PRADAN was created in 1983 by two young professionals, Deep Joshi and Vijay Mahajan, who were convinced that even the stubborn, endemic poverty of rural India can be solved. Since the very beginning, Deep has believed that the ‘best and the brightest’ were needed to work with the weakest sections of society to help them discover their strength and voice. A graduate of MIT’s School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management, Deep has lived this philosophy. An alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, Vijay’s first job at an MNC left him wanting to do more for the community. In 1983, Vijay met Deep Joshi and the idea of PRADAN evolved in less than hour.
Deep and Vijay also believed that grassroots work in the spirit of pradan, or giving back to society, can be a fulfilling and viable vocation for educated men and women. They created Professional Assistance for Development Action (Pradan), to systematically groom and enable professionals with empathy towards the poor to work at the grassroots level.
In 1987 PRADAN began working with the government and over the years we have played a major role in developing such programs as IRDP, SGSY, and the National Rural Livelihood Mission. We continue to work for change that is sustainable and self-perpetuating, bringing skills and systems that help women, families and communities gain confidence and take charge of their own lives.
More than 370 young professionals are working in 7,400 remote villages of India, immersing themselves directly with target communities across seven of the poorest states. They are recruited from universities and hold degrees in subjects like management, engineering, agriculture, and the social sciences. A majority of the 589,000 families we work with belongs to marginalized communities. PRADAN today works in 7 states, 37 districts in 116 blocks through 58 field based teams.
PRADAN works in the poorest regions of India to help vulnerable communities organize collectives that help people, especially women, earn a decent living and support their families. PRADAN also helps them access government programs and other entitlements as citizens.
The primary focus of engagement is on women because PRADAN believes that even people considered to be the most disadvantaged in society are capable of driving the change they need. To achieve this, PRADAN recruits well-educated young professionals to work alongside people in the poorest villages through field based teams. They come from many fields – such as management, engineering, agriculture, and the social sciences - and they are chosen as much for their empathy as for their technical expertise.
PRADAN works with the poorest communities in India. Increasingly, poverty in India is overwhelmingly a rural and regional phenomenon, with sharp social and occupational etchings. Over three-fourths of the poor live in villages5, over two-thirds of them in the central Indian plateau across the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and parts of Maharashtra6. Three-fourths of India’s tribal people live here. About half the tribal people nationally are below the poverty line – a proportion virtually unchanged for a decade. A large majority of the poor are from the traditionally isolated and/or excluded social and economic groups such as tribal people and dalits; they either have no productive assets or are endowed with natural resources embedded in complex ecologies – the undulating, hilly and mountainous regions8; and they inhabit regions with weakest institutions, including poorly developed markets and weak governance. It is well known that exclusion and isolation perpetuate poverty; so it is that rapid economic growth in India during the past decade has had little impact on mass poverty even as it has created great national wealth. PRADAN works with this section of the excluded population in Central and Eastern India to bring about transformational changes.
PRADAN’s experience over the years has shown that economic progress and social justice can be achieved only by empowering the most vulnerable in the society. In rural societies, women are the most vulnerable in both economic and social context. PRADAN works through women’s Self Help Group (SHG) to empower them and they, in turn, become the change agent to drive their families and societies forward.
A Self Help Group is a collective of 10-15 women which is the first step of intervention of PRADAN in communities. It is a saving and credits group, which works on the principle of mutual trust and ground rules laid down at the formation stage. As the group matures, PRADAN engages with its members on increasing food security, income enhancement, gender justice, grassroots governance and Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM).
WE BELIEVE that all people, no matter how poor, are capable of driving the change they need. OUR MISSION is to enable the most marginalized people, especially rural women, to earn a decent living and take charge of their own lives.
PRADAN accounts are audited half yearly by independent statutory auditors. Annual audited reports are published on the website.
iSTART the change initiative
iSTART the change is PRADAN’s initiative to give opportunity to individual philanthropist or donors across India and beyond to contribute in grassroot development of economically and socially disempowered tribal (indigenous communities) and other marginalised communities in remote villages of Central and Eastern India where PRADAN works. Under this initiative, individuals can engage in transformational change in communities by supporting any of the multi-dimensional initiatives of the organisation ranging from year round food security in a poor household to grassroots governance in a village.
