Saturday, August 8, 2009

Getting Professionals for Development Action.

What would a person with a Masters in Engineering from MIT and a Management Degree from MIT's Sloan School of Management be doing in the field of rural development? But then Deep Joshi is different and has made a difference. He is currently in the news for being awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award which is considered as Asia's equivalent to the Noble Peace Prize.
Founder of PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action), he was recognised for "his vision and leadership in bringing professionalism to the NGO movement in India, by effectively combining 'head' and 'heart' in the transformative development of rural communities," the Board of Trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said in a press statement from its headquarters in Manila.
I first came across Deep Joshi's name in the list of directors' of IRMA. There was no organisation mentioned along with his name. The name came back when he won the Magsaysay award last week. And it has stuck with me now.
His mantra for achieving success among rural communities is ""Civil society needs to have both head and heart. If all you have is bleeding hearts, it wouldn't work. If you only have heads, then you are going to dictate solutions which do not touch the human chord."
His organisation has been able to convince IIM graduates to work for rural development and achieve high levels of satisfaction that no pay packet would have been able to give to young Management graduates. As Kurien said "Go where you are highly needed and not highly paid"
An inspiration to many of us who at some point in time would engage with rural development,Deep Joshi certainly deserves the Magsaysay award.

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