who can guide them towards a suitable career. Most of the girls are first time learners in their family and need to be guided and motivated to pursue a career and not just end up being housewives after completing their basic education. SIPME conducts a sessions on career counseling and inform them about various career options to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

One Billion Rise - Gender Sensitization

SI Pune Metro East (SIPME) organized a protest walk through the main street of the city on 30th Dec 2012. This was in response to the gang-rape and violent death of a twenty three year old young woman in the capital city of India. The dreadful act had women groups, and general public out on the streets. The positive fall out of the protest walk was SI Pune Metro East's determination that violence towards women will not be tolerated. The realization that unless a change in the mind- set of the male section of society is brought about, this inter-generational cycle of violence will continue unabated. The members of SIPME put their heads together and with the guidance of professionals in the field, designed modules to conduct workshops for school children for both girls and boys of all age groups ranging from six to sixteen years……and the project One Billion Rise was launched as an answer to Eve Ensler's global call ONE BILLION RISING. SIPME's One Billion Rise project is an initiative directed towards equality of men and women. The short-term objective is to sensitize both boys and girls, so that they can raise their voice against sexual assault. The long - term goal is to bring about a change in the way women and girls are treated in society. These gender sensitization classes, conducted in partnership with Aks Foundation, aim to Educate the young boys and girls, Empower them to raise their voice against any violation and Enable them to stand up for their rights. The on-going project was nominated for SIGBI Best Practice Award in 2013 and in 2014 SIPME jointly won the Best Practice Award for their work in the field of gender equality.

Project Green Turn

The need to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts' prompted SIPME to take up various initiatives for environmental sustainability creating awareness and advocacy in society on managing various aspects of the environment. Tree Plantation Drive, Walk for Climate Change, Ban Plastic Campaign, Clean India Campaign, Garbage Segregation

Economic Empowerment

'Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all' …...this led to launching of Projects like Binding Stitches, Bags for All, Every Girl Deserves a Dress!