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In Conversation with Pramod VR

Hailing from a small-scale farmer background, I consider myself fortunate that I had access to education. Many of our villagers belonged to tribal and marginalized communities and struggled to make ends meet, often unable to send their children to school. My parents were also poor and worked hard for our education and well-being. Thankfully, the situation has changed significantly over the last three decades, but we still have a long way to go.

My early exposure to these harsh realities of life helped make community work a homogenous process for me. Since the beginning of my career, I have been making personal contributions to various social causes. I also collaborate with many NGOs, as individual efforts can only achieve so much.

Currently, I am a core member of the Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, which aims to enable the overall development of the tribal and marginalized people of Kerala, especially the scheduled tribes, with freedom from illness, poverty, and malnourishment. Our NGO has established a 50-bed hospital, de-addiction centers, schools, and various community health, livelihood, and skill development projects for the underprivileged. Recently, we have set up a new hospital in the remote tribal location of Vattavada to provide free treatment to the local tribals and affordable treatment to others in the area, and our founder doctor is widely known as the 10 rupee doctor among the tribals. My main role involves drafting proposals and securing support from CSR departments, venture capitalists, and corporate communities to fund these initiatives.

As a volunteer and executive council member of Abhyudaya, I’ve contributed to setting up STEM labs across the country. I have also facilitated the distribution of school kits to underprivileged students in tribal regions and worked on disaster response projects. Abhyudaya has successfully established over 41 STEM labs nationwide and 100 plus Kalika Kendras (Tuition Centres.) I have worked with the NGO Sewa International to arrange educational support for children who lost one or both parents to COVID-19. I was responsible for gathering student information, verifying it, and supporting them to submit various documents required for the selection process. I coordinated their Sponsor A Child (SAC) program in Kerala and a few other states, through which we managed to provide financial assistance to 10,000+ underprivileged students across the country, last year.

Additionally, I served on the board of the Bengaluru-based charitable trust Uthishta from 2013 to 2019. We ran a series of initiatives for the underprivileged- especially in rural and semi-urban areas. These projects, run in collaboration with corporate houses and individual donors, include the construction of houses, educational support to hundreds of students, access to healthcare, and livelihood support.

Kyndryl has been supportive of my interests, especially our leaders. Our modern and flexible leave policy allows me to leave for CSR activities, enabling me to take time off and focus on my volunteering work. Deed, a platform through which we donate to nonprofits that we care about, helped me with corporate donation matching, where Kyndryl also pitches in with donations. The platform also enables volunteers to find and organize volunteering events in required locations. Kyndryl has provided me (and the NGOs) with positive visibility that encouraged my colleagues to also participate in volunteering activities.


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