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Entrepeneurs with a Cause

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With innovative ideas and futuristic solutions, social entrepreneurs are helping eradicate some of the country's most pressing socio-economic problems. They are willing to bring about a paradigm shift and are dedicating their lives to better the lives of those under-privileged. Aspire profiles five such innovators who are fearlessly working towards upliftment of the society and are responsible for some of the most interesting products.

'My sheer existence should benefit at the very least, 10 people or more'

-Capt. Indraani Singh
Managing Trustee, Literacy India, Gurgaon

She started her career as a pilot in 1987 and rose to the position of a commander by 1995. But for Captain Indraani Singh, there was more to life than work. Her motto of was simple. Her existence was only useful if it benefited others.

A command position made it possible for her to invest in the not-for-profit Literacy India (LI), that teaches women as part of the vocational education and Adult Literacy Programme, and the rural young as part of the Youth Vocational and Capacity Building and Children Literacy & Education Programme. She started with five students and Rs 5,000 in hand but today her mission covers 25,000 women and 3,500 students.

'As a first officer in Kolkata I saw nuns at work in the slums without flinching at the dirt and filth of the surroundings. This experience moved me deeply and so was born LI,' says Singh.

Her mission also involves a women crafts centre, INDHA, where beneficiaries are encouraged to turn into entrepreneurs. Singh is also planning to kickstart Gyantantra-Digital Dost which aims to reach out to 10,000 children.

Earmarked: Work is being done in Delhi/NCR, West Bengal (with tribals, especially in Baghmundi district which is a Maoist infested area), Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkand and Jammu & Kashmir.

Star watch: Students from LI have also acted in national award winning films including Blue Umbrella, Omkara and 3 Idiots.

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India currently ranks 133rd out of 146 countries in the latest World Giving Index


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