‘Manch 2015’: Selected Social Enterprises

Disclaimer: The projects listed below represent the opinions and ratings of our national and international pool of sector experts as well as site-visits carried out by FifthEstate and our partners. Some site visits are still being carried out so the final list of projects may change within the next week.

Sector: Agriculture/Food Security

Selected Social Enterprises

Developmental Association for Human Advancement-DEHAT

DEHAT is an interesting model that is fighting to break the conventional ways farming is done.They are educating farmers to introduce newer ways of farming techniques along with other techniques of reducing cost by creating organic fertilizers. Their overall model is essentially to decrease input costs, increase production, connect with financial networks and also how to take full advantage of the existing government Schemes. They have also received quite a few awards recognizing their work, one of them is prestigious India NGO Award-2010 by Resource Alliance in association with the Rockefeller Foundation. To understand their work, you can watch a short video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOSl6hG3CRY Website: http://www.dehatindia.org

BASIX Consulting and Technology Services

BASIX is providing an efficient and impactful way of creating FPO- Farmer Producers Organizations. They tackle the challenges of non functional FPO by providing capacity building to the board members of the FPO. Their model is two fold – they provide well designed, multi ligula capacity building programs and also create Farmer Service Centers, that are basically a meeting point for farmers, delivery point for seeds, agro-chemicals and other inputs like feed and DoCs or even gathering point for extension visitors who give talks to farmers in groups. Additionally, they have also created various tech based services like soil testing based suggestions, etc. They have already created and strengthened close to 100 FPOs in 29 districts of the state with over 30,000 farmer’s members and over 16,000 shareholders. BASIX is one of the pioneer organizations in Microfinance started by Vijay Mahajan and has received various awards for its work. Some of these are ICICI Inclusive India Award in the Access to Finance, NGO category (2012); India NGO Award (2009), in recognition of IGS work in North East, awarded by The Resource Alliance and The Rockefeller Foundation at Delhi; Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the World by Schwab Foundation. Website: http://www.basixindia.com/, http://www.basix-consulting.com/


Agrevolution works to create one stop destination for farmers, to provide end-to-end services such as crop selection, technical support, input availability, post-harvest value addition including storage, processing, packaging & marketing of produce. Agrevolution works with leading institutional and bulk buyers like FMCG players, exporters & retail giants to connect them to growers for their specific agricultural requirements. They are already working with 5300+ farmers in Bihar & Odisha through 15+ service centers and growing number of crops for companies like Godrej, Spencer’s, Cargill and many more. They have been awarded by Ashoka fellowship and have also been covered in many newspapers: http://forbesindia.com/article/30-under-30/shashank-kumar-guiding-farmers-at-every-step/37193/1 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/2-IITians-turn-down-lucrative-job-offers-tread-new-path-in-farming/articleshow/8990911.cms http://www.outlookbusiness.com/printarticle.aspx?287405 http://ibnlive.in.com/news/iitians-leave-cushy-jobs-to-work-with-farmers/165851-3.html See their work here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDbmA4BihRY Website: http://agrevolution.in/

Sector: Clean Energy/Climate Change

Selected Social Enterprises

Simpa Energy India

Simpa is working to make to make modern energy simple, affordable, and accessible for everyone.  Simpa has introduced a product and business model that makes sustainable energy choices “radically affordable” to consumers who currently lack access to electricity. Simpa sells solar-as-a-service to energy-poor households and SMEs in rural India.  They operate in poor grid areas, where customers have less than 12 hours a day from an unreliable grid, and off-grid areas, where customers have no connection to the national electricity grid.  Their customers make a small initial down payment for a high-­quality solar PV system and then pre-pay for the energy service, topping up their systems in small user-­defined increments using a mobile phone. Each payment for energy also adds towards the final purchase price. Once fully paid, the system unlocks permanently and produces energy, free and clear.  Simpa has established operations in 8 districts of UP. To date, they have sold nearly 12,000 solar home systems, reached over 60,000 beneficiaries. This model has gotten many accolades and awards including OPIC Impact Award in 2015, Off-Grid Energy Challenge Award in 2014, Tech Awards in 2012, and the Treehugger Best of Green Award in 2012. See their work – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhBqkBVWW8o Website: http://simpanetworks.com/

