The Incredible Feat of Jadhav Brothers!

Pradip’s association with Mahindra Pride School (MPS) began in August, 2009 when he first visited MPS along with his younger brother Vijay. Pradip hails from a small village named Kolwad situated in Buldhana district of Maharashtra. He is a son of a farmer and a family that comprises of 7 members. Due to limited opportunities in Kolwad, Pradip travelled from his village to Buldhana for higher studies after completing S.S.C.

Pradip’s family relies heavily on the monsoons for farming as the piece of land his father owns is not irrigated nor do they have a bore well.  Borrowing money to buy seeds was a usual practice. The income earned from the harvest was partly used to repay the loans and partly to take care of the family needs. And this annual income of around Rs. 40-50 thousand could not suffice the family needs.

Realizing that he will have to take up work to support his family financially, Pradip finished his B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) and came to Pune to appear for the Staff Recruitment Exams. His younger brother Vijay was already in Pune working with Bharat Forge as a Quality Checker but unfortunately as a result of the economic slowdown of 2008, he lost his job.

Mahindra Pride School guarantees its students an assured job placement after the training programme.  This promise made Vijay enroll for the training and he insisted Pradip to do the same. With no work and little financial assistance from the family it was near impossible for the Jadhav brothers to stay in Pune for 3 months.

Pradip agreed to join MPS on Vijay’s persistence but ran away from the school on the very first day. His behavior puzzled the MPS Staff. When probed further it was understood that both of them did not have sufficient money to stay in Pune. This is when Mahindra Pride School decided to arrange for their stay till they complete their training and get placed.

Pradip enrolled for the Hospitality course. He says, “MPS helped me increase my confidence level, enhanced my communication skills and opened new avenues to join the Hospitality Industry. For the first time in my life I believed in myself”.

Pradip working at McDonalds, Pune

Pradip faced the first interview with McDonalds and was selected as a Crew Member in November 2009 with a salary of Rs. 4500/- per month. The job was stressful. At times he felt like quitting and going back to his village. But his family and friends helped him stay grounded. He did and then there was no looking back.

Pradip’s hard work and determination paid off. In May 2012 he was promoted as a Floor Manager with McDonalds at Inorbit Mall in Pune with a salary of Rs. 9000/- per month.  Fourteen Crew Members appeared for the selection exam of Floor Manager. Pradip was one of the 4 crew members who got selected.

Vijay completed his training in November 2009 and was recruited by Syntel as an Associate in Syntel KPO with a salary of Rs. 10500/- In December 2010, he completed a year and applied for an inter-movement from KPO to the IT vertical due to his passion for the IT field. Now he works with Syntel IT as a Software Tester with a salary of Rs. 15000/- He wishes to pursue MCA and work as a Software Programmer.

Today both Pradip and Vijay are very happy that they are independent, can send money back home and now the family has no debts to repay.  Their proud parents say, “We only have blessings to offer MPS for this noble work”.

Pradip and Vijay together


Mr. Pangi Chittibabu – Coffee Farmer from Araku Valley and the winner of Selected Farmer category at ‘Gems of Araku 2012’

Mr. Pangi Chittibabu gets his trophy from Dr. Sunalini Menon and Naandi Personnel Kaushalya Sastry

Mr. Pangi Chittibabu, 41 years old, is a bold and enthusiastic man of Pangiguda village in the Araku Valley region of Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh, India.  He is poor and illiterate but has managed to raise a family of six members, including three children.

In 1994-1995, Chittibabu planted some coffee saplings supplied by the Coffee Board and Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) in a 2 acre plot. He devoted most of his time to tend to the saplings and took care of his coffee plants. He engaged in manuring and mulching, including bush management. But no matter how much he struggled, he would get very low price for her coffee and the local traders and middlemen were the only buyers in that region. Coffee farmers like Chittibabu had no bargaining power whatsoever.

A few years later, Chittibabu learnt that Naandi Foundation was working with tribals in Araku Valley region for improving livelihoods of poor farmers. He also learnt about the mutually aided cooperative society that Naandi had started and whose members were poor tribal farmers with small and marginal land holdings with little or no savings just like him. He joined the cooperative, which today, has more than 11,500 members from 589 villages of seven mandals covering a coffee growing area of 5,992 ha.  In 2010-2011, his two acre plot produced 1,599 kg of coffee fruit that he sold for Rs 39, 795/-.

