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  Self Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action (SRIJAN/Buddha Fellowship)

An Institutional Profile

Self-Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action (SRIJAN/Buddha Fellowship) is a nationally recognized grassroots agency, working with more than 375,000 poor persons (75,000 families), in 17 districts of six states in India - on a range of livelihoods themes from dairy to soybean to horticulture (pomegranate, custard apple) to rainwater harvesting (farm ponds). It has promoted nine SHG federations and six producer companies.

Among the more than 400 SRIJANites are 100 professionals from reputed academic institutions such as IIMs (Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kashipur, Udaipur), IITs (Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur), IRMA, IIFM, Bhopal, XISS Ranchi and TISS.

SRIJAN has partnership with national government in flagship programs such as MGNREGA and National Rural Livelihoods Mission.

SRIJAN’s founder, Ved Arya, is a member of several policy-making bodies of the government of India. He is a graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Ahmedabad. He is a Humphrey Fellow, UNEP Fellow and Ashoka Fellow. SRIJAN has a succession plan under which Ved Arya passed on the baton, before he turned 60, to Prasanna Khemaria in September 2018.

SRIJAN was recently declared a Winner in the ICICI Foundation CNBC 18 Inclusive India Awards 2013, in Emerging Non-Profit Rural Livelihoods Category. Mr. Ved Arya received the Business Standard Social Entrepreneur Award in 2019.

For more details about SRIJAN, please Click here.

Buddha Fellowship Program

Buddha Fellowship Program is a special initiative of SRIJAN. It is an attempt to address the issue of scarcity of young talent in the development sector. It will bring hundreds of graduates of IITs and IIMs to work on problems of education, health, livelihoods and agriculture, environment etc.

Most fellowships are generally geared toward maximizing a fellow’s knowledge. But SRIJAN has, for the first time, come up with a Fellowship Program that enhances contributions to society directly through entrepreneurship. The Fellows set up enterprises that solve social problems, from malnutrition to farm distress to the struggles of rural women, combining bettering themselves with bettering the world. The Buddha Fellowships is also a way to invest in the next generation and mentor the leaders for tomorrow. The Buddha Fellows are not simply handed a stipend and sent off into the world. Instead, they are mentored during the Fellowship to enhance their engagement with the communities they propose to serve, and to enhance other business skills such as marketing.

With twenty years of experience mentoring development professionals, and two years in the Buddha Development Entrepreneurship Program, SRIJAN has now developed a capacity to mentor more Fellows than ever before. This mentoring is done by very senior people of elite backgrounds that have reached top positions in their respective fields.

Making a difference in this world is as simple as planting a tree. Each Fellow has the potential to grow and provide for many, but just like a growing plant, they require the nourishment. This program requires funding in order to reach goals. By contributing, you will de-risk a Fellow’s journey, help them pay for a simple living, and will have the opportunity to be a part of the movement that will make our future better, sustainable, and beautiful.

For more details about the Buddha Fellowship Program, please Click here.

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