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Alumni Archives • The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute
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Category : Alumni

Building a One-Stop Shop for Smallholder Farmers in India

Building a One-Stop Shop for Smallholder Farmers in India

In 2019, the Mittal Institute’s Seed for Change competition awarded the Gramhal team, composed of members Vikas Birhma and Pankaj Mahalle, first place. Over the past year, the funding from the competition has helped take their social enterprise initiative off the ground, and Gramhal has already had a significant impact on the lives of smallholder farmers in India. In the last few months of 2019, over 50 farmers sold their produce — worth USD 100,000 — through Gramhal, receiving a fair and higher price.

Electrifying Rural India with Solar Energy

Electrifying Rural India with Solar Energy

In 1979, an organization named Gram Vikas emerged in Odisha with the goal of supporting marginalized communities in India — from providing cleaner ways to access water and sanitation, to the construction of schools and renewable energy sources. Today, Gram Vikas is working on a project to revive a solar micro-grid in Maligaon that had broken down in 2013 after its power source became depleted. Without improvement of the micro-grid, electricity in the community is unstable, and blackouts can last months at a time. Eshaan Patheria, a Harvard College ’18 alumnus, joined the organization as an SBI Youth for India Fellow in 2018, and now oversees the micro-grid renewal project in Maligaon. In partnership with the local community, Patheria’s team is using modern technologies to improve quality of life throughout the district.

Second Annual Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program

If you’re the first in your family to attend college and you’re based in South Asia, the Middle East or Africa, apply now for our Second Annual Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program. It’s a collaboration with an important alumni organization, the Harvard Business School Club of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to create a fantastic, fully-funded opportunity for talented students.

Remembering Asma Jahangir: “Pakistan’s Conscience”

“I remember first seeing her when I was a freshman at Kinnaird College, an all-women institution in Lahore, Pakistan. I sat at the very back of a large hall packed with young women waiting to hear the great Asma Jahangir speak. We sat in awe of her bravery and most of us were also afraid for her life.”

Alum Q+A: Lessons from Dadabhai Naoroji

Dinyar Patel, a Harvard alum who is now an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, recently co-edited a volume of selected correspondences from the Dadabhai Naoroji Papers. “People like Naoroji were talking about a lot of similar issues to what politicians are talking about now in India,” Patel said in an interview with SAI.