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Ajay Desai: Enabling Access to Financial Services in Rural India

Ajay Desai: Enabling Access to Financial Services in Rural India
Ajay: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Frugal Innovations for Financial Inclusion (FI4FI) is my motto and mission. I help enable easy access to financial services for Indians, especially from villages. Entrepreneurs in rural India, especially the women, struggle to obtain enough credit to run a viable business, be it farming, dairy, or other enterprises. Credit is the most vital external input for them as it enables them to convert other resources like time, skill, and raw material into valuable products which become a source of income. Besides credit, they need other financial products including insurance, investment, and pension.

Dr. Revathi Srinivasan: Imparting Quality Education to Improve Quality of Life

Dr. Revathi Srinivasan: Imparting Quality Education to Improve Quality of Life
Revathi: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Being an educationist for three decades and spearheading eight educational institutions, my spectrum of work is not only confined to academics, curriculum design, and development but also to social outreach initiatives and empowerment programs. The focal point of all my work is addressing quality and equity in education. The challenge today is to make students, parents, and teachers go beyond textbook learning and help them become thinkers. We have been running since 2015 a Rural Immersion Program to educate underprivileged children. It will result in the literacy rate increasing, a broadening of the mentality, and independent livelihood, and will also cause an attitude change and raise a responsible generation.

Gargi Sharma: Developing Wildlife Conservation Interventions in India

Gargi Sharma: Developing Wildlife Conservation Interventions in India
Gargi: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! I work as a project manager with the Counter Wildlife Trafficking project of WCS-India. I broadly develop conservation interventions to address illegal wildlife trade (IWT) that happens at and through the northeast region of India. This region falls under the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot and is home to several commercially sought after species, many of which are endemic! IWT brings with itself several critical issues such as local extirpations of species, introduction of zoonosis, threat to national security, etc. I work in partnerships with relevant stakeholders such as enforcement agencies, local communities, and educators to raise the profile of IWT, to build their capacity to counter IWT, and develop research to better understand IWT.