Episode 29: The middle Road chats with Simranpreet Singh Oberoi, Co-founder of Sanjhi Sikhiya Foundation
Welcome to another scintillating podcast with The middle Road, a global social impact platform. In today's episode Nishant Malhotra, Sole Founder of The middle Road platform chats with Simranpreet Singh Oberoi, Co-Founder of an equitable educational driven nonprofit enabling social change and impact at grassroot level within the Indian ecosystem.
The middle Road is a thought leader startup, that fuses Media and EdTech for a measurable impact. The venture features research-driven publications & articles, online courses, videos & podcasts in a community-led model across diverse themes and topics. Simranpreet Singh Oberoi great to e-meet you for a video podcast to discuss your work and career transition within the development sector. Today's discussion's prime purpose is to share with the audience your story in enabling social change and impact within the primary public education system in the Punjab region in India through Sanjhi Sikhiya. Sanjhi Sikhiya is a platform that supports diverse development initiatives across Punjab. Sanjhi Sikhiya’s flagship initiative Punjab Youth Leaders Program (PYLP), a two-year leadership program aims to build a cadre of young leaders across Punjab to innovate and create systemic and sustainable solutions that address the pressing issues of Punjab.
Simranpreet is the co-founder of Sanjhi Sikhiya Foundation, a community based nonprofit that works through a collective effort to transform Punjab into a land of hope, courage and possibilities. Simranpreet has worn many hats at multiple organizations within the development sector in India. He has led key strategic initiatives as a part of Genpact’s CSR efforts. Example Genpact Social Impact Fellowship (GSIF), Genpact Centre for Process Transformation (GCPT), and School Centred Community Development (SCCD). He is playing a transformative role within the education sector in Punjab and his present venture is backed by leading philanthropists like Amit Chandra, Deep Kalra, BK Kalra and Suman Munjal.
Hello, Simranpreet great to have you here.
Before we begin, a brief yet invigorating snapshot of Punjab province/state. Punjab, is a popular, multicultural and dimensional province/state in India, known for world class artistic urban locations, green agricultural belt, amicable and diverse culture that defines the fabric of Indian diaspora. Its capital Chandigarh, also the joint capital of Haryana (a state in India) and a Union Territory, is one of the most elegant & urban cities in the world known for its architectural and visual splendour. Chandigarh’s master plan was designed by the world-famous architect Le Corbusier, (Lu Corbosieer) and the city is home to the iconic Rock Garden and Capitol Complex. Famous architects like Albert Mayer, Pierre Jeanneret (Pier Jenhai), Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry have designed city’s housing and buildings based on information shared by WHC UNESCO.
Chandigarh Capitol Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city was the first planned city post-Indian independence. Chandigarh leads in the human development index in India and has the highest capital per person in the country. Amritsar, a spiritual city for many especially Sikhs, is a major city in Punjab and houses The Golden Temple (also known as the Harmandir Sahib). Ludhiana is the
most populous and the commercial capital of the state of Punjab. The World Bank rated Ludhiana with the best business environment in 2009 and 2013, the city is an industrial powerhouse, producing more than 50 percent of Indian bicycles.
Q). Simran, how did your experience at various places and your education at Ashoka University prepare for your work at Sanjhi Sikhiya Foundation? I also had a chat with Anu Prasad here who played a fundamental role in setting up Ashoka University.
Q). You worked in diverse roles at various foundations including the present CSR work at Genpact. How did it enable and facilitate a transition as a cofounder of your present non-profit? Let’s begin with your Genpact experience and as a chief project officer at Shoshit Samadhan Kendra (SSK), what were your observations and learnings in schooling for children in the underserved Musahar community. You wore multiple hats in this profile. Share your story.
Ask follow up questions here.
Q). How did the idea of invigorating and educating the youth in the rural region of Punjab occur to you? The Indian primary education system needs an overhauling. 15% of the students in grade 8 could not read grade 2 text. India spent 3.8% of its GDP on education in 2019 compared to a Global average of 4.8% according to UNDP Human Development Report 2019. The figure for Nepal was 5.1%, US 5%, Finland 7.1% for 2019. Finland is a world leader in inventiveness in K12