Sajjan Kumar Agarwal
Sajjan is the Chairman and CEO of GreenHawk. He focuses on growing the business and looking at various investment opportunities. Prior to Greenhawk, he was the CEO of Sigma Electric Manufacturing Corporation, a company he founded in New Orleans in 1981, and now headquartered in Garner, North Carolina. Sigma now manufactures and sells thousands of diverse electrical products, industrial, and appliance components to customers throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and India. After growing the business to over 2,500 employees, Sajjan sold a majority stake in Sigma Electric to Goldman Sachs in October 2007 . Sajjan has an Engineering degree from India and a MBA in Finance from Michigan State University.
Mr. Agarwal is also an active community leader. He formed Durga Devi Trust (Foundation) in 2002 in Pune, India to support education and vocational training to underprivileged students and women. This Foundation provides assistance through scholarships, teacher training and Lab centers in state of Maharasthra and Rajasthan. He is also a board member and Advisor of several local community organizations in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Ashok Mittal mentors second-generation entrepreneurs. He works as management advisor too for small and medium organizations. He was the Co-founder and Managing Director of Semco Electric and Ultratech Metals (I) Ltd, manufacturing companies of electrical conduit and pole line fittings of different metals and alloys.
Ashok is also a certified facilitator for Personalysis (personality assessment tool). He provides employee assessment and coaching for the creation of high-performing teams, change and transition management, and personal development to a wide range of clients.
He is one of the founder trustees of Durgadevi Charitable Trust, created with a mission of empowering children and women through education. The foundation is supporting many rural unaided schools through various programs that ultimately benefit the needy and meritorious children in the fields of education, sports and arts.
Working in the capacity of Director and Facilitator of South East Asian Leadership Academy (SEALA), Ashok is involved in developing leaders in 9 countries of the region.
He received his degree of Bachelors in Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences Pilani, India.
Richa Mittal is Ph.D. from University of Roorkee in Bio Chemistry.
She has been actively involved in various social causes. Solid Waste management, RTI, environmental issues, and education are her main area of concerns.
Richa is on the Board of Durgadevi Charitable Trust. Currently she is actively leading all the projects of Rajasthan. This includes
Higher Educational Scholarships,
Enhancement of quality of education in rural schools and
Education in slum area of Jaipur.
She is dedicating her efforts to establish a sound foundation of childhood through correct educational practices in the villages around Jaipur. Early Childhood Education (ECE) along with the quality Primary education is being implemented by empowering teachers in these schools through teachers training.
Mr Kuldip Joshi
As a Managing Trustee for Durgadevi Charitable Trust (DDCT) Mr. Kuldip Joshi has played a key role in setting direction and goals for achieving DDCT mission of reaching out to talent in Rural Areas & enabling them to fulfill their dreams by means of Education. He has been spearheading various projects of the Trust in Maharashtra on honorary basis for last 13 years.
He has over 18 years of Industry experience in HR and various management roles with organizations’ like Kirloskar, Phillips, Sandvik Asia, Bharat Forge and Alfa Laval India. His last employment was as General Manager-personnel with Alfa-Laval (India) Ltd. Since 1986 he has been, advising many organizations from variety of Industrial segments on retainer ship basis, and on assignment basis. Conducting training programs (Leadership, Change management, Communications, Team building), senior level recruitment.
During and post his corporate stint Kuldip Joshi has been actively involved in various community projects through various Industrial forums and Rotary. His vast experience and expertise has helped DDCT bring private sector efficiencies into social initiatives of scale and reach. Kuldip Joshi is Mathematics (Honors) from Delhi University & Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from Xavier Labor Relations Institute, Jamshedpur. Guide for PhD Program. He enjoys reading, trekking but travelling tops the list.
Venkatesan is a Chartered Accountant by profession. He has been a Chief Financial Officer for various multi-nationals for the last 25 years both in India and abroad. After working for corporates for 25 years, he has started a consulting firm to advise families and small and medium sized companies in the areas of finance, investment and wealth management. Presently he is associated with a firm in the position of Consulting CEO at Pune. He has been associated with Durga Devi Charitable trust since the inception as a Trustee and supervises the finance and legal aspects of the trust.
