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Youth Alliance’s initiative “Lead The Change- Igniting Hearts” is accepting application for its February 2013 program. Youth Alliance is an organization working with a vision to “Connect EACH Youth With a Cause”. YA believes in the philosophy of sensitizing young people towards the society by showing them the real picture and connecting them to ground reality.YA also has a range of programmes like “Gramya Manthan”, ”Come Alive” meant to create awareness as well as bring change in society.
Now, Lead The Change is in a new flavor, with 4 days of residential program and focus toward ENTREPRENEURSHIP !! Past two, LTC  Programs have so far nurtured 5 enterprises.
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Lead The Change (LTC) is dedicated to developing social leaders; well-rounded youngsters who are equipped with leadership skills to solve the challenges faced by their communities. Its core aim is to ignite young hearts with holistic concern for their society and nation.
LTC  Program will involve upto 40 youngsters in a six week  program. The program will expose them to pressing issues of our societies such as women empowerment, human dignity, education, environment, policy making and rural immersion. They will study solutions offered by role models, personalities and get a short experience in leadership education. They will be expected to apply this experience to come up with solution for a small local issue and in the process, understand how to set up an enterprise. They will emerge with the wealth of a rich network and a sound understanding of systemic social change. 
 
Leaders like Anshu Gupta (Goonj), Ravi Gulati (Manzil), Vivek Sharma(Gandhi Fellowship), Shaheen Mistry (Teach For India), Neeraj Agarwal (NIIT Yuva Jyoti), Rishikant (Shakti Vahini), Deep Joshi (PRADAN, NAC), Parth J. Shah (CCS) and few more have been part of Lead The Change programs which took place in March-April and September- October 2012.

You can also find in detail about the application procedurehttp://youthallianceofindia.org/lead-the-change/

Check out the presentation to get an idea about it: http://bit.ly/zCCbGf

Like our FB page to stay updated: https://www.facebook.com/changeagents

Apply Now: youthallianceofindia.org/lead-the-change/apply-now/ 

Call previous participants to know more: Shashank (09873427669), Divas (09811132709), Vibhuti (09582870628)

Youth Alliance is an initiative of one our alumni from our very first cohort 2009-11.

P.S.:  Lead The Change is for youngsters in and around Delhi. Please help us in reaching out to more amazing people. Share with your like minded friends.

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Youth Alliance has come up with a new program “Lead The Change”.

Apply Now: http://youthallianceofindia.org/lead-the-change/apply-now/  (Last Date 28 February)

Presentation: http://bit.ly/zCCbGf

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

Lead The Change (LTC) is dedicated to developing social leaders; well-rounded youngsters who are equipped with leadership skills to solve the challenges faced by their communities. Its core aim is to ignite young hearts with holistic concern for their society and nation.

LTC  Program will involve upto 30 youngsters in a six week  program. The program will expose them to pressing issues of our societies such as human dignity, education and rural immersion. They will study solutions offered by role models, personalities and get a short experience in leadership education. They will be expected to apply this experience to come up with solution for a small local issue and in the process, understand how to set up an enterprise. They will emerge with the wealth of a rich network and a sound understanding of systemic social change.

LTC’s Core Purpose:

Youth wants to contribute but often finds it hard to figure out the right way to go about it.  We believe that by exposing passionate young people to these issues and giving them opportunities to interact with role models, we can sensitize them and sow a seed deep in their hearts.  It will also help them in making informed choices of how they shape their future.

  • It will change the outlook of young people towards issues surrounding them and enhance their skills and knowledge to address them
  • It will provide the young with the ability to seek holistic long term solutions and provide them great alternate career choices
  • Turn the direction of conversation among youth groups  from mere discussion of problems to solution oriented talks, and eventually action oriented plans
  • Develop a pool of social leaders and build a strong network
  • Create a community of youth who could serve as role model for their contemporaries
  • Inspire  to act, cause attitudinal shift in mindset

About Youth Alliance:

Youth Alliance is an organization working with a vision to “Connect EACH Youth With a Cause”. We believe in the philosophy of sensitizing young people towards the society by showing them the real picture and connecting them to ground reality.We also have a range of programmes like “Samarpan”;”Come Alive” meant to create awareness as well as bring change in society.  It is an initiative of a  Teach For India alumni from 2009 batch.

Apply Now: http://youthallianceofindia.org/lead-the-change/apply-now/

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As I am writing this note I would just hope that I don’t read about one more scandal in our country tomorrow morning. Inefficient government, corrupt politician and bureaucrats, selfish business houses, inflation at its peak and dying common man. This is the situation of our country.

Things need to be changed but how, who will do it? The onus is on us but it is very hard for a young passionate Indian to think of a change and get started with it. I was lucky enough to get this opportunity. Teach For India gave me a platform where I can work at the bottom of pyramid, work with hundreds of other passionate, committed youth.

