India’s reality lies in its contradictions. It is now the third largest global economy, growing at over 8% in the last decade. Over 50 Indians are on the Forbes list of dollar billionaires. This apparently affluent India is also home to 40% of the world’s poor, more than the entire population of North America and Europe. The Asian Development Bank estimates that two out of three Indians live below the Poverty Line.

PRADAN works with the poorest Indians who seldom occupy our mind-space.

  • “As we move forward, society needs to engage with compas- sion and empathy with those who are left behind, treating them as equals.”

    Since the very beginning, Deep has strongly believed that the ‘best and the brightest’ were needed to work with the weakest sections of society to help them discover their strength and voice. A graduate of ... Read more

    Deep Joshi | Co-founder

    “Pradan is a deeply held belief for me.”

  • “I think it is very worrying for a nation when their elite lose touch with the weakest. PRADAN provides a way to bridge this disconnect.”

    An alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, Vijay’s first job at an MNC left him wanting to do more for the community. In 1983, Vijay met Deep Joshi and the idea of PRADAN evolved in less than hour. They believed... Read more

    Vijay Mahajan | Co-founder

    “I wanted to change the India I lived in.”


PRADAN has been working in the poorest districts of India, transforming lives and choices of poor communities.
Started as an idea 30 years ago, PRADAN has become a model that works. A model that can be emulated. A model that has helped changed the lives of

It is today recognized as one of India’s foremost public service organizations.


“Growing tasar has given me so much additional income that I have started saving...”

“We no longer have to worry that our children don’t eat enough.”

“Earlier we had to walk many miles to get water, and that water was not even fit...”

“We were a group of landless women when we came together. We now have a voice...”

“Mangoes changed our lives forever.”

Our Approach to


Engaging with communities, building human capabilities.


Reducing hunger, ensuring food round-the-year.


Making most of Nature’s gifts through husbandry,
suitable technologies and investments.


Building models of alternative livelihoods,
training the community in new skill sets,
linkages with government, and banks.


Linking to markets, facilitating people’s business collectives.


Making the community aware of its rights,
empowering them to have a say in the way
things are run.


Facilitating the community to become change
agents and take an active interest in a wider
range of issues.


PRADAN started with a simple idea that ‘the brightest must work with the poorest’. Guided by the spirit of pradaan – giving back to society – PRADAN attracts educated individuals who dream of creating social change. Its pioneering contribution has been in inspiring and grooming educated youth, and placing them directly in villages to facilitate change.

Over 80% of the 1,500 development professionals trained by PRADAN continue to be engaged in eradicating poverty.

Next to the government, PRADAN has more trained development professionals working in villages than any other organisation in the country.


A generation has passed. More than a million lives have been changed.
A million people have discovered their voice.

We’ve Come A Long Way












Our Achievements

Our Outreach


  • Outreach of 270,000 families; support to 70 NGOs
  • 32 teams in 42 of India’s most backward districts
  • Strong links with Central and State Government departments leveraging Rs. 300 million annually
  • Over 15,000 SHGs; instrumental in the SHG Approach being mainstreamed in country’s development policy
  • Over 1500 professionals trained; More than 80% continue in the development sector
  • Natural Resource Management models replicated in 5000 villages; also integrated in public programmes
  • 10,000 horticulture farmers across 12,000 acres; income of Rs. 60 million
  • 55,000 paddy farmers supported in SRI; technology mainstreamed with Government and NGOs
  • 21 poultry cooperatives, 7000 tribal women; turnover of over Rs. 1400 million
  • 20% of India’s Tasar Silk produced by PRADAN supported efforts
  • 130,000 families supported in multiple livelihoods each year

Our Partners
in the Journey

?  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
?  The ICCO, Netherlands
?  Sir Dorabji Tata Trust
?  Sir Ratan Tata Trust
?  Aga Khan Foundation

?  The Ford Foundation
?  Axis Bank Foundation
?  Rabobank Foundation
?  Royal Bank of Scotland Foundation

?  National Bank for Agriculture and Rural
?  Industrial Development Bank of India
?  Industrial Finance Corporation of India

?  Small Industries Development Bank of India
?  Industrial Credit and Investment
       Corporation of India
?  Commercial and regional rural banks

?  Damodar Valley Corporation
?  ACC Limited

?  SRF Limited

?  Ministry of Rural Development,
       Government of India (GoI)
?  Central Silk Board, Ministry of
       Textile, GoI
?  33 Zila Panchayats and District
       Rural Development Agencies

?  Rural Development, Agriculture,
       Tribal Welfare, Forest, Water
       Resource Development and
       Sericulture departments across 7
       State Governments

?  UN Women
?  European Union
?  The United Nations Children’s Fund
?  World Food Programme

?  United Nations Development Programme
?  World Bank and DFID-aided poverty
       alleviation projects
?  International Fund for Agricultural

?  Australian Centre for International
       Agricultural Research
?  International Water Management

?  International Crops Research Institute for
       the Semi-Arid Tropics
?  AVRDC - The World Vegetable Centre

PRADAN’s work has been supported by important stakeholders in the development sector.

