In an exclusive conversation with NewsX for its special segment NewsX India A-List, Atul Satija, Founder & CEO of The/Nudge Foundation spoke about the endeavours of his organisation and how they aim to revolutionise Agri-tech and other pressing challenges the country is facing.
Talking about his journey and how he found his true calling in the social sector, Satija said, “I started as an engineer-MBA harbouring the corporate ladder dreams, mostly because India did well in the technology sector and better than the other sectors in the last 20 years. I followed the same journey. But somewhere growing up, I had this notion that I want to do social work at some point in my life. I didn’t know when. As I entered my 30s, I started volunteering with a non-profit in Delhi and that’s how my journey in the social sector began.”
“I used to wait for the evenings and weekends to go and spend time in communities. My heart was in working on the grassroots and bringing social change, and not as much in the corporate rat race that I was in. I think nine years into it, I moved to Bangalore and worked in a startup, and six years back, I decided to make that switch. That’s how The/Nudge Foundation was born. It’s been six years of an impactful journey,” he continued. Satija started The/Nudge Foundation in 2015 as a non-profit poverty alleviation organisation. During its inception, The/Nudge Foundation started working with underprivileged groups in skill development who migrated to cities from rural areas and the organisation gave them skills, employability and jobs.
The founder threw light on the change his organisation is looking to create and how they are aiming to solve some of the most pressing challenges India is facing. “India has the second-largest number of extreme poverty in the world. The country has 175 million people below the poverty line so it’s a very large problem. The/Nudge was created to work on poverty alleviation. That’s the purpose with which we started but the way we do that is we are an action organisation,” he said.
“We want to be at the grassroots and keep our hands and feet ready. We want to learn from our on-ground work and learn from others’ on-ground work. Whenever we find a solution that works, we want to figure out a way to scale it working with the governments and markets. We see us as a development action organisation working on poverty alleviation, and wanting to bring about systemic change,” added Satija.
Poverty alleviation continues to be a multifaceted and complex issue. He shared the various angles with which The/Nudge Foundation approached it, “It is a complex problem with too many dimensions. One has to pick what you can do and leave the rest to the ecosystem. We focus on livelihoods as the main area which means that we are trying to tackle the income in the hands of the poor. We know that there is work to be done in public health, education and so many other areas but we chose livelihoods as our vertical focus. Livelihoods could be urban such as scale development, putting people in jobs, making sure that they are staying in those jobs, making money, financial security, social mobility, and more. In rural areas, it’s largely Agri and dairy and some allied services.”
Aiming to achieve their goals The /Nudge Foundation works across three different impact streams broadly which he elaborated: “First, is the Center for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship where we bring young people into skill programs and then we put them into service sector jobs. Second, we have the Centre for Rural Development and the third is the Center for Social Innovation where we focus on mostly talent moving into the social sector and being able to contribute to India’s journey.”
Satija acknowledged the pressing challenges to get talent and sustain it in the Indian development sector, “We were not a wealthy country during pre-independence and post-independence. What is happening in the first generation wealth is that everybody comes out of colleges thinking about their financial security, and supporting their immediate family and people around them. And that is the right thing to do. I think India is reaching a stage now, with the last 30 years of our growth particularly during post-liberalisation, where there is correct mental space to think about society at large and that is allowing millennials to think. It’s a great opportunity, I don’t think 20 or 30 years ago people were able to think that way. They had to solve their financial security and see this as a second career as I did.”
On a concluding note, Satija shared with us where he sees The/Nudge Foundation in five years, “Over the last five years we touched about 8-9 million lives across the country through our direct and indirect work. In the next five years, we want to continue on this path of being a development action organisation and be closer to seeing system change happen in the country, especially in scale development areas. I’m seeing The/Nudge Foundation impacting about 15-20 million lives in the next five years.”
