HelpYourNGO at the Deshpande Dialogue 2014

HYNGO was part of the Deshpande Foundation’s annual conference called the ‘Deshpande Dialogue’ earlier this year. Our team went to Hubli to attend the conference, talk about our work, and also got a chance to meet and interact with other organisations at the conference.

We learnt about the Hubli Sandbox supported by the Foundation, which is a pioneering effort in social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Basically an incubation zone for social entrepreneurs or organisations working for social good, the Sandbox creates an ecosystem for organisations to try out their models, find solutions and prototype their models. What is unique is that it is located in rural Karnataka.

Of course we didn’t spend all day indoors at the conference! We got a chance to visit several NGOs in the area in person while we there, and came back moved by the work they do. The following are some images and insights from our visit.

Karnataka is plagued by bore wells, which depletes the water table of a farm area very quickly. As soon as a well runs dry, farmers build new ones, causing damage to the land. Sankalpa Rural Development Society has found a way to build borewells in rural areas at less than 50% of the market cost. Through their technology, they also recharge existing wells at a very low cost. We met a farmer who experienced a three time increase in productivity after adopting Sankalpa's technology.
Karnataka is plagued by bore wells, which depletes the water table of a farm area very quickly. As soon as a well runs dry, farmers build new ones, causing damage to the land. Sankalpa Rural Development Society has found a way to build borewells in rural areas at less than 50% of the market cost. Through their technology, they also recharge existing wells at a very low cost. We met a farmer who experienced a three time increase in productivity after adopting Sankalpa’s technology.
Our next stop was at Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled. Samarthanam was set up to provide young adults with visual or hearing impairments with livelihood skills. The students exhibited a lot of confidence, and were keen to take photographs with us. Some of them put up an entertaining programme which everyone enjoyed.
Our first stop was at Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled. Samarthanam was set up to provide young adults with visual or hearing impairments with livelihood skills. The students exhibited a lot of confidence, and were keen to take photographs with us. Some of them put up an entertaining programme which everyone enjoyed.
Next up was the Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyala provides a musical and academic education to more than 200 underprivileged students in Karnataka. Their motto is to create a school with environment friendly products only. If in the future, Kalkeri needs to shut down, all material used in setting up the school will get absorbed back into the forest.
Next up was the Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyala provides a musical and academic education to more than 200 underprivileged students in Karnataka. Their motto is to create a school with environment friendly products only. If in the future, Kalkeri needs to shut down, all material used in setting up the school will get absorbed back into the forest.
Kalkeri is located in the Dharwad district of Karnataka. The area faces regular power cuts, but this does not dampen the enthusiasm of teachers or students, who are always keen to practice and perform. Students are taught traditional Indian instruments like the sitar, tabla and bansuri and also trained in dance forms like Bharatnatyam.
Kalkeri is located in the Dharwad district of Karnataka. The area faces regular power cuts, but this does not dampen the enthusiasm of teachers or students, who are always keen to practice and perform.
The last organisation we visited was the Akshaya Patra Foundation. Akshaya Patra feeds thousands of school children a freshly prepared lunch every day. The silo you can see in the picture is used for storing 100 metric tonnes of grain. The staff maintains high standards of hygiene while cooking, and all their operations are run with great attention to detail. We had to take our shoes off outside, and were given slippers to wear as we observed their operations. Like the staff, we were also made to wear caps to ensure that nothing fell into the food being prepared.
The last organisation we visited was the Akshaya Patra Foundation. Akshaya Patra feeds thousands of school children a freshly prepared lunch every day. The silo you can see in the picture is used for storing 100 metric tonnes of grain. The staff maintains high standards of hygiene while cooking, and all their operations are run with great attention to detail. We had to take our shoes off outside, and were given slippers to wear as we observed their operations. Like the staff, we were also made to wear caps to ensure that nothing fell into the food being prepared.
Hundreds of kilos of vegetables are carefully inspected, washed, purified with chlorinated water and rewashed before being stored in a world-class cold storage facility. On the day we visited, we watched brinjals and pumpkins being mixed into the sambhar being made for the day. Steaming rice was fed into large containers, transported on wheels and then packed.
Hundreds of kilos of vegetables are carefully inspected, washed, purified with chlorinated water and rewashed before being stored in a world-class cold storage facility. On the day we visited, we watched brinjals and pumpkins being mixed into the sambhar being made for the day. Steaming rice was fed into large containers, transported on wheels and then packed.

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