Karthik is 6 years old, he lives in Lal Khan basti with his father. His mum died few years ago. His father drinks a lot and doesnt care about him.
Karthik studies in the first class of our 'Satellite', in the beginning he was always sad, passive and distracted.
He used to have food only few times in a week, as his father spends all his money on alcohol. He never had a real meal before, he ate what he found collecting garbage, what he begged or whatever he could find. When we first introduced him to the food program, he ate so much, that we thought he would get sick. By giving him his fifth chapatti, I realised how hungry he must have been during all these years.
Now that Karthik gets food everyday in school, he is happier, more active and can concentrate more on his studies. Before he was always sitting in the corner doing nothing. Now he's started participating in class, in the break he plays with the others. He comes on time almost every day and helps cleaning the school.
I am Rashmi pandey D/O Mrs. Sunita pandey, 1st batch DI of TCID. I am also one of the youths who didn’t know what to do after 12th ,I was having a lot of capabilities but unable to express myself in a proper manner so my mother suggested me to join TCID. As it is an integrated job oriented training in which I learnt many things which boosted my personality and took it to the next level. I learnt many things here i.e. time management, communication skills, discipline, taking responsibilities, managerial skills and many more.
I completed my 4 months training in September 2016 with 90% marks after which I was offered the position of a Co-project leader in the TCID and I took up this position in October 2016 with full energy and great happiness. I wanted to thank RCF as well as TCID for giving me such an awesome platform where I have explored myself and given my capabilities a new stage.
Before that, it was only my mother who was earning and managing the family and I always felt like helping her in generating income. So I am very glad as RCF has given me this opportunity to fulfil my desire of helping my mother, now I am also earning and giving her a support as well as I am using my skills for the betterment of the others too. This position doesn’t only provide me the financial support but has also given me the right path in life, this is the only thing that I was dreaming of because under this position I get respect, a very friendly environment, independent learning and working which is continuously helping me out towards my goals and dreams, as well as it is providing me the wide range of opportunities where I can explore myself and my skills for growth.
I wanted to convey this message to all the youths that they should join this program as this is a very important in this era of multi taskers.
Her name is Shilpi and she is 35 years old. She used to be very shy and was afraid to go out to the market alone, she did nothing apart from just mostly staying at home . Her husband encouraged her to go for the sewing courses and literacy classes , as he heard from our teachers during their survey. After when she finished three months of sewing course along with the literacy course she changed a lot . Now she's opened her shop and she is much more confident, happier and a independent woman. Shipli now runs her shop and earns regular monthly income of Rs 12000- 20000 as compared to when she was just staying at home and earning nothing and completely depending on her husband. But now she is very proud, happy and independent. Shipli says, "I have never thought that I can have my own shop or count money like this, it is a miracle for me that I am seeing it in practical now otherwise I had no hopes that in this age also can get chance of learning and this wonderful opportunity". But Rural ConneXtion Foundation has given me a new life of pride and full of happiness.
Her name is Radhika and she is 19 years old. She used to spend a lot of time watching mainly TV. She didn’t want to go out much. Her mother heard about the sewing course and took her there. In the beginning she didn’t talk much and was very closed. She finished the course 3 months ago. She loves to sew and now she is doing it all day and night. She has her own machine at home, sewing clothes for other women as well. She now earns Rs 8000 to 12000 . per month. Her family is very proud of her and she herself is so happy and full of energy. Her dream is to become a designer and open her own shop. She is one of the girls who is motivating others to go to the course and get more confidence and skills in their lives.
