Pradeep Ghosh


This profile was prepared when Pradeep Ghosh was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
While social security is nothing new, Pradeep Ghosh is making it available for the first time to India’s most impoverished communities. Pradeep’s innovative system capitalizes on the collective bargaining power of communities, and therefore provides financial security for individuals without the financial burdens that traditional social security models require (such as taxes or spending cuts). Indian communities negotiate agreements with essential service providers whereby in exchange for a large and regular client base, vendors/providers offer a discount on their goods and services. The amount discounted feeds into a savings account and pays for premiums on health and life insurance and other safety nets. The model thus enables the poor to utilize one of their greatest assets: the collective strength of community; and provides them with a (financially) painless mechanism to participate actively in protecting themselves against eventualities.
Through regular, large-volume expenditures at the community level the Indian poor can grow a social security system that is sustainable, replicable, and all-inclusive.
Pradeep’s model is a complete social security system with social security numbers, recording, collecting, and distribution mechanisms for unemployment allowance, and retirement benefits linked with living standards. Through OASIS (Organization for Awareness of Integrated Social Security) Pradeep is implementing his system in Madhya Pradesh—one of the most underdeveloped states in India. Once he has demonstrated its efficacy in these challenging circumstances he is confident he will bring the government on board and ultimately scale his model nationwide.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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