I am grateful for a number of friends, colleagues, and family members in encouraging me to start the work, persevere with it and finally, to recognize it.

In the year 2001 the Rotary Club of Calcutta Inner City awarded me the Vocational Excellence Award.

In the year 2002 the national daily The Telegraph selected me as Calcuttan of the Week. Prayasam’s work has been appreciated both by the masses and the classes and the print and electronic media have supported our work by projecting features of our events and projects on a regular basis for the last 14 years. Most of the time I have used media as a vehicle to carry my children’s voices to the policy influencers / concerned authorities.

I believe that the idea of forming ‘Area Health Minders’ from amongst local children have been established as a model this was further strengthened by the recognition received by members of my first group when they were chosen as the sole representatives from India in Unicef’s global publication ‘A Life like Mine’ a book showcasing innovative programmes on of children’s right to participation and the changes it can bring across the world in the year 2003.

My ideas about education have been recognized worldwide as both timely and important. In 2006, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, an association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, recognized me as an individual whose innovative solutions to social problems have the potential to change patterns across society, and awarded me the title of Ashoka Fellow.

In July 2007, I was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to attend the Global Urban Summit on Innovations for an Urban World in Bellagio, Italy. Prayasam’s award-winning Area Health Minders were subsequently cited as a successful local solution to public health in Century of the City: No Time to Lose, a Rockefeller Foundation publication.

In the year 2008 I received the highest honors of Visthar, a Bangalore based human rights NGO. Serving as a facilitator for Visthar’s gender and media workshop, I was publicly lauded for my strong communications skills and participatory style.  Participants of the pan-South Asian workshop, a joint programme with the Xavier Institute of Social Sciences, were present at the felicitation, which presented me with the State award.

In March 2009, I was selected as a public health leader to be profiled in The Revolutionary Optimists, a documentary film project headed by Stanford University’s Center for Biomedical Ethics, Program in Bioethics and Film.

In the year 2010 I have been awarded Indian Achievers’ Award for Social Service from Indian Achievers Forum, New Delhi.

I have been invited by the Stanford Program in Bioethics and Film to attend the Bay Area Video Coalition’s Producers Institute for New Media Technologies from May 28 through June 6, 2010 in San Francisco, California, as a guest of the Institute.  The Producers Institute for New Media Technologies is a ten-day residency for eight creative teams (independent producers or public broadcasters) with a shared goal of developing and prototyping a multi-platform project inspired by, or based on a significant documentary project. The intention of the Institute is to develop socially relevant media projects for emerging digital platforms. I was invited as a guest of the institute because of my work with The Revolutionary Optimists film project, which was selected for the Institute,  as well as my impressive record of innovative programming to provide education, nutrition, preventive health, mentoring and media training in different municipalities and districts of West Bengal.

In the year 2011 I have been awarded the Ford Fellowship by the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Picker Center for Executive Education at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

In the year 2012, I was invited to speak at the annual Skoll World Forum in Oxford; alongside such luminaries as former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, pop star Annie Lennox and billionaire George Soros.

In July 2013 I was announced as the Man of the Month by the Disruptive Women in Health Care .

In the year 2013 I have been invited by the Gates Foundation to attend the TED X Talk. My two mentees were interviewed by Melinda Gates at the Gates’ Foundation Headquarters, Seattle on positive disruption.

In the year 2013 I was selected as one of the finalists for the Gleitsman International Activist Award, an initiative of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

In the year 2013 The Revolutionary Optimists was broadcasted on the Emmy-Award winning series Independent Lens in the United States. It has been featured as part of the new ITVS series Women and Girls Lead Global, where it was screened on national television in 9 countries around the world bringing the inspirational story and model for change to countries including India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Egypt, Peru and El Salvador. The film received rave reviews from the media.

In the year 2014 the Revolutionary Optimists bagged the Popular Choice Award in the Take One Action Film Festival in Scotland. I was invited as a Guest of Honour to Scotland to witness this.

In the year 2015 me and 3 of my mentees were invited by Slum Dwellers’ International, South Africa to visit their communities in Capetown, South Africa and replicate the ideas of Area Health Minders of Prayasam to the youth of the communities over there.

In the year 2015 Adobe Project 1324 has awarded Prayasam as a Creative Catalyst. The only recipient from the entire Asia and I with 2 of my colleagues were invited to Los Angeles to attend the Sundance Next Fest to get oriented about the responsibility as an Awardee. And to collect the award.

In 2016 Prayasam’s Grassroot Film making concept was lauded by the Norwegian Government agency, FK Norway and a youth exchange was initiated by them between Prayasam and Slum Dwellers International, Kenya for Prayasam to impart its Visual story telling skills to the Kenyan youth. I visited Oslo to get oriented and present our exchange process to the other participants.

In 2017 I visited SanFrancisco with my 3 mentees to collaborate with Destiny Arts Center. I have conceptualized a dance theatre, RITU…a quadrilogy to showcase the inner strength of Youth girls. Destiny has come to the board to help out me and my team of performers to teach hip hop to finish the last episode of this quadrilogy. In 2017 I went to Oslo Norway.

In 2018 I went to Bangladesh for promoting grassroot film making to the students of different non profits working in Bangladesh.

In 2019 I went to Portland to spread my idea of Community Ambassadors in different Public Schools. The same year with my 3 mentees I went to SanFransisco to train the American students Indian dancing and stage RamKahan (the epic Ramayana was retold on a gender perspective) in Destiny Arts Centre.

Recepie Curator

My mother painstakingly copied the recipes from different countries she visited or from magazines to her notebooks for future reference after she passed away I handed over her notebooks to my youth who were interested to start the community kitchen. And I started collecting recipes from all over the world, specially from the indigenous groups or people  I met due the nature of my work. For me cooking is like an art which I paint with edible ingredients.

Film Maker

In my college days, I never would have thought of myself as a marketer or entrepreneur. In fact, I resisted anything having to do with those labels, because they were contrary to my identity as a creative. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I didn’t find many opportunities as a creative when that was my primary identity. In order to succeed as a filmpreneur, all the 4 roles ( The Artist, The Producer, The Marketer, The owner need to be present and performing their duties. If you  ignore any of one of them, you won’t get the results you’re after. Each offers a critical piece of the puzzle.


Mentorship is important because it provides employees with the opportunity to develop and become more competent in their roles as well as prepare for growth opportunities in the future. Providing these opportunities is key for organizations that want to attract, retain and engage their talent. Mentorship is the antidote for disengagement. To re-engage employees encourage them to meet regularly with a mentor in a one-on-one meeting who will provide them with feedback and act as a sounding board for them to discuss their goals and challenges to overcome to reach them.

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