Husk Power Systems

Husk power system is a very impactful model especially for the rice belt of UP. Husk power systems uses the left over husk to create electricity. It develops and installs 25-100kW sized mini-power plants and deploys mini-grid in a radius of 2.5 km in rural areas. Power plant system, with its own mini-grid, delivers renewable, reliable and affordable power to rural households and small businesses. HPS developed 100% Producer Gas based gasification system that can generate power from agricultural waste like rice husk, mustard husk etc. This gasification based power plants provide power for 6 hours every night between 5pm and 11pm. Since the output of the power plant is a three phase AC, it can be used for productive purposes for running rice mills, and flour mills etc. Each 32kWe biomass power plant can easily serve ~300 households and ~50 small businesses. HPS currently serves 500 villages in eight districts of Bihar and eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh (near Gorakhpur). We are currently impacting lives of 200,000 people in rural Bihar and UP. This model has received many accolades and awards, including 2011 Ashden Awards (https://www.ashden.org/winners/husk11 was also 2013 Included in President Obama Power Africa Initiative (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/30/fact-sheet-power-africa); Website: http://huskpowersystems.com/

BOOND Engineering & Development

Boond is a model that has brought innovation in the generic model of electrification through solar micro grid. Boond has introduced Pre-paid technology to Solar Micro Grids, Their Solar Micro Grid is similar to any standard micro grid designed to meet energy needs of multiple households in a community via a centralized high capacity solar system. The innovation lies in the energy transaction process. Each household is provided an Energy Meter, which displays the amount of energy units balance in the system, and the amount consumed. Once all units are consumed, energy units can be purchased from the Solar Entrepreneur (SE), on whose roof the system is installed. The user carries a USB stick to the SE, who used a simple android application and Bluetooth technology to transfer energy units to the USB stick against the payment made. Over the period of 4 years and more than 1000KW of solar installations in rural areas, providing clean energy to more than 50,000 individuals. Boond was incubated in IIM-A CIIE and has received various awards including Economic Times- Power of Ideas 2011: Winner of UN Foundation Award 2011: Winner of Times Now Amazing Indian 2014. You can see the media coverage here http://firstbiz.firstpost.com/biztech/clean-energy-boond-receives-series-funding-opes-impact-fund-ennovent-circle-93656.html INDIA TODAY: http://www.boond.net/media.html See their work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAqP61ZVWio Website: http://www.boond.net

Additional Recommendations

Mera Gao Micro Grid Power(MGP)

MGP offers clean lower cost, higher quality lighting and mobile phone at a competitive price. For each household, MGP installs two lights and one mobile phone charger, each operating for 7 hours during the night. MGP is a simple service that focuses on lighting and mobile phone charging only, such lower power generation requirements allows MGP to use existing infrastructure to host its panels and batteries; this eliminates the need to lease land and construct a building for the battery bank. MGP provides quality lighting to approximately 75,000 people in 18,000 households of Uttar Pradesh. They have received multiple awards for their work including Terra Watt Price and Ashden Awards. News coverage of their work : http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/15/microgrids-key-to-bringing-a-billion-out-of-the-dark/ http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21582043-villagers-enjoy-sunlight-after-dark-out-gloom Website: http://www.meragaopower.com