Successful Banti Devi
My name is Banti Devi. I am 26 years old. I have three children : Vishal, Muskan and Aman. I want to offer them the best education, as I did not have this chance when I was little. I was the youngest of the four brothers, 2 boys and two girls. My parents knew that school was important but struggled to send us to school as we were very poor. They did not know that school would mean a torture for us, with rich children making fun of us and teacher's beating us with no reason making us feel ashamed because of our poverty. Finding ourselves in this situation, we were forced to leave school. So, I stayed at home together with my brothers , while still dreaming about a school where nice teachers would show me the letters and numbers. When I was 10, my parents found a good husband for me whose name was Raju and we got married. A new life began for me, with myself taking care alone of a new family. The years were passing and I gave birth to three lovely children, but somewhere in my mind I still had the image of a nice school where I could learn to read and write. But slowly, I lost that dream. As the time passed by, my children were growing and so were their needs. The money earned by my husband, Raju who was working as an ambulance driver for a private hospital, was not enough, not even to cook two meals per day. So I had to do something about it. Then, I was looking for job as a cleaner and luck seemed to smile for me. I got a job as a cleaner in a hospital, earning 2500 INR per month. It might not seem a lot, but this was a fortune for us, as with this extra money, we could manage to live a decent life. After only 6 months, I got fired because of my illiteracy. My dream to go to school came back in my mind and became a must. I got aware that I could not help my family if I was not able to read and write. But there was no school for me to go and I could not do anything about it. I felt helpless while looking at my children who did not even dare to tell me that they were hungry. But, there was always a ray of light, even if we lost our hope. We just have to open our eyes and look for it. Some months passed and I got used to taking care of my poor household and picking the medical waste from the hospital where I was formerly working to get some extra money. I was going there two times per week, Monday and Thursday, together with my neighbor, Seema after my husband was leaving to work. But this was our secret. I did not tell to my husband, as I knew that he would not accept it and he would feel he failed to be a good husband. One Monday, I went there and I saw that Seema was missing. Same happened the following Thursday. Then, I took my courage and went to Seema’s house. Nobody knew that we were friends. Here, in the slum, people do not talk to each other. They do not understand friendship and they feel threatened when they see two people greeting one another or shaking hands. I went to her home and asked her why she was not coming on Monday and Thursday to sort the waste. Then, she told me that her sister-in-law took her to a woman literacy class organized last Friday and she did not have to pay anything for it. I asked her more about it and this is the way how I found out about Rural Connextion Foundation and the woman literacy course. The following day, I went together with Seema to this school. I asked the teacher how I could get enrolled and if I could come with my children. From then on, I came together with my children to this school. I did not care that women from the slum were teasing me that it was useless to go to school and I worked hard. At the beginning, I felt that I would never understand those signs that teachers were drawing with the chalk, but slowly, slowly, they made sense to me. Three months passed and I was already able to read and write. Then, I went back to the same hospital and tell them that I knew how to read and write and I could also count. I got employed as a ward girl and got a salary of 5500 INR and the tips. I know that I only got this job again because of this literacy classes. Now I can count and read, I can see each file and I feel happy and proud. When those women that were teasing me before have seen me in the hospital uniform, they asked me to help them to get the same job. I am happy that now my children have good food and go to school
Durgadevi Charitable Trust (DDCT) was established in Pune in 2002 as a Public Charitable Trust with the vision of
‘Empowering women and children through education’.
DDCT has been working relentlessly in the field of education for the mission of reaching out to fulfill the dreams in rural area, in Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
Total of 18,111 academically gifted students were given these scholarships based on exams and personal interviews conducted by us.
5 scholars were sponsored for higher education from foreign universities.
Two Science Centres were established to cater the needs of almost 20 schools. These centers are run by DDCT. Locations are at:
A continuous effort is being put in to enhance the capacities of teachers and establish them as strong pillars of quality education. This is being done through Teacher’s training and Subject workshops, followed by continuous mentoring and handholding the teachers by regular school visits by the experts. As of now, 32 teachers have benefitted through this program.
Rural region lack the sensitivity and the understanding of the right way of Early Childhood Education (ECE). Proper Early childhood education has been established in 6 rural schools and along with a school of under privileged of Rajasthan. This was also done by teacher’s training along with providing them integrated modules of learning for kids.
August 2016, we started a school with a partner organization, right inside a slum of Jaipur to provide Primary education to the children who are involved in rag picking otherwise. This is an effort to put these kids in mainstream education in 3-5 years after completing their Primary education.
DDCT partners with various Trust and Foundations to jointly implement its projects.
The success of our various projects over last 13 years can be attributed to the close monitoring and continuous support given to the beneficiaries. We work with a commitment of long sustained effort.