Prayas: A Hindi word meaning effort.

Prayas, Inc. began in 1991 with four friends in Oak Park, Illinois. My husband Bashir and I and Mary and Greg Krisco were interested in studying and funding anti-poverty projects in India. Our purpose in setting up Prayas, Inc. was to allow other Americans and Indian-Americans to learn about development in India and to support efforts they believe in.

Even though any U.S. resident may donate directly to organizations in India, donations to Indian organizations are not tax deductible in the United States. We founded Prayas, Inc. as a tax-exempt American organization that could channel U.S. dollars to Indian development projects. Above and beyond that, our hope was to educate North Americans about organizations promoting self-sufficiency in India.

Prayas, Inc. funds several development organizations in India that work to help the underprivileged. For six months of the year, Bashir and I visit the sites of projects that Prayas, Inc. supports. Mainly, we look for organizations that accomplish good, that have no religious or political affiliations, and that avoid egregious practices, such as fat salaries for administrators.

On this website, we describe the organizations and projects we have visited, investigated, and support. We invite you to make tax-deductible donations to those projects via Prayas, Inc. with the confidence that 100% of the donation will reach its intended recipient. We want people to feel connected to the activities they fund. We also want funders to become engaged in thinking about sustainable development and social justice —about why some ways work and others do not.

Donations to Prayas are tax deductible in US. Prayas will send an electronic receipt to the donor.

If you would like to make a donation in honor of someone, please send an email with the particulars to meenal.mamdani@gmail.com so that we can notify whomever you wish to honor as well as the project to which you would like to send the donation. You can also designate your donation as being in memory of someone and we will notify the project your donation is intended to support accordingly.

–Meenal Mamdani
Prayas, Inc.

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