Our Impact

Stories of Impact

PRADAN is making a measurable impact on India.


In 1987, PRADAN pioneered the model of organizing women into self-help groups (SHG) as an approach to mobilize poor communities and improve their livelihoods. Today, our program to link SHGs with banks is the world’s largest microfinance movement, with more than 70 million women having their bank accounts for their businesses. It is also now the central strategy of many grass-roots NGOs and public programs.

We engage with more than 482,000 women organized into nearly 38,000 SHGs, making it one of the largest civil society efforts in the world.

These SHGs have cumulatively disbursed credit of Rs 2 billion (~US$30m). PRADAN supports 80 Women Federations, an associative tier of self-help groups. These Federations give strength to their members to raising their voices against exploitation and violence.


Food Security

PRADAN has assisted nearly 215,000 rural families with crop selection and access to modern markets, enhancing their productivity by three to four times and ensuring year-round food security. Some 30,000 farmers are organized into 11 business collectives to better participate in markets. More than 120,000 families grow cash crops, such as tomatoes, cabbages, cauliflowers, broccolis, chillies that are increasingly in demand in a changing urban India.



PRADAN has worked with more than 27,000 families to assure irrigation in 5,054 hectare (ha) and has improved soil-moisture availability in an additional 6,081 ha.

Every year, PRADAN directly supports 27,000 families in adopting these models of water conservation, which increase household incomes by 75-100%.


Managing Natural Resources

PRADAN supports nearly 35,000 small-holding farmers with integrated natural resource management to build resilience to water variability caused by climate change. We have designed methods ranging from small-scale on-farm water control measures to selecting crops that utilise residual moisture and are more adaptive to water stress and water surplus conditions.

Farmers adopt eco-friendly technologies and use weather predictions made available by PRADAN to diversify production risks and adapt crop choices.



PRADAN optimises the resources available to the poor by helping them access funds and build their assets and capabilities so they can earn a decent living.

PRADAN has helped nearly 225,000 people participate in income generation activities like agriculture, fruit orchards, tasar silk and poultry. For example, our home-grown chicken initiative is the largest of its kind in India. We promoted National Smallholder Poultry Development Trust (NSPDT) which supports 9,183 women poultry farmers, across 20 cooperatives, reaching a cumulative turnover of Rs. 2.8 billion (~US$ 42m). We have also developed one of the largest organised tasar silk productions in India. Tasar Development Foundation worked with 9,750 farmers rearing the seed cocoons needed to make in tasar silk. At par in quality with the Central Silk Board’s standards, the seed cocoons produced by these farmers were enough to cover the entire year’s requirement at their local levels. This helped the rearers earn an income of Rs. 161 million (~US$ 2.4 m) during the last year.


Grassroots Governance

PRADAN helps communities create their own social and economic collectives and strengthens grassroots governance by encouraging women to actively participate in local village councils. Women self-help groups, their associative tiers, producer companies and cooperatives help the poor play an active role in local markets and social exchange. This helps ensure relevant public investments, and efficient delivery of public services.

In 37 of India’s poorest districts, communities have started accessing their rights and entitlements, making claims on constitutionally guaranteed provisions, and holding local village councils accountable.


PRADAN by the Numbers


  • 2016

    Process Excellence Award for grass-roots work by Axis Bank Foundation
  • 2015

    Times Social Impact Award for livelihoods promotion
  • 2013

    Microfinance India Award as the Self-help Group Promoting Institution of the Year 2013 by ACCESS Development Services and HSBC

    Appointed National Support Organisation for National Rural Livelihoods Mission to support development work in Extremist affected areas
  • 2011

    M. Phil in development practice in collaboration with Ambedkar University, Delhi
  • 2010

    Ranked 1st in NGO category and 47th in over all India's best companies to work for 2010 by Great Place to work institute and the Economic Times

    Rozgar Jagrookta Puraskar by Ministry of Rural Development for efforts in generating awareness about implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
  • 2009

    Deep Joshi received the Ramon Magasaysay award for nurturing the idea of PRADAN
  • 2006

    First NGO to received ‘NGO of the year’ award by Jeet and Khemka Foundation and Resource Alliance Group
  • 2003

    Started first System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in eastern India
  • 1995

    Awarded K P Goenka award for innovative work on Natural Resource Management (NRM)
  • 1991

    Launched one-year Development Apprenticeship programme to train professionals
  • 1987

    Among the first to pioneer self-help groups
  • 1983

    Founded by Vijay Mahajan and Deep Joshi

We are currently working with nearly 500,000 poor households in 7,000 villages across 7 states.



  • Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society (BRLPS)
  • Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles (CSB)
  • Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC)
  • Chhattishgarh Grameen Aajeevika Samvardhan Samiti (CGSRLM)
  • Department of Agriculture and Food Production, Govt. of West Bengal
  • Department of Sericulture, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
  • District Rural Development Agency (DRDA)
  • District Rural Development Cell (DRDC), West Medinipur
  • Jharkhand State Livelihoods Promotion Society (JSLPS)
  • Jharkhand State Watershed Mission (JSWM)
  • Mahila Vitt evam Vikas Nigam, Madhya Pradesh (IFAD supported Tejaswini Programme)
  • Mitigating Poverty in Western Rajasthan (Mpower), Govt. of Rajasthan
  • MP Rajya Ajeevika Forum (MKSP, Govt. of India)
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
  • National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD)
  • Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM)
  • Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Project (OTELP)
  • Panchayati Raj Department, Govt. of Odisha
  • Panchayati Raj Department, Govt. of West Bengal
  • Rajasthan Gramin Ajeevika Vikas Parisad (RGAVP)
  • Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC)
  • The Rural Development Department, Govt. of Jharkhand
  • Tribal Development Department, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
  • Tribal Welfare Commission, Govt. of Jharkhand
  • Watershed Cell cum Data Centre (WCDC), Purulia, West Bengal
  • West Bengal State Rural Livelihood Mission (WBSRLM)
  • Zila Panchayat, Bastar, Chhattisgarh
  • Zila Panchayat, Dhamtari, Chhattisgarh
  • Zila Panchayat, Dindori, Madhya Pradesh
  • Zila Panchayat, Kanker, Chhattisgarh
  • Zila Panchayat, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh
  • Zila Panchayat, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh
  • Zila Panchayat, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh


  • Basix Academy for Building Lifelong Employability Ltd.(B-ABLE)
  • General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC)
  • HDFC Bank Ltd.
  • L&T Finance Limited (LTF)
  • NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov)
  • SRF Limited

Foundations & Multilaterals

  • Axis Bank Foundation (ABF)
  • Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF)
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
  • Bank of America
  • Caritas India (PACS Programme, DFID)
  • Centre for microFinance (CmF)
  • Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI)
  • Ernst & Young Foundation
  • European Union of India
  • Freedom from Hunger
  • Give India
  • Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF)
  • HT Parekh Foundation
  • Humanist Institute for Cooperation (Hivos)
  • ICCO & Kerk in Actie
  • IKEA Foundation
  • Indian Grameen Services (IGS)
  • Jamsetji Tata Trust (JTT)
  • Lutheran World Relief (LWR)
  • Madhyam Foundation
  • Monsanto Fund
  • Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust (NRTT)
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF)
  • Rabobank Foundation
  • RBS Foundation India
  • Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT)
  • Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT)
  • Syngenta Foundation India
  • Ford Foundation
  • United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
  • Welthungerhilfe

Resource, Research & Academic Institutions

  • Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD)
  • Anode Governance Lab
  • Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
  • Centre for Heath and Social Justice (CHSJ)
  • Chetna
  • Digital Green
  • Eklavya
  • Gram Vikas
  • Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR)
  • Insitute for Human Development (IHD)
  • Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST)
  • International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Jagori
  • Landesa
  • Landesa Rural Development Institute
  • Multiple Action Research Group (MARG)
  • Prajayatna
  • Public Health Resource Society (PHRS)
  • Sambodhi
  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
  • The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Vidya Bhawan
  • Vikramshila
  • We The People Abhiyan