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EROS HOTEL CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF HOSPITALITY
The date 6th December 2021 marks the silver jubilee year for Eros Hotel New Delhi Nehru Place. The hotel began its journey in the year 1996 with the vision of delivering the finest Indian hospitality experiences to the guests. Today, Eros Hotel stands tall as an iconic stand-alone 5-star deluxe property offering contemporary design and comfort paired with old-world hospitality charm.
“Anniversary is a great occasion of recollecting and cherishing memories. This one is more special, as today we celebrate our hotel’s 25th anniversary” said MD of the company, Satish Sood.
“Going back in history, I would like to bring forth the vision and foresight of Late Mr. J. R. Sood. The organisation started with millions of dreams, hope and immense enthusiasm and for me, it’s a matter of great pride to see our company growing, embracing good value system and achieving milestones as we thought of,” he added.
“Over these years, CSR campaigns, sustainability initiatives, celebrating key occasions with team members and families, delivering wow experiences to our patrons through exceptional customer services, have created great memories for all of us and have contributed to hotel’s glorious journey,” he added.
Davinder Juj, General Manager of the hotel, said “We are delighted to carve a host of activities on 25th anniversary, which will be offered to make our guests and team members feel special. This is to express our heartfelt gratitude for their continued patronage and loyalty and for our teams to offer the best of the services”.
Odisha tourism conducts 12th International Sand Art Festival
The 12th edition of five days International Sand Art Festival that started on December 1 is underway at Chandrabhaga beach in Konark, Odisha.
Every year, the tourism of Odisha conducts the Chandrabhaga International Sand art festival for the sand artists to show their art and talent to the world to see. Here the immense beach is a canvas and an artists’ deft is the palette. Artists from all over the world participate in the festival, but due to Covid-19, strict protocols were followed.
Sudarsan Patnaik, organiser of the festival told ANI that due to Covid-19 fear, this year international artists couldn’t participate but a total of 100 artisans from Odisha and 12 other Indian states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and more have participated with full enthusiasm.
He also informed that different themes were provided to the artists every day and on December 3, Friday, the theme assigned to them was ‘eco-tourism and environment’.
Gauri, a sand artist from Odisha who is participating in the festival for the second time in her life said, “It’s a very good topic. We have to understand nature is very important and we have to save it too.”
She also told that this is her second time participating in this event, after ten years. “I am glad to see how the event has developed in the meantime. It is only stated to organise such festival where all sand artists get exposure and we are able to show our art.”
The International Sand Art Festival was started in 2015 on the Chandrabhaga beach, a short distance from Konark. It was a part of the Konark Dance Festival that is organized during the same time. Every year, the theme for the Artists hover around the burgeoning issues of the Earth.
RAHUL MITTRA BECOMES ARUNACHAL’S BRAND ADVISOR, SANJAY DUTT IS BRAND AMBASSADOR
On the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations which mark the 50th year of the naming of the state—the BJP led Arunachal Pradesh Government has appointed former journalist, award-winning filmmaker and branding expert Rahul Mittra as Brand Advisor, and Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt as Brand Ambassador.
This announcement was made by Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Assembly Speaker Pasang Sona Dorjee at a packed function in the presence of both Sanjay Dutt and Rahul Mittra. On Monday afternoon both these personalities arrived from Mumbai by chartered flight to Dibrugarh and then by helicopter to the picturesque valley of Mechuka. On the arrival of Sanjay and Rahul, hundreds of residents made a beeline to get a glimpse of the celebrities.
A big media campaign conceptualised and executed by Rahul Mittra Films and shot by top ad-filmmaker and drummer Pentagram Shiraz Bhattacharya was kickstarted on this occasion, featuring Sanjay Dutt as a youth icon, nature lover, de-addiction proponent and an ever-evolving individual catering to the niche target audience for Arunachal tourism. Filming is currently taking place on a large scale across the state covering Ziro village, Pakke valley, Dambuk, Namsai, Parshuram Kund, Pasighat, Mechuka and Tawang. The campaign will be unveiled on the occasion of the month-long celebrations commencing on January 20 next year at Ziro where Arunachal Pradesh first got its name and Union Territory status in 1972.
