What are you leading?
Indus Action is a policy implementation do-tank whose mission is to enable disadvantaged families in India, sustainable access to their legislated rights.
Our flagship project is called Project Eklavya, and has been running since 2013. The project focusses on ensuring that the most disadvantaged families in India have sustainable access their rights under the Right to Education Act section 12(1)(c). In summary, the Right to Education Act in India, guarantees that 25% of places at India’s private schools should be awarded freely to children from the most high need, disadvantaged communities. Though this policy is extremely noble in its aim, it has been difficult to implement for a number of reasons, and many of these places are going unfulfilled meaning that many children are missing out on the education they deserve.
To address this, Indus Action mobilizes community volunteers to inform families of their rights, provide access to the information they need, and 1:1 support and guidance throughout the whole application process.
Since 2013, Project Eklavya has directly enrolled 6,960 children over the last 3 years in Delhi and enabled 30,000+ families’ access to this legislated right across 5 states in India. Through the Project Eklavya Network(PEN), we are supporting social entrepreneurs in expanding the mission to all districts across India. This academic year, PEN has presence in Bangalore, Lucknow, Raipur and Pune and is aiming to directly enroll 20,000 children.
How did your experiences as a fellow inspire or prepare you for what you’re doing now?
Teach For India's Fellowship experience was instrumental in building my curiosity and passion for public policy as an instrument of change. Teach For India's underlying commitment to community engagement and collective action have played a huge role in shaping Indus Action's current model. The Fellowship's emphasis on personal transformation as a core value endured me through the gritty patches in the first 3 years of starting up.
Additionally, after I completed the two years, I joined the Teach For India staff team as City Director for Delhi. During this time, Teach For India let me engage 20% of my time during my tenure to explore the idea of building Indus Action.
Finally, Teach For India alumni have held key leadership positions with Indus Action either full-time or on a voluntary basis from the moment Indus Action was started. The alumni network has been an incredible resource for talent and ideas, as well as moral support during my start up journey.
This year, we are aiming for 300k+ families to be enrolled across 8+ states in India, moving us closer to our end game of 1 million admissions. During this process, we intend to build a sustainable network of partner entrepreneurs within communities and across states, who will translate the success of the first project to other legislated rights.
Indus Action’s big goal is to be regarded as the best-in-class policy implementation do-tank in India before 2030. To do this we will move beyond school admissions, looking to apply our community mobilization methodology to support the successful implementation of many more legislative rights to help end inequality in India.