Social Awareness

Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar- A Citizen-First Approach by Rohini Nilekani

An invitation to re-examine the role of an engaged and active Samaaj.

This August will mark the publication of Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar: A Citizen-First Approach by Rohini Nilekani, a leading philanthropist, journalist, and writer. The book showcases Nilekani’s learnings from her civic engagement and philanthropy over three decades. She advocates that the quest for a good society begins with positioning Samaaj as the foundational sector to keep the state and markets accountable to the broader public interest.
Through Nilekani’s writings, speeches, and interviews over several years, we see the evolution of her understanding of the societal landscape over this time. From her early work on the responsibilities of citizens, the issues within the justice system, and the challenges of sustainability to the potential offered by the digital age, along with key takeaways from the Covid-19 pandemic, she discusses the intricate equilibrium between the state, society, and markets.
Rohini Nilekani has been associated with several civil society institutions over her thirty years of work in the civic space through giving and founding member of organizations such as Pratham Books, Arghyam, and EkStep Foundation. She has long been associated with organizations such as Akshara Foundation and Ashoka Trust For Research In Ecology And The Environment (ATREE).
This new book, Samaaj Sarkaar Bazaar: A Citizen-First Approach, distills my thoughts about the need for a dynamic balance between the three sectors of Society, State, and Markets. Regarding the book’s intent, Rohini Nilekani says, “A Samaaj-first philosophy has guided my civic involvement and personal philanthropy for the past three decades. This book invites thinkers, researchers, writers, civic leaders, and all citizens to join the important public discourse around the changing role of these three sectors. I also hope it energizes citizens to rethink our part in creating an equitable and resilient society.
The book will release on August 4, 2022, and will be available to purchase at select bookstores and e-commerce platforms. Any proceeds will go to the civil society organizations Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies supports.

Early praise for the book Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar
“What does it mean to have citizens first while navigating a dynamic balance between markets and state? Samaaj, Sarkaar, Bazaar is a compelling read that brings together Rohini Nilekani’s views on these three essential pillars and provokes readers towards further thought and action.” Rukmini Banerji – CEO, Pratham Education Foundation.
“Rohini Nilekani has made an enormous contribution over the last three decades to building and improving the quality of the social capital of the different communities, cities, and states of our country. This was achieved through her widely admired activities such as author, columnist, social activism, philanthropy, and each animated by her deep humanism. This collection of forty-three essays by her is truly a beautiful gem. I warmly recommend this book to all young and old working in India or abroad wishing to make a difference in how our world functions.” Vijay Kelkar – Chairman, India Development Foundation and Vice President, Pune International Centre.
“Rohini Nilekani spotlights the lack of equilibrium between the state, society, and sustainability which will spiral into a socio-economic catastrophe unless we the citizens demand better governance. A must-read for every concerned citizen who wants to challenge the status quo.” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon Limited
About the author
Rohini Nilekani is an author and philanthropist and has strongly influenced the Indian social sector over the past three decades. Her philanthropic work spans different sectors of Indian civil society. She founded Arghyam, sustainable water and sanitation foundation, and co-founded Pratham Books, non-profit enabling access to reading for millions of children. She is the Chairperson of Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies and a Co-founder and Director of EkStep, a non-profit 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, was published by Penguin Books India. She is also the author of 16 books for young children.

This article was shared with Prittle Prattle News as a Press Release.
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