The young CM Pema Khandu thanked both Sanjay and Rahul for their support and spelled out the various activities being undertaken by the state government for the 50-year celebrations. Sanjay Dutt urged the youth to stay away from drugs and get high on life while Rahul Mittra promised to put Arunachal on the world map in terms of visibility through this campaign, amidst a thundering response from the audience.
CROWN GROUP REAFFIRMS ITS COMMITMENT TOWARDS ‘ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT’ FOR INDIAN NAVY
On the glorious occasion of Navy Week 2021, the Crown Group, which is a technology provider and a strategic partner to India’s defence sector, reaffirms its commitment to provide its best contribution and impetus to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission for the nation as envisaged by Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi by augmenting indigenous product and services support to the Indian Navy.
The group is professionally managed, having skilled technical and operational experts, with the Group President, Vice Adm Paras Nath (Retd.), AVSM, VSM, based at the Delhi Headquarters. The Crown Group has appointed Commodore Rakesh Anand as the Head of Marine Division to spearhead and boost the division. Commodore Anand is a retd Indian Navy veteran who was also the Chairman & Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Ltd. prior to joining the Crown Group, and was responsible for the launching of three Scorpene submarines and three Destroyers/Stealth Frigates. He also delivered two Submarines, Kalvari and Khanderi to the Indian Navy besides undertaking major modernisation of the shipyard. Commodore Anand will be heading the marine companies of the group – ‘Dynatron Services Private Limited’ and ‘OSK India Pvt. Ltd’.
Speaking on the occasion, Commodore Anand said, “Keeping with the GoI vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, the Marine division of Crown Group has enhanced its maintenance facilities in Mumbai. The Marine division is also working towards establishing the capability for manufacturing propulsion shafting and Magazine Fire Fighting System (MFFS) for warships and submarines in collaboration with the foreign OEMs.
We can proudly claim that Dynatron Services & OSK India are one of the only organised and fully equipped players in India that are present across all the coastal cities catering to the MRO and servicing of Indian naval ships. We are also a unique Group that provides both Marine Engineering and Weapons system MRO support to Indian Navy & Coast Guard.”
Group President said, “Our Karwar facility has the biggest workshop near India’s main naval base spread over 5 acres with facilities for repair and overhauling of all aero-marine components, manufacture of spares along with Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics workshop. The workshop is supporting MRO activities for the aircraft carrier, warships and the submarines at the Naval base.”
Dynatron and OSK India, have been dedicating themselves for taking on MRO activities. OSK India has recently repaired critical weapon equipment modules for the Indian Navy. Dynatron has a long-term partnership with many foreign OEMs including JSC Sevmash. Dynatron also has sole authorisation for repairs and maintenance of Gearboxes & thrusters from ZF Marine (Germany) and an exclusive partnership with Kubota engines Japan coupled with Mase Generators, Italy.
On the occasion of Navy Day, Crown Group rededicates itself towards the success of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Navy Day is observed on December 4 every year, since it was on the day in 1971 that missile boats of the Indian Navy launched a daring attack on the Karachi harbour, paralysing Pakistan’s entire coastal defence apparatus.The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Indo-Pak War – the historic victory of India’s armed forces in which the Indian Army made the Pakistani’s surrender.
VIRGIL ABLOH: AN INDELIBLE LEGACY
As the founder of the iconic brand Off-White and the artistic director for Menswear, Louis Vuitton, Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American, was a pioneer in the global fashion scenario— his indomitable influence as a creative prodigy transcended the boundaries of clothes.
The terrain of fashion today credits a majority of its aesthetic sensibility to the boundless creativity of Virgil Abloh. The designer, who died from cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of 41 on November 28 in Chicago, was called the fashion visionary, but there was no denying that his prodigious work shaped the present. As the founder of the cult brand Off-White and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division, Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American, was a pioneer in the global fashion scenario—his influence transcended the boundaries of only clothes.
