New Delhi (India), November 09: Their goal: Bring 100 villages into the mainstream development process. It takes an organization to create a successful, scalable and profit-making SHG’s in rural areas. Kalpana Singh and the team in Uttar Pradesh set out to build an infrastructure that promotes disruptive, differentiated thinking to solve critical social and regional issues by promoting profit-making cooperatives.
After4-year career as a Radio Jockey, out of which she had worked at a leading media house in India, and Abroad, Kalpana decided it was time technology was made accessible and affordable enough to be used for the benefit of people at the bottom of the pyramid in Uttar Pradesh as a pilot project.
It was 2017, and the thriving startup culture in Uttar Pradesh showed her how many people were choosing purpose over money and conventional career trajectories far earlier in life. Through a common acquaintance, she met Renowned International Urdu Critic and Author Prof. Shafey Kidwai, who, after working with organisations like BBC, The Hindu and many more being the MIC at AMU, had decided to support Pratham Daayitva Foundation to work on root cause with the help of scientific image management.
“If you wanted large-scale financial inclusion, the development sector had to be aspirational for large numbers of people with professional, problem-solving and intellectual capabilities, and not just a place to do charitable work,” says Kalpana.
According to her, it was a struggle to find people who had innovative and disruptive thinking in the development sector, and there was a need to build an infrastructure to enable people to startup with an SHG’s model.
With this as the central objective, The Pratham Daayitva think tank was launched Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav; it is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. Pratham Daayitva started Awards in 3 different segments to commemorate 75 years of excellence in 3 different fields, including Education, Governance and Rural Healthcare Management, in November 2021, with Sandeep Singh, Minister, Uttar Pradesh Government. What started as an idea on paper with 10 people has now evolved into a yearly award programme with close to 6non-profits in a single cohort, namely Gyanendra Mishra of Udaan Sanstha, Rashmi Anand from Aligarh Helpline, Wings Of Desire – Salim Sherwani, Human Development and Welfare Society- Anuj Chauhan, Zakir Hussain Foundation- Sajida Nadeem, Robin Hood Army-Dr Harsh Gupta.
Kalpana wanted to “spark innovation in underserved areas”, which is why the Daayitva Foundation decided to diversify and pick a range of projects across issues like rural management, people rights, financial inclusion, skill development and governance.
“We believe that Daayitva Foundation can pioneer a new model of development that focuses on technology, innovation, entrepreneurial energy and collaboration,” says Kalpana Singh, Founder and MD, Pratham Daayitva Foundation (PDF). The organisation has funded grass-root level projects since 2017.
According to Kalpana, what makes them stand out is the “ability to apply a new-age Social Behavior Change Communication and rural entrepreneurial approach to the field of development, by building evidence-based solutions focused on economic empowerment and social protection, while also addressing ecosystem barriers and supporting implementation at ground level”.
“I never thought I could make technology the centre of my approach, forget leveraging it,” she says. With strategic advice from researchers, doctors, bureaucrats, and professors we entered into a partnership with Brazil-based DigiMax, an organisation that develops digital tools to help partners document, analyse, store and share information.
As of October 24, we had reached 18 villages in Uttar Pradesh, with 39 filed and verified SHG’s proposal and Skilling, reskilling and upskilling activities, and was in the process of organizing100activities by the end of 2022.
Here’s the recorded video message from Sandeep Singh, Minister, Uttar Pradesh Government: – https://youtu.be/2uurUnJ1H0I