Clean Hands Initiative develops viable solutions for safe and sustainable livelihoods

Clean Hands Initiative’s vision is to improve the street market experience for both customers and the vendors, by providing accessible public handwash facilities. We want to protect the lives and livelihoods of the workers who form the backbone of India’s supply chains and empower them to remain safe and healthy.

© 2019 Ian Lewis

Clean Hands Initiative is a non-profit social venture led by young changemakers from New Delhi NCR, India. 21-year-old Suhasini Vira founded the initiative after she spent 2 years researching and interviewing street vendors and informal workers in outdoor markets. She heard stories of hardship, hope and resilience. She realised that we take these workers for granted and seldom stop to think about the precariousness and difficulties that characterise their daily lives.

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The Clean Hands Solution

Clean Hands Initiative aims to make the street market experience cleaner, safer, and more hygienic for both the workers and the customers. We work closely with local communities and partners to install foot pedal-operated handwash stations in wholesale markets, mandis and street vending zones.

Our model comprises an easily refillable water tank mounted on a specially designed stand with sprinkler taps and liquid soap dispensers. The taps and liquid soap dispensers are connected to foot pedals, reducing the risk of re-contaminating clean hands when turning off tap after use. With the water-efficient sprinkler tap, a unit could be used for 500 handwashes per 500 litres of water without needing to be refilled.

Our sturdy, handsfree, water-efficient design provides an effective method for enhancing safety and sanitation. It is a scalable engineered solution due to simple manufacturing, installation and affordability. The local operator merely needs to periodically refill water and soap.

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Our Impact

Operational Highlights

  • Raised over INR 200,000
  • Installed 11 handwash units in Gurgaon
  • Received commitments for some scale-up funding and partnerships

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our work contributes to the following SDGs:

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth


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CHI Programmes

Clean Hands Initiative (CHI) Programmes

CHI Handwash Station Programme

We partner with local organisations to install handwash stations in busy market and public locations.

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CHI Chapter Programme

We can assist local organisations all over the country in setting up their own Clean Hands Chapters.

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CHI Local Entrepreneur Programme

Our aim is to enable and empower local entrepreneurs to not only meet a dire social need, but also to have a sustainable livelihood option.

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Support Us

We can only accept funds from Indian donors in Indian Rupees. Donations can receive 80G tax benefits under Indian Income Tax rules. We do not accept cash donations or foreign funds.

To donate, please transfer funds to the SAI FOUNDATION through bank transfer (NEFT/RTGS/IMPS), stating that the purpose is “Clean Hands”. Please email us at with details of your donation. Learn more about the impact of your donations here.


Bank Transfer Instructions:

Account name: Sai Foundation

Account number: 075620110000031

Bankers: Bank of India

Branch: Udgir Branch, Latur

IFSC: BKID0000756