Ecosystem conservation and sustainable development of the Himalayan region and its marginalized communities

  • FCRA
  • 80G
  • 12A
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  • Headquarters

    Gurgaon, Haryana

  • Since


Pragya India is a nonprofit development organization established in 1995. It is dedicated to poverty alleviation, environmental preservation, healthca Read morere and education access, gender equality, social justice, and disaster management. Operating at the grassroots level, Pragya emphasizes remote and marginalized communities often overlooked in the development process. The organization's objective is to enable sustainable grassroots development for the most impoverished and neglected communities in remote and marginalized societies while respecting local cultures and delicate ecosystems. Pragya envisions marginalized communities living dignified lives, free from poverty and injustice, embracing development's benefits in harmony with cultural heritage and the environment. Guided by core values, Pragya's mission focuses on development without destruction. Pragya bridges modernity and underserved regions by embracing cultural heritage and ecological sustainability. The organization advocates a nuanced approach that values cultural-ecological heritage and ecological fragility. Development solutions prioritize environmental preservation in appropriate cases. Pragya merges traditional and modern approaches, integrating suitable technologies that complement and honour traditional wisdom. The organization believes in marginalized communities' transformative capacity, empowering them to shape their destinies. Pragya nurtures potential, fostering self-reliance through resource management and capacity-building at the grassroots. By providing tools and knowledge, Pragya empowers communities to uplift themselves economically and socially. Comprehensive development addresses interlinked factors and root causes of poverty. Pragya adopts a holistic approach, combining research, advocacy, awareness, resource provision, and training. Themes like water supply, agriculture, healthcare, nutrition, education, and social norms are addressed, considering cross-cutting issues such as climate change, gender, conflict, and governance. Pragya designs multifaceted solutions, ensuring long-term sustainability. Collaborative action is pivotal to Pragya's philosophy. Partnerships with educational institutions, NGOs, civil society, industry, governments, and the UN maximize efficiency. Equally vital are the enduring relationships cultivated through sensitive dialogue and sustained engagement with beneficiary communities. Pragya engages across community pillars, leveraging expertise for collective responses to unique challenges.


  • Promoting equality for women and marginalized groups

    Women and marginalized communities face persistent discrimination and heightened vulnerabilities today. India's deeply patriarchal society results in stark gender disparities across education, healthcare, livelihoods, nutrition, and more. Illiteracy, malnutrition, and economic dependence hinder their ability to assert equal rights. Pragya is deeply committed to promoting gender sensitivity across its initiatives. The livelihoods projects specifically target women, and our food security endeavors prioritize the nutritional well-being of women. It trains women as grassroots nutritionists and identify women-friendly agricultural tools for female farmers. Maternal and reproductive healthcare is a key aspect of the health programs, providing support to women and adolescent girls in northern India. Pragya addresses various forms and contexts of gender-based violence, encompassing socioeconomic, psychological, and physical aspects.

  • Solar-Wind Hybrid energy solutions

    In 2004, Pragya successfully implemented a 2.1 KW Solar-Wind Hybrid System (SWHS) in Lossar village within the Lahaul & Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. This system generates electricity to benefit households, a health center, an alternate education center, and a weaving center in the village. The installation has ushered in transformative changes, particularly in education, healthcare, and livelihood opportunities. The installation has enabled villagers to engage in productive activities even during the winter season, a feat previously deemed implausible.
    The community's commitment and enthusiastic response toward the SWHS were remarkable. Village residents actively participated, displaying a strong sense of ownership despite the installation occurring during the peak agricultural period. Every household volunteered on a rotational basis, showcasing a collective effort.

  • Preserving medicinal plants

    Pragya is dedicated to safeguarding endangered medicinal and aromatic plant species thriving in distinct ecosystems.
    Collaborating with communities, Pragya conducts ethnobotanical surveys and documents herbal wealth in biodiversity-rich regions, identifying threats. Collaborative efforts with traditional healers preserve ethnobotanical knowledge via herbal wealth inventories. Local councils contribute to compiling and updating Community Biodiversity Registers to document local herbal resources and their wild status.

