While working on a livelihoods project to support artisans and micro entrepreneurs I worked closely with NGOs in Kolkata and Santiniketan. I was deeply moved by the stories of the founders and their constant struggle to improve others’ lives. Endless stories of the social entrepreneurs and their examples of leadership, courage and optimism in the most difficult situations reaffirmed my decision to work in the social sector.
Almost all of these organizations have common constraints like lack of funding support, limited information, inadequate human resource and unaffordable services. They have to constantly outperform the expectations of the beneficiaries and the donors to maintain their faith but are severely ill-equipped to do so. The constraints confine their efforts and reach to a particular locality or area thereby limiting their impact.
While reading case studies and reports about NGOs in other countries I tried to understand the factors that have enabled them to work more effectively and create a larger impact. I realized there are several task environment factors that enable the NGOs to be sustainable, make a large impact and collaborate. Several reports have stressed on the synergies of effective collaboration in the sector and all stakeholders responding appropriately to changes in its task environment. I realized the significance of an enabling environment for NGOs which quite literally was missing in the Indian context.
I was on a quest of agencies or organization working towards creating such an enabling environment when I heard about the Nadathur initiative - Samhita. I could instantly relate my thoughts with the noble idea behind Samhita. Samhita has all the perfect ingredients to make it happen – a thought leader like N S Raghavan, a young committed team of professionals and an environment open to innovative ideas. Being a part of Samhita team has given me an opportunity to contribute my efforts to create a large scale social impact by sustainably empowering the NGOs.