Sector: Education

Selected Social Enterprises

Magic Bus India Foundation

Magic bus India foundation, doesn’t teach children the in-school curriculum, but teach them everything else. Magic Bus addresses some of the key challenges within the domains of Education, Health, Gender, Leadership and Livelihood through its sport-for-development methodology i.e. while the children are engaged in fun filled games and extra curricular activities, which our society today doesn’t really put emphasis on, and more so the poor and marginalized one. This innovative model is showing prominent change in the society and the lives of children. There model of imparting this knowledge and education is very innovative and impactful, especially because they foster young adults- Community Youth Leaders (CYLs)- to deliver these programmes and to become role models to the children with whom they work. These CYLs are from the same community as the children and serve as mentors and agents of change, there by making it easier to intervene when say for example a child drops out of school or is being married early. Magic Bus directly works with children in the age group of 7-15 years and youth from in the age group of 15- 25 years from marginalized communities in rural, urban and tribal settings. Currently Magic Bus is reaching out to 320000 children and youth from marginalized communities. Magic Bus has received many accolades for its work including Laureus Sport for Good Award in 2014, President of India Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award in September 2014, World Bank Development Marketplace Award, Rising Star Award by the Resource Alliance and Winner of the Jury and many more Website: https://www.magicbus.org

Experifun Educational Solutions

Experifun is an innovative methodology to give students what they need for hands on learning and exploring. Experifun believes that while students need to explore, visualize, be intrigued and have fun for better learning, teachers need tools in the classroom to deliver these learning needs. They have created an innovation based learning platform called inClass for urban and rural schools designed to enhance in-classroom science learning by experimentation and exploration. Additionally, their offering is affordable, covers science curriculum from class 6th to 10th, does not require any infrastructure / setup, is designed for urban and rural schools, is re-usable, portable and very sturdy products, supports all board (CBSE, ICSE, State Board) and they also organize teacher training and support teachers/schools all through the year. Experifun has already been taken up in 730 schools in India and abroad reaching to more than 80,000 to 90,000 children. Watch the video to see their product in working https://vimeo.com/channels/experifuninclass Experifun was Incubated at National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad and have received multiple awards including Pearson Edupreneur program 2013 award. They are also covered in newspapers : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Gadgets-make-teaching-Science-simple-and-fun/articleshow/46738719.cms http://www.newindianexpress.com/education/edex/Experifun-to-Enable-Learning-of-Science-Concepts-in-Real-Time/2015/05/25/article2826336.ece http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-05-26/news/62672140_1_rakesh-kumar-100-schools-flintobox any many more. Website: http://www.experifun.com

Friends Union for Energizing Lives (FUEL)

Lack of information and guidance for higher education and employment opportunities is a major barrier for rural Indian students. Students have very little or no guidance on how to continue education, where to go for higher studies if they want to what subjects to chose etc. Their innovative initiative, Educonnect, spreads awareness among students and covers all students of Class 7 to Class 12 from all schools in the district by providing them with knowledge of all opportunities they can pursue in their educational and professional lives. Trained staff of FUEL visits all schools in the constituency and guide students on various opportunities available to them. They also build an ecosystem of interaction among principals of schools in the district and also for their interaction with all stakeholders, with a broader aim of educational development of the district. They have trained more than 700,000 students through career seminars, counselling, tests etc., reaching 2,500+ schools. Their work has resulted in 48% of their students getting scholarships and right career choices, 70% don’t drop out from school/college, 70% adopt the top 3 choices given by our counselors. They have received multiple awards and are supported by prestigious institutes like Ashoka Fellowship, Oxfam, CSR Partners HDFC, IDBI, Amdocs, BPCL, NSDC Skill Innovation Challenge winner Website: http://www.studentsfuel.org/

Sector: Employment and Livelihood

Selected Social Enterprises

Shree Kamdhenu Electronics

SKEPL develops technology products to support and improve the efficiency of dairy farmers and local milk cooperatives. Their product an Automatic Milk Collection Unit includes all services necessary for milk collection, quality checks, and payment tracking. The AMCU aims to alleviate problems faced by small farmers by analyzing the quality of the milk and determining the appropriate price at the same time. This greater efficiency has had great success in their operations in Gujarat. They have received many prestigious awards including Nasscom Social Innovation Award, Investment from Grassroot Business Fund. 2014, Award from Government of Bihar for ICT project also, International Institute for Communication and Development’s ICT Stories Competition award in 2014. See their work here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY5KUxusKew  , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iePnU3K3WAI Website: http://www.akashganga.in/index.html

