innovative approach to providing education to stone quarry community children
about: Akshar Foundation is an award-winning nonprofit organisation operating in Assam with an innovative, business-oriented approach to education. serving a community of stone quarry workers that has experienced multi-generational illiteracy, the Akshar team has developed a tiered teaching model that encourages older students who have achieved a faster progression to teach younger students. this model enables Akshar to operate at a 1:100 teacher to student ratio, and helps students to fast track their learning through teaching.
founding team: Mazin is an engineering graduate from University of Maryland and has worked at Impact Silverspring and ARC California. Parmita is an alumnus of TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences).
enhancing socio-economic status of tribal and folk artists
about: despite immense talent and a heritage of profound art, the Indian folk musician struggles to make a living from his/her art. music is a multi-billion dollar industry but folk artists remain on the fringe, eking out a living as street performers. Anahad, a pioneering nonprofit has a mission to “revive, research and innovate music as a driver of change to rejuvenate the society”. it functions as a record label, producing unheard cultural folks which can bring a positive impact on the society.
founding team: Abhinav completed his undergraduation in green architecture from School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. he earned a Prabhakar degree, in tabla as well as vocals from Allahabad Gharana. Abhinav holds a master's degree in music business from Berklee College of Music, Valencia.
Foundation for Environmental Monitoring
making drinking water quality checks easier and accessible
about: millions of Indians in economically backward areas lack access to clean drinking water. regular consumption of contaminated water results in chronic health issues, lost wages etc., further aggravating poverty. Foundation for Environmental Monitoring (FEM) is deeply committed to deliver low cost, highly accurate technology to measure quality of water. by making the solution open source, they have also ensured that the cost of technology continues to be affordable.
founding team: Samuel has 14+ years of experience in software architecture, design and development and holds a bachelor's degree from Gulbarga University. Saurabh was a product developer at Tern Up Research Labs and holds graduate diploma in art & design from Shrishti School of Art & Design, Bangalore.
software engineering training for underprivileged youth
about: the rise of the Indian software industry has had a significant contribution to the rise of the Indian middle class. however, the talent entering the sector has been gated by requirements of formal education, primarily a degree in engineering. this has excluded the bottom of the pyramid from access to jobs in the growing tech sector. NavGurukul is working to teach software engineering skills to underprivileged young adults, irrespective of their formal educational baselines. their innovative model is based on self-learning and experimentation.
founding team: Abhishek is an IIT Delhi alumnus and has earlier co-founded frankly.me and zumbl.com. Rishabh is a self-taught programmer and entrepreneur who worked on technology in various startups.
creating better employment opportunities for underprivileged youth
about: in Bihar, the more educated you are, the more likely you are to be unemployed, with over 25% of college graduates currently unemployed — compared to 2.5% for those who have completed primary school and 8.4% for those who have completed middle school. Project Potential is working towards alleviation of unemployment, currently in the state of Bihar by inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset in communities engaged in a wide range of livelihoods.
founding team: Zubin graduated from University of Pennsylvania in Political Science where he was a Penn Social Impact House Fellow. he is also an Acumen Fellow and has been living and working in rural Bihar for the last five years.
enhancing child’s development through effective involvement of parents
about: children from impoverished backgrounds bear a huge competitive disadvantage of not having sufficient parental participation in their education. Saarthi Education, is on a mission to transform parents’ involvement in their child’s development. the Saarthi model of providing both content as well as its delivery to parents in low income communities is showing definitive signs of positive impact, in early pilots.
founding team: Ankit has worked in the education sector as part of Teach for India and Central Square Foundation, where he was managing research and investments in education technology vertical. Ankit holds a bachelor's in technology from Apeeejay College of Engineering.
creating awareness around menstrual health
about: Sukhibhava, is tackling the large-scale problem of lack of awareness and affordability of menstrual hygiene solutions for women in low income groups. their innovative model empowers microentrepreneurs in communities to proliferate adoption of safe menstrual hygiene practices.
founding team: Dilip Pattubala is an Acumen Fellow (2016), holds a masters in Social Welfare and Social Policy from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and has worked with The Akshaya Patra, HelpAge and Red Cross Society in London. Sahana is the district Rotaract representative (2016-17), holds masters in media policy and business administration from Symbiosis University and has worked for Janaagraha, KDD India and Knobly Media.
increasing efficiency of government hospitals to help them serve better
about: India has a 70% higher patient-to-doctor ratio than the WHO recommendation. this load on the medical system is further exacerbated by operational inefficiencies in a hospital. trained medical staff spend much of their time in administrative and redundant tasks. Sushrat Foundation, a healthcare nonprofit works to make hospital administration more efficient in government hospitals by using lean, six sigma and kaizen methodologies. going beyond creating a blueprint for efficiency, the organisation has piloted implementation of the changes on the ground, with the help of Fellows trained on business process transformation.
founding team: Shitij is a Stanford India BioDesign alumnus, a medical device innovator, and entrepreneur. in the past, he has created 2 successful global education startups and commercialized a patented medical device. his expertise is in innovation and taking products from the drawing board to the market.
The Education Alliance
reviving government schools through unique whole-school partnerships
while the government has largely addressed the problem of access to primary education, a large number of government schools lying under-utilised across India. The Education Alliance is a nonprofit working towards improving student learning in government schools through public-private partnership.
Amitav is an Aspen Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow. he holds a degree in economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. he has an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill, USA. he sits on the board of Central Square Foundation and several other nonprofit organisations in India.
Volunteer for Justice
making law accessible to the disadvantaged
about: over 3 crore cases await justice in courts across the country, on any given day. with average pending cases of 3 years in high courts and 6 years in subordinate courts, this translates to justice denied to the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups. volunteer for Justice aims to create a pro bono culture in the Indian legal system and uphold the constitutional mandate to provide every citizen with access to justice. volunteer groups of legal professionals offer their services by way of legal advice and mediation, and if needed, representation in courts.
founding team: Gaurav worked as a legal associate for multiple years before starting Volunteer For Justice. he holds a Bachelors in law from NLU, Raipur and a masters in law & finance from University of Oxford.