Rajesh Singhi, Social worker and Founder, IBTADA Foundation.

On another episode of The Brand Called, we have a very special guest on the show today. Mr. Rajesh Singhi is a social worker and Founder of IBTADA, a foundation that works towards the upliftment of the deprived. He is also the Trustee of The Goth Trust and a board member of Sadhna. Mr. Singhi has been associated with the Centre for microfinance and has studied from The Institute of Rural Management. 

Podcast

Overview

On another episode of The Brand Called, we have a very special guest on the show today. Mr. Rajesh Singhi is a social worker and Founder of IBTADA, a foundation that works towards the upliftment of the deprived. He is also the Trustee of The Goth Trust and a board member of Sadhna. Mr. Singhi has been associated with the Centre for microfinance and has studied from The Institute of Rural Management. 

While doing  fieldwork with an NGO during his management education, Mr. Singhi decided to pick social work as a career. He founded IBTADA, a foundation that focuses on women empowerment and girl’s education. Mr. Singhi explained the word IBTADA (meaning, shuruwat in Urdu) and its relevance to his organisation. He started his organisation in the Mewat region of Rajasthan and is slowly scaling in the surrounding regions.

Mr. Singhi put forward some strong challenges that his organisation faces like patriarchy and lack of financial and Human Resources. He explained the methods of his initiative and how girls are encouraged to take up schooling and jobs. IBTADA offers training in leadership, business, social engagement and animal care. Mr. Singi’s initiative has helped hundreds of women to gain education and get good jobs. 

Mr. Singhi believes that his organisation stands on the values of offering quality and being people centric. IBTADA is creating an impact and making slow but consistent change in society! 

#womenempowerment #education #foundation

Profile

Rajesh Singhi

 

Born on October 24, 1969

Male, Married 

Can fluently speak, read and write Punjabi, Hindi and English

Rajesh Singhi was born and brought up in a village in Fateh Garh Sahib District of Punjab. He studied B.Com, Masters in Public Admin and Post Graduate diploma in Rural Management from IRMA, Anand. Both his parents have been school teachers. 

 

While studying at IRMA, Rajesh got a strong inclination to work for the rural poor and betterment of society. Setting aside the high profile management jobs, Rajesh joined a grassroots NGO named PRADAN in 1992 and worked at Kishangarh bas in Alwar, Rajasthan. 

 

Later, in 1996, Rajesh got engaged in a study of Mewat region of Alwar. Mewat is dominantly inhabited by Meo Muslims, the traditional peasantry class of this area. The region suffers social and economic backwardness due to lack of resources, awareness, education, health and on account of poor gender status It is during this study, Rajesh got interested in Mewat and set up IBTADA in 1997. Ibtada was formed to work for upliftment of deprived sections in Mewat and adjoining areas. 

 

Ibtada focuses its work with women and girl child in about 350 villages in 6 blocks of Alwar, including Mewat and non Mewat areas. The major programmes of Ibtada are:

 

  1. SHGs and federations (women’s savings and credit programme): There are 815 SHGs and 5 federations comprising 9500 plus members
  2. Livelihoods: improving the livelihoods of SHG members in areas of agriculture, dairy animal and goat rearing. 
  3. Girl Child education: Ibtada runs learning centres for girls called Taleemshalas. Presently there are 50 Taleemshala centres in about 80 villages. Till now, more than 2000 plus girls have passed class V and about girls are studying in classes VI onwards. 3 girls have even reached collage, who would have remained illiterate if Taleemshalas were not there. 
  4. Ensuring Right to Education in Govt Schools: Ibtada is working with 60 govt schools (50 in Ramgarh and 10 in Tijara). Ibtada works for improving school education environment and strengthening SMCs in these 60 villages. Ibtada has placed 33 education motivators in these 60 schools who work inside the school and with the community. 

 

Ibtada has a core staff of 56 members; In addition there are 50 teachers and 22 education motivators working with community institutions, and 32 staff working with SHG federations. 

 

POSITIONS HELD

Board Member and Treasurer, Sa-dhan (2009-2013): Sa-dhan is a national association of community development finance institutions

Member of Governing Board (2010-2015): Centre for Micro Finance (CMF), Jaipur. 

Trustee, The Goat Trust, Lucknow

PUBLICATIONS

  • Unlocking a Potential: Findings from a Baseline Survey of Mewat, August 2000 (Srijan, New Delhi)
  • Unwanted Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in Rajasthan, India: A Qualitative Exploration (Population Council & Ibtada)

Coverage 

Story of Rajesh Singhi covered in the book ‘Gems of Purest Ray Serene’ published by Tata Trusts 

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