I am passionate about social entrepreneurship and have initiated outreach projects that have improved the quality of life and standard of living for people in need while leading my team at Enactus since 2012.
Enactus, formerly known as Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), is an international non-profit organisation in 39 countries around the world involving 1600 universities and has over 67,000 students as active members. Enactus brings together a diverse network of university students, academic professionals and industry leaders around the shared mission of creating a better and a more sustainable world. It is active in facilitating entrepreneurship action-oriented projects with CSR amongst college going students across the world.
Entrepreneurial: Having the perspective to see an
opportunity and the talent to create value from that opportunity
ACTion: The willingness to do something and the commitment to see it through even when the outcome is not guaranteed
US: A group of people who see themselves connected in some important way; individuals that are part of a greater whole
In Enactus NSIT, I have been responsible for:
# Team decisions taken for carrying on the Start-up Projects
# Supervising all the departments, including PR, HR, Organizing, Business Development.
# Head of the ideation and the business advisory team of the cell
# Handling the business and marketing strategies of the team
# Incorporating Lean Start-up methodologies to the projects
# Coordinating the efforts of each team member for better results
# Brand Development
Achievements in ENACTUS:
♦ Co-Founded : Project Pratham, Project Aakriti,
Project Farm to Fork, Project Saksharta and Project Kilkari
♦ Represented the team in Enactus National Competition '13 held in Mumbai
♦ Led my team to Semi Finals in Enactus National Competition '14 held in Mumbai
♦ Won grants worth Rs. 1,90,000 (Rs. 50,000 from KPMG; Rs. 40,000 from Tata Chemicals; Rs. 40,000 from Unilever; Rs. 40,000 from Mahindra and Rs. 20,000 from Walmart)
♦ Event Manager : ASPIRE '13 and ASPIRE '14 - National Social Entrepreneurship Conventions
♦ Project Farm to Fork received media coverage
from national newspapers, Hindustan Times and Rashtriya Sahara.
♦ Project Farm to Fork was broadcast on DD National.
1) PROJECT PRATHAM
Project Pratham is one of the first and one of the most successful projects to be initiated by ENACTUS NSIT. Project aims at empowering underprivileged communities in DWARKA especially the large number of rag pickers living in the suburban areas and making an environmental impact at the same time.
REUSE and RECYCLE
After weeks of research and experimentation the ENACTUS NSIT steam successfully figured out a business model that addressed all the objectives of the project.
Our team got in touch with a rag pickers community in Matiala, Dwarka and trained them in making marketable goods from discarded materials. This model created a social, economic and a massive environmental impact. The products made in this project include notebooks, wall clocks and solar bulbs.
Our members have engaged various schools, colleges and corporate houses to supply us with waste paper. This paper is then sent to recycling plants by our partner NGO, JAAGRUTI to obtain high quality ruled sheets which is then used by the rag pickers community to make notebooks for student and general use.
Besides note books the rag pickers have also been trained to make attractive
wall clocks from used CDs and solar bulbs from used plastic bottles.
Upon its initiation the project was very well received by a number of student bodies, schools and corporate houses who extended their support. It led to an immediate increase in the incomes of the target community, giving them a hope of a better future.
The products made by the community were featured in a number of exhibitions around Delhi. Project Pratham along with Project Aakriti won us the ENACTUS regional competition 2012.
2) PROJECT AAKRITI
An Enactus NSIT venture with women empowerment at its core is Project Aakriti. Initiated in 2012, we had engaged with a group of women relocated in a rural locality near our college. Prior to that they were trained in microfinance by our NGO partners Deepalaya but had little source of income.
Through our efforts we have managed to train them in the art
of making paper products, handicrafts and bags. In our project we initially
trained and motivated them, made them believe in the real power even a small
group or a ‘samooh’ in Hindi could have in bringing about change in the society.
Enactus worldwide has three core principles, on which its projects are based, one of the key ones being having environmentally sustainable activities and in this project we are re-using paper dumped in colleges across the city, collected through various collection drives organized by Enactus NSIT members and volunteers. Thus we are reducing its burden on environment by converting it into paper handicrafts, and other useful items.
Post the products are made by those women, our team is extensively involved in marketing the products. For this we have used online e-commerce portals, social networking pages, college fests, and various other cultural events as our platforms. Whatever profit is earned goes to the women after covering for the expenses incurred by us. In a short time of less than a year we have successfully managed to spread the reach to several new avenues, and have managed to maintain a quality standard to be able to build a brand. Our challenges in future are to take this brand to another level, increase and diversify the production
Thanks to our small effort not just the incomes of those village households have been augmented but they have also gained confidence and respect in their families now that they can also contribute.
3) PROJECT FARM to FORK
Farm to fork is another promising project started by ENACTUS NSIT members with an aim to help the farmers in suburban areas in Dwarka.
Throughout history, the farmers of our country have always been ignored, discriminated against and taken advantage of by various sections of society. Despite working extremely hard in adverse conditions they only get a small share of what is paid the consumers at their local vegetable shop. This is mainly because of the existence of various middlemen who take a larger portion of the money paid. Hence, the Indian farmer remains poor and isolated.
FARM to FORK program attempts to eliminate such middlemen and connect the farmer directly to the consumer. By allowing the farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers, this project not only aims to increase their income substantially but also gives you, the consumer a chance to enjoy freshly plucked vegetables at your doorstep. Special care is taken that the vegetables are cultivated using fresh water.
