The Regulations of PRASARI provide as under :
MR. SUBHENDU GOSWAMI
MBA in Rural Management-XISS A good mix of experience at the management level in corporate & Development sector.
MR. SAIKAT PAL
M.Tech in Water Resources Management,
14 yrs. of experience in
MR. GOURANGA BANERJEE
14 years experience
services to NGOs/MFIs in
MS. PRITI DAS
MBA-Marketing and Rural development 14 yrs. of experience in capacity building and strate¬gic planning support to at least 50 grass root NGOs
Professor (Rtd,) in Agronomy (Agriculture),
Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya,
Kalyani, Nadia, West Bengal
DR. DIPANKAR SAHA
Ph. D, FZS (Cal), 24 years of experience on manag¬ing large livelihoods programs based on natural resource management, agriculture and fisheries.
MS. ARPITA CHAUDHURI
11 years of experience
on working with destitute Children
ARRE Backdrops :
Teams of PRASARI have been working in three different districts (including HO). The environments and deliverables might vary, so as the roles but the basic ‘goals’ and ‘focus’ of work are completely aligned or needs to be aligned. The teams and individuals across the operational area are always very busy and believed that they are contributing meaningfully in the lives of rural poor, in every ‘professional’ minute. There are Weekly/monthly Team meetings or the project reviews or Organizational reviews indicate the growth of the staff members with respect to the peer professionals of the same project or the team. The evaluation with respect to the larger HR pool in the Organization never takes place. Working within the safe and comfort zone of ‘self’ does not facilitate one to stretch or excel and results in the cumulative ‘average’ performance of the organization as a whole. The ARRE works as the platform to set the bench mark and assess against the Bench mark might unknowingly being set by some exceptional achievers in the Organization, to start with and then so-on.
Every funding partnership with the donor look forward to a win-win situation, meaning both the donor and the grantee aspire to excel and they have to! Achievement motivators excel with respect to self but needs to be rated with respect to the others. Thus the presence from the donor/partner organization in ARRE is essential to evaluate their own project along with the field professionals of PRASARI (with respect to self) and with respect to the projects funded by other donors, having almost same deliverables. This on the other hand would ensure the cross inputs for quality future plan and improve upon.
So far the PRASARIans have been working in their teams towards attaining the deliverables in general set by the HO, as the project proposals are built there and the deliverables are fixed thereof. This has essentially ensured ‘centralized’ ownership and responsibility of the services to the poor. This is an example of the ‘locus of controle’ and true for other organizational aspects, also. ARRE is the foundation stone towards decentralized leaderships and would set the tune towards building distributed ownership and environment for mutual criticisms to excel.
In a sense, ARRE sets a mutual platform to review, reflect and plan based on the learning towards a better Professional growth of the Organization and the individual.
Overall Aim of ARRE:
Keeping this backdrop in mind ARRE Aims :
All staff members, Representatives of the Governing Body, Representatives from the partner- Donor Organizations
Task designing and Facilitation:
A core group work on it and circulate the session plans.
‘PRASARI puts prime importance in HR development. PRASARI has a decentralized management system of programmes and HR through field based teams led by Professionals. Placing a team in any location follows several steps since recruitment, initial grooming of the HR, thereafter, placing them with job responsibility and followed by regular hand-holding and mentoring support by the experienced Professionals.
The people are shortlisted for recruitment through web based open advertisement followed by aptitude test, Group discussion and personal interviews. In each case depending upon the requirement panel is prepared to follow further steps.
Once recruited, people are sent for a compulsory village stay in PRASARI’s operational villages with a mutually decided exploration-assignment to execute during the stay. Special care is taken while selecting the village stay household for the women colleagues. The senior executives keep a close look on the new colleague in ‘stay’. This is considered as the base line ‘litmus’ test for an individual as well as the Organization whether ‘both’ decides to continue. At the end of the village stay one needs to make presentation before the villagers followed by the respective teams on the pre-fixed assignment. The new entrant stays in the village under very close monitoring of the Senior Professionals of the Team. The New entrant has a compulsory home visit for at least 72 hrs. (effective stay) at home to discuss and decide upon her career with PRASARI in the rural set-up she had been exposed to during her stay. They make a presentation centrally on their village stay experiences and eva;luate their ‘guides’ at the end, depending on the guidance and cooperations they have received from the respective seniors.
The New-entrants directly joins a week long residential programme directly from their compulsory home visits, after the village stay. In the foundation programme experienced Professionals orient the new comers on different thematic areas (e.g. SHGs, Land and Water Management, Peoples’ larger collectives etc.). The new executives/entrants also make a field visit in any PRASARI’s location to practice and field test the learning in the foundation course, under closed supervisions of the seniors.