Smv Wheels

SMV Wheels offers manual rickshaw drivers access to buy rickshaws with generous deferred payment schemes. In addition to the rickshaw itself their service includes insurance, license, and vocational training which removes additional hurdles this marginalized community faces in attempts to make a living. Their direct is to encourage self-employment and create dignity for manual rickshaw drivers. Innovations in the model include space for advertisements on their rickshaws that supplement income, and a battery-supported E-rickshaw trial that will run in Varanasi later this month. They have received many prestigious awards for their work including Winner Sankalp Awards 2010-2011, Winner of Masterpreneur India Season 2, Winner of First Light Village Capital- 2010-2011, World Bank- India Development Marketplace 2013-14 and many more. See their work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp9WBt8L-00 Website: http://smvwheels.org/

BASIX Academy For Building Lifelong Employability

Through the Eye Mitra program is a livelihood program that trains and supports the creation of Eye Mitra Opticians at the village level. The Opticians purchases a kit which includes all tools and training in order to set up a shop that performs eye exams and provides services like spectacles to the local community. Facilitates employment for opticians and cheaper, more accessible eye services for the local community and villages. The team is looking for capital and/or access to loans for their Optician partners. They are already working with around 500 EMOs on the ground. See CNBC reporting to SMV – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp9WBt8L-00 Website: http://b-able.in/

Additional Recommendations

B2R Technologies

B2R works to setup BPO operations in rural communities. By encouraging educated youth, especially women, to stay in rural community’s urban migration is lowered and rural communities overall benefit from the growth in income and employment. B2R focuses on specific verticals and BPO tasks that benefit from the lower cost of rural operations. The model ensures adequate technology and infrastructure and places the most emphasis on people development and training. In the course of 6 years 300 rural youth have been trained and employed. They have won many recognitions including Dec 2011 – Winner of Villgro-Wantrapreneur Social Business Plan Competition 2011 in the Early Growth Stage category, Dec 2010 – Won TiE Lumis Excellence Award etc. See their work here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NjQ6GyQoq8&feature=youtu.be Website: http://www.business2rural.com

The Goat Trust

Highly acclaimed Goat Trust promotes small livestock (Goat/sheep/ Backyard birds rearing) based livelihood through demystifying production technology, build institutions and promote standard of marketing and linkage across the globe. It is mandated to grow as a resource organization to work on development of pro poor small livestock farming systems, technologies and market development through collaboration and networking with various stakeholders. A specific focus is given to women leadership to engage in activities where women traditionally have not played a role. The model has seen good success with 31 partners across 5 states. Average mortality has improved from 26% to 6% in just one year of operations. Goat Trust is also One of most Innovative organization award under BIHAR INNOVATION FOUNDATION (BIF)


Website: http://www.thegoattrust.org/

Anant Learning and Development

Anant operates a job portal www.rozgarmela.com that is targeted toward under-served populations like persons with disabilities. Beyond sourcing employers and matching applicants to positions, Anant offers many post-placement services that track the level of success of the match and encourages further development of the applicants. Attempting to broad reach by partnering with state governments, sectoral societies and NGOs working in skill development. Website: http://www.anantinnovation.com, www.rozgarmela.com

Sector: Health

Selected Social Enterprises

Aravind Eye Care (AECS)

