INDIA DEVELOPMENT AND RELIEF FUND INC

Rating: 4.93 stars   43 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Education, Health, International, Women, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: 5821 Mossrock Dr N Bethesda MD 20852 USA

Mission: Our mission is break the cycle of poverty in India and Nepal by empowering marginalized people with skills, services and infrastructure grounded in sustainable development. We work directly with community-based nonprofits that operate with minimal overhead. We serve people regardless of religion or caste. We also work one-on-one with donors who have a specific dream of giving back to India.
Results: For example, we helped an Indian-American establish a school in his native village in Uttar Pradesh. In the 80s initially served only one village but today provides affordable value-based education to 1000 students from 25 villages. These poor kids regularly outperform the state and local averages on their exams. In another instance, we funded a family planning pilot in ten villages in Haryana, a state notorious for gender discrimination. After that program drastically reduce birthrates, we helped our partner NGO introduce these self-help groups in more villages, and add training in women's rights, healthcare, and business skills. Today these self-help groups send and lend collectively and organize thousands of workshops in their villages. This year, 9,000 women in 100+ villages participated in this program. 1,000+ have started businesses. 100% of the groups manage their own finances, a major accomplishment for women with limited literacy skills. IDRF has also turned disasters into opportunities for development. In the wake of the 1990 Odisha supercyclone, IDRF introduced and tested a new variety of water-tolerant rice. Hundreds of families, who used to lose crops each year to floods, received seeds and farm inputs to reestablish their income.
Target demographics: marginalized people
Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000+ people
Geographic areas served: India and Nepal
Programs: self-help groups, organic food processing and seed production, college scholarships, governance training, eco-friendly water harvesting, mobile medical care, etc.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

What a great organization !
We have known Vinodji & Sarlaji for iver 30 years and have over the years seen their honesty, integrity and pure unselfish devotion to the cause of of the disadvantaged in India. We will continue supporting this great organization as long as possible - no better way to return to our 'janambhoomi" for all It has given us
IDRF supports causes without consideration of provincial, religious, caste or other petty consideration.
Our best to Vinodji who despite his physical setback has been pursuing this cause with redoubled vigor.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have known Dr. Vinod Prakash and Sarla, his wife, ever since I moved into the Washington, DC area twenty six years ago through IDRF, the charity they manage. After retiring from the World Bank, Vinodji has taken up the mission of IDRF as his own. The couple has been spending most of their time in fund-raising, distribution and follow-up. By and large, they visit India every year, inspect and check working of the charities, many in remote, neglected areas like Adivasis (tribal peoples), to ensure every dollar donated is deserved and spent well. Their integrity and commitment are beyond question. The effect their work has on individuals and societies serves as criteria for measuring success. I admire their devotion, persistence and commitment all through the years. Vinodji continues with unabated zeal even after a physical impairment struck him. I show my appreciation by donating to IDRF any monetary gifts I receive, adding some of my own. Compliments to Vinodji and his team.

From an admirer,
Subramanya Baliga

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

We are a donor with IDRF for many years now. Great service, no overheads and availability of many large and small but high quality social organizations in India. Our favorite is Leela Poonawalla foundation in Pune Maharashtra, supporting higher education for young girls. when 50% members of our society namely women, are empowered, we have a chance to become a model society in India.

We are very grateful to Sarla and Vinod Prakash for creating and nurturing IDRF, a wonderful platform for good!

Vidya & Avi Gore

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

In 1993, I was looking for a well-run non-profit organization to send in my donation after Maharashtra earthquake when I came to know of IDRF. Over the years, I came to know Dr. Vinod Prakashji and was very impressed by his passion and dedication towards helping the less fortunate ones in India. He inspired me to undertake few projects in rural and tribal areas in Orissa (my home state) and converted me from a casual donor to an involved volunteer. I scouted for projects on my trips to India and, when I found a worthwhile project whose execution could be well monitored, Dr. Vinod Prakashji was very supportive and IDRF adopted those projects. Together, we funded vocational training classes in an orphanage in Kendarapada, Orisaa as well as funded construction of a residential tribal girls school in Rayagada, Orissa, which is run by Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust. The passion, dedication, positive attitude of striving towards a better future for all, of IDRF is infectious and has truly transformed many lives.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Sarla and Vinod Prakash are to be congratulated. They have with hard work, persistence, and dedication built a strong and vibrant institution, in IDRF, for helping development and reconstruction projects for those in need in India. It is an impressive achievement indeed. I am impressed by the large amounts of funds and the set of loyal donors they have mobilized, but even more so by a) the geographical and functional range of activities that are being supported b) careful attention to identification of suitable projects and idealistic persons on the ground to implement them c) the emphasis on mobilizing complementary local resources (in India) so that IDRF funds are often catalysts. The very low proportion of administrative and other expenses to the total funds mobilized (only 4%) and transferred to the actual beneficiaries is commendable.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  



India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) is a tax-exempt organization under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3). It aims to support grassroots and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in serving the most disadvantaged, impoverished, illiterate, poor, uneducated and needy people in India.

