To educate, inspire and foster the spirit of participatory action to leverage social impact , Catalyst Learning Services conducted a networking event. The Social Innovators Meet is an attempt to bring together social entrepreneurs, educators, CSR professionals, researchers, innovators and students and provide a platform for people who are seeking collaborations for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Prof Satyajit Majumdar is a renowned entrepreneurship educator with over forty one years of experience. He is currently the Dean of Management and Labour Studies and Senior Professor- Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at The Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Prof Majumdar has been instrumental in developing social change policies and is on the Governing Board of National Innovation Foundation, an autonomous body under the Government of India.
He has also authored several books on Social Entrepreneurship and has done in-depth research on the entrepreneurial sector and start-ups in India. Prof Majumdar addressed the audience with a firm stance of being more responsible with the usage of plastics and water. He insisted that we connect more with our villages and consider them as our partners and not beneficiaries. Further, he urged the participants to think about the ‘invisible population’. “Let’s think about how we can care for leprosy patients - they don’t have health insurance, family support.”
Founder-Mentor of Catalyst Learning Services, Sauraveswar Sen said “ I am extremely delighted and grateful to Prof Majumdar for sharing his valuable knowledge and industry expertise with the audience today. India is at the cusp of a huge societal overhaul and it is important for us to prepare professionals for tomorrow who can lead this shift towards development of humanity at large.”
The session began with an introduction to Prof Majumdar by Sauraveswar Sen. Following which, participants had to present a pitch of their ideas of impact; discuss and seek advice on any challenges they are currently facing. “We need human resources who can strengthen educational and therapy programmes for the disabled”, remarked Manjulika Bose Mazumder, founding director, Shumpun Foundation that works with autism and learning disabilities.
Counseling psychologist Sananda Paul highlighted the need to spread awareness of mental health helplines to the ones who don’t have access to the internet. T Ravi Kiran presented his prototype named “Blind Eye” that can help visually impaired persons to navigate, read books, documents, recognise objects and facial expressions of people and can guide them through voice via earphones.
Satarupa Majumdar from Swapnapuron Welfare Society stressed upon the importance of research to support educational and livelihood opportunities in Sunderbans. She exchanged her ideas with Sayari De of “All About Architecture” on sustainable construction. Students participating from University of Calcutta, Loreto College Kolkata, Lady Brabourne College were keen to get involved as volunteers or interns with the thematic areas of concern discussed by the participants.
Teachers of South City International School, Kolkata; Nandan Mall, Founder and CMD, Hulladek Recycling; Teach For India Kolkata; Y-East; Avijit Mahato, West Bengal Skill Development; Ajay Mittal, Director, Earth Day Network; Sumedha Pandit, Development Professional, ‘Make A Difference’ and Aishwar Arya, Human Resource Manager, Zydus Wellness were also hosted at the Social Innovators Meet.
The event ended with the closing remarks of Professor Satyajit Majumdar, “Society requires the attention of citizens and people. This meet can be the impetus to build our network and influence the changes”
Catalyst Learning Services is an educational initiative to train students and working professionals for pursuing careers with social sciences and the development sector.