NGOs Panel Discussion at Prayaas, IIM Bangalore, 18th February 2024

The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, organized a ‘Social Impact Summit – Prayaas’ on 18th February 2024. The theme of the event was Sustainable Synergies – Shaping the Future Together. This Summit gave a platform for the NGOs to be recognized for their work, to connect with leading funding institutions and gain academic insights to elevate their initiatives.


The summit began with the opening address by Director Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan followed by keynote address by D R Mehta (Ex SEBI Chairman-Padma Bhushan Awardee). He spoke about Empowering lives through Sustainable Innovation: The Jaipur Foot Journey. This was followed by Corporate CSR Heads Panel Discussion, NGOs Panel Discussion, Speaker sessions, Expert Panel Discussions and concluded with Awards & Recognition.


Mr. Anand K. Kadali – Executive Secretary and Trustee of Annapoorna Trust, was invited to this summit as a panellist in the NGOs Panel Discussion on ‘Sustainability as a Service: NGOs Driving Community-Led Solutions.’ The other panelists were Mr. Benjamin Mathew from Deshpande Foundation, Mr. Amit Prakash from Vision Empower, Mr. Shrishail Dhanawade from Agastya Foundation. The discussion brought out the essence of social impact through the lens of NGOs from a diverse variety of panelists working in the fields of Nutrition, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Science and Education.



It also brought out different perspectives on the role of NGOs, how they would shape the 21st century, and the challenges they face. Mr. Anand spoke about how after working for 15 years in IT industry, he moved into serving morning nutrition to children. Speaking about challenges he faced, he said a Trust had to be set up; an auditor had to be there and needed the advice of a lawyer; all the activities need to be documented, reporting work done to governments, schools, and corporate partners and hence he had to bear multi-fold responsibility all of a sudden. He said the courage of taking up individual responsibility upon himself helped him gain so much, which would not have happened if he had continued in the IT sector. He urged everybody to listen to their hearts, which constantly guides us about what more can be done in the right way.


When asked what the current generation needs, he said ‘they need self-confidence.’ He went on to say that while being fearless and shameless while serving our fellow beings, one should have the right understanding and right conviction about why you are working and for whom are you working. He pointed out that beneficiaries are children in Annapoorna Trust. He went on to say that service need to be sustainable for it to be viable on the long run. Giving an example of family life where the absence of a key member to take care of the family would lead to zero sustainability in most of the cases.


The Trust today reaches out to 90 lakh children, providing them with food security. He said the morning nutrition drive has led to transformational processes within, firstly, developing a sense of selflessness and giving back to society; secondly, inspiration from beneficiaries themselves who blossom into well-educated healthy individuals ready to similarly serve many more.


Speaking about the challenges faced in scaling up, he pointed out the challenge of transformation in rural areas and said that rather than expecting the adult generation to change, the children should be taught good conduct and good values, thereby helping the blossoming of the children into a new generation that is compassionate, well-educated, selfless, inclusive and not only thinking on the lines of ‘mera kya, mujhe kya. Thus, the first challenge is transformation at the grassroots. Next, he said a change in mindset is a powerful way of scaling up. Sensitivity to others’ needs should drive us to take action. Lastly, he said gratitude at a personal level will enable us to be humble and grounded and drive us to take care of family and our near and dear ones. Once we do this, the laws of nature will ensure that we are ready to take up social work on a large scale.


He concluded by urging the audience to take a call for action rather than just listening and participating in yet another program like this. He reminded everybody that time is invaluable and with compassion at heart, smile on the face and mind at peace all the time, we should constantly do good to the society.


He was felicitated with a memento along with the other panellists as a token of appreciation and gratitude.

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