Satendrasingh Lilhare, a student of SPJIMR’s postgraduate programme for development management (PGPDM) has won the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge award. Lilhare’s social enterprise ‘ Bastar se Bazaar tak ’ — which provides agri-based employment opportunities to people in the rural areas of Bastar, Chattisgarh helped him win ₹2.5 lakh cash prize.
Along with the winner’s certificate and cash prize, Lilhare also secured won seed funding from Tata Sons of ₹25 lakh, and IIMC Innovation Park topped it up with a seed fund of ₹5 lakh.
The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, a joint initiative by the Tata group and IIM Calcutta, is a national-level challenge to find India’s most promising social enterprises. It aims to encourage youth to come forward and set up enterprises social sector. More than 3,000 enterprises participated across India and abroad, in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, water and sanitation technology and development, education and skills development, housing, handicrafts, energy, and micro-finance. Post several selections rounds, 24 enterprises were selected for the semi-finals and eventually, 12 enterprises reached the final round.
Talking about Satendrasingh’s achievements, Prabhat Pani, Chairperson PGPDM programme said, “It is hugely rewarding to see our students being agents of change in the society. We are really proud of him for winning this prestigious award.”
The winning social enterprise provides employment opportunities to rural tribal forest-dwelling farmers through post-harvest management. It enhances the standards of living of local forest dwellers by reducing post-harvest losses and supplying high quality, unadulterated, processed forest produce to urban consumers at a fair price. Bastar se Bazaar Tak (from Bastar to the market) promotes custard apple and other forest produce, such as tamarind, jamun , amchoor , and herbal gulal . The Chhattisgarh-based company aims to provide additional income to farmers and a value-add through processed Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) products.