There are many organizations doing phenomenal grassroots work in solving social problems at scale, and many others that act as catalysts for the development sector. There are many other organizations that we admire outside this list!
The Akshaya Patra Foundation, headquartered in Bengaluru, strives to eliminate classroom hunger by implementing the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in schools. Their work combats malnutrition while working towards the right to education for socio-economically disadvantaged children.
Barefoot College is an international organization on a global mission to make vocational and educational opportunities accessible to women and girls from marginalized communities to ensure that she has the skills and knowledge to be a catalyst for change to the benefit of herself, her family and her entire community.
Goonj aims to build an equitable relationship of strength, sustenance and dignity between cities and villages using urban material as a tool to trigger development across India. Since 1999, Goonj has built a network of communities to address crucial gaps in rural infrastructure, water, environment, livelihood, education, health, disaster relief and rehabilitation.
Gram Vikas is a 40-year-old organization that has successfully demonstrated pathways to address issues of poverty and underdevelopment in rural areas of India by following the Movement and Action Network for Transformation (MANTRA) approach to promote a socially inclusive, gender equitable, self-managed and financially viable model of sustainable and holistic development.
Jaipur Foot is committed to helping the disabled regain mobility and dignity by fitting high-quality, durable artificial limbs and other aids and appliances via a specially designed healthcare model. In addition, Jaipur Foot collaborates with renowned international research institutions on prostheses and other mobility aid-related projects.
The Aravind Eye Care System serves as a model for India and the rest of the world with its mission to ‘eliminate needless blindness’ by ensuring all patients are accorded the same high quality service and affordable care, regardless of their economic status. Over 4.5 lakh eye surgeries or procedures are performed every year at Aravind, making it the largest eye care provider in the world.
Reap Benefit is a platform that inspires youth across India to become action-based citizen champions. Their endeavor is to create and nurture champions of small solutions in every community by providing tools to tackle local civic and environmental problems using local data, local campaigns and local solutions.
Saahas, a non-profit working in waste management since 2001, has been innovating, incubating and propagating programs focused on two key principles of “Segregation at Source” and “Decentralized Waste Management”. Saahas has been helping build communities across rural and urban India that manage their waste at source by reducing, reusing and recycling.
Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) has been working tirelessly for almost 5 decades to improve the livelihoods of poor informal women workers to achieve its goals of full employment and self-reliance while at the same time, facilitating representation, economic empowerment, collective strength and increased bargaining power for them.
Swach, based out of Pune, is a self-sustainable social enterprise of waste pickers that aims to improve living conditions and bring focus towards sustainable waste management. Swach engages the entrepreneurial workforce of waste pickers to transform them into an efficient, responsive and accountable organization that are then able to work in collaboration with municipal solid waste management systems.
Centre for Science and Environment is a public interest and advocacy organization based in New Delhi that conducts research, lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable. Their aim is to raise environmental concerns brought about by rapid industrialization, participate in seeking answers and transform them into policy via knowledge-based activism.
India Leaders for Social Sector (ILSS) builds talent and capacity by enabling leaders from various sectors—such as corporates, defense forces and government services — to help make a meaningful contribution to the social sector. ILSS’s network of alumni share resources of information and opportunity by forming connections and building lasting relationships to achieve India’s development goals.
Indian School of Development Management (ISDM) is an institution founded to create, strengthen and establish Development Management, that doesn’t merely retrofit Business Management to development projects, but one that is born specifically from the coming together of the two crucial domains.
Jagriti Yatra is an ambitious train journey of discovery and transformation that takes hundreds of India's highly motivated youth, from all over India and world, on a 15-day, 8000 km national odyssey to meet the role models - social and business entrepreneurs - of the country.
Janaagraha center for citizenship and democracy works with citizens to catalyze active citizenship in city neighborhoods and with governments to institute reforms to city governance. Civic learning, civic participation and advocacy & reforms form Janaagraha’s three major strands of work to transform quality of life in India’s cities and towns.
We are proud to work in an ecosystem of organizations working to develop vital solutions. Check out our own work in the Indian Himalayan Region!