Madan Rai

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2006


This profile was prepared when Madan Rai was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Madan is breaking the restrictions of feudalism for rural Nepalese by sparking a “green revolution.” Beginning with the Khotang district, he is improving agricultural productivity by providing expertise and materials that are appropriate for the local conditions. To help small-scale farmers successfully engage the global economy, he is helping build the basic infrastructure, such as roads, to connect them to new domestic and international markets in India and China. Once farmers are making more money, they will build and improve their homes and demand more services and products. Madan is providing targeted skills to build a local trained labor force that will be able to meet this increased local demand. Madan is also addressing the migration and “brain drain” issue in Nepal. He is giving rural youth the necessary job skills that will help them compete for better employment opportunities. Madan is also convincing skilled and experienced Nepalis residing in the capital or abroad to return home to their rural villages. He has created a pool of talent and resources in Khotang district, demonstrating what can be done throughout Nepal.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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