In just one year, our contribution has made a significant difference. Rustan Panday, one of Mediaplanet’s founders, recently visited the village with his family.

He called it “the best trip ever,” and recounts his experience, as well as what Hand in Hand and Mediaplanet have in common.

Q: What inspired Mediaplanet to donate to Hand in Hand? What core philosophies do Hand in Hand and Mediaplanet share? 

I’m half Indian, born and raised in India, and have always had a love for CSR, especially in India. Mediaplanet shares my commitment to giving back. I have friends who have donated to Hand in Hand, so that is how I heard about the program. A village sponsorship enables Hand in Hand to teach women to become entrepreneurs. After they complete this training, they are able to borrow money for their first business. The women help each other achieve their goals, supporting each other along the way. The basis of Hand in Hand is to help people help themselves. That is the same philosophy we work with here. Mediaplanet team members have a unique entrepreneurial spirit and a love of doing business. Hand in Hand shares these values, and teaches women how to use them as tools to a better life.

Q. Can you tell us about your recent trip to the village? 

I went with my whole family - there were nine of us. You could see a change in the entire village. The kids were in school, and the schools had food and new, renovated toilets. I was also able to meet individuals and hear their personal stories. I met a woman who bought a cow, and because of this cow, she is going to have a better life. That cow will give her approximately 8 liters of milk every day. I did the math: if she sells the milk for 30 rupees per liter, it will only take her about a year and a half to repay the loan. I directly suggested she invest in another cow, but she was okay with one. It was incredible to see how happy she was, and to see what this investment has done for her family. It was the best trip ever. I was so proud of Mediaplanet, and I am so pleased with the response from our team around the world. Everyone is so happy that we have done this. We have significantly changed the lives of 2500 people, and will continue to look for opportunities to give back.