A Quest for a Strong Samaaj

We support ground-breaking work anchored in networks and movements, to create and strengthen communities that work for their own betterment. At the core of our work is the intent to create a resilient, active, and compassionate samaaj.

We focus on emerging themes essential to an equitable, inclusive society – one built on strong foundational constitutional values and lived principles.

We are citizens first; not subjects of the state or as consumers of the market. As citizens, how do we then help build a good society?

RNP Grants INR 100 Crores to NIMHANS & NCBS to Accelerate Research & Treatment of Five Major Mental Health Disorders

Our approach

Strengthening samaaj, sarkaar and bazaar

to our collective purpose of a good society.

We believe in healthy, vibrant, active communities and networks. In the continuum of samaaj (society), bazaar (market) and sarkaar (government), a strong society can keep markets and the state accountable to the public good. This will revive communities and help build their capacities to fulfill their functions and duties for their own betterment. Through our work, we hope to enable more creative collaboration across divides and silos.


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Mental Health
Transformative change
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Gender equity
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Climate & Environment
Conservation, Adaptation & Co-creation
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Active Citizenship
Collective Co-creation
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Access to Justice
Justice within reach

Active Citizenship

Collective Co-creation

Access to Justice​

Justice within reach

Climate & Biodiversity​

Preserve and Nourish


Philanthropy is an Act of Empathy. Collaboration is Change in Action.

In a deeply interwoven society, while every contribution to the social sector advances communities, much more needs to be done to see widespread social change and progress. We need to change as individuals to see differently; seeing differently allows us to act differently and solve systemic problems collaboratively and co-creatively.

At Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, we empower our grantees by creating spaces and supporting programs that help them thrive. We invest in long-term change through collaboration and institutional support, rooted in co-creation and mutual learning.

We recognise that societal change cannot occur overnight but needs patient, empathetic nurturing with the space and freedom to fail.

Recent resources



The Water Data Podcast With Peter Gleick & Rohini Nilekani | Dalberg


Understanding movements


A strong samaaj forms the foundation that restores balance in the system.

Rohini Nilekani is an author and philanthropist and has been a strong influence in the Indian social sector over the past three decades. Her philanthropic work spans different sectors of Indian civil society. She founded Arghyam, a foundation for sustainable water and sanitation, and co-founded Pratham Books, nonprofit enabling access to reading for millions of children. Currently, she is the Chairperson of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and a Co-founder and Director of EkStep, a nonprofit education platform. Rohini and her husband, Nandan Nilekani, are signatories to the Giving Pledge, pledging to give away half of their wealth to philanthropy.

Rohini’s first book, Stillborn, a medical thriller, and her second, Uncommon Ground, were published by Penguin Books India. Her latest, Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar – A Citizen-first Approach, is a self-published, Creative Commons-licensed book. She is also the author of 16 books for young children.