Regular monthly meeting is a non-negotiable component in PRASARI’s monitoring system. In these meetings achievements against monthly plans are being tracked. Presence of representative from Head Office and the senior members from other teams is ensured for this meeting. There is a regular quarterly meeting of the Senior Management Team to reflect upon the overall growth of the team and the Organization, as well. This forum is represented by all the Team Leaders along with the Senior Executives and Programme and finance leaders of the H.O. This forum actually ‘reviews’ all the Senior Management people including Organization Secretary.
The Executives and the Team Leaders work directly with the families. In case of out-scaling a sub-sector the teams sometimes work with the support from the Village level resource persons. These village level resource persons (VRP) are nominated by the village community (mostly SHGs) for availing door-step services from them. Once the VRP’s are recommended and shortlisted, they undergo a series of motivational and technical training under the mentorship of PRASARI’s experienced professionals or the experienced professionals hired by PRASARI. The developmental debates are encouraged among the staff members and thus it helps maintain a good environment where a new comer can always challenge the oldest member of the team. The team members also undergo regular training programme on their psychological development and growth. It’s an in house product exclusively designed for the PRASARI staffs in a residential campus, where there is no reach of the field activities.
Saikat, a Post Graduate in Water Resources Development and Management from IIT, Kharagpur is with PRASARI as Head-Livelihoods, since the inception of the Organization. Saikat is in the Development Sector for last 16 years. Starting his career in PRADAN, he owes a significant section of his grooming as a Development Professional in his eight years in PRADAN. He reflects his initial days in the sector and uttered “Technology and Engineering structures had been my first love, gradually converted into my aspirations to meaningful contribution in the lives of rural poor- as I had been exposed to”.
He wanted to explore the Development World in a different role and was with Access Livelihoods Consulting India Ltd. as a full-fledged Development Consultant. The assumption was reaching out to more number of Development stakeholders indirectly might help him to reach out to a larger chunk of poor for their well being. The hypothesis was not absolutely proven true to him when he observed that execution of ideas (mutually agreed by the clients and consultants) ending up with partial and dissatisfactory implementations.
With a belief that every groomed Individual has a lot to contribute to the rural poor and has the ability to set the platforms and influence a number of quality people to work with and for the poor, he with some of his colleagues initiated PRASARI in 2007 in his early thirties. He has faced a lot of Challenges while setting up this new Organization, indeed, has provided him a lot of opportunities to learn. There was nothing ‘ready-made’ available but over time along with his colleagues he has been able to streamline a young Organization delivering Professional Services at the remote rural households. “We have a shared vision and many a mile to go ahead”-he foresees.
Gouranga has been working as the Programme Manager in PRASARI. He is one of the founders of PRASARI. Gouranga wanted to lead a very different Professional life, unlike the common Finance Professionals Starting his career in the Development Sector since 1998, he has worked with and for the rural disadvantaged women across different agro-climatic regions of west Bengal. Women managed Natural resource programmes for livelihoods are the core area of his expertise.
Spending almost a decade in the Rural Development Consortium (A Calcutta based Organization) to deal with a range of issues with the women, he along with others set up PRASARI in 2007. Presently, along with supporting the Field based teams across the locations, Gouranga plays a very critical role in Programme monitoring and internal reviews in the Organization.
An unswerving Rural Development Professional started to render his efforts with the PRASARI since the November, 2013 as the Team Leader of South 24 Parganas in world’s largest delta (Sundarbans). Since the completion of his Masters in Rural Development & Management from the University of Kalyani in 2006 – he always tried to appoint himself in different socio-economic or agro-climatic regions to judge his capabilities as a social engineer. Sometimes, the journey experienced with the extreme poverty belts of Purulia (in PRADAN) to the most perilous lives of worlds primitive dwellers of Andaman & Nicobor Islands (in WBVHA). During his last 10 years experiences in serving the rural community through the Government and CBOs - he already roams all the three different situations of the Rural Bengal – From the northern Himalayan plateau in Darjeeling district to extreme western region of Purulia (as the District Programme Coordinator under the Panchayat & Rural Development Department) and finally now, with the Promotion of Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation’s Activities (a Programme promoted by the GoI) - he succeed to step in both the districts of the extreme southern portion of Rural Bengal – the area of rivers, canals and islands (PRASARI Sundarbans).
