Advancing art forms of North-East India

Prajal was elected an Ashoka Young Changemaker from India in May 2022. This story was written through a consultative process during their selection to our global community.

It was in the harrowing second phase of the COVID-19 lockdown that Prajal, like most of us, encountered an overwhelming number of SOS texts from people on a frantic search for hospital beds, blood, and oxygen cylinders. In such a worrying landscape, unable to ignore the calls for help, he thought of devising a solution fit for all. “Since my childhood, I’ve been involved with many social organizations and forums so I couldn’t ignore those who were seeking help. I then came up with the solution in the form of a management system", he said. The management system turned out to have a robust core team along with 200+ volunteers.

The process of building a team amidst an ongoing crisis was one that required painstaking attention to detail. He started a forum to collect data from all the people in need and circulated it to various states with the help of a network of entrepreneurs he was affiliated with. In the next few days, his team started getting over 300 leads. They then reached out to media houses and government bodies of his state and across the country and worked as an emergency coordinator under the guidance of Chief Minister Sikkim. The team was active in 21 states in India and helped more than 1000 patients in 13 days.

Additionally, Prajal also runs 'Ripra Clothing', an initiative that seeks to promotes indigenous arts and culture of 200+ tribes in the North Easters region of India. The initiative works with the tribal community to derive their designs and promote them to a wider audience. Their team of researchers actively work to procure designs which are then handed over to the designing team who meticulously illustrate the designs and make them come to life. “We have reached out to almost 80 people from different tribes, heard their stories, and cultivated them in our designs at Ripra’, said Prajal. The feedback from his native community has been resoundingly positive, so much so that “everyone is supporting us by promoting it in their own ways”. Reflecting on his initiative, Prajal shared, “We are creating an ecosystem in the form of a clothing industry where values matter.”

This story was written by Prachi Vats.