A Sanskrit word, “Varitra” means Umbrella. In developmental terms, Varitra symbolises synergy, collaboration and a canopy of ideas.
The idea of Varitra is inspired from the thought “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. Varitra Foundation envisions to bring change at the grass-root level through collective efforts.
To promote individuals and communities to build their capacities for a significant social and economic impact. Varitra Foundation envisions to empower people to carry out developmental initiatives in the field of education, health, livelihood, women empowerment, rural development, environment, social protection, etc. in their communities for a large-scale impact for a better tomorrow.
- To evolve the capacities for self-driven development initiatives in communities
- To ensure equitable access to education for all the children and enhance their capacities to make use of education in a more significant manner
- To empower the people to understand and practice their rights and findings out solutions to problems in order achieve the same
Baljeet is the Founding Director of Varitra Foundation. Born in a small agrarian family, he has experienced the challenges faced by children in rural areas. Baljeet has grown with a keen interest towards improving of government school as a quality learning space, the thought of which has stemmed out of his personal experiences during childhood. He started missing classes from class VI onwards due to the inability to pay fees and to avoid the ensuing embarrassment by teachers. These experiences triggered Baljeet to work on transformation of the government education system so that every student receives accessible and quality education for free of cost and do not find themselves helpless.
Baljeet has had a vast experience in working on developmental issues from an early age. He was the Organizing Secretary at Kachra Vahatuk Shramik Sangh, Mumbai and has also worked with the International Union of Food Workers (IUF) as a Policy and Research Officer. After actively advocating for people’s’ rights, he joined National CSR hub at Tata Institute of Social Sciences where he conceptualized projects on Education, Eldercare, NGO Capacity-building, monitoring CSR projects, providing advisory support to corporates on CSR and conceptualizing projects for corporate sector.
Baljeet co-founded Varitra Foundation along with his colleague, Ayeshna Kalyan with an aim to curate, develop, implement, support and strengthen development interventions at the grass-root levels through collaborative partnerships and community participation. Through Varitra, Baljeet dreams to empower communities into becoming their own change-makers.
Ayeshna is the Founding Director of Varitra Foundation. Having spent the early years of her childhood in an out-of-town suburb in Haryana, Ayeshna had the opportunity to closely experience the dynamics of both rural and urban lives. Her passion to learn about the development sector pushed Ayeshna to move to Mumbai for higher education. Since an early age, she began to volunteer for various causes where she worked with the underprivileged, differently-abled, sexual abuse survivors and LGBT community. Over the years, she has been actively exploring writing, rural travel, film-making and campaign-designing, all with a quest to meet and learn from all kinds of people and their stories.
She last worked with National CSR Hub at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai where she was involved in CSR Strategy, Monitoring and Evaluation and Developmental Research for funding and implementing agencies across India. In the past, she has worked across Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Orissa, Bihar Haryana and Delhi as a Communication for Development professional.
Ayeshna co-founded Varitra Foundation along with her colleague, Baljeet Yadav with an aim to curate, develop, implement, support and strengthen interventions at the grass-root levels through collaborative partnerships and community participation. Through Varitra, Ayeshna is keen to create a space to let people make a brave start for themselves as well as others and help find the power to shape the futures they dream and deserve.