Not only I, my close ones also feel tremendous personal transformation in me over this period of fellowship. Today rather than just debating over a problem, I feel like providing or finding a solution to it, I feel myself to be more a responsible and proactive citizen. The classroom and the community has been a testing laboratory for me, there is a great deal of learning here. A simple thing is that if I need to find a solution to the problems of the half a billion Indians, I need to have spent time with them, seen them closely and should have the ability to connect to them. An elite who has been to such places only after a disaster or any natural calamity can’t give solution to their problems because he can’t connect to them. My classroom and community gave me the opportunity to learn more about them and strengthened my personal belief towards being a part of the political system.

Working in a government school for two years has helped me a lot to understand how the government system is made dysfunctional. Education which is one of the root causes of our nation’s problem is given least importance in a school. Today I can say that in most of the government school where the focus should be its student, the focus is on completing attendance register and the students are the last item in their priority list. Here I would like to share an incident from my class. One of my “Superstar” Shahid was categorised as mentally challenged by the school authorities and I was told about it during the beginning of the academic year. I tried to notice him and yes he behaved in some unusual manner, he was a very quite child but always had a big cheeky smile on his face. What I found over a couple of months was that he lacked in self confidence and was afraid of people around him. I had many one to one conversations with him, met his family and went out for partying with him. The change was evident, I used to praise him for his smallest accomplishment in classroom, he started gaining confidence and one day I told the longest word in English language in class and Shahid was the first one to spell it correctly. This was the day when he really gained his confidence and I was the happiest teacher on planet. In the next term examination he secured 13th rank in class and I believe that in future he would be a different person due to this gain in confidence. This is the story of one such Shahid and there are many more such Shahids in Indian classrooms who need the right direction and some love. There are many such stories of transformation which I have witnessed in my classroom and I feel blessed to be a teacher because these small smiles give me the confidence to move ahead and take the bigger challenge.

The level of confidence that I have in me is immense, now I believe that yes “I Can” be the difference because I have seen things changing. Personal transformation is not a small thing, it happens only when something challenges your belief every day, breaks you down and that happens in a classroom ever day. I love being in my classroom, my real life experimental lab where my kids are my teacher, teaching me the important lessons of life before I take the bigger challenge.

Thanks “Superstars: The Leaders of Tomorrow” and thanks “TFI Family”….!!!

“Service before Self”

– Love Prakhar Bhartiya

Writer is a pioneer batch(2009) fellow in TFI. He is a Gandhian, budding politician, a social entrepreneur and an agent of change. Follow him on:  http://www.prakharbhartiya.blogspot.com/

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A proud moment- Srini

Today, I walked into School a bit earlier than usual and I noticed my class kid Kajal going towards the classroom with her Grandma. Seeing me, Kajal came running with a big grin, shouting ‘Bhaiya !’. Holding her little fingers, I climbed up the stairs to reach the classroom. Since the morning shift was going on, we decided to sit in the Staff room for a while going through her file which has a stack of homework sheets and test papers.

Later, when we went into the classroom, Kajal took out a paper (ripped off her English notebook) and handed it over to me with pride and shyness painted on her gleaming face. At first, I thought it is the usual letter my kids write to drop into the Class Letter Box but on reading it, I turned ecstatic. She had written about her Picnic experience without even me asking anyone to ! Exactly 4 months ago, Kajal could not even write her name properly or any words on her own. But now, she felt motivated enough to write so many sentences on her own and nothing more could bring joy to me than this. Here is what she wrote (the numbering and brackets are her writing as well !)

1) I can go to the Picnic

2) 4 boy and 7 girl

3) 10 stars and more go to the Picnic

4) Muskan is no go to the Picnic

5) 2:30 go to the Picnic

6) 8:30 come to the School

7) I can go got he Picnic very happy

8) I like my Bhaiya very must

9) Bhaiya is nose big

10) Bhaiya is very said

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Srini Swaminathan is the TFI blogger of the month! He gets our very special

Seal of approval!!

Seal of approval

Having spent a few months in the classroom (and TeachForIndia) now, I can conveniently classify my life as BTFI/ATFI (before joining TFI and after joining TFI). ATFI could also mean After the Fellowship at TFI, but then, I’ll write about this in 2012. Right now, it is too early to say anything about my post-fellowship plans !

So, BTFI, I used to work in the Oilfield , where most workers are on call 24 X 7. I often spent more time traveling to the wellsites than the actual work. Once I got to the rigs, depending on the work, I could be awake anywhere from a few hours to days. The longest has been 2 weeks of intermittent sleep. SO much loss of sleep and hardwork. But, more than the fat invoice and bonus, it was the satisfaction of completing a really challenging job that often brought a smile when we “rigged down” and went to sleep, sometimes even without eating anything. Sleep was more important than anything else.

