Prayasam in its 23rd year has adopted 10 new communities and along with its 5 old ones has started a new programme, COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS. From Child Area Health Minders to Community Youth Minders, Prayasam has always focused on organizing the children and the youth of the Communities to take onus of their own lives and thereby, taking onus of their communities. Prayasam’s process of work has been documented by various agencies, the most prominent amongst them is The Revolutionary Optimists, a film made by Stanford University to capture the work process of our organization.
Seeing a unique opportunity to share the story of Prayasam’s unique development model with diverse audiences, producers Nicole Newnham and Maren Granger-Monson, filmmakers in residence at Stanford University’s program in Biomedical Ethics, reached out to Amlan Ganguly, Founder director of Prayasam to create a documentary about the work of the Child Area Health Minders of Prayasam and their work that eventually gave rise to the title of the documentary: “The Revolutionary Optimists.” Nicole and Maren with support from Prayasam, created a multi-year, multi-media project based on the film that includes several short films, community screening guides, and a digital mapping tool and platform that enables youth to affect concrete, grassroots change.
As our organization believes in Bottom Up Approach instead of make the constituents dependent on us we try to make them self-reliant. Our Child Area Health Minders and Youth Media Minders’ concepts have been used as tools to inspire countless successful direct actions, campaigns, partnerships and most importantly, young people and their communities to realize that they can accomplish anything. Through the medium of film, the unique philosophy, methods and model of Prayasam has created an accessible platform for diverse stakeholders to work on shared issues, innovation naturally flowing from the gained ability to create common ground and understanding of the issues.
In order to practice what we preach we have follow certain things. So, along with our HR Policy, Gender Policy, Child Rights Policy, Anti Harassment Policy we have also amended our Recruitment Policy. It has become more community centric. Previously, we used to outsource people to mentor our constituents. But now the Community Mentors who have graduated from our HR Institute, ONTRACK, with excellent grades and have shown keen interest to work with Prayasam, have been absorbed by Prayasam itself and they will be responsible for nurturing Community Ambassadors and facilitate while these Community Ambassadors are starting work as safety nets in different communities.