India Development Service

India Development Service Supports Upaya's LiftUP Project


Upaya is proud to announce it has received funding from the Chicago-based India Development Service (IDS), a nonprofit, non-political, and secular organization supporting economic and social development in India.

Varsha Pancholi, IDS Board Member, recently met with Upaya's Sachi Shenoy and Sriram Gutta, and visited Samridhi's operations on the outskirts of Lucknow. "I was really impressed with the level of motivation both Upaya and Samridhi have in working with the ultra poor," said Pancholi. "I know they all could choose an easier route in life but choose to do this."

IDS supports small grassroots development projects under various categories like income generation, education, health care, environment and disaster management across India. These projects emphasize self-reliance, accountability of project coordinators, and a strong sense of ownership for the beneficiaries. Careful prior monitoring and ongoing dialogue with the projects have been the mainstay of IDS project support.

“We are pleased the IDS board saw in Upaya the same potential it has seen in many other successful early-stage organizations,” said Upaya Executive Director Sachi Shenoy. “Not only will IDS’s financial commitment allow Upaya to support early-stage businesses through the LiftUP Project, but we will also have the opportunity to draw from the insights and experiences of IDS leadership as our own organization continues to grow,” Shenoy said.

Since 1974, IDS has given over $ 1 million in support to over 150 projects across India and remains a catalyst to new projects every year. For more information about IDS, please go to