Changing Perceptions in India: Promoting innovation and community cohesion through active citizenship

August 23, 2017

The spellbound beauty of Shanti Stupa, Leh. ShivaRajvanshi, CC BY-SA

For a number of years, Bright Red Triangle has worked to promote entrepreneurship, creative thinking and innovation practice at Edinburgh Napier University. We have done this through a range of projects that not only engage our staff, students and recent graduates, but also many other members of our local community. We offer free office space, advice, mentorship, and training to those determined to embark in an entrepreneurial adventure. We offer consultancy services that are driven by talented students and recent graduates mentored by experienced professionals. And through Changing Perceptions, we encourage all to apply this mindset we so vehemently promote, towards making the world a better, kinder place.

Partnerships are very important to us. As proud as we are of the ever-improving services we provide, it is only through collaborating with other people and organisations that we can explore our true potential. Partnerships allow us to bring the entrepreneurial mindset and our passion for innovation to new exciting grounds. They allow us to participate in global conversations where thinking creatively can bring a positive and meaningful change. Today’s story is about partnerships and social innovation.

The Himalayan terrain is a stunningly beautiful place. Yet, its wild, unruly and mysterious power is not always benevolent. Rural communities around these regions constantly face isolation, damages and hardship because of naturally occurring events. For this reason, the sustainable development of these rural communities is essential for their survival. We believe we can help, so we have partnered with UTSAAH for a fascinating project that aims to help communities grow by assisting them on building social enterprises and self-sustainable programmes using their own resources and value.

To learn more about UTSAAH click here or you can check them out on Facebook here.

Our current focus is in Leh, the second largest district in India with an area larger than The Netherlands. Its population is just above 30,000 inhabitants and greatly spread, making communities in this region live at great distances of each other. Furthermore, Leh is located at almost 12,000 ft above sea level and heavily textured with mountains and hills, making traveling very difficult. Leh is historically significant, being the capital of what was once the kingdom of Ladakh (“Land of high passes”).

In order to reach our goal, Nika Puri – lead of the Changing Perceptions programme and an experienced social activist and women entrepreneur – will spend two weeks in Leh, where she will be delivering specially tailored workshops to women in communities where UTSAAH has determined this help will be most impactful. These workshops have been carefully designed by Nick Fannin and Nika Puri to promote active citizenship, innovation, and entrepreneurship. It will also expose prospective entrepreneurs to BRT and UTSAAH, creating a supportive climate to ensure that great people and ideas are well cared for.

Additionally, Nika will also be conducting a gap analysis that could potentially assist us in pinpointing the most efficient approaches towards building a culture of sustainability in these fascinating communities. This research will also help find potential partnerships, and promote Bright Red Triangle, our Changing Perceptions programme, and UTSAAH even further.

Nika’s humanitarian career started in the Himalayas, where her strong and active sense of citizenship drove her to fight for the empowerment of women in this region. She has a passion for these mountains that tie her very strongly to them. Her career is driven by her commitment to empower these communities.

If you are interested in the work we are doing, UTSAAH and Changing Perceptions (as part of the BRT) are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to join their teams. Contact Nika directly at n.puri@napier.ac.uk for more information.

Bright Red Triangle