  • Biodiversity and habitat management

    Preserving and managing unique and vulnerable habitats stands as a central focus for Pragya, weaving through various aspects of our endeavors, encompassing livelihoods, renewable energy, women's empowerment, and youth involvement. Pragya actively addresses threats to these habitats, fostering community-led monitoring and management.
    Conducting awareness campaigns employing local media and artistic mediums, we engage a diverse spectrum of community members, particularly farmers, women, traditional healers, and youth. Education on local biodiversity threats, habitat deterioration, and climate change impacts fosters participation in local habitat conservation. Recognizing children as future custodians of the environment, Pragya has developed engaging, interactive ecology courses for school students.

  • Water resources management

    Research-driven initiatives aid rural farming communities in coping with water stress. Pragya pioneers new irrigation methods, moisture conservation techniques, and improved water storage and distribution. Farmers receive training in hydrams, sprinkler, and drip irrigation, along with constructing micro water management structures like ponds, dams, and tanks. Local water seminars encourage blending traditional practices with technical inputs for community innovation.
    Natural springs are revitalized, combating climate change and habitat degradation impacts. Afforestation and infiltration ponds enhance water flows, while protective platforms reduce drinking water contamination. Women and youth are trained in water budgeting and household rainwater harvesting. Pragya focuses on wetland conservation, training local youth in assessment and protection efforts, forming community management councils, and executing wetland restoration initiatives.

  • Clean energy solutions

    Pragya adopts a practical approach to bring clean, off-grid renewable energy solutions to underserved and under-electrified communities.
    Commencing with a comprehensive technology assessment study, Pragya evaluated the potential of various Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) such as wind, solar, and hydro. This research led to the creation of an environmentally suitable solution, tailored for remote communities. The strategy for clean energy adoption comprises three tiers: establishing renewable energy micro-grids employing solar and solar-wind hybrid systems to supply village electricity; offering renewable energy-driven technologies for agricultural use, including solar pumps for irrigation and solar dryers for post-harvest processing; extending clean energy assistance to community centers and schools through solar panels for lighting and water heaters.

  • Girls' education initiative

    Pragya is actively addressing the gender disparity in girls' education in India across three key domains.
    Pragya is supporting networks for girls' education within government and society. Workshops with local authorities drive action to enhance girls' participation and protection in education. Concurrently, we educate village-level women's groups on the significance of girls' education, empowering them to champion the cause locally.
    Pragya initiates direct interventions to bolster girls' enrolment and retention rates. Educated women in villages are trained as 'Coach & Counsellors' to combat gender discrimination and engage parents for girls' schooling. They provide basic education to previously unschooled girls, orchestrate impactful enrolment campaigns, and offer material support to prevent dropout. Schools are encouraged to introduce vocational courses and career guidance, attracting both students and parents.

  • Research

    Pragya conducts comprehensive research across all the countries of its operation. It engages in ethnographic research that focuses on marginalized communities and remote geographical areas with distinct and often poorly understood climates. The findings and analyses contribute to policy discussions at both national and international levels. Additionally, the research delves into the effective application of technologies to enhance the welfare of communities in isolated regions with unreliable power access and challenging weather conditions.

  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives

    Pragya employs a holistic approach to ensure water and sanitation security for underserved communities, addressing clean drinking water, suitable sanitation facilities, and hygiene education.
    It strives for sustainable water access in rural areas. In northern India, Pragya customizes water harvesting and management methods based on specific climates. This includes revitalizing natural springs for drinking water in mountainous regions and implementing rainwater harvesting systems in arid zones. To guarantee safe drinking water, it installs covered storage tanks and filtration systems.
    For communities practicing open defecation, Pragya constructed shared toilets with separate facilities for males and females, emphasizing eco-sanitation techniques.

Leadership Team

  • Gargi Banerji


  • Arasan Aruliah


  • Jayshree Raveendran


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  • 12A


  • 80G


  • FCRA


  • CSR Registration Number

    Not Available

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