Parampara, Pratishtha, Anushasan:

The Pillars of Prayasam’s Journey Towards Social Transformation


The team at Howrah Railway Station

L-R Sangeeta , Manju , Amrita , Aman , Amlan , Jayashree , Mitali

“Parampara, Pratishtha, Anushasan. Yeh is gurukul ke teen stambh hain. Yeh woh aadarsh hain jinse hum aapka aane waala kal banaate hain.”

This famous dialogue from the Bollywood movie Mohabbatein aptly applies to Prayasam as well. Over its 28-year journey, Prayasam’s chief mentor, Amlan Ganguly, has tirelessly worked to build the capacity of the youth he engages with.

In 2006, Amlan Ganguly, the founder of Prayasam, attended a training on Gender Diversity and Social Transformation at Visthar. After just a few sessions, Visthar’s Executive Trustee Members, Mr. David Selvaraj and Mercy Kappen, recognized his potential and offered him a job as a facilitator for the same course. This marked the transformation of a trainee into a regular facilitator at Visthar.

Founded in 1989, Visthar is a secular Civil Society Organization committed to social justice and peace. Recognizing the impact of social inequalities on the physical and mental well-being of individuals and communities, Visthar responds to issues of gender discrimination, social exclusion, and poverty.

Amlan Ganguly has always been sensitive to the issue of gender diversity. In 2008, he took the initiative to send three of his colleagues to Visthar for a month-long training on Gender Diversity and Social Transformation. Piyali Mazumdar, the ex-president of Prayasam, attended this training alongside two new entrants, Saptarshi Ray and Debasis Raha. Debasis Raha later became the Finance Director of Prayasam, while Saptarshi Ray is now the President of the organization.

In 2012, Prasanta Roy, now the Director of Hospitality and Networking at Prayasam, also underwent this training at Visthar.

Fast forward to 2023, Manish Chowdhury, the Senior Programme Officer of Prayasam, was sent to Visthar for the same training. Reflecting on his experience, Manish said, “To be very frank with you, the Prayasam Ontrack Programme helped me change my mindset about gender diversity. However, the exposure to Visthar showed me how powerful a civil society organization can be and how they organize a month-long training programme. Some sessions at Visthar were mind-boggling, and these insights are helping me now as I edit films by PVB that focus on gender diversity and social transformation.”

Continuing the tradition, this year, two members of Prayasam are traveling to Visthar for the month-long training on Gender Diversity and Social Transformation. Aman Kumar Mukhiya, Senior Programme Officer, and Joyshree Roy, Junior Programme Associate, began their journey last night. Almost the entire Prayasam team gathered at Howrah Railway Station to see them off and wish them good luck.

Prayasam’s commitment to social transformation and gender diversity is not just about training and development. It’s about creating a legacy—parampara—of empowerment, respect—pratishtha—and discipline—anushasan—that will shape the future leaders of tomorrow.