As a social entrepreneur in the Indian policy space, I continually look for building a deeper insight into the international and intersectoral governance challenges.
I was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one-room hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Delhi. It was a hot day in the month of March 1995. I was in 4th standard and had an examination the following day. As was regular in that locality, we didn't have electricity that day. I couldn't study or sleep properly for my examination, but still went. One of the watershed moments happened when I came back from school. We had an inverter installed at home. I knew we couldn't afford an inverter. But my dad was always convinced that the way out of poverty for our family is through my education. Later, I got into one of the top colleges for finance in the country. My first salary out of college was higher than that of my dad's salary at the time.
Five years later, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents, great partner, a close-knit group of friends, and a career path in the business advisory that exceeded every goal. Although I had carefully and meticulously built that life, I wanted my work to have a social impact. I started my policy advisory organization to encourage social ascendance of marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital. I created a two-sided model, supporting members of the Indian parliament in deploying their local area development funds and working with social entrepreneurs in accessing government funds for impact initiatives.
Through my work, I was able to help eleven social entrepreneurs raise a combined total of INR 1.5 crores (or 185,000 Euros) for community initiatives, get amendments passed in the communal violence bill to tackle systemic bias towards Muslims and provide 108 rape survivors with medical, legal, financial, and social support. Running the company, I became acutely aware of the systemic challenges India faces that not only require policy interventions but also last-mile solution optimization. It motivated me to become a changemaker, working at grassroots for poverty alleviation.
I joined Bapu Nature Cure Hospital and Yogashram (BNCHY), a 35-year old non-profit Ayurveda institute in Delhi. As its CEO, I lead the senior management team, raise philanthropy capital, upward manage the board of trustees, and manage relations with external stakeholders. I positioned the organization for maximum social impact by raising over $500,000 for multi-year impact projects and led the team to upskill more than 2,000 underprivileged youth, especially women, in the traditional Indian healthcare system. Post assuming the CEO responsibility, I started Livelihood Business Incubation Centre (LBIC) under the Skill India Mission of Government of India. Through LBIC, we provide free livelihood skills training to disenfranchised youth, especially women, so that they can either become micro-entrepreneurs or find gainful employment as Yoga teachers and Ayurveda therapists. All the trainees either come from reserved castes or economically-weaker section of the society, with more than 60% participation from women. Our students report to us the immense pride they feel when despite their level of education and socio-economic standing, they are addressed with immense respect from their clients. Working in this high-impact environment provides me with meaning.