Through his engagement in more than one decades he uplifted himself as an expert of some of the integral issues of rural development such as - Public Health & Sanitation, promotion of Livelihoods through intensive family wise planning’s along with direct implementation, SHG & mFIs, HIV/AIDS with STD/STIs and moreover the crucial points of leading and managing a heterogeneous team.
Rajdeep Sarkar, completed his graduation in Geography from University of Calcutta in 2009 and Masters in Integrated Rural Development and Management in 2011 from Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University (Narendrapur Campus), is the Team Leader of the Dooars Team of PRASARI.
After completion of M.Sc he joined Centre for Collective Development (CCD) as a Programme Manager where he was posted in one of the poorest district of present Telengana (Adilabad) to work with Tribal Commodity Cooperatives and cooperative federation. During his journey in the multicultural and multilingual tribal belt of Vidarbh- Telengana region he gained expertise in building up peoples’ collectives and natural resource management.
In 2013 Rajdeep joined the development movement of PRASARI and started working in the tribal belt of ‘Dooars’ in north Bengal. Livelihood promotion through building and nurturing peoples’ institution (women SHGs), promotion of improved agricultural practices, surface water management (gravity flow management) and leveraging several government programmes for the betterment of the rural poor are the activities where he is contributing positively as a development professional.
A Rural Development Professional joined as the Project Executive at PRASARI South Bengal unit i.e. Sundarban operations from July, 2015. He was the first Project Executive in the history of PRASARI who solely took charges of a single programme and till date has carried out incredible outcomes not only in that single programme, he was entitled for, rather several responsibilities of the whole South 24 Parganas team. Just after completion of his degree of M.Sc. in Integrated Rural Development and Management from the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University in 2011, he has started to render his services as the Programme Manager at Centre for Collective Development (CCD) at Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh and from the December, 2012 he shifted his occupancy as the Technical Coordinator (Social Development & Marketing) at Development Research Communication and Services Centre (DRCSC) at Kolkata. During his working tenure - he has possessed a fantastic level of communication skill and well-projected motivation skills along with counseling of SHGs towards self reliance, formation of village level Farmers’ Cooperatives, procure and marketization of the agro-products through cooperatives and ultimately reducing the effect of money lenders and middlemen in the life of primary producers. Since last one year in PRASARI, he has consumed viz-a-viz contributed the skills and techniques of working with and for the rural ultra-poverty as well as generation of resources by such ruralites – who never even think of gathering a piece of pie for their future. July, 2015.
Rafique , completed his Bachelor in Social Work in 2013 and Master in Social Work in 2015 from Assam University, Silchar During his curriculum period he had opted optional papers like Disaster Management, Micro-finance & SHG, Family & child welfare and also done research studies on two different topics related to public health at Cachar district of Assam. Apart from his study he was also closely engaged with a local club CHATURANGA (a member of youth club) to work voluntarily with different women Self Help Groups in Karimganj district of Assam.
Presently he is working in PRASARI as an Executive (Projects) at Dooars, Jalpaiguri district. Rafiq over time has developed an exclusive expertise on ‘mapping resources’ and developing irrigation plans for a very large command area for hilly terrains.
Sahidul-a ray of dynamism who started his journey as a PRASARIan from the December, 2015 as one of the Project Executive in the northern territory of PRASARI Sundarban operations i.e. in the North 24 Parganas district. Since the initiation of his journey to last three years, he always expected to deal with the challenging positions which will help him to explore himself and make him realize his potential to serve a decisive role in growth of the nation.
Just after completion of his Masters in Social Work (MSW) from the Jamia Millia Islamia of New Delhi - he joined into the Samaj Pragati Sahyog (SPS) at Bagli of Madhya Pradesh as to prove his competencies as a Programme Officer of SHG Bank linkage and Generation of Sustainable Livelihoods. From the July, 2015 to till his unification with the PRASARI - he served as the Research Worker under the Department of Social Work of the Viswa-Bharti Viswa Vidyalaya towards an integral issue of Prevalence of disability amongst tribes in West Bengal.
Sonali, a post graduate (2014) in Journalism and Mass Communication from Centre for Journalism and Mass Communication Visva-Bharati University, West Bengal, is working as an Executive (Projects) in the northern sub-Himalayan Dooars (Jalpaiguri District). Before joining the organization she was a Research Fellow of State Bank of India Youth for India Fellowship with BAIF-DHRUVA in Valsad, Gujarat.
Apart from the day to day work related to rural development she is fascinated to painting, photography and travelling. Sonali, being the first ‘Lady Professional’ in the Organization and has been setting standards for her colleagues, in every steps. Her representation from PRASARI, indeed adding a new dimension in the community and the women PRASARI is working with.