By: Kartikey Srivastava
A lot has been happening around India this week within the social enterprise landscape. On our round-up, we feature the story of a mobile school for the visually impaired, an enterprise which has increased school access to girls in Rajasthan, an interview with an impact investor and the story of an investment fund which is getting more involved in India.
Jyothirgamaya is an innovative program which is dedicated to the education of blind children in Kerala. It is part of a larger initiative called Braille without Borders which was founded by Sabriye Tenberken, a blind German national.
In India, Jyothirgamaya is run by Tiffany Brar who is visually impaired. A converted rickshaw carries a computer, printer, Braille slates and white canes to homes. Jyothirgamaya has helped 15 people so far in teaching Braille, spoken English, basic maths and computer skills as well as basic life skills. Brar says there are plans to take the mobile school to further locations in the state in the next twelve months.
Since its inception in 2005, Educate Girls has managed to bring over 31,000 girls to school in the Pali district in Rajasthan. Educate Girls was founded by Safeena Husain, a graduate of the London School of Economics.
Husain says that one of the reasons why government schools fail is the lack of accountability. This is why she created Team Balika,a group of village youth who have become the link between the school and community. In further education for the girl child, Meena Bhati, who is the Communications Officer says that the problem is not only a lack of infrastructure but also the cultural mindset that girls too should be educated that needs changing.
Omidyar Network is an investment firm which was established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam. They have invested over $100 million in India thus far. In this interview with Jayant Sinha who leads the investment firm’s strategy in India, Next Big What finds out more about Impact Investing in India.
Sinha notes that over 100 Indian companies have had investments worth over $500 million which would be considered under the impact investment banner and contrary to this report that Impact Investing may be a bubble about to burst says that India is actually becoming the epicentre for impact investing.
Khosla Impact is an investment fund that focuses on providing funds for companies who provide clean and accessible water, affordable healthcare and tools for economic empowerment.They have already invested in five Indian companies in the last two years, including Embrace Innovations, a provider of affordable healthcare devices.
As they are headquartered in California, Khosla Impact will soon be opening an office in India with Sandhya Hegde, who manages Khosla’s operations in India saying that they believe there are a lot of opportunities in the country for impact investing.
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