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Richa Pandey Mishra of eJeevika
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eJeevika: Training rural folk for jobs

February 2, 2009

Text: Shobha Warrier

After Saloni Malhotra, it is the turn of yet another Delhi woman -- Richa Pandey Mishra -- to listen to her heart's calling and work for rural India.

And the man who has helped both realise their passion is Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala of IIT-Madras whose dream it is "to connect rural India through 200 million telephone and Internet connections."

Although she hails from a village in Uttar Pradesh, Richa grew up in Delhi and studied in "the best school and college" there, thanks to her brilliant father who himself had studied on a merit scholarship and got a job at the Food Corporation of India. Her grandfather is still a farmer in UP, and all her cousins live in the village.

"I find them to be smarter than me, but because they grew up in a village they did not get good opportunities like I did. None of them has a good job, and they are struggling. So, from the day I landed a job as a marketing and sales executive with India Today, my desire was to do something for them and for rural India.

"My roots are very strong. When I referred my cousins to the contacts I had, I found that they were not even able to clear the interview. That was how the passion to do something for rural India started," says Richa.

Image: Richa Pandey Mishra, the brainchild behind eJeevika. | Photograph: Sreeram Selvaraj

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