My name is Pragyan. I’m raising 15,000 GBP or 13 Lakh INR to cover part-fees for my one year Masters in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London School of Economics and Political Science. Through my learnings at LSE, I aim to positively impact women-led social enterprises in India.
I’m a passionate social impact professional hailing from a beautiful village called Dompada in Odisha, an eastern Indian state. Over the past three years, I’ve worked on programs that aim at developing the skills of underprivileged youth in India that would, in turn, enable them to get meaningful livelihood opportunities. Throughout my school and college education, I was a high-performing student. Despite coming from a humble background and being supported by my single mother, I’ve always been optimistic about my future. I have seized all opportunities in my way in the form of multiple scholarships and awards, to excel throughout my educational phase. Apart from studies, I have actively participated in extra-curricular activities. Dancing has been my passion and I am currently learning Kathak, an Indian classical dance form.
On the personal front, I strongly believe that hard work and determination can help us in realizing our dreams. I have been financially supporting my mother and brother’s education. I love spending time with cats, friends and family, travelling and dancing.
What I’ve done till now?
I have pursued my under-graduation in Biotechnology. During this time I realized that my passion was to solve issues affecting India. In order to achieve this, I pursued a Masters in Technology in rural development at IIT, Bombay - one of India’s most renowned institutes. I studied core concepts of rural development such as watershed development, environment, and sustainability through classroom sessions as well as immersive field experiences. I spent two months in a village in Western India conducting field activities and research. Post my graduation, I joined the Tata Trusts, one of India’s largest philanthropic organizations. At the Trusts, I have gained knowledge and experience in the social sector and have laid down a strong base to build my long-term goal. Travelling extensively to remote parts of India as part of my work has exposed me to the rich cultures on the one-hand but deep-rooted and intertwined problems on the other hand. I am fortunate to have touched the lives of more than 20,000 youth and women through various initiatives leveraging my strong academic background and my passion to serve the community.
Who’s my inspiration?
My mother has been the most important person in my life, who despite major financial and societal struggles, single-handedly provided me access to quality education and encouraged me to dream big. She has supported me in every possible way and I owe everything in my life to her.
Why support me?
The tuition fees for the one year course amounts to £30,000 (~INR 27 Lakhs), which is a very large amount for me. Working in the social sector, a fairly low-paying field as well as supporting my family financially, my savings are very limited. I have applied for many scholarships but haven’t received a positive response till now. Moreover, obtaining a bank loan in India is very challenging since I don’t possess collateral. Options such as Prodigy Finance (non-collateral based funding) are not applicable for this course at LSE.
Having offered to study at the London School of Economics is a lifetime opportunity and I am trying my best in securing the finances that will help me to join course this year. Your contribution will be a great help and will bring me one step closer to my dream. Post my Masters, I aim to come back to India and support women who believe in themselves.
Break up of Costs
My Funding Plan
Why LSE and What is Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship?
. Having a focus on academic excellence combined with practical learnings and being one of the most revered schools for social science and management, LSE is a great fit for me. This program interests me due to its focus on nurturing successful social enterprises. I am particularly interested in the course on Social Innovation Design and the individual design project that will help me develop insights to address problems faced by women entrepreneurs on various fronts. I also look forward to the field experiences in other developing countries, where I would be exposed to global issues and solutions. Interacting with a global cohort, the course would open up opportunities for me to network with promising incubators and accelerators that work with social enterprises.
What's my motivation?
Throughout my life, I have grown up with a great awareness of the massive inequality faced by women. In my country India, the sex ratio is around 893 women per 1000 men which is low. Also, the percentage of women joining formal education is much lower than men and many girls drop-out from school after puberty due to various reasons. Representation of women in the employed population of India is also very low- around 25%. All of these factors motivate me to work for women. I want to work for women who are strong and determined like my mother. I want to support social enterprises that are led by innovative and powerful women. My motivation is to use my learnings at LSE to support and accelerate the growth of such women-led social enterprises.
Please share this page and donate as generously as you can to help me pursue my ambitions. Thank you in advance for supporting.
Pragyan Sagarika Pani
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1 life has changed as a result of donors' support.