MAHINDRA Rise Announces the Winners of the First Edition of Spark the Rise


In August 2011, ‘Spark the Rise’ was launched to provide innovators, entrepreneurs and change agents with a platform to showcase their work and connect with like-minded people to amplify their efforts. Since launch, Spark the Rise has become a community of more than 250,000 people working together to drive positive change in India. Thousands of people from all across India submitted over 6,000 projects, of which 1,346 have been showcased on, and 48 projects have received a grant from Mahindra. In addition, hundreds of people have connected with various projects to volunteer, donate, advise the project champions.The 18 finalists selected by public vote and an expert jury attended the recently concluded event (on the 20th of April) in Mumbai, to celebrate the achievements of these change agents and to announce the winners of the Spark the Rise Grand Finale.

Here’s more on the Grand Prize Winner and the three runners up, who also received grants to help jumpstart their projects!

RankProject ChampionProjectDescription
4Rajnish JainAVANI-Caring for the earth: Harnessing the destructive energy of pine needles for rural energy needsAVANI uses pine needles to generate electricity in Uttarakhand, providing power in rural areas that cannot be connected to the grid. It generates income locally, helping to combat outmigration so that families can stay together.
3Ananth KumarEducation of rural "OUT OF SYSTEM" childrenThrough the DivyaDeepa school, this project targets rural students left out of the formal education system. Rather than teaching to test, DivyaDeepa encourages students to learn from their own talents and curiosities. The results for both self-esteem and test scores have been fantastic and their graduates are now pursuing higher education, vocational training, and software careers.
2Jithin KrishnanMake a DifferenceA youth platform that provides safe learning eco-systems for children at risk in orphanages, street shelters and poor homes. MAD currently delivers solutions in 19 cities and hopes to work in 40 cities by 2013.
1Dr. Devendra TayalSelf Assessment and management (SAM): Transforming Young MindsSAM aims to revolutionize the mindset of youth and encourage them to contribute towards society. They follow the philosophy that youth forms 41% of India today and 100% of tomorrow. By using busy, colourful events - musical and dance performances, theatre workshops, motivational speeches and interactive sessions – they inculcate values and ideals in the youth. Since 2009, the SAM team has reached out to more than 30,000 people and has developed an active base of 7,000 participants

For more on Spark the Rise, visit

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