The Wall Street Journal ran an interview yesterday with Deep Joshi SM ′77, an Indian activist and leader who was recently honored with a Magsaysay award for setting up an organization called Pradan that focuses on empowering poor people through entrepreneurial training programs and self-help groups for women.
Pradan, which stands for Professional Assistance for Development Action, operates mainly in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and has reportedly helped 170,000 families.
When asked about the philosophy behind his work, Joshi explained:
First of all, that people have the potential to do things, even though they may not have the ability…ability is potential actualized. People should not be fed through donations or charity, but helped to develop their potential. Some years ago, Amartya Sen defined capability in two ways, the “being” and the “doing”…