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Empowering Communities: A Conversation with Pramod Raghav, Founder of Niswarth Kadam

Updated on: 16 May,2024 04:20 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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Niswarth Kadam's initiatives are pivotal in advancing India's goal of inclusive education and fostering social and economic development.

Empowering Communities: A Conversation with Pramod Raghav, Founder of Niswarth Kadam

Pramod Raghav

Question: Your NGO, Niswarth Kadam, has initiated both a free food distribution campaign and a skill training camp in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal. Can you elaborate on the impact you envision these initiatives will have on the local community?

Pramod Raghav: Certainly. The free food distribution campaign aims to address immediate hunger needs, ensuring that no one in Sandeshkhali goes without a meal. By providing this essential support, we hope to alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by families and foster a sense of community solidarity. Additionally, we have planning to set up the skill training camp for women is designed to empower them with valuable skills such as sewing, painting, embroidery, weaving, and handicrafts. Through these programs, women will not only gain economic independence but also contribute to the socio-economic development of their families and the broader community.

Interviewer: What inspired you to establish Niswarth Kadam and how has your vision for the organization evolved as you've navigated through different social challenges?

Pramod Raghav: Fueled by an unyielding passion to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others, my journey with Niswarth Kadam began. Witnessing the struggles of marginalized communities ignited a deep sense of empathy within me, compelling me to take action. Over time, our vision evolved into a comprehensive approach, addressing a myriad of societal challenges. We ventured into education, healthcare, women's empowerment, and environmental sustainability, guided by our unwavering commitment to social welfare. Recognizing the power of collaboration, we forged partnerships to amplify our impact. Each step forward is imbued with hope and determination, as we strive to create a more just and equitable society for all, one where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and flourish.

Interviewer: Your NGO, Niswarth Kadam, has been instrumental in uplifting marginalized communities across various sectors. How do you envision these initiatives contributing to India's goal of inclusive education, fostering social and economic development?

Pramod Raghav: Niswarth Kadam's initiatives are pivotal in advancing India's goal of inclusive education and fostering social and economic development. The construction of school buildings in areas like Samalkha city, Haryana, has provided essential education to over 100 underprivileged students. Similarly, the establishment of the Vedic Girls Gurukul in Rajasthan empowers young girls through education, a vital catalyst for societal progress. Moreover, our financial aid contributions exceeding 2 crores to educational institutions nationwide have enhanced access to quality education for countless individuals. We believe empowering them through education not only enhances their individual prospects but also contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty and catalyzing broader social and economic development.

Interviewer: In what ways has the financial backing for self-employment ventures resulted in tangible socio-economic outcomes for the individuals involved and their communities?

Pramod Raghav: The financial support for self-employment ventures, especially those empowering women, has led to significant socio-economic improvements. With over 100 individuals empowered, predominantly women, these initiatives have sparked economic opportunities and financial independence. As women entrepreneurs thrive, they not only boost local economies but also improve household incomes, breaking the cycle of poverty. This focused investment fosters resilience and prosperity within communities, driving towards a more inclusive society.

Interviewer: How do you envision India strengthening its resilience to recent global challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic through collaborative efforts from NGOs, particularly with the beneficial impact of your assistance programs?

Pramod Raghav: Collaborative efforts between NGOs and government initiatives are essential for bolstering India's resilience to crises like the Covid-19 pandemic. Our assistance programs, which reached 5000 individuals during the crisis, underscore the impact of such collaboration. Leveraging resources and expertise, we optimize response efforts, reaching vulnerable populations effectively. Data-driven strategies and robust infrastructure fortify our readiness for future challenges, ensuring the resilience of our society. Through unified action, we navigate crises with greater agility, mitigating their socio-economic impact. This collaboration, with tangible results, paves the way for a more resilient India.

Interviewer: Throughout your career, you've been involved in various relief projects, including natural disasters. Can you speak to the importance of rapid response and adaptability in humanitarian work, and how you've managed to sustain your efforts over time?

Pramod Raghav: Sustaining efforts over time is as crucial as the initial response, particularly in addressing the aftermath of natural disasters. Our ability to maintain long-term impact is rooted in strategic planning and a commitment to adaptability. During natural disasters, we've swiftly mobilized resources and collaborated closely with local authorities and communities to ensure timely support reaches those in need. This adaptability is evident in initiatives such as the establishment of relief camps for Hindu refugees from Pakistan, where we've provided vital aid during times of displacement. Over the years, our dedication to sustainable relief efforts has been exemplified by programs like daily food distribution, benefiting more than 300 impoverished individuals for over a decade.

Interviewer: How has your NGO's initiative aimed at supporting girls from economically disadvantaged families impacted their lives, and what motivated your organization to prioritize this particular initiative?

Pramod Raghav: Witnessing the financial strain and barriers these families encountered, we recognized the urgent need for support in this area. Allocating over 50 lacs towards this initiative, we've provided crucial support to numerous girls, enabling them to access opportunities they might not have had otherwise. Through initiatives like the Sanitary Napkin Project, Sewing Machine Centre, and ventures such as Spices, Papad, and Namkeen Centre, Cloth Bags, and Earthen Diyas production, we have empowered women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with skills training and avenues for sustainable income generation. This investment has not only alleviated financial burdens but has also empowered these girls to pursue their aspirations with confidence and dignity.

Interviewer: What sustainability-focused initiatives has the NGO undertaken for India, and what measurable changes have been observed in the communities?

Pramod Raghav: The NGO has undertaken sustainability-focused initiatives in India, primarily through awareness campaigns advocating against Chinese products and promoting environmental consciousness. These initiatives, such as the Selfie with Tree and Say NO to Plastic Campaign, have aimed to raise awareness about the environmental impact of certain products and behaviors while encouraging more sustainable alternatives. There has been

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