Internationally acclaimed Aravind eye care, sets up vision centers, model in which small permanent clinics (vision centers) are set up in rural areas and are connected to their main hospitals through a telemedicine network. These providing comprehensive primary eye care services to the rural and remote population and thus create access to quality eye care. Aravind’s Vision Centers make use of a very low cost wireless tele-medicine networking infrastructure that makes the deployment of vision centers at large scale feasible. These primary eye care centers (Vision Centers) can make eye care available for the rural population at their door steps. Aravind has been working in this area since 1992 has has won many awards, recognitions and accolades for their work including Hilton Humanitarian Prize for Aravind, Gates Award for Global Health, FICCI Healthcare Award 2011 to LAICO

Website: http://www.aravind.org/

World Health Partners

WHP are tackling the inadequate medical facilities available to rural communities. The resources to tackle this are either in the public sector, or in the private sector, both have their unique strengths – the public sector is strong on medical competencies but perhaps lacks empathy and people skills and is inadequately supervised due to absence of real-time metrics. The private sector in villages often consists of providers who are either informal or from different systems of medicine but build their business on the basis of strong relationships with patients. The World Heath Partners’ platform is bringing core competencies of the two sectors together, producing great results. They have shown it through their family planning programme in five districts of UP and with TB in 13 districts of Bihar. WHP uses simple but sophisticated technology-based solutions, stabilized over 150,000 medical consultations so far in UP and Bihar, to create a network of self-sustaining private entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs and AYUSH doctors are trained to counsel clients, conduct simple frontend tests (such as for pregnancy) and services (ORS administration or TB suspect identification) and connect with formally qualified backend doctors through a technology platform for more complicated cases or direct to the public sector if there are specific schemes such as RNTCP. The technology helps remote doctors get basic parameters such as blood pressure, pulse, temperature, heart and lung sounds and cardiac signals enabling them to make good quality diagnoses. They have received many awards and accolades for their work, including Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship; Schwab Foundation World Economic Forum Award for Social Entrepreneurship Forum; European ITA Networking Award; Asian Award for Social Entrepreneurship; Ashoka Fellow. Website: http://worldhealthpartners.org/

Karuna Trust

Access, availability and affordability of Quality Primary Healthcare for remote rural and tribal population were a major problem in rural healthcare system. Karuna Trust as initiated to address this problem by managing Primary Health centers in remote areas in partnership with Government under Public Private Partnership (PPP). Presently Karuna Trust manages 81 Primary Health Centers in remote rural and tribal inaccessible areas. Implementation will be based on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model through which Karuna Trust has been implementing health services across the country. The PPP model implies that the partners work jointly work together by being jointly involved in planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, training and research and learn from each other. The model Karuna Trust is unique as it is covering whole primary healthcare system under PPP model. Karuna Trust having an experience of 30 years, starting its work in partnership with Government of Karnataka to adopt and manage a PHC in couple of districts providing primary health care for more than 22,000 people in 13 villages. Today Karuna Trust, working in partnership with state government in 7 states providing the PHC facilities to remote and tribal communities. They have been internationally acclaimed and have also received multiple recognitions including CNBC entrepreneurship award 2014. See their work – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFcgh-DfEHU Website: http://www.karunatrust.com/

Additional Recommendations

Operation ASHA

Although being a preventable disease, TB incidence rates are very high in UP and more so in n low-income areas where there is less access to healthcare and higher exposure to risk factors (i.e. crowded living conditions, poor nutrition, higher prevalence of intercurrent diseases, etc.).  OpASHA has developed a unique delivery model that addresses the failures of resource-limited healthcare systems to ensure treatment adherence, and expands access to government-provided medications and services by delivering last-mile connectivity. They have partnered with with the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and local communities to create dense, decentralized networks of TB treatment centers where services are provided free of charge to remote and marginalized communities. By strategically establishing centers in existing convenient community locales, such as shops, temples, and health clinics, OpASHA is able to serve 5000-25000 people within a 1.5 km radius, so that no patient needs to waste time, spend money on transportation or sacrifice wages in order to procure their medicine. Operation ASHA is reaching the unreached by empowering local communities and training local semi-literate youths to work as TB Providers. Their model is internationally acclaimed and is currently serving a population of 6 million in 3,000 slums and villages, Current number of centers: 240 in India, 49 in Cambodia. They have received many recognitions including FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards Winner 2015 and Top 25 in Social Innovation in Health. They also been mentioned and recognized by multiple international organizations like Gates Foundation and also multiple newspapers: http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2013/03/Informal-Health-Providers-Treating-TB-Theyre-Here-to-Stay-So-How-Do-We-Work-with-Them#.VdV5EFzFH-Y http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-yanis-ben-amor/harnessing-new-technologi_b_2940865.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/world-bank-picks-20-projects-for-100000-grant/article4674376.ece Website: http://www.opasha.org

