About the Podcast

After 21 years in the development sector, Dasra co-founder, Deval Sanghavi has met some extraordinary people who have actively shaped the sector and his thinking. Through No-Cost Extension, an interview-style podcast, you will get a first-hand glimpse of India’s development sector from key figures and explore how they have contributed to making a positive impact on India’s future. Each episode will dive into the thematic areas of the guest’s work, explore pivotal moments of success, failures, and altered trajectories.

Join him in No-Cost Extension where he’ll unpack the mechanics of social change with philanthropists, NGO, foundation and community leaders to see how we can create a future where everyone can thrive.

Episode 8 | Whether it's COVID or environmental issues, our children will always pay the biggest price says Safeena Husain

Deval Sanghavi speaks to Safeena Husain, the founder of Educate Girls, an NGO that works to support girls’ education across India. Educate Girls has just completed 14 years, and during this period they have grown from working with fifty schools to working in over 18,000 villages across India and reaching millions of children.

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Episode 7 | Often we get stuck in taking these sides of are you a rights-based organization or are you a service delivery organization, the beauty is in looking at both sides, says Aakash Sethi

Deval Sanghavi speaks to Aakash Sethi, the CEO of Quest Alliance, a non-profit organization that equips young people with 21st-century skills. Aakash shares what it was like to grow up in a family dedicated to development work, what it means to him to build for a world where young people feel empowered and included, how to grow from loss, and the impact of COVID-19 on education in India. They also chat about how Quest has become one of the best places in the development sector to work in, and how important eating and sharing together is for a thriving work culture.

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Episode 6 | Unless idealism meets reality somewhere, it will always be two parallels running and never meeting, say Anu Aga and Meher Pudumjee

Deval Sanghavi speaks to Anu Aga and Meher Pudumjee, a mother and daughter philanthropic team who are deeply committed to equity and inclusion. While many families grapple with intergenerational philanthropy, Anu and Meher are examples of how different perspectives can come together to shape a long-lasting philanthropic engagement.

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Episode 5 | Hansal Mehta asks Deval Sanghavi, What's Bad Philanthropy?

This special episode is a conversation between Deval and Hansal Mehta that took place earlier this year at Dasra Philanthropy Week. Listen in as Hansal speaks to Deval about his perspectives on philanthropy, what he believes is real impact, and his lockdown beard.

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Episode 4 | Your intent is to make impact, there is no machine that can actually test that, says Vineet Rai

Deval Sanghavi speaks to Vineet Rai, the Founder and Chairman of Aavishkaar Group, a leading impact investment platform in the world. Although they have very different perspectives when it comes to development and social change, they share a long friendship that goes back to their early years in the development sector. Listen in as Vineet and Deval talk about the shared idealism that shapes their values, their history of travelling together across the country to learn and understand what was happening on the ground, how capitalism and philanthropy work together, and what impact investing is all about.

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Episode 3 | What would happen to those lives if I closed the shelter down? Sharda Nirmal and Karen Doff from the Sharanam Centre

Deval Sanghavi speaks to Sharda Nirmal, the force behind the Sharanam Centre, a home for girls in Dharavi, Mumbai, and Karen Doff, the founder of the Aasha Foundation and a longtime collaborator of the centre. The Sharanam Centre is not an institution - it is a home. Sharda talks about how she established the Sharanam Centre as a young woman and with her husband over twenty years ago, and describes how she learnt to manage resistance from the community, and what it was that the girls really needed. Karen first encountered Sharanam as a visitor, but soon became a close collaborator, working with Sharda to support the centre.

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Episode 2 | If you're doing something for the public good, why don't you give the public ownership of it? Asks Donald Lobo

Deval Sanghavi speaks to Donald Lobo, one of India's most unassuming philanthropists.
Listen in as Lobo deftly steers the conversation away from the Rolling Stones article he was featured in, and as he talks about his giving philosophy and why he trusts organizations that are truly embedded in communities, what people think the terms impact and scale mean versus what they should mean, and why Lobo’s hopeful about the Indian social sector.

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Episode 1 | Do you really want them to be sitting in front of an excel sheet? Asks Suparna Gupta

In the first episode of No Cost Extension, Deval sits down to talk to Suparna Gupta, the founder of Aangan Trust, a Mumbai-based foundation that works with vulnerable children. Listen in as they discuss what a no-cost extension really means, Suparna’s early years working with children and how Aangan grew, what she has learnt from her journey and of course, the usefulness of sitting in front of excel sheets.

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Loren Cardeli is taking on the Food Industrial Complex

Loren Cardeli is Executive Director at A Growing Culture, a non profit that believes in food sovereignty for everyone everywhere and works with farmers to ensure they decide what to grow, where to grow it and who to sell it to.

Deval and Loren met at a Synergos retreat and found they had much to talk about and bond over, prompting Deval to invite Loren on to No-Cost Extension as a guest.

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Going Platinum: Past, Present and Future of Civil Society in India @ 75

We interrupt regular programming on No-Cost Extension with Deval Sanghavi to bring you this panel discussion from Dasra Philanthropy Week 2023.

The Going Platinum: Past, Present and Future of Civil Society in India @ 75 report was a collective effort by India’s leading non-profits that showcased and celebrated civil society's contribution to India's development.

The conversation at DPW 2023 was based on the report and spanned policy, service delivery and research/ advocacy – reminiscing the past with an eye to the future.

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“We are all philanthropists” says Sonal Shah.

Sonal Shah has spent her career both in the private and public sector, including stints with Goldman Sachs, Google.org and The White House. She is currently the CEO of The Texas Tribune, a politics and public policy-specific news organization.

