Monday, 31 July 2017

The 5 Cardinal Rules of Social Entrepreneurship

Some of us fancy corporate jobs, some of us dream of employment stability, some of us are go-getters with gypsy hearts and then there are a bunch of us who find our calling in changing the world. While it is a daunting task, it is immensely gratifying as well. Most of us learn the tricks of the trade through formal training or hearsay, but what no one tells us are the obvious things – those that we learn only through experience. In our 17 long years, we at Advitya have learned things the hard way - we’re glad that we did – and it is our duty to share them with those who wish to embark upon a road less traveled. Here we enlist the 5 cardinal rules of social entrepreneurship.

1. Have a specific goal. It may be tempting to try your hand at multiple causes at once but that will only lead to diffusion of your focus and motivation. 

2. Pick something that matters a lot to you. If you are looking to build something that really matters, it is really important to be single minded in your pursuit. That is possible only when you truly care about the cause and are willing to go through hell to make it work.

3. Get all your legal work and registrations done. Having good intentions is necessary but not sufficient to bring about a social change. A good company is built on a robust system. Therefore it is imperative that you get your legal and managerial matters into order.

4. Take criticism constructively. Understand that this is a thankless job for the most part. The world is full of armchair activists who will always have an opinion. Hear them out with an open mind, pick the good apples and leave the rest to rot. 

5. Don't be in your own way. Remember that your personal desires will always be outweighed by the welfare of your company/firm/centre. Keep the bigger picture in mind and never let the whims and egos of individuals obfuscate your ultimate vision. Know what matters

Photo courtesy :

Friday, 28 July 2017


The world we find ourselves in today is one giant unhappy family. Our collective conscience has been a silent witness to countless disheartening stories of human estrangement. This brutal truth is sometimes veiled by our pride in the fact that our overall standard of living has elevated remarkably in the past few centuries. We feel like there are better and more things in the world to strive towards than ever before. Even better than surrounding ourselves with people who love us for who we are. Where does the evolutionary need to nurture relationships with members of our tribe, or to take good care of our environment, map on today's increasingly insulating desires of “a better life”? 

This is not a criticism of our desire to be happy, of course. We wouldn't exist if we didn't want to be happy. But at what point do we question the negotiations we make every day in reconciling our needs with those of the supposed strangers who surround us? Should I look into my neighbor's bowl to see if he has more than my family does or, to see if he has enough? No matter how we approach these questions in the course our daily lives, our denial of any responsibility we have towards the well-being of the "outsider" has lead us to this state of indifference. In the modern society, this selfish tendency has also engendered the notion that charity and selfless service is for those who are absurdly rich and are now looking for something to fill their time with. As if it is inconsequential how you treat others while you pursue your individual happiness; and once you finally achieve it, you are free to contribute to the enterprise of making the world a better place in your spare time.

It couldn't be more lucid how a general lack of compassion and partisanship has contributed towards driving the project of building a truly inclusive society into ground. The only reliable way to make amends is by starting on an individual level, wherever you are and however you are. We have to develop our sense of empathy to see the misery of those living in abject poverty, to hear the wails of those who are denied justice at every turn on the road and to feel the emptiness of those who are subjugated for being different. You don't have to think about the entire world to save it. Just have the courage to see the humanity of that one person in need in front of you and do the right thing for the sake of it. The world will eventually save itself.

Photo courtesy :