Bodhi Health Education

India suffers from high maternal and infant mortality rates and Bodhi health is trying to combat it by executing capacity building programs at grassroots using technology. Bodhi Health Education has developed a technology platform which is deployed over tablets, mobile phones and existing IT infrastructure at the primary health centers. The frontline health workers are able to learn about complex medical topics through standardized, illustrated audio visual content in local languages. This offers them an anytime, anywhere solution reducing the dependency on physical trainers. There are multiple advantages to this approach, given the content is in local language and in pictorial form, the workers get a better understanding of the discussion topic additionally their technology platform allows the trainings to be conducted without internet connectivity and over low 2G bandwidth and the pre and post raining assessment keeps the content relevant and helps in continuous enhancement of the program Bodhi Health Education is relatively new but shows a lot of promise. They were incubated by and have received support from IIM A and IIM C, Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke, University Accelerator Program- Dukes SEAD program, TATA Social Enterprise Challenge etc. Website: http://www.bodhihealthedu.org/

Sector: Water and Sanitation

Selected Social Enterprises

Waterlife India

More than 60% of the people, especially in villages do not have access to safe water. Resulting in death of millions of children due to water borne diseases, Millions of children grow stunted due to waterborne diseases. Most large Capex intensive water systems implemented before were not sustainable because of the extensive cost incurred in operations and maintenance (O&M). The model pioneered by Waterlife consists of – Decentralized micro-utility Water purification system in the villages – the technology depends on the type of contamination, comprehensive O&M for long term periods like 10-15 years- this includes hiring operators from the villages, training them, putting a service team, quality team, taking care of consumables, paying for electricity charges etc. and Charge the users / villagers an affordable user fees ( Rs 5-7 for 20 liters of safe water ) to create a revenue stream for doing O&M. With consumption, this is enough to pay for O&M and generate a return. All this combined with awareness and education in the village to move people away from contaminated water to safe water has had large impact. They have been in operation for more than 5 years and have worked with multiple state governments. They have also received multiple awards including G 20 Award for inclusive business innovation, World Economic Forum award, World Bank DM Award, Millennium Alliance Award, Sankalp award etc. Website: http://www.waterlifeindia.com


Gramalaya has been working in the sanitation sector for more than 2.5 decades and through Guardian MFI for the past 8 years. Grmalanya has development an impactful model of MFI for toilet creation where Guardian MFI is promoted for toilet constructions resulting in more number of families being supported through microfinance loans for sanitation so that is no dependency on free subsidy from Government. This microfinance arrangement enables the families to construct toilets at their houses without expecting the subsidy from Government but by getting sanitation loans with lesser interest which could be repayable in easy installments. Guardian MFI is providing loans to the women to construct toilets at their houses with 21% p.a. interest rate in 18 months repayment period. Micro-finance loans are provided with a loan size of Rs. 5,000/- – Rs. 14,000/- so that a family could construct toilets using these loans. Gramalaya has so far reached 1 million plus people with water and sanitation facilities by providing accessible household toilets and safe drinking water facilities in the rural and urban areas in India. Website: http://www.gramalaya.in

