In early 2005, Actionaid, in collaboration with Thomson Reuters Foundation, carried out an ethnographic study in the Ganges Delta region south of Kolkata, India's third-largest city, which showed that economies of desperately poor and marginalized people can be dramatically impacted by increase of local employment. Subsequently, a group of dedicated social entrepreneurs set up Anudip Foundation to address critical livelihood needs of people of rural India through information technology.
Anudip began establishing training centers with three locations in the Sundarbans region of eastern India. These first centers were learning prototypes launched in partnership with community NGOs. They allowed the development of local learning techniques, course content, sustainability of operations, and ease of replication.
Feedback from alumni of prototype Centers and recommendations of our advisors and partner-NGOs led to the concept of MERIT project centers, not only to absorb graduates of our MAST centers, but also to address the burgeoning growth of the BPO sector in India and set up a model which will have far-reaching and nationwide implications on the industry.