Have you come across a platform where your job profile depends on your practical skill and knowledge and that stands above your academic profile? You have a major in Political Science but your passion is in storytelling and the development platform provides you with environment where you pursue storytelling through various creative media that you are interested in and love, ranging from dance, music, theatre, filmmaking, painting, body movement, creative writing, journalism, etc?

Salt Lake City Prayasam is a non profit organization, acting as a platform for youth where one can hone their skill and expertise in myriads of streams, creating a nexus to expand the outcomes to one’s community. We create environment where youth are self empowered to bring lifestyle changes by taking onus of their communities.

Prayasam is driven by the famous saying “the wearer only knows where the shoe pinches”. Our youth drive the work through bottom-up approach and are the principal decision makers within the ambit of the administration.


When the world may shun and shy away the commonly called “slum youth” as beneficiaries or someone who one should sympathise with, Prayasam mentored them over 25 years and now they are the organization’s Directors, Programme Officers and Project Associates.

One has to work closely with this family of professionals to understand its modus operandi which is not only enriching in itself but it makes you see the world with a completely new sensitive lens.


Our Activities 

Prayasam currently mentors eight social entrepreneurial initiatives catering to different socio-economic needs of the communities. As a mother organization, Prayasam is nurturing these youth organizations to enable them to function independently in the coming years and thereby expand the domain of its work. Each of these social enterprises have strong replicable and scalable model thus making them universal in their approach and methodology.


The leadership development program on Child Rights by Prayasam was inspired by marginalized youth's feedback in West Bengal. It aims to network, build capacity, and promote gender analysis for Child Rights awareness. Prayasam believes in empowering youth to become leaders for positive social change. The ONTRACK Leadership Institute, started in 2012, focuses on empowering disadvantaged students for workforce entry and further education. It offers various training modules including gender sensitization, rights awareness, life skills, digital media, entrepreneurship, and community mobilization. With 127 graduates so far, ONTRACK has seen success with many alumni entering the workforce or pursuing higher education. Prayasam is expanding its reach to the North East states, with interest shown from Manipur, Assam, and Nagaland. The Mentor expresses satisfaction seeing ONTRACK graduates embracing organized life and entering the workforce.

Prasaad, a community kitchen initiative by Prayasam, addresses youth unemployment and unemployability issues in marginalized communities of Kolkata.
It provides low-cost, hygienic food and vocational training for adolescents to pursue higher education or start their own ventures.
Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Prasaad aims to offer employment opportunities and skill development for youth.
The project offers life skills and soft skills training to youth running the kitchen, enhancing their hospitality abilities.
Prasaad, now in its sixth year, serves residents of Salt Lake City and Rajarhat Newtown.
Expansion plans include converting a terrace into a café to accommodate more students and employ more youth.
Youth involved in Prasaad will handle marketing, production, and management under Prayasam's 'Earn while you Learn' project.
The initiative combines community expertise in cooking with Prayasam's training on nutrition, hygiene, and leadership skills.
Prasaad aims to combat community issues like unhealthy eating habits, health problems, early marriage, and school dropout rates.
Through this project, adolescent girls gain cooking skills, leadership, and management abilities for future employment or entrepreneurship.

Located in the vibrant heart of Kolkata, Prayasam's Material Bank, Duo Ranir Sansaar, stands as a beacon for marginalized communities. This groundbreaking initiative transforms discarded items into new treasures while offering marginalized individuals, especially women and youth, opportunities for livelihood and sustainable business.

Central to Duo Ranir Sansaar's ethos is upcycling, turning old items like clothes and furniture into new, functional pieces. This not only breathes new life into these items but also minimizes waste and environmental impact. A standout feature of the initiative is its community-centric approach. Marginalized women join workshops to master Patchwork and Kantha stitching, traditional yet sustainable techniques that transform fabric scraps into exquisite textiles. These workshops not only impart valuable skills but also offer a pathway to earning a livelihood, helping women break free from poverty.

Beyond skill-building, Duo Ranir Sansaar nurtures entrepreneurial spirit in young people through tailored programs in communication, design, and business. They're guided every step of the way, from crafting business plans to marketing their products.

Duo Ranir Sansaar's impact transcends economic empowerment. It fosters community pride and ownership, allowing individuals to express their creativity and cultural heritage. Moreover, by promoting upcycled products, it champions sustainability, encouraging consumers to join in reducing waste.

In essence, Duo Ranir Sansaar exemplifies how innovation can profoundly impact marginalized lives, blending sustainability with empowerment to create brighter futures for individuals and communities alike.

Welcome to Kalanjali Art Space, where creativity thrives and expression knows no bounds. Founded in 2019, our space serves as a sanctuary for the community to explore their passions, particularly through dance and artistic pursuits. Through our programs, individuals find therapy and empowerment, breaking free from societal constraints and embracing their inner strength. Targeted towards girls and women from marginalized backgrounds, we offer an alternative to restrictive gender roles, fostering self-confidence and economic independence. Our holistic curriculum goes beyond arts education, preparing well-informed individuals equipped to thrive in the world. Participants become peer educators, mentors, and contributors to our community, fostering a culture of sharing and growth. With age-appropriate tracks for youth and seniors, we cater to all ages, encouraging lifelong engagement in the arts. From dance instruction to backstage skills, our members gain hands-on experience, fostering teamwork and appreciation for all aspects of production. Led by a dedicated Project Coordinator, our specialized teams ensure a seamless experience for all members. Together, we aim to empower individuals to tell their stories, creating a better society one confident artist at a time. Join us at Kalanjali Art Space and be a part of our journey towards self-expression and community empowerment.

Awards & Recognitions

Over the last 26 years, Prayasam’s work has been acknowledged from the grassroot communities of Dakshindari to international network of social entrepreneurs like Ashoka Innovators for the Public. Working with Indian and Norwegian Ministries and UN bodies, Prayasam has always ensured that the community youth are at the centre to spearhead the movement and the decision makers within the organization. Our youth have been duly recognized as Adobe Scholars, Ashoka Youth Venturers to name the few. Prayasam’s endeavour has been featured by Stanford University, partnered by John Hopkins University, awarded by Columbia University and public address by University of Oxford. 

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Our Services

Prayasam is a nationally and internationally recognized champion of child rights through alternative education using media. One of our core expertise is capacity building and grooming youth and budding entrepreneurs. We are a partner organization of UNICEF and have worked with World Vision India, Save the Children, ORFL, Pumpkin Foundation, and Window Foundation, among others to train youth in rural and urban settings from diverse socio-economic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. We specialize in gender orientation and different life and soft skills including self-awareness, effective communication, interpersonal relationship, decision-making, critical and creative thinking, coping emotions, etc.

If you are interested to avail about training expertise, connect with us.

If you would like to know more about how you can collaborate with us, from filmmaking to cuisine to art, click here 

Our Journey 

Since November 8th 1996...


As our Chief Mentor always says “since 8th November 1996 there was never a dull moment”. We started with organizing events in different marginalized communities and brick kilns, followed by projects in rural and urban areas of West Bengal and gradually expanded to leading programmes worldwide. The founding team began the work without even a basic desktop and today Prayasam’s digital storytelling methodology has became an empanelled model with Adobe, Norwegian Ministry of External Affairs, UNICEF, to name few. Opportunities came, opportunities lost, opportunities given up, but the organization never compromised with its ethos and principles.