SEARCH-NIRMAN ( Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health )

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SEARCH-NIRMAN ( Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health )

NIRMAN began in 2006 as a youth programme under SEARCH (Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health), a prominent healthcare organisation in Maharashtra. The aim of the NIRMAN initiative was to plug the gap in youth leadership needed to take on various developmental challenges in the state. NIRMAN now works as an independent organisation in collaboration with Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited.

Through a variety of youth training courses, the organisation aims to help young professionals find meaning in their lives, and inspire them to take up work that can solve burning social problems. The educational model in these training courses is based on Gandhian “nai talim” or new learning. It involves exposing youth to various social challenges like poverty, malnutrition, unemployment and lack of quality healthcare, and sensitising them towards these problems. Programme participants are then equipped with necessary skills, values and vision to effectively work on those problems and come up with innovative solutions.

So far, NIRMAN has conducted over 100 training workshops for more than 2,500 youth from 21 states in India, including those from every district in Maharashtra. Its courses have inspired more than 600 youth participants to become full-time social contributors in the development sector, serving over 130 social organisations.

The project supported by MFE: 


Through this three-year project, NIRMAN aims to strengthen itself as an organisation. This includes capacity building of its staff, expansion of its donor base and funding, and ultimately enhancing the impact its training courses have on youth participants.

For instance, NIRMAN currently has five team members and 19 volunteers; with the help of MFE’s grant, it aims to expand to eight team members and at least 30 volunteers by the end of three years. It also hopes to increase the performance ratings of its staff and volunteers from the current 81% to 90% during the project period.

Similarly, NIRMAN has committed to expanding its donor base from the current five main donors to eight main ones in three years. This would mean reducing the contribution of funds from its biggest donor from 42% to 30%, and bringing in 40% of its total organisational funding only from new donors.

NIRMAN typically measures the impact of its work by tracking the alumni of its youth training programmes. At the start of this project period, 523 of the alumni had joined or started new initiatives in the public or development sector. By the end of the project, NIRMAN aims to increase this number to 675 youths.