Additional Recommendations

Supremus Developers

Utilizing the innovative Supremus Aqua Water Treatment System, Supremus aims to install clean water systems in public places such as railway stations, bus stands, and religious buildings. The system is lean and effective at cleaning many types of unsanitary water issues including pathogens, total dissolved solids, and turbidity. The system requires no power and unlike RO filtration does not waste any water. Maintained is quite simple and just involves a daily turning of a manual crank that flushes the membranes. They are looking for support in terms of locations, water access, and financing to install systems in UP. Website: http://www.supremus-group.com/index1.html

Sector: Women Empowerment

Selected Social Enterprises

Jan Sahas Social Development Society

Jan Sahas is working for the liberation and up-liftment of manual scavengers (lower caste women tasked with cleaning human waste). Through direct intervention, volunteers, and community outreach they work to provide new opportunities and advocate for rural development for this heavily marginalized segment of society. Uttar Pradesh is home to the largest number of manual scavengers in India. Jan Sahas is trying to bring the work they have carried out in Madhya Pradesh to UP. Once liberated Jan Sahas works to encourage entrepreneurship among the former scavengers and their families, including support in the form of grants and money for education. They have received many recognitions and awards for their work including Times of India Social Impact Award 2015 in livelihood category, Star Impact Award 2014, United Kingdom by the president Bill Clinton, C. M.A. Thomas National Human Right Award 2012. See their work and coverage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY_kYlOJA1I, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwnwtGjqkM4, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cepmjR7SKI Website: https://www.jansahasindia.org

Aga Khan Foundation

The Aga Khan Foundation is looking to expand a successful trial run of an improved “Self-Help Group Plus” model that has been running and one district of UP for the last two years. The model targets poor households and specifically the women in these households and aims to create better savings habits and increased independence. This models allows the members to buy share into the group in Rs 10-20 and borrow from the total group purse with interest and a set repayment plan. The model differs from standard credit in that it allows the members to also profit from the interest of other members and develop smarter attitudes toward money. The trial results were positive with 99% repayment and total savings 10x the more traditional self-help groups in the area. Website: http://www.akdn.org/akf

Sector: Other

Selected Social Enterprises

Ajeevika Bureau and Nirmana - Joint Initiative

Migrant workers and civil workers lead a subhuman life without identity, lack access to public services and entitlements (PDS, health, education, banking and more); are cheated of their rightful wages and compensation; and struggle between disenfranchisement within their nation-state and an uncertain livelihood, which is their only exit from poverty. Both Ajeevika and Nirmana are working to provide an opportunity to the migrant workers and construction labourers for a better life. Aajeevika Bureau has come up with a comprehensive set of migration services and worked on their institutionalization through creation of walk-in resource centers, namely Shramik Sahayata evam Sandarbha Kendras that offer a wide range of services including registration and photo ID; pre-departure counseling; skill training and placement linkages; legal aid and education; phone based legal counseling and emergency support (Labour Line); bank linkages; health services; linkages to social security such as insurance and pension and more. Nirmana too has been working on a similar issue with MNREGA Workers, Construction Workers & Brick kiln Workers since 1988. They have worked with the government to register and retain genuine Construction Workers and support disbursing the social security benefits provided in the main Act. They have so reached around six million Construction Workers and other fourteen million Brick kiln workers and MNREGA workers. The systematic approach of Aajeevika and the long term expertise of Nirmana combined provides a much needed facility that can be used to provide the benefits to the construction workers and also support services to the migrant worker. A very much needed service to provide an opportunity to these workers to be able to break out of the poverty cycle and exploitation. Both Aajeevika and Nirmana are highly recognized and models and have received multiple awards: Aajeevika work featured in Business India, as one of the 25 ideas to have a significant impact on the development landscape of India. Aajeevika Bureau has prepared a set of guidelines for DDU-GKY of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) for setting up of migration support centers in select city destinations in India and are also in discussion with the ministry of labour and employment (MoLE) for creation of migration support centers across some key migration corridors. Nirmana is quite recognized for its work with the 1996 twin Acts (The Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Work and Conditions of Service) Act 1996 and the Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Cess Act 1996 and have also received State Bank of India Award its work for Unorganized Sector Workers and Mission Convergence, Government of Delhi Award for the being Be Best DRC in 2008. Websites: http://www.aajeevika.org/, http://nirmana.org/

