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Meet Braja Kishore Pradhan, the man techie social entrepreneur bringing the change in rural India


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For future generations to remember us with gratitude instead of sorrow, society must learn to achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must leave behind a natural environment and a social structure that fosters inclusive growth. With this thought process, Braja Kishore Pradhan forayed into a career in technology, successfully scaling up to leadership positions with prominent companies in the IT capital of India – Bangalore.
Social Entrepreneur
Social entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of change in society; they deliver services that would not be possible for government and businesses, always striving for equality and being the champion of social justice. Braja Kishore was still bothered by one question – What is my social responsibility? How am I applying technology to shape our social and economic interactions? This turbulence in his mind led to the launch of the Aahwahan Foundation.

Social Distancing
Urban India has been practicing social distancing much before COVID-19. The rapacious nature of contemporary economic growth has not penetrated rural India. For decades rural India has been socially and economically kept at a distance. Nearly 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas; lifting them out of poverty would significantly transform India economically. Aahwahan Foundation’s focus has always been on rural growth.

Services offered by Aahwahan Foundation
Computer Institute on Wheels
Low IT skills perpetuate economic deprivation and inequality. Computer skills development can decrease unemployment, increase incomes, and improve living standards. Empowering rural women through jobs in the digital economy can provide them with a means of earning a living while breaking the social barrier. Our focus is on preventing a grave social stigma – an early marriage of women.
Promoting the extraordinary hidden talent of rural children
Passionate, forward-looking gen-next must be groomed and guided for the progress of society. Our groundbreaking initiative, “Aahwahan Patrika,” promotes collaboration with the school system to uncover creativity and innovation within their students 

Cottage Industries
Unbearable kinds of rural labor are so severe an abuse of human rights that the civil society must come to accept them in the manner it does slavery — as something untenable under any circumstances. Cottage industries are vital for generating employment, increasing incomes, and generating foreign exchange earnings. Local to global is the new buzzword; Aahwahan Foundation supports women’s' economic self-sufficiency through expanded production and exports of cottage industry products - pickle, agarbathi, jam, etc.

Organic Farming
Organic agriculture is an opportunity to address different social issues – hunger, malnutrition, poverty, water conservation, climate change, untenable production, and consumption. Adherence to ethical principles has inspired our organic movement — in its full diversity; they support our development of positions, programs, and standards in the model village of Kanakpura. Change is the only constant in life, but changing the mindset of people is the most challenging. We mapped the agricultural land in the village to determine the feasibility of organic farming. We used the data to convince one farmer after another on the merits of organic farming. An empowered farmer is vital to transforming the health of rural India.

Fish Farming
Freshwater is crucial to life, and unfortunately, is finite. Although essential to natural and human communities, the dilapidated condition of water bodies in India – lakes, ponds, river systems is a cause for alarm. Rejuvenating the water bodies and making them fit for fish farming would boost the income of coastal communities and people residing around inland waterways.

Environment
Sustainability and the environment are at the core of all our efforts. Good governance is about making effective decisions, applying them, and ensuring accountability. Considering the scale of the environmental and social challenges we face, Aahwahan Foundation has taken the responsibility of contributing to community decisions on local development and resource use to reverse nature loss and share resources optimally — sowing the seeds of prosperity by planting a tree.

Rural Health
The attainment of the highest standard of health is a fundamental right of every human being; overall wellness is crucial to the realization of peace and security. Unequal development in urban and rural India concerning the promotion of health and control of diseases is a grave danger. Any loss off life due to the non-availability of medical care is a blot on humanity. Through a unique program - Mobile Medical Van, we support the healthcare requirements of marginalized communities in rural areas; compassion and concern for the welfare of the vulnerable section of society are uppermost in our minds.

COVID-19 Response
COVID-19 is the greatest challenge since World War 2; it is impacting the functioning of societies at its core. Our expertise at the grassroots is coming to the fore in tightening measures to fight the virus; we are promoting a collaborative health response to prevent transmission and end the pandemic.

Education
Knowledge is one of the vital factors for the progress of human society. The non-availability of trained teachers, inadequate learning materials, makeshift classes, and poor sanitation facilities make learning complex for children in rural areas. The stress of poverty - Hunger, sickness, exhaustion from work impairs learning ability in young children. This learning crisis is the greatest challenge for progressive India. Aahwahan Foundation aims to equip the next generation of leaders with quality education and prepare them for life, work, and active citizenship.

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