Prayatna was founded by Prabhat Kumar, in Muzaffarpur, Bihar after he observed rampant poverty and inequity in the neighboring rural villages as a young college graduate. He saw the condition of communities, especially where the lower castes were living for generations. After seeing the problems in the communities, he was determined to make a difference rather than being a by stander. In 2003, Prabhat Kumar and his acquaintances set up Prayatna. He began to give his time and resources into helping the people around him. He started free classes for street children and began to work for the livelihood of poor people. He made people aware of their rights and linked them with the government programmes. Gandhian values and Gandhian way of rural development has always inspired him to continue his work in this field. Partnerships started to being formed with the government and other agencies. In 2017, Pratik Kumar assumed the role of President Prayatna and has been steering the organization to greater heights.