WHO IS RAKESH NAIR?
Rakesh Nair is an anti-human trafficking crusader and General Secretary of Manav Seva Sansthan (Seva) – an organization that works in the Indo-Nepal border corridor (an area notorious for human trafficking).
Over the past 13 years, Rakesh has been instrumental in creating the nationally and internationally acknowledged cross border transit model called the ‘Life Guard Centre,’ – a unique integrated model of partnership between Seva and the Border Army to eliminate human trafficking. The LGC has been successful in rescuing more than 10,500 apparent victims of human trafficking and has engaged with more than 150,000 cross border migrants on issue of safe and informed migration.
Under his co-leadership, Seva and the LGC campaign have received multiple awards and honors including: the Intercultural Innovation Award 2014, the NGO Award from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs in 2012, the International Critical Impact Award 2010, the Global Innovation Award 2008 – The World Bank and the Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Awards.
You can connect with Rakesh here:
IN TOR 057 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- Seva, the scope of the work they do, the encompassing way they address the specific problems of the India-Nepal border, human traficking and climate change in particular.
- Seva’s way of creating a social enterprise through a retail effort, and coming soon, a brand.
- Their model of contacting, recruiting and training local and high level leaders.
- Rakesh’s organizational virtues that drive Seva into productive partnerships.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Manav Seva Sansthan (Seva)
- Embassy of Japan in India
- Human traficking
- Strategy development
- Social inclusion
- Social entrepreneurship and marketing
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Climate change
- Mumbai, India
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Seva, the organization
North India. A coalitions between farmers and aid workers.
Migration and human trafficking, nutrition, health, social inclusion, farming.
Logistic and strategy development for other organizations.
Social inclusion is the large umbrella. Program officers focus on specific issues.
We identify projects relevant to our region, the Indian-Nepalese border. Develop strategies and pitch them to donors.
Institutional funding is the largest source. Currently looking for social entrepreneurship, running schools with funds from the Japanese Embassy.
1,700 kilometers of work
International team, local action.
Urban schools provide funds for rural schools, keeping the same standards.
The regions know Seva, its social mission. People help, urban and rural students interact.
A social inclusion program (Musahar), includes business skills, trains people in entrepreneurship, network and mentorship. Musahar owns the new businesses, sells their products in dedicated outlets in the city, gives a share to the producers and the community. A lot of turmeric.
Working on a dedicated brand, expanding outside of Seva and into more cities.
Recruiting Mumbaikar talent
At the community level, they scout people living there.
For high level, they look for top talent with postgraduate education.
Rakesh came from a social studies class at school, joined a program and gained hands on experience. Completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s in social development. Has worked in rural Indian areas ever since.
Every project has a log frame, with levels, each with an indicator.
Lots of service to measure impact, they do it years after the project.
Work with local councils to raise awareness and voices about rights and basic needs. 4 years. NGOs and the government got involved, work was streamlined, Seva concluded the mission was complete. Documented, standardized the model for future replication.
Human trafficking project leads to the realization that smuggling included drugs too. “Users are victims too.“
A project on livelihood and community capacities reveals problems associated with alcohol consumption.
Project with street children, relocated them somewhere else in the city. They wanted to go back, it was very difficult to keep them in shelters. Strong education focus, gained their confidence and managed to keep them voluntarily.
Funding. “It is very difficult to get support from institutions.” Entrepreneurship will be a bigger priority.
Climate change, it’s new for Seva but they are already jumping into prevention and response. “It will complement every project.“
Technology is slowly penetrating. App work will be more important, embedded into projects.
Mumbai corporate partnerships are slowly becoming a project. “Corporations want to focus near places they work in, they don’t always coincide with needs.” Tax deduction laws can help moving them into providing more funds.
Migration is a huge challenge, especially in non-skilled cases. It is also a resource intensive effort.
Education is key, a relevant Master’s degree is practically a must.
“You should have the courage to dream.“
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