Milaan Foundation is our newest grantee partner, and we couldn't be more excited to join them in designing a curriculum to help expand their innovative Girl Icons program.We're proud to feature Milaan's Co-founder, Dhirendra Pratap Singh, as this month's PaperSeed Champion!
Name: Dhirendra Pratap Singh
Organization: Milaan Foundation
Title: Co-founder and CEO
1. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I am passionate about creating spaces for voices of young people to be heard and acknowledged. It bothers me to see how we are contained in boxes made of social walls and then labeled, which challenges the very concept to exploring one’s identity and the chance to explore one’s full potential. I co-relate empowerment to freedom and thus am passionate about working towards building a free and equal world.
2. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU AREN'T WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING?
I like to travel to unexplored places and meet people to learn about their life journeys. It always thrills me to learn and share the life stories, especially from strangers. Secondly, I love to write poetry in Hindi to capture my thoughts and feelings.
3. WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
I am most inspired from our Girl Icons, as they teach me why is it important for me to keep fighting. I also had the opportunity to attend the Town Hall with President Barack Obama in New Delhi, India. I am very inspired to learn his views on the process of change. As impact entrepreneurs, we tend to get impatient at times due to the complex nature of the problem we are addressing through our work and therefore it is further important for us to keep in mind that the change is a long term process. “There has never been a better time to be alive,” Barack Obama said. I realised that it is important to be hopeful, persistent and focused on the impact one wants to see in his/her life time.
4. WHAT'S SOMETHING YOU'RE REALLY GOOD AT?
Over last 10 years of my journey in the social impact space, I feel I have developed the skills to listen to the community voices, consolidate them and connect to the larger picture. As a development professional, my strengthen lies in designing innovative programs, social mobilisation and capacity building.
5. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HOPE TO LEARN IN THE FUTURE? (LIKE A NEW LANGUAGE, INSTRUMENT, OR SKILL?)
I would like to learn how to develop research methodologies more relevant to measuring empowerment, especially focused on gender based programs.