But before embarking on her illustrious career, many years ago, Sonal and I were just two teenagers forced to wake up early and help clean up the Gandhi Centre in Houston, Texas after community events.

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When you plan for the most vulnerable, you make the world work better for everyone

Jo McGowan and Ravi Chopra met in the 70s and fell in love through the post. They got married and moved to India in the early 80s and have since dedicated their lives to serving the communities they live in, albeit in very different ways.

From helping set up The Front for Rapid Economic Advancement of India (FREA) to working with the Centre for Science and Environment to setting up the People’s Science Institute in Uttarakhand, Ravi Chopra has spent his life using science and technology to better the lives of others. The People’s Science Institute is known for its pioneering work in the fields livelihoods development, environmental quality monitoring and disaster-safe housing.

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Episode 6

How do you begin to break intergenerational cycles of poor health and violence in a megapolis? What evidence based models of urban health interventions can we look to?

Content Warning: This episode contains mentions of violence that some listeners may find disturbing and listener discretion is advised.

In this episode of No-Cost Extension, Deval sits down with Dr. Armida Fernandez, founder-trustee of SNEHA Mumbai (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action) and the organisation’s CEO Vanessa D’Souza.

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DPW Conversations: Bring The Community Voice Back

Dasra Philanthropy Week is an annual gathering of diverse stakeholders and voices from the development ecosystem to convene, converse and continue sustained action towards the quest for a billion Indians to thrive with dignity and equity.

As the 14th edition of Dasra Philanthropy Week 2023 gets underway, No-Cost Extension presents DPW specials: conversations that we believe will be of interest to our listeners.

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The importance of Listening in Philanthropy with Alberto Lidji

How can we engage with policymakers in a timely and effective way? What can we do to address the power imbalance between the Global North and the Global South? Why does global philanthropy set aside only 2% of funding for the climate?

In this episode of No-Cost Extension, Deval Sanghavi has a freewheeling conversation with Alberto Lidji, Founder of the Do One Better Knowledge Hub and Podcast.

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Episode 5

How can we challenge the top-down approach to solving social problems? Can we build bridges between powerful sectors and community organisations? What role does sustained inner work play in serving with love?

Deval sits down with Peggy Dulany, Founder & Chair of Synergos, a global organisation helping dismantle systems that create the most urgent problems of our time: poverty, social injustice, and climate change.

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Episode 4

How should funders be rethinking philanthropy in the wake of the pandemic? How can they take their egos out of the equation? How can they operate with a greater sense of urgency, transparency, and trust with grantee-centric mechanisms?

In this episode of No-Cost Extension, Deval Sanghavi sits down with Lior Ipp, the CEO of the Roddenberry Foundation that is inspired by the life and legacy of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry who believed that human potential is remarkable and would lead us to a better, fairer world.

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The Rebuild Conversations - 2

The Rebuild India Fund will support 1000 small community based organizations in the next decade through flexible funding and capacity building, enabling them to survive and thrive.

How do committees select organizations for funding? What is it like to be on a selection committee? What can we learn and unlearn from the hundreds of small organizations doing meaningful work across the country? What can we do better next time?

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The Rebuild Conversations - 1

When COVID-19 hit, it made clear the undeniable fact of just how vulnerable our poorest communities are. It was a setback of huge proportions, creating a crisis that extended well beyond health to impact on work and livelihoods, education, access to food and nutrition. It exposed how a shock in any one area can snowball pushing communities deeper into poverty. Many small grassroots organizations were the primary support for communities in the worst phases of the pandemic.

The Rebuild India Fund was set up to support those closest to the ground - the small community organizations working at the grassroots to support these communities to become more resilient. The Rebuild Fund does this through flexible funding and capacity building and by recognizing and respecting NGO leaders' ability and power to run their organizations in a manner that serves their communities most meaningfully.

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Episode 3

How can community philanthropy grow organically in a way that serves the community, unlocking its potential? Why do we use the word risk so much in philanthropy? How can family philanthropies involve the next gen meaningfully in their work?

Deval Sanghavi, host of No-Cost Extension Pod sits down with Maya Patel, the CEO of The Tarsadia Foundation, a family philanthropy working both in India and the United States in health and human services, economic empowerment, and education. In 2016, the National Center for Family Philanthropy recognized the Tarsadia Foundation as a model of successful next-generation engagement in philanthropy.

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Episode 2

Can urban discard be used as a tool to alleviate poverty? How can the poor be involved in evolving their own solutions with dignity? Why must we focus on the receiver’s dignity instead of the donor’s pride?

In this episode of No-Cost Extension, host Deval Sanghavi speaks to Anshu and Meenakshi Gupta, co-founders of Goonj. Goonj aims to build an equitable relationship of strength, sustenance and dignity between the cities and villages using the under-utilized urban material as a tool to trigger development with dignity, across the country.

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Episode 1

How can loving a sport lead someone to found an NGO? How can we empower young people to make their own life decisions, rather than giving them solutions? What is the secret to scaling such social initiatives across the world and what changes can one hope to see from the Indian social sector funding landscape?

In the first episode of season 2, Deval Sanghavi speaks to Matthew Spacie, the founder of Magic Bus, an NGO that works with children and young people in India taking them on a journey from childhood to livelihood and out of poverty. There are currently hundreds of thousands of children on this journey of moving out of poverty in 22 states and 80 districts of India. Magic Bus works across south Asia in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.

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Deval Sanghavi is back with another season of No-Cost Extension, ready to engage more deeply with the theme of rebuilding. Through conversations with social leaders, small NGOs and voices from philanthropies, Season 2 will focus on rebuilding communities, rebuilding India, and rebuilding the fabric of our society. The first episode drops next week!

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How to Listen

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