This profile was prepared when Raja Menon was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
Raja Menon has institutionalized a comprehensive Livelihood Promotion Center to provide technical/managerial support to start­up economic programs at the local level and to orient citizens' organizations, grassroots groups and local self­government bodies to pilot programs that are workable on a national level. He has organized more than 2,000 families into savings groups and simultaneously developed fifteen different types of economic activities for poor families. In addition to conducting small pilot programs to test viability, Raja has conducted large ones for at least five activities for 100 to 200 families. He has also extended successful activities by involving other institutions through training and networking.