Background

Parinaam was conceived in 2006, to care for the education and healthcare needs of urban and semi-urban economically underprivileged women. The needs of the urban poor are very different from their counterparts in rural areas: The urban poor live in very confined, squalid hutments; the cost of the services they require is more expensive; they fear much more about their personal safety and they are surrounded by a society which is affluent with a variety of goods and services which the they could never access. Their attitudes and aspirations, therefore, are very different from those living in rural areas.

We work with the microfinance institution Ujjivan Financial Services, who is our strategic partner and one of the most respected microfinance institutions in the world. In 2011 Ujjivan was awarded the "Microfinance Organization of the Year" at the Microfinance India Summit in December 2011. Read more about Ujjivan

Recognizing that financial support alone cannot help the poor and that poverty manifests itself in various forms, Parinaam provides critical 'social' support to urban poor families. We provide services in the areas of healthcare, education, livelihood and community development initiatives. Our programs in livelihood, education (including financial literacy) and healthcare target the customers of Ujjivan, while our Urban Ultra Poor Program UUPP) targets non-Ujjivan customers, namely the people identified as the "urban ultra poor" (lack of basic amenities, food insecurity, high levels of debt are just some of the characteristics of this destitute section of society).

Parinaam operates in 20 states. Our head office is in Bangalore, and we have regional offices/coordinators in Pune, New Delhi and Kolkata.

The effort and dedication of the Parinaam staff is focused on making real change on the ground. From the Parinaam perspective, making a difference in one person's life is worth more than unsustainable mass scale interventions. For us, the equation has always been fairly simple - we are not providing charity, nor are we social activists. The poor woman living in the slum is no different than those of us more fortunate. She has the same problems - recalcitrant children who need discipline and a good education; an authoritarian husband who demands his every need to be catered to on priority; what to cook for each meal; how to manage her budget; how to multi task! The only difference is, we can generally pay to manage our needs. She can't. We are grateful to our beneficiary families for giving us an opportunity to level the playing field for them, to "feel good (factor)" about our efforts. In facilitating the satisfaction and happiness of our families with our interventions, we merely increase our own joy in what we do.

As each year passes and we feel more confident of our ability to innovate interventions that cater to the needs of urban and semi-urban slum families, it has brought recognition for Parinaam as facilitators of the programs we deliver. We feel that we are more than just another aid giving organization, and we see ourselves as a friend, mentor, and companion to 'our folks'; someone they can always turn to for support. We make no attempt to publicize our work nor do we make a great deal of fuss about our achievements. Our energies are channeled to the work we do. And yet, Parinaam is getting to be known for the high standards it maintains and the integrity with which we manage our programs. The smile on the faces of our beneficiaries and the happiness that lights up their lives when we launch a new initiative is sufficient reward!

Donations and Tax Exempt Status

Sustainability and funding are key issues faced by most non-profit organizations. Parinaam Foundation was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956, on March 31st, 2008. Our mandate is to provide social services to poor women and their family members in India. Parinaam received its tax exempt status under Section 12A on January 20th, 2009 and its approval under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act 1961 in July 2009. The 80G (5)(vi) of the Income Tax Act 1961 approval, which allows Indian citizens a tax break on donations, has been validated "in perpetuity" under CBDT Circular No. 5/2010 . The general approval under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010 (FCRA) has also been approved by the Home Ministry of the Government of India and is valid for 5 years until January 16th, 2017. We are now in a position to accept foreign currency donations and grants in addition to those from Indian citizens and companies. Read more