SAKHYA: Cambridge friends of India

  • Who we are…

    We are a Registered Charity (Charities Commission Regd. no. : 1069983) and a University of Cambridge Society. We aim to support disadvantaged social groups and individuals in India through the grant of funds, raised in the UK. Sakhya was established in 1996 by Indian scholars studying at the University of Cambridge. Modern India is a vibrant democracy and a state that is striving hard to be equal and just to all its citizens. We, at Sakhya, wish to contribute to this process by generating funds through India-centric events to fund organisations in India which work towards sustainable development.

  • Our main objectives.

    • To support viable developmental programmes aimed at sustainable growth over a long term period, without making them welfare-dependent.
    • To initiate and foster participation from the people themselves who are intended to be the beneficiaries of the project.
    • To encourage targeted development of specific communities/localities in rural areas to help prevent overcrowding in urban areas and achieve balanced and decentralised growth.
    • To serve economically and socially disadvantaged people irrespective of caste, sect, locality/province and religion.
    • To co-ordinate our efforts only with non-sectarian groups with no religious or political affiliation.
    • To help projects manage themselves as far as possible with minimum overhead costs and outside help from intermediaries.
    • To work at the grass-root level, taking into account local conditions and co-ordinating carefully our aims with their needs.
    • To foster awareness of the diversity, rich heritage and developmental needs of modern India both amongst our members and amongst the international community in Cambridge.
  • How we try to help…

    Sakhya invites project proposals from various voluntary organisations operating in India. The proposals received are evaluated on a novel basis in tune with the organisation's policies. In choosing our beneficiaries we desire to support programmes that aim at sustainable growth and foster the participation of the target communities themselves.

    Projects supported by us are constantly monitored both by personal visits of our volunteers and by seeking annual progress reports from the beneficiaries.

    For submission of project proposals, please email

  • Organisational Structure

    The organisation structure is egalitarian. There is no real hierarchy, nor authority exercised on or by anyone. It runs on the initiative and accountability of all the people involved. However, for administrative purposes, there are three working groups which coordinate with each other to achieve the organisation’s objectives. Delegation of responsibilities within each working group is entirely flexible and open to the demands of the situation, within the basic framework of the constitution.

    1. Projects Group

    The projects group invites projects from potential beneficiaries and carries out a basic feasibility study in tune with Sakhya’s principles. This is followed by extensive evaluation of the submitted proposals, paying particular attention to their sustainability factor and to our funding reserves at the time, to arrive at a shortlist of projects that could potentially be funded. These proposals are then puts forward to the other working groups and a final decision is reached. Review and monitoring of the sponsored projects by seeking frequent progress reports are also part of this group’s responsibilities.

    2. Fund-raising Group

    Fund raising is one of the most challenging tasks for this organisation, and is vital to sustaining its mission. Members of this group constantly evolve and implement ideas for the generation of funds to support projects on a continuous basis. The activities of this group are varied and can range from organising dinners, cultural evenings, talks and sports meets, to providing services (commensurate with our members' skills) in third-party events in return for donations made out to Sakhya. This group is thus constantly on the lookout for opportunities to generate funds and possible ways to minimise administrative and organisational costs.

    3. Publicity Group

    The publicity group serves to link the organisation with the external milieu. It’s role is to maintain visibility and create awareness about Sakhya’s goals, needs and achievements. Major activities include membership drives, publicity of fund raising events, maintenance of communication portals and meeting administrative obligations.