Genesis & Journey
We were a group of researchers, planners, young and senior teachers from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur who joined hands In 1996 to reach out to the society – to provide a multidisciplinary support and integrated treatment to a spectrum of national socioeconomic problems through effective and appropriate solutions.
What triggered us to get into this was a mix of exposure as well as a passion. An exposure to the very uneven human conditions and the passion towards egalitarianism which is referred to as inclusiveness in the current terminology. So the group members went beyond the classrooms, research labs and gathered together with whatever they had – time, ideas, little money and consolidated it together under the banner of Inspiration. INSPIRATION, is basically an acronym. It includes all that we wanted to do, starting from planning, innovative research, appropriate training and extension. The prefix Hijli to INSPIRATION is indicative for our genesis .
As a start we dived and plunged into opportunities which we felt was do-able with our limited field exposure but significant academic understanding. We took up capacity building and its extension on field. At that point of time although we were amateurs, we were quite matured to understand the relevance of release and not relief, capacity building and not charity. Our participants for the capacity building programmes ranged from the grassroots operatives, community members to bureaucrats. Our initial trainings were on Agro Climatic Planning , Participatory Rural Appraisal , District and Block Planning.
With capacity building went hand in hand the need for information dissemination which led us to design information, education, communication ( IEC) strategies and the gradual transition from knowledge assimilation to behaviour change through development of dynamic aids and adoption of participatory tools under the umbrella of Behaviour Change Communication or BCC. We undertook several programmes in the domain of social communication in the sectors like Health, Water and Sanitation, Consumer Awareness.
In the course of our journey we were joined by professionals from different disciplines, like medicine, law, media, social sciences etc , which gave INSPIRATION a multi-disciplinary character and we were confident to take assignments in any domain because we had professionals from that domain to handle it. Fortunately, within a couple of years we were recognized as a credible organisation to carry out programme evaluations for the Government and Non Governments Agencies. We looked at evaluation as an approach to fact finding towards improvement rather than fault finding and in the process we learnt a lot. Evaluation/ assessment of flagship programmes included SGSY, NSTFDC, SHSDP , Swachh Bharat Mission, NGRBA .
We were originally a group of researchers – so research was always in our agenda and supported the Government and Non-Government through quantitative and qualitative studies and recommendation. We carried out pure research as well as baseline/endline studies , strategy development in the areas like gender and development, health and nutrition, adolescent health, undocumented migration, GIS based studies, livelihood promotion under MGNREGA etc.
Planning being the core discipline of several members , the group engaged in Urban , Rural and Sectoral Planning exercises preparing Smart City solutions , Development Plans, City Business Plans, District Plans, Minority Development Plan, Tribal Plans, Agriculture Plan, Non Farm Sectors plans etc.
The moderately long years of existence in the development sector has basically been a period of experiment, a period of delivery and a period of learning. We have touched thousands and thousands of lives. We could make sustainable changes in certain areas but are still struggling to make sustainable, inclusive development in varied other sectors. Through our implementation projects we have reached out to thousands of children by mainstreaming then to formal education, women by capacitating them to be socio-economically empowered , mothers for orienting their MHC behaviour, farmers in improving their livelihood by exposing them to changed cropping practices utilising minor irrigation schemes, underprivileged youth by making them employable in the formal work stream and have touched communities in all Districts of West Bengal though different projects. In the process we – all members and staff @ Hijli INSPIRATION – have grown to become very conscious global citizens – more enlightened socially which establishes our tag line as “A Socially Apt Group”.
Lt. Col. Dr. J. Chaudhuri (Retd.)
Jyotirmoy Choudhuri is a Consulting Medical Specialist. He retired from Indian Army as Lt. Colonel and served in ESI (MB) Scheme, West Bengal in various capacities like Superintendent, ESIHospital. He has handled several projects of INSPIRATION as the Medical Team Leader including those related to Health System Development for the World Bank, GTZ, and UNICEF etc.
Mr. Dipankar Ghosh
Dipankar Ghosh is a Sociologist with a Post-Graduation in Personnel Management and Labour Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, London University. He was employed with BBC World Services for more than twenty-three years as a senior journalist and commentator and broadcaster. He is OD and Communication Specialist. He has prepared several Organisational Development Plans for Municipalities. He has handled assignments for the UNICEF and the Government of West Bengal on Information Education Communication and Community Mobilization.
Dr. Chandreyee Das
Chandreyee Das is a Ph.D. in Planning from IIT Kharagpur with a basic background in Economics and Econometrics. Her specialization is in Planning, Evaluation and Impact Assessment , Socio-economic system studies and modeling. She has functioned as Team Leader / Principal Investigator/ Principal Researcher/ Consultant in several studies and action research projects for national and International sponsors including the State and National Governments ,World Bank, FAO, DFID, ADB,UNICEF, the GTZ etc. Her focus spans varied sectors in rural and urban frames. She has several publications in National and International Journals and has edited a book “Eye on Development”. She was involved in several International Assignments with organisations in USA, UK, Italy, Thailand, Philippines, Bhutan, and Bangladesh.
Dr. Rupali Dey
Dr. Partha Bose
Dr. Damayanti Mukhopadhyay
Damayanti Mukhopadhyay is a Ph. D from Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur and a Masters in Sociology from Calcutta University. Her specialization is in Social Group Functioning, Participatory Development primarily in the Natural Resource Management. She has served as a Research Officer, Consultant, Trainer in several National and International assignments supported by the Govt. of India, Govt. of West Bengal and international donors like the Ford Foundation, DFID etc.
Prof. Tapas Kumar Basu
Tapas K. Basu is an MA (Pol. Sc. with specialisation in Sociology), Calcutta University and an LLB, Calcutta University. He taught Pol. Sc. and Sociology at the Calcutta University for more than three decades. He was involved in the research programme on the sociology of Birhor Tribe of Midnapore District of WB under the famous Socio-Anthropologist Late Nirmal K Bose. His specialization is Sociology of the marginalised, community mobilisation and transaction analysis. He is engaged as consulting sociologist and Member INSPIRATION. He has functioned as lead sociologist in several research and action projects for National and International donors. He has several research publications to his credit
Dr. Mandira Bhattacharya
Mr. Debangsu Bhattacharya
Debashis Bhattacharyay is a Ph. D from Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and a Masters in Regional Planning from IIT Kharagpur. His specialization is in Social Analysis and R & R.As a Social Specialist. As Resettlement Specialist, he has undertaken social impact assessment, preparation of resettlement framework. He has worked with major international clients like the ADB and World Bank.