ReNew IT - Affordable Computers

A computer purchase is a big milestone in the life of many Indians and sometimes even the cheapest available ones are not affordable to many. Most of the new age economy jobs today require some amount of computer skills. Computers unlike mobiles, have no low-cost options unfortunately. A new computer costs around Rs. 20,000/- which is beyond the reach of a vast majority of Indians. RenewIT is trying to address this gap by providing computers from as low as Rs 4,500/- which not only contain the hardware but also genuine Windows licenses on them. They make possible by refurbishing the old laptops discarded by large organizations. They are an ISO certified organization and ensure that all computers are passed through standardized, stringent testing procedures. Only the best computers which pass all the processes are marketed to schools, students, small offices and millions of Indians who have never had a computer. They have received many recognitions including Winner of the coveted CNBC Masterpreneur title and FKCCI Innovation Excellence Awards in 2014. See their work here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u32ZhMgKRrE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V25KfGbChUs Website: http://www.renewit.in

Shramik Bharti

Socio-economic backwardness, poverty, illiteracy, feudalism, violence against women, high Maternal Mortality Rate & Infant Mortality Rate, unviable agriculture, youth unemployment, social evils like consumption of liquor, gambling, poor infrastructure and poor access and availability of state services can at some level be tackled with the provision of right information access. Such a provision needs to fulfil two main criteria, a medium that’s accessible to all and a medium that understood by all. Many communities do not have access to any social media, newspapers reach only in the villages which are on the main roads and TV is accessible only to the ones with electricity. Commercial FM channels reach these villages but they are heavily loaded with the agenda of promoting bollywood acts, national and international events and news and do not have space for local issues. Shamik Bharity is working to deliver important and relevant information to its listeners through the channel of community radio. The innovative part about their model is that it is run and driven by the community itself. Waqt ki Awaaz community radio, is promoted by Shramik Bharti, as the community’s own medium of communication for dialogue, information sharing, knowledge sharing and citizen action for empowerment, equity and equality. There are 5 radio channels already reaching in the area. The community is intensely involved in every activity of the Waqt Ki Awaaz. Waqt Ki Awaaz, Community Radio Station won best content award in Ladli Media & Advertising Award at Raipur on 7th Feb ’15. Website: http://www.shramikbharti.org.in/

Additional Recommendations

Abhitech IT Solutions

Abhitech is a firms that has worked with various factions of the UP government, providing them technical solutions for the past decade. They have recently come up with a web based application that aims at bringing transparency in the process of file clearances at various levels in district administration. This application particularly focuses on the funds given by MLAs, MPs and MLCs to the district administration for various development works. There are several access levels in the application and “Patal Sahayak” at the DM’s office enters the projects in the application. The project then goes to various other levels for approvals like Assistant Accountant, Accountant, Junior Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Assistant Finance Officer, Project Director and Chief Development Officer. Each user has his/her own login and the approval is done by means of OTP (One time password) on the mobile number registered on the system. At any point of time if anyone from the administration wants to check the status of any particular project, he can login and check which file is held with which person and for how long. Apart from this, the application has the records of the received, spent and available funds that were received from MLAs, MPs and MLCs. This is an innovative way of not only bringing transparency into the working but also expediting the movement and progress of files. This can be implemented at both district level and can also be customized to perform the same operation for across departments, at Mandal or state level. Website: http://www.abhitech.com/ Disclaimer: Abhitech is FifthEstate’s Technology partner, providing technology services and support for our work.

Note: Additionally recommended organizations are the ones that are rated highly by our judges but are not in the top three organizations voted.