You can be a part of this journey by supporting any one theme (or many) on which PRADAN field teams are working. You can also support PRADAN by donating to PRADAN’s endowment fund or supporting 1 day (or more) stipend for our change leaders.
Your money would go to the field teams which work with communities to drive change. A part of the money is used to support our professionals while the other is for training and inputs (can we specify what kind of—even training is an input) in the community to empower them. The specifics of training are given in the FAQ of each product.
Yes. You if you are an Indian national, you are eligible for Eligible for 80G, 50% tax exemption U/S 80G.
Yes. You have to choose the name of the country in the payment gateway and fill up the necessary details to make the contribution.
Yes. You can make the contribution through the donor gateway or if you want to mail us
Cheque, you can use the following account:
Account Name: PRADAN Endowment Fund
Account no. 912010049682594
Address of the bank: GROUND & FIRST FLOOR, RAVISSANCE HOUSE 1, RING ROAD, LAJPAT NAGAR - IV NEW DELHI 110024
IFSC Code - UTIB0000824
Yes. You will have to (e) mail PRADAN one identification document (PAN card, Aadhaar Card, DL etc.) if you are an Indian National. If you are an NRI or a foreign national, you will have to (e) mail your passport details.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another. The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations. They provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large. The SDGs are an inclusive agenda. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet. “Poverty eradication is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, and so is the commitment to leave no-one behind,” UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said. “The Agenda offers a unique opportunity to put the whole world on a more prosperous and sustainable development path. In many ways, it reflects what UNDP was created for.”
Tribal and marginalized communities like Schedule Caste (SC) and Other Backward Class (OBC) are that section of the population who have been historically deprived and disempowered. Instances of poverty are very high in these groups with very low levels of economic, educational or political attainment.
Transformational change is enabling the isolated, deprived and excluded communities to have an alternate self view by building upon their skills, initiative, resources and entitlements, by mobilizing and motivating them, building capabilities and fostering enabling mechanisms. Women SHGs are the foundation towards this and fostering people’s organizations for aggregation and empowerment and community based service mechanisms to ensure sustainable services and input-output linkages.
Yes. However, we would request you to bear the cost of the visit. PRADAN would facilitate your interaction in the villages and communities that you are visiting.
Retail Products: Support 1 day stipend for our change leaders
PRADAN deploys professionals from premier universities/Institutes in India to work in remote villages with communities to bring about transformational change. Your contribution will help to support the stipend of one of the new comers who is in the process of becoming a change leader.
Your contribution will go to one of the field teams where PRADAN’s professional works directly with the community.
PRADAN endowment fund
- Recruiting, training and deploying educated youths in the service of poor communities
- Professionals working in any of the 58 field teams in remotest villages in the country
- Piloting innovative development models that work at scale
“iSTART the change for SDG 1 by Doubling farmers’ income by skilling rural women on new technologies”
“iSTART the change for SDG 2 by Hunger free homes through training rural women in scientific agricultural practices”
“iSTART the change for SDG 5 by Empowering rural women’s groups addressing gender equality in household and society“
“iSTART the change for SDG 13 by Building resilient villages to withstand the impact of climate change on livelihoods”
iSTART the change for SDG 16 by Ensuring institutional services (health, education and public distribution system) in a village
iSTART the change by supporting Rural women’s Self Help Groups to overcome debt trap
Training and mobilization details for each retail product under iSTART the change initiative
|S. No.||Particulars||Unit of Intervention||Coverage|
|1||Training of VO Sub-Committee on cash crops to play effective roles in the promotion of farm based cash crops like vegetables, mustard etc among SHG member households through dialogue, discussion and planning||Livelihood CRP- village level||Village|
|2||Training of CRPs to support SHGs in enhancing income||Livelihood CRP-SHG level||All SHG members|
|3||Training on scientific agricultural practices in cash crops during Khariff||SHG||All SHG members|