Other Partners
DC - The World Vegetable Centre • United Nations Development Progr•ACC Limited•Action Aid•Aga Khan Foundation•American India Foundation•Appropriate Technology International•AusAid•Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research•Axis Bank Foundation•Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation•Boston University•British High Commission•Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives•Canadian High Commission•Care India•Catholic Relief Society•Centre for Science and Environment•Community Aid Abroad, Australia•Damodar Valley Cooperation•Dave Galloway•Dewan Foundation•DSM New Business•European Union•FRR: a division of the IDL Group Ltd.•Fucid Belgium •GALVmed•Goal India•GTZ, Federal Republic of Germany•ICCO•India Canada Environment Facility•Indian Lac Research Institute•Indo-German Bilateral Project•Indo-German Social Service•Institute of Development Studies, Sussex•ICRISAT•International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)•International Water Management Institute (IWMI)•ITC Ltd.•J.R.D. Tata Trust •Jamsetji Tata Trust•Japan Embassy•Lutheran World Relief•Monsanto Fund•Mother Dairy Food Processing Ltd.•Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation•National Foundation for India•Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust•NORAD•NOVIB•Oxfam (India) Trust•Paul Hamlyn Foundation•Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACs) Programme•Rabobank Foundation•RBS Foundation•Scatec Solar India Pvt. Ltd.•School of Fashion Design•Sir Dorabji Tata Trust•Sir Ratan Tata Trust•Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development •SRF Ltd.•Swedish International Development Agency •Swiss Development Cooperation•Syngenta Foundation•The Ford Foundation•Resource Foundation•The United Nations Children's Fund•The World Vegetable Centre•Tibetan Refugee Aid Society•UN Women•Unitarian Universalist Holdeen India Fund•United Nations Development Program•Water for People•World Food Programme••Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand•Basic Tasar Silkworm Seed Organisation (BTSSO)•Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society•Central Silk Board, Government of India•Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology•Department of Agriculture and Food Production in Jharkhand, Bihar•Department of Cooperation, Government of Jharkhand•Department of Science & Technology, Government of India•Department of Sericulture in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh•Department of Soil Conservation in Chhattisgarh•Department of Water Resources Development in Jharkhand, Odisha•Department of Welfare in Jharkhand•Directorate of Farmer & Agriculture Development in Madhya Pradesh•Directorate of Women & Child Development in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha•District Poverty Initiatives Project in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan•District Poverty Reduction Project, Rajasthan•District Rural Development Agency in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal•Forest Department in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh•Jharkhand Tribal Development Society•M. P. Rural Livelihood Project•Mahila Arthik Vikas Nigam, Madhya Pradesh•Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India•Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India•Mitigating Poverty in Western Rajasthan•National Wasteland Development Board•Orissa Tribal Empowerment and Livelihood Project•Public Work Department, Jharkhand •SC&ST Corporation in Jharkhand, Bihar•Swa Shakti Programme, Madhya Pradesh•Tejaswini Project, Madhya Pradesh•Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED)•Tribal Welfare Commission, Jharkhand•Zilla Panchayat in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh

Recognition and Awards

PRADAN today is distinctly acknowledged for its People, its livelihood
Models that transform lives and communities, and its role in scaling
up change through Partnership with civil society and government.

Best Organization To Work For (NGO Category) by Great Place To Work Institute®, 2010
Padma Shree
Awarded to Deep Joshi by the President of India for distinguished service in the social sphere, 2010
Ramon Magsaysay Award
Conferred to our founder Deep Joshi for pioneering work in rural communities and the idea of PRADAN, 2009
NGO of the Year Award
By Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation and Resource Alliance Group, 2006
K.P. Goenka Award
For Involvement in Environment
Friendly Natural Resource Manage- ment Technology, 1995
Pradan enters its 30th year
By Ministry of Rural Development for efforts in generating awareness about implementation of MGNREGA, 2010

Relevance of
Our Work

Indian poverty remains acute, large and stubborn in the face of huge public spending and a growing economy. The large, ‘one-size-fit-all’ approach of developmental agencies does not appreciate India’s uniquely complex social and ecological contexts.

This is where PRADAN contributes significantly. With feet firmly on the ground, it works out new ideas that get scaled appropriate to local contexts with mainstream attention and investment. Long-term empathetic engagement by qualified professionals and path creating innovations define PRADAN’s engagement.

Unleashing Change Agents
Professionals at Frontiers of Poverty
I Will Rise and Rise!
Women take charge
Reviving Hope
Making markets work for the
Earth, Water, Life
Sustained livelihood security


In 2012, PRADAN turned 30. Today, it has the institutional strength, people and development prototypes to enable poor village communities to change their destiny.

PRADAN plans to work with 1.5 million rural poor families in 2017 (about 7.5 million people), comprising 15% of poor families in the poorest 100 districts of India. Action at this scale will substantially impact conception and delivery of public programmes, and create multiple ‘impact nuclei’ that will trigger economic vibrancy locally, allowing many more to emerge from poverty.

Income Generation
1 Million
- 150,000 today -

Grassroots Governance
village councils (gram sabhas)
- 1,000 today -

Women Empowerment
- 250,000 today -

Water Conservation
3000 Billion
- 1,000 billion today -

Leadership for Change
- 400 today -

Food Security
1 Million
- 170,000 today -