Abloh’s creative genius spread across myriad mediums and defied conformity. His mother was a seamstress which influenced him to sew his own clothes as a teenager before he set forth to pursue fashion. He also studied civil engineering and obtained a degree in Architecture.
Off-white, Abloh’s iconic streetwear brand, brought the excitement of a much-hyped collaboration to the world of high fashion and luxury. With Off-White, he collaborated with many premium brands and companies, including Rimowa, Mercedes Benz, the NBA, Levi’s, Moncler, Jimmy Choo, Kith, Timberland and Byredo. His most notable collaborative relationship, however, may have been with Nike, with which he did multiple collections, one of which netted him the “Shoe of the Year” award at the 2017 Footwear News Achievement Awards. With Nike, he also designed competition outfits for Serena Williams. Abloh’s talents were also in high demand by many of his celebrity friends, who commissioned bespoke creations running the gamut from Hailey Bieber’s Off-White wedding dress and veil that read “Till death do us part” in Abloh’s signature irony quotes to Drake’s personal plane that he had Abloh customise with an ethereal blue sky and cloud pattern. Although Abloh’s body of work was often dictated by his talent to capture the essence of an era, his gift lies with his expensive curiosity and unflinching desire to create.
The Louis Vuitton Miami show was a visual tribute (and an emotional one at that) to Virgil Abloh, as friends, collaborators and fans paid homage to him under fireworks and a drone light show. The Spring/Summer 2022 Men’s show marked Abloh’s historical last as the celebrated Creative Director for Menswear.
The front row included longtime supporter Kanye West, who sat next to Kim Kardashian and their daughter North. Other front-row attendees were Rihanna and ASAP Rocky, Pharrell Williams, Joe Jonas, Ricky Martin, Venus Williams, Bella Hadid, 21 Savage and Joan Smalls.
Just before 7 PM, as the mood shifted from somber to party mode, a dazzling light show filled the sky. It began as a paper plane (a predominant icon in Abloh’s collections), before fluctuating into avatars of the Louis Vuitton monogram, a palm tree and the initials “L.V.,” which turned into “V.A.” For the finale, the drones spelled “Virgil was here” (goosebump-inducing); within moments, these mesmerising visuals of tributes went viral on social media.
MISSION TANDRUST PUNJAB TO KICK OFF RESEARCH PROJECTS WORTH RS 7 CR
Mission Tandrust Punjab, with a zeal to start research and development in various fields, has now planned a 360-degree chart for different research projects comprising clean air, clean water, healthy soil, waste management, green Punjab, safe food, road safety, khelo Punjab, nutrition, preventive health.
These all are the sub-missions that are spearheaded by a lead department supported with different line departments. “The mission has undertaken various activities since it was revamped and launched by the Punjab government in June 2021, under the administrative control of the Department of Science, Technology, and Environment,” IFS Saurabh Gupta, CEO Mission Tandrust Punjab, told The Daily Guardian.
To achieve the objectives of the mission, the first meeting of the Steering Committee headed by Chief Secretary Punjab was held 2nd December 2021 in which Dilip Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Science and Technology and Saurabh Gupta, CEO of the Mission made a presentation in which the innovative research projects for about Rupees seven crores were discussed and approved. Reiterating the importance of the mission, the Chief Secretary appreciated these research projects developed by the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change by involving prestigious institutions like IIT Ropar, AIIMS, Punjab Agriculture University, Punjab Biotechnology incubator, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology. The Chief Secretary said that these interventions shall help in ensuring good health of the people through the provision of safe food, clean water, etc.
An awareness project for the Mission was also approved to be implemented in the Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala.
The Chief Secretary suggested that more such innovative research projects are required under this mission for which the State Govt. shall provide adequate funds. The projects approved have been time-lined for 18 months added Gupta.
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