Patna, Bihar, India: Sanmat’s inception is an inspiring story in itself, its founders who were educated in India’s top institutions and worked at Fortune 500 companies decided to work towards larger social missions. Their missions are to provide sustainable access to legislated rights to vulnerable communities and provide them with opportunities to progress with the rest of the country.
Sanmat Founder, Amit Kumar Choubey and his team
In 2007, following the devastating tsunami the Sanmat team began to actively support and transform the lives of underprivileged and vulnerable communities. It was then founder Amit and the team realised that they had to gain a deeper understanding of the social impact and development sector to create the impact they dreamed of.
The team members went on to study and work at top universities and organisations overseas, and armoured with academic and professional knowledge, they returned to India and launched Sanmat’s full fledged programmes.
The team’s founder Amit led the Sanmat team to his home state of Bihar and began Sanmat’s pilot programme in East Champaran. The mission was to help people trust an autonomous institution that would provide alternative models for social change for vulnerable rural communities.
One of the initial tasks for Sanmat was to break away from the poor reputation and rising scepticism about the work NGOs do in the social sector. To set themselves apart as a compassionate and driven social impact organisation, Sanmat launched its first project called, “Chalta Firta School” a small knowledge sharing programme for school dropouts from marginalised communities.
Soon enough, the team realised that there were sufficient government policies and constitutionally legislated rights that weren’t reaching the people that they were meant for. The reasons ranged from lack of awareness and corruption at the executive level.
One of the first initiatives was working with school eligible students to avail their legislated right to 100% academic scholarship. Over the years 26,000 such youths have been selected/Mobilized and sent through this scheme in comparison to the less than 6,000 in 2011.
Over the years, Sanmat’s team has expanded and so has its impact operations, their projects include timely interventions and policy advocacy in public health and livelihood benefits, providing resources for skill building, helping youth avail their Right to Education and addressing climate change through social forestry and conservation efforts.
Today Sanmat has impacted lives of around 10 million vulnerable people through free health care, skilling/placements, scholarships scheme promotion for SC/ST and minority communities and enrolled over 7000 eligible students in Patna into private institutions under Section 12-1-C of the Right to Education Act.
Sanmat’s founders come from humble and modest backgrounds, who had the golden opportunities to lead some of the country’s most valued IT firms and one might wonder why would someone leave a lucrative package and decide to work in social impact? They all chose the road less travelled because they believe that India can only progress if we empower vulnerable and marginalised communities.
Today Sanmat is not just about policy advocacy but operates as a do-tank bringing about social and urban reforms by providing vulnerable people opportunities that are limited to people in Tier 1 cities. These opportunities include job opportunities, entrepreneurial mentorship, scholarships for higher education and growth of community building and peer networks.
Sanmat’s efforts have empowered millions of Indians in vulnerable communities to develop entrepreneurial mindsets and independent thinking to create enterprising ventures that aim at greater good in society.