From Self To Society: The Role Of Active Samaaj For Social Change

Saturday

29

October 2022

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (IST)
Location

Online Via Zoom

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From Self To Society: The Role Of Active Samaaj For Social Change

The Conversation Series

Rohini Nilekani

Chairperson, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies
Author, SAMAAJ, SARKAAR, BAZAAR: A Citizen-First Approach
Speaker

Professor Jeemol Unni

Amrut Mody School of Management
Ahmedabad University
Moderator


Responsible citizenship is a cornerstone of a country that respects fundamental rights. Yet today, Samaaj is known as the third sector. The Sarkaar and Bazaar, which were created over millennia to serve an evolving human society, and the larger public interest, have overpowered Samaaj. When the three sectors do not fulfil their roles and responsibilities, when they do not nurture these partnerships, there can be severe imbalances of power, which eventually affect Samaaj the most.

What does it mean to reclaim our role as citizens? What does this 'citizen-first approach' entail? What is the role of citizens in co-creating good governance? 

Our speaker, an author and a committed philanthropist, strongly believes that we are all citizens first rather than simply subjects of the state or consumers of the markets. She believes in the critical role of an active and engaged citizenry. This conversation will cover her journey from self to society, and her personal stories of how she arrived at this philosophy of a strong Samaaj as the foundational sector.

Speaker

Rohini Nilekani

A former journalist, an author, and a committed philanthropist, Rohini Nilekani is Chairperson of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and Co-Founder and Director of EkStep, a non-profit education platform. She is also Founder and Former Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up in 2001 for sustainable water and sanitation. From 2004 to 2014, she was Founder-Chairperson and the chief funder of Pratham Books, a non-profit children’s publisher that reached millions of children during her tenure. She sits on the Board of Trustees of ATREE, an environmental think tank. She has written for leading newspaper publications and is also known for her fiction for adults and for children. In 2022, she published an anthology of her writing titled Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar, outlining her philosophy of restoring the balance between the state and markets by positioning society as the foundational sector. In 2017, along with her husband Nandan Nilekani, Rohini signed the Giving Pledge to commit half their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Moderator

Professor Jeemol Unni

Jeemol Unni is Professor of Economics and Chair, Masters of Arts in Economics, at the Amrut Mody School of Management. Professor Unni specialises in Labour Economics. Before joining Ahmedabad University she was the Director of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) and RBI Chair Professor of Economics at IRMA. She is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Economic Statistics constituted by the Government of India. She has been a member of the Board of Governors of a policy advocacy group on the informal economy, WIEGO, registered as a charitable company in Manchester, UK. She is on the Editorial Board of the Indian Journal of Labour Economics and the Journal of Development Policy and Practice.