|4||Training on scientific agricultural practices in cash crops during Rabi||SHG||All SHG members|
|5||On field Support for intervention||SHG||All SHG members|
|6||Training on improved animal husbandry practices||Livelihood CRP-SHG level||All SHG members|
|7||Demonstration of new technology like drip, machan etc for increased income||SHG||SHG member|
|8||Market linkages to understand range of technological options.||Federation Leaders|
|9||Data collection of production||CDC||All SHG members|
|S. No.||Particulars||Unit of Intervention||Coverage|
|1||Training of VO Sub-Committee for livelihoods to play effective roles in the promotion of farm based livelihoods among SHG member households through dialogue, discussion and planning||Livelihood CRP- village level||Village|
|2||Training of CRPs to support SHGs in enhancing food security||Livelihood CRP-SHG level||SHG member|
|3||Training on scientific agricultural practices||SHG||All SHG members|
|4||On field Support for intervention||SHG||All SHG members|
|5||Improved Composting Technique||SHG||Entire SHG (60% coverage)|
|6||Input Support for SRI and Improved Paddy||SHG||Entire SHG (60% coverage)|
|7||Individual equipment for drudgery reduction||SHG||SHG member|
|8||Demo plot for SRI paddy||Individual Family||1 SHG member|
|9||Trials on extension of SRI principles to other crops like kodo, kutki, pulses etc (nutrition)||SHG||Entire SHG (60% coverage)|
|10||Livelihood and gender training||CRP||Entire SHG|
|11||Data collection of production||CDC||Entire SHG|
|S.No||Particulars||Unit of Intervention||Coverage|
|1||Basic training on gender||SHG||Entire SHG (60% members attend)|
|2||Advance training on gender||Individual||SHG gender leadership|
|3||Training on violence and DV Act||Individual||SHG gender leadership|
|4||Flipchart and material for leadership to use in their respective SHGs||Individual||Entire SHG|
|5||Follow-up meeting of SHG leaders on gender training at the group level||Individual||SHG gender leadership|
|S. No.||Particulars||Unit of Intervention||Coverage|
|1||Training of VO Sub-Committee||to play effective roles in dialogue, planning and monitoring of INRM activities among SHG member||Livelihood CRP- village level||Village|
|2||On field support to CRPs to promote implementation of INRM||Livelihood CRP-SHG level||Village|
|3||Facilitating SHG Federations to engage with the Government at various levels to share their INRM plans, place their requests for public funds, assert for their entitlements and assure their support for programme implementation.||SHG||All SHG members|
|4||Training, exposure of duty bearers of Panchayat/||Block administration on INRM||Block/Panchayat||Officials|
|5||Data collection of INRM||CDC||Entire SHG|
|S. No.||Particulars||Unit of Intervention||Coverage|
|1||Training of CRPs (Adhikaar Sathis/Sakhis) on Rights and Entitlements||Adhikaar CRP- village level||Village|
|2||Training of CRPs to support SHGs in understanding the nuances of governance||CRP-SHG level||Village|
|3||Training of CRPs on livelihood and food rights (MGNREGS and RTF)||Adhikaar CRP- village level||Village|
|4||Training of CRPs on health rights (NRHM)||Adhikaar CRP- village level||Village|
|5||Training of CRPs on education rights (RTE)||Adhikaar CRP- village level||Village|
|6||Training of CRPs on child and maternal rights (ICDS)||Adhikaar CRP- village level||Village|
|7||Training of CRPs on RTI||Adhikaar CRP- village level||Village|
|8||Mass scale dissemination about rights and entitlements through booklets, wall painting etc.||Block||Block|
|9||Planning exercise of Village Organisations on engaging with government institutions||Village||Village|
|10||Agenda setting and action plan of federation||Federation Leaders||Federation|
|11||Training for enhanced capacities of Gram Panchayats to function as local governance bodies||Panchayats||Panchayats|
|12||Training of government officials to sensitize them on the needs of the community and proactive disclosure of information, simplification of procedures||Block/district administration||One event per year|
|13||Engagement of federations with other collective bodies/movements to influence policy||Federation Leaders||Multiple federations|
|14||Data collection on governance||CDC||Entire SHGs|
|S.No.||Particulars||Unit of Intervention||Coverage|
|1||Awareness building and concept seeding training|
|1.1||Part I||SHG||Entire SHG|
|1.2||Part II||SHG||Entire SHG|
|2||Exposure Visit for Self Help Group (SHG) members||Member||Entire SHG (60% members attend)|
|3||Initial village level training for setting system of Savings and Credit groups||SHGs||Entire SHG|
|4||Training of SHG Accountant on group transaction and book keeping||Individual||Individual|
|5||Membership Training to integrate SHGs into the governing body i.e. Federation to understand the nuances of S&C and long term sustainability||Member||Entire SHG (60% members attend)|