PRADAN is a non-government organisation in India.
PRADAN was founded in 1983 in the belief that individuals with knowledge resources and empathy towards the marginalised must work with poor people if mass poverty is to be removed.
Knowledge resources are needed to expand opportunities for poor people through innovation, adaptation and demystification of technology, building and nurturing fair service linkages and beneficial networks, fostering collaboration among the poor and between them and the rest of the world and helping poor people enhance their capabilities. Empathy is necessary because development is about one human being spawning change in the life of the other by stimulating the latter’s resources. In that sense, it is a “helping occupation” where interest in the other, caring for the other are essential resources. This is particularly important when transactions are across inherently unequal players.
Some of the key beliefs of the organisation are:
- isolation and exclusion perpetuate poverty; low incomes, lack of assets and absence of beneficial relationships are merely its manifestations. In other words, poverty is about the human condition more than material resources and means.
- that caring and capable people rather than material resources are critical to bring about changes in the human condition.
- in mobilising and motivating isolated and excluded communities to build upon their skills, initiative, and resources.
- in building people’s capabilities to solve their own problems and chart their own growth paths rather than dispensing services to them.
- in nurturing mutually beneficial relationships with a large number of stakeholders in society rather than ploughing a lone furrow.
- in scalable, sustainable programs that the rural poor own and can carry forward themselves.
- in working with women from poor households since they are the most disadvantaged yet vital to fostering change in their families and communities.
- in livelihoods with dignity.
Extent of activity
Today PRADAN works with over 135,000 poor families in rural India in 33 districts of seven states. Over 250 professionals work full-time to eradicate mass poverty in rural India.
Currently it is one of the largest rural livelihood promoting NGOs in India with extensive linkages with Government programmes and mainstream commercial banks.
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