Today, there is a sense of pride and achievement, as he talks about the best farmer award he received at the Gems of Araku, 2012. The award means that among the different coffees cupped by the jury, his coffee was of the highest quality! Apart from the cash prize he has received at the event, he knows his coffee will also fetch him a bonus and fair-trade premium. Extremely thrilled with this recognition his eyes light up while talking about his future plans for the coffee he grows.

Our Community Organizer shares her Story!

E. Manjula | Our Community Organizer from Naandi Community Water Services Team

My name is Manjula and I am from Prakasam District, Chirala Mandal, Epurupalem Village.

I have 2 sons. My husband died in 2006. I have just joined with NCWS as CO. In my village through NCWS, safe drinking water has been provided to the people. Before joining as CO, I worked with District Rural Development Agency as Community Resource Person for 6 years. As a part of my job, I have been involved in various surveys (Agriculture, Drinking water and sanitation, Housing ) and interacting with SHG’s , conducting meetings with SHG’s, interacting with farmers, discussing with women regarding gender issues, etc.

I have come across many hurdles such as financial crisis etc in my real life. But I have never taken a back step and I have faced all those problems. I was able to solve all those problems by joining into DWACRA group as a member. I took loans as DWACRA member, saved money, repaid the loan, used the money for children education and basic household requirement. Now I am a happy mother. My both of the children are now into engineering education. Both of them were getting good grades in their schooling.

Now I am not taking loan from any one and I am able to educate my children. One thing to notice is that I also help other society members In resolving the issues, helped those who are in financial crisis to solve their problem and all those are now earning in lakhs.

My life ambition is to live happily and let others live happily. Thanks for giving me this opportunity.

E Manjula

Community Organizer

Epurupalem, Prakasam district

HUNGaMA – A Battle against Hunger and Malnutrition

HUNGaMA – short for HUNGer and MAlnutrtition is Naandi’s campaign against child malnutrition in India. The first step in this campaign was the HUNGaMA Survey, which was conducted across 112 rural districts of India in 2011 and provides reliable estimates of child nutrition covering nearly 20% of Indian children. Its objective was to understand the current situation and provide a basis for focused action. The findings of this survey were released by the Honourable Prime Minister of India on 10 January, 2012.

Image Courtesy:

Honourable Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh releases the HUNGaMA Survey

  Image Courtesy: Prime Minister website Photo Gallery (


In his speech Dr. Manmohan Singh said, “The problem of malnutrition is a matter of national shame… And we cannot hope for a healthy future for our country with a large number of malnourished children.” Read the entire speech by the Prime Minister at the release of HUNGaMA (Hunger and Malnutrition) Report here:

Follow this link to view the photo gallery:

More information about the HUNGaMA survey will follow. Stay tuned to our Naandi Foundation blog for more stories.


Mumbai Public School: A Training for Teacher Assistants

Our fantastic team of Teacher Assistants!

A comprehensive training was conducted for all the TAs (Teacher Assistants), including the Head TAs as well as the new TAs who were recently appointed. It was a three day program that covered various topics right from introduction to Naandi to role clarity to leadership. The first two days witnessed two simultaneous trainings – for Head TAs and for New TAs, and on the third day there was a common training for all together. The trainings were conducted majorly by the MPS Facilitators and the Cluster Manager.

The trainings for HTAs mainly focused on role clarity, importance of your post, expectation setting and leadership skills. Towards the end of the second day we also touched upon community mapping and three-month planning in which the HTAs together with the Facilitators mutually prepared a school plan for the first three months to ensure smooth functioning and minimum errors.

Facilitators Lata and Narmin leading a session.


Since the new TAs were freshly appointed and not much aware about their role and the functioning of MPS program,      they were oriented in detail about Naandi, its different projects, hierarchy in BMC and Naandi and their position in the system, stake holders, role clarity, school processes through simulation, and core skills for classroom management.





The team patiently listens to the talk on ‘Community Mobilisation’.

On the last day for the common training, a resource person was called who took a three-hour session on community that explained how community mobilization is an important aspect to encourage parent involvement and create awareness. The TAs – both old and new, were once again briefly explained about their roles and responsibilities.

The trainings were pepped up by ice-breakers and energizers played in between sessions to keep the energy and the enthusiasm alive, which the TAs rather seemed to have enjoyed, it also helped greatly in bonding and team building.



We concluded the training program by felicitating all the TAs with mementos, to acknowledge their hardwork and boost their motivation, and mainly to express to them that they are important to us and we care.

Overall it seemed to be a great success as we could see the difference in the TAs confidence and positivity in their approach, towards the end of the last day.

The Mumbai Public School team comes together for a photograph after a successful training programme.

              —- This post was shared by MPS facilitator Trishna Balchandani.