Pradan was started back in 1983, when it was not yet fashionable for NRIs to return back to India, to join the social sector. Here were some of the best brains in the country, who chose not to leave and country and instead go rural. Pradan was an initiative started by a bunch of IIT/IIM graduates, who brought professionalism to the NGO sector. Deep Joshi was himself an MIT/Sloan School graduate. Their work and their people have now reached in the farthest corners of the country working on different issues in rural areas.
One such example I know is Pramod Kulkarni who started with Pradan and moved on to start a new orgnisation in Bangalore, that identifies meritotorious students in the IXth and Xth grade who may be sons and daughters of cobblers, sweepers, or for that matter fatherless, and funds their higher education making doctors, CAs, engineers out of them. This is one example of one organisation by one of the members of Pradan. Pradan has been in existence since 1983 and has sowed hundreds of such seeds all over the country working on a variety of issues right from irrigation methods to micro-finance.
Hence the award is not for the work done by one organisation alone. It recognises a movement that was created by spreading out these highly educated professionals into the deepest interiors of the country.