About Us

Rakshak Foundation (NGO) is a registered society located at New Delhi. It got started as a result of an irresistible desire for a lasting change, fueled by the moral responsibility to serve the nation, which has provided us immense opportunities for various activities. The wish to make a difference in lives of those who have not been as fortunate as others and to improve the quality of life for all has kept us going. Rakshak’s endeavor is to create a society that is aware of the shortcomings and is determined to move ahead by overcoming them towards a truly participative democracy. Rakshak Foundation intends to put together like-minded individuals on a firm footing to better channel their positive energies towards the holistic development of the Indian society. Rakshak has started multifarious activities to sensitize the youth and the members of the civic society with the firm belief that every individual can make a difference and create positive impact on the lives of those around them.

The basic objective of Rakshak is to help strengthen the foundations of our society and bolster the confidence of a common man in the system by creating awareness about the issues affecting him/her. Rakshak Foundation provides help to individuals or organizations that seek to better the society and work with them to address problems related to the community at large. Rakshak creates awareness about social, civic and legal issues at various levels of administration.

A brief overview of the various activities undertaken by the Rakshak Foundation (NGO) over the last three years is given below. Summer Research Program Rakshak Foundation’s prestigious Summer Research program is conducted during the summer months each year and from the summer of 2012 it is being conducted at one of the IITs. It was conducted at IIT Kanpur campus in 2012 and was conducted in 2013 and 2014 at IIT Delhi Campus. From the summer of 2013 this program has been extended to include MBA students from various IIMs. The number of interns selected for this program has increased steadily from about 45 in 2012 to about 115 in 2014. The interns are paid a stipend of Rs. 10000/- upon successful completion for the two months duration of the program. Expenses incurred on fieldwork by the interns are fully reimbursed. No payments are made to the mentors. The mentors can be physically anywhere In India (or even abroad). Each intern is assigned a separate mentor. Most of the project topics are proposed by the mentors who are senior members of the civil services (both, serving and retired) or are academicians.

Interns are carefully chosen through a transparent and rigorous selection process to ensure only candidates with the highest level of determination and motivation chosen. Most of the interns are from the country’s premier institutions including the IITs, IIMs and NLUs. The selected candidates are those who are pursuing their Bachelors or Masters degrees and are willing to devote one full summer (two months) in this program as an intern. Each intern is given an individual project dealing with real world social or legal issue. The projects cover a wide spectrum of issues that touch the lives of common people. These interns undertake rigorous research to develop innovative strategies for effective and lasting solutions under the guidance of their mentors. The broad areas covered by the projects are in the following categories:

• Legal and Social Research
• Economic, financial and entrepreneurship issues
• Accountability and Responsibility in Journalism
• Promoting Responsible Citizenry
• Improving Quality of Life – Infrastructure, Traffic, Pollution and Basic Necessities
• Improving Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency of Public Offices
• Nationalism, Social Responsibility and Civil Society through Education
• Promoting positive aspects of our culture and society

The summer research program has evolved steadily in last 3 years to a very structured, effective and highly sought after program. The program is very intensive and informative so that the interns could derive maximum benefit from it. After successful completion of the program these interns are much better informed about the problems being faced by the society and the country and how he/she could contribute to their solution. Some of the core activities in the program include:

• Daily sessions with all interns present where they share progress made on each project through brief presentations by turn (about once a week by each intern).
• Relevant documentary movies are screened to instill ethical values.
• Guest talks by eminent personalities are arranged about once a week.
• Field visits are arranged.
• Interns do field work for a part of the duration as advised by the mentor.
• Training workshops are arranged such as on RTI.
• Each intern must submit weekly progress report, a mid term report and a final report.
• Each intern is required to make a presentation based on the final report.

Through this program, Rakshak Foundation (NGO) cultivates a sense of duty in the young citizens and shows them a path to effectively contribute and efficiently participate in public policy reforms leading to transparent, accountable and effective governance. These participating individuals learn about their rights and responsibilities as a citizen towards the society and the state.

Parliamentary Bill Research and Recommendations

Rakshak Foundation has been in the forefront of doing parliamentary bill research. We believe it is in the best interest of the citizens to get involved in the law making process to understand how the process works and help the government with the input to create the best possible laws which could not be misused. We analyze the bills that come for public opinion through Parliamentary ]standing committees and submit our well researched memorandums for the consideration of the committees. In last 3 years, we were invited to present our opinion in front of the following committees:
 Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD chaired by Shri Oscar Fernandes [20th July 2012] – Oral Evidence on Higher Education and Research Bill 2011
 Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD chaired by Shri Oscar Fernandes [June 7th, 2013] – Oral Evidence on Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2012
 Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment chaired by Shri Ramesh Bais [December2nd , 2014] – Oral Evidence on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014

Desh Raag

Desh Raag (www.deshraag.org) is a unique patriotic original music It is structured around the idea that the youth, India’s most formidable resource, has very few creative platforms to express nationalistic sentiment. There is a pressing need for a forum for creative young minds to showcase feelings about the nation to bring about the change that they envision, through art. A confluence of Youth, Music, Patriotism and Mass Awakening is aimed at through this initiative. Our country is rich in the diversity of its cultural heritage and hence an art form that is uniform across the nation is chosen to represent nationalistic sentiment; Music. Over 200 entries were received from about 45 cities of India in 2011 when this program was initiated. A panel consisting of Shri Shitalchandra Kulkarni, Shri Manoj Pandya, Smt. Rita Sahay and Shri Mahesh Kale judged these entries. The finalists performed live during the cultural festival, Mood Indigo, at IIT Bombay in December 2012 and were judged by judges that included Indian Ocean band, Shri Prasoon Joshi and Shri Shankar Mahadevan. Cash prizes totaling about 1 lacs were given to the top three entries. Hundreds of entries have been received for the next round of this competition, which are being judged by a panel of judges including Shri Ravi Iyer, Shri Mihir Joshi, Shri Uday Benegal and Shri Subir Malik.

Gaurav Gatha

‘Gaurav Gatha’ is a unique patriotic poem competition started in 2011 with a view to rekindle the sense and feeling of patriotism in the country. Literature and specially the poetry full of nationalistic fervor, has always played an important role in inspiring generations of people to achieve great things. In 2011 about 150 entries were received which were judged by a panel of eminent poets. This competition currently is in its third round. In 2012, around 200 entries were received while in 2013 and 2014, we are continuing to receive the entries.