Dr. Vinod Prakash received his Ph.D in Economics from MIT, Cambridge, MA, and he worked at the World Bank as an economist from 1971-88, in Washington DC. He founded IDRF in 1987. IDRF has crusaded with non-resident Indians to actively find solutions to the problems of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and natural disaster facing the poor Indian masses. As a selfless social worker and a visionary, Dr. Prakash has dedicated his whole life to the IDRF cause. (Since his retirement from the Bank, he has been volunteering virtually all his time for IDRF). Dr. Vinod Prakash has lived in the USA for more than 40 years but, until recently, visited IDRF projects in India almost every year.

IDRF, since its modest beginnings, has grown into a professional organization managed by a small staff and supported by a group of motivated volunteers. IDRF projects range from building schools for needy children, building orphanages and rehabilitation centers for disaster victims, to creating development schemes for tribal areas and urban slums. The project areas may be quite diverse, but all address social and economic issues.

Dr. and Mrs. Prakash are the true refuge and hope for poor, destitute and deprived people living many parts of India. Although the country made some progress in some areas in recent years, there is still significant amount of poverty and lack of access to education and healthcare. Dr. and Mrs. Prakash’s selfless service through IDRF is providing these people with education and hope for better life. Dr. Prakash is committed to provide a better quality of education and health to young children and women in the remote Indian villages. They visit these areas often.

Both Dr. Vinod and Mrs. Sarla are known for their affection, kindness, compassion, and generosity. Their unflinching selfless commitment to serving society and mankind is greatly recognized by volunteers, students, and people like me. However, just as much Mrs. Sarla Prakash enjoyed caring for IDRF volunteers in their house, she was greatly disturbed by the poverty and misery that was prevalent in remote and poor parts of India. I believe the services provided by Dr. and Mrs. Sarla Prakash through IDRF are a great humanitarian service for the poorest of the poor, including the aged, the destitute, the unemployed, the diseased, the terminally ill, and those abandoned by their families. I found them to be a very loving, caring, kind, compassionate and generous couple.

Both Dr. Prakash and Mrs. Prakash are precisely an inherent strength of IDRF and the source of its steady growth. Dr. Prakash tells “We attach utmost importance to [IDRF’s partner] NGOs' accountability and integrity. We select NGOs with proven track records only.”



If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not think changes are needed

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with IDRF for about 2 year as a volunteer & donor. It is impressive to see IDRF working not just for the causes it supports but also it's prompt response to natural calamities like Uttrakhand flood. IDRF has proved itself a very reliable and honest non-profit under the constant guidance of Dr. Vinod Prakash Ji & it's board members.

IDRF provides regular updates and is very open in its communication regarding various programs it supports. Working with IDRF has been a great experience.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have found that the India Development & Relief Fund (IDRF) is doing an outstanding service to for needy, unfortunate and underprivileged people in India. The IDRF collects donation and with a very low administrative cost, uses most of the donated fund for the service. This organization runs several programs such as in Education, health care, women empowerment, and ecofriendly rural development. Besides these programs, IDRF also provides relief to people affected by natural disasters such as Tsunami, earthquake and cyclone etc.

To my knowledge and understanding the director of this Fund, Dr. Vinod Prakash (being blind) and his wife devote their entire time and energy to raise funds and serve disadvantaged and needy people without any personal gain.

To my experience and knowledge the IDRF is an outstanding non profit organization to serve people.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Vinod Uncle and Sarla Aunty are extremely dear to my family. We have seen firsthand the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice they have made in the name of Seva. IDRF raises millions of dollars annually and its overhead is marginal. It serves has a model of true volunteerism whose mission of serving those that are underprivileged is never compromised. The projects cover a wide range of issues including education, health care, disaster relief, agriculture and more! Each project is thoroughly vetted to ensure donations are made and spent appropriately. I have and will continue to support this organization. There is
not enough praise I can give to both Vinod and Sarla Prakash for their commitment to this wonderful cause.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have known this organization for more than 14 years. They are very committed to work at grass root level in helping less fortunate. They review every project in minute detail before they take hand and follow up regularly
This is one of the NPOs thats dear to me .
This NPO has very low overhead expenses and most of the money is spent in developmental activity.

They are are also timely in sending us the receipts and thank you letter with progress report.


Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?