So far we have been able to:
- Revamp cultivation practices to encourage farmers to use fresh water and anaerobic composting techniques with the help of tie ups with Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and Sun Agrofresh.
- Directly impact 8 farmer families and 8000 households through this project.
- Increase the income of each farmer by over 400%
4) PROJECT SAKSHARTA
Project Saksharta was initiated in 2013 with the aim at fulfilling a two-pronged goal of imparting quality primary education to under-privileged children and creating a flow of income for the semi-educated youth of the same community.
Project Saksharta basically targets two age groups of women of the rural communities situated in Dwarka, Delhi. The first group is of the girls in their childhood/pre-teens, that is, of the age group 8-15. The second comprises of the semi-educated women (age group 20-30) of the same community who are unemployed or have part time job and have enough free time.
We conducted a survey in our target community and found that of all the children present in our community only 55% go to school because:
a) One of the member of family is required to stay at home to collect
water from water tank that comes during day time, and as most men leave early
for work and also women of most households also work in nearby apartments as
domestic help to aid their family, the onus of staying at home comes on
children, who because of these odd timings of water tanks are not able to go to
b) As per the government laws only the students having valid residential proof can get admission in the nearby government school, as most of the students living in our community don’t have any authorised proof they are not given chance to study and their right to get educated is taken away.
Out of these 55% students also less than half of the students were satisfied with the quality of education they get in the government schools they go because:
a) Teacher to
student ratio is very low, as a result on an average 60 students study in each
class, making it a complete chaos.
b) Teachers are hardly bothered about the quality of education imparted and focus their time and energy only on a limited section of “bright students”.
c) Due to lack of personal attention and care students lose interest in studies and go to school to merely get free food, book, clothes etc. Other such incentives.
d) As a result it was observed though a student was studying in class 5 in a government school, but his level of understanding of concepts and knowledge was equivalent to one studying in class 2 in a private school (we conducted a written test of around 10 govt school going students from our target community in age group of 10-12, setting questions of different difficulties, and were shocked to see the results).
Thus the need to provide good quality primary education is a very urgent one! Thus we were able to find very easily both the types of children one who do not go to school and one who are not satisfied with the quality of education. Surprisingly we found, parents of most of the students were willing to spend anything up to Rs 100 per month, on quality education of their children and we got a very high response to conduct such classes!
Then we surveyed another section of the community, 10th and 12th pass students who were sitting idle or work part time as they lack degrees to work in decent places and did not wish to work as daily wage earners. We contacted the officials of the local government schools, who gave us the details of 8-10 such pass outs who lived in the same community and were pretty decent in studies. Then after contacting these students we found that though these students lack skills and knowledge to study further but they were well versed in basic primary education (subjects Hindi, English and mathematic). After organizing a 7 days training session 2 of these 8 ladies were pickled to conduct classes.
Project Saksharta joins these two sections of the same community thus providing quality education as well as generating income within the same community. Each student pays Rs 60 per month as tuition fees, out of this Rs. 50 go to the teacher/student and Rs. 10 is used for the overhead expenses per child per month. Thus each teacher is able to generate (50x25) Rs. 1250 per month additionally by teaching only 1.5 hours daily.
After successful running of project for 4 months in one community the same model was replicated in two more communities as well, and currently 4 batches of 25 students each run in three different communities. Classes are conducted regularly 6 days a week. One of the four batches is exclusively for women in age group of 18-22, who have basic education (10thskills etc. which has refrained them for earning decently.
The project, by creating a sustained channel between the two groups of women, helps in the educational uplift of the girls and the financial uplift of the previously unemployed women of the community. Saksharta, on one hand, helps the girls of the community get quality education and on the other it creates a sustained income flow for the partially educated women of the same community.
5) PROJECT KILKAARI
Puppets have been a part of Indian Culture since a long time. But it’s sad to see the condition of Puppet Makers. So project Kilkaari aims to contribute to the uplift of puppet maker community. The area of Shadipur consist of Puppet (a.k.a Katputli) makers. Despite of having skills of making puppets, they are not able to use their skills well and earn a living. They are not able to meet the demands of their families.
Due to low sales of products manufactured by the community, women were forced
to shift to other means of livelihood such as:
- Domestic Helpers
- Daily wage workers
- Rag pickers
So Enactus NSIT aims at helping the womenfolk so that they can help their male
counter parts and meet their family's demands. Women will not only be provided
with training for making puppets but they will also be trained to make soft
toys. Also they will be provided marketing skills so that they are self
Shadipur is a community of puppet makers. So we at ENACTUS NSIT utilised their talent to help them earn a living. In order to carry out our project a survey was conducted at NSIT and local markets such as Janak Puri, Rajouri Garden, Cannought Place to get an idea about the demands of customers and wider market. An idea was obtained about the cartoon characters which are popular these days, so that we can make toys and kathputli of the same shape. The womenfolk are already skilled in stitching and sewing the women were provided with training in making toys. Two sessions were organized so as to ensure perfection and neatness of the product. Apart from the craft workshop, they were also guided on how to market their products well. We are in talks with NGOs like "Pratidhi", "Bachpan Bachao"," Earth Saviors" Collaboration with NGOs will help in making the project sustainable as it will help the women in fetching permanent order. The entrepreneurs have already received an order for toys and they are working on it.