BTFI, I used to think that the fellowship might not keep me as busy as before and I ll be able to spend a lot of time in doing things that aren’t related to work. And I must admit that I was way off the reality !  I could start rattling off the oh-so-many things to do as a Teacher and a TFI Fellow but then I don’t really want to bore you with all that right now. It is 1:31 AM now and all I want to write here is the sudden thought that struck me when I was in the train today – I am often spending more than 13 hours out of my apartment. In Mumbai, where traveling takes up most of one’s time, this just means School + a meeting + dinner + back home. Nothing fancy.

At TeachForIndia, there are regular training sessions, meetings, leadership forums, sharing sessions and debriefs. I had a debrief today. About yesterday’s class that was quite a disaster (oh well, that is another story !Will write about it soon). After that, I traveled all the way from Parel to Parle (Just one shuffle of alphabet but so much of travel !) to pick up digital cameras for my class kids. An acquaintance was giving them to the kids for them to take home and shoot their home, family, friends and surroundings and give it back to us to see what the kids liked to click. Today was the cameras. On other days, it is something else.

Amidst all this, it is quite a challenge to try and maintain even a semblance of your life BTFI. Meeting friends, catching up a movie, going for a run or a swim or whatever that you love to do and need time might actually become a challenge if not impossible. I love running and cycling and still find time to do these in this crazy maximum city.I find time to get that coffee at a CCD, watch a movie, go to the beach or just relax at home listening to music. I even managed to go home twice !

Yet, this life is not for the weak hearted or those who easily give up. A Teacher is a juggler. A master juggler. With the To-do s constantly hovering over one; head, a Teacher needs to prioritise everything, manage time effectively and maintain a balance between strengthening what is already going well in the classroom while thinking/researching for ways and ideas to implement that would accelerate learning. But, as I can tell you now, it is the end of a really long, tiring day. I am going to sleep with a smile. I am hungry though! 😀

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Individual and group attention- catering to different learning styles

“What can we take on trust in this uncertain life? Happiness, greatness, pride – nothing is secure, nothing keeps. “ Since Euripides said that some two and a half millennia ago, much water has run under the bridge! I wonder which way would Euripides tweak it had he lived long enough to witness the Dark Middle Ages, the Industrial Revolution , the age of Colonialism and nuclear bombs, the www boom and the current Recession !Poor guy would be left with such a sense of exaggeration. Really, too much change has happened to this world in too less time. But the question that looms large is, Is this change for free? Or does it come with its own price? If it does, who is paying for it?

I personally hate using numbers but when they tell you a story, I prefer putting my ears onto the ground for a moment. I came across this beautiful video some time back called The Miniature Earth. It has a unique point to make. It says, if we could turn the population of the earth into a small village of 100 people, keeping the same proportions we have today, it would look something like this…there are 50 men, 50 women,.. 9 are disabled,…43 live without basic sanitation,18 live without an improved water source,6 people own 59% of the entire wealth of the community,13 are hungry or malnourished,14 cant read, only 7 are educated in the secondary level, only 12 have a computer, only 3 have an internet connection, If you keep your food in a refrigerator, your clothes in your closet, if you have a bed to sleep in, and a roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the entire population,…If you have a bank account, you are one of the 30 wealthiest people in the world,..and so on. And the thought that they leave you with is, Appreciate what you have and do your best for a better world.

 

Some days just go into your personal history. That same day, I had watched the movie” The Motorcycle Diaries” and was seething with an urge to make my own world with my own rules. And this video happened. It served me as something more than just an amusing data interpretation exercise. On reflection , I found a great connection between the Great Wall of China and poverty, between the Pyramids and educational inequity, and it is that, all of them are man made. And yes, to make it sound a little truer, this “man” is made of you and I !And we made it.Period. But if theres something to look up to, its this.. if all these injustices, inequities are made made, wouldn’t its mitigation just be a case of another concerted human effort? It looked like a quasi inspirational moment . So if I am the reason why 1 in 3 children who begin primary school will drop out before reaching 5th grade, if more than half of us would lull our kids to sleep with just hungry stomachs , I are sure kidding myself with all the advertisement of an Incredible India or that the world is flat. I realised something needs to be done.

But What?

 

And then one day, good luck struck noble intentions.I came across this advertisement in the Times of India about a certain movement which is to start in India by the name , Teach for India. Drawing its inspiration from the hugely successful program Teach for America in the US, which was started by a 21 year old Princeton graduate called Wendy Kopp some 20 years back, Teach for India promised to put India’s most outstanding college grads and young professionals as leaders and change makers in the low income and governmental schools and in the communites there in with the vision that, one day every child will have an excellent education. That one square foot of advertisement looked like a lot of what I was always wanting , a space for idealism fuelled by a paradigm of service and that one magic chance to change the world. It doesn’t need any explaining that the little extra between the ordinary and the extra ordinary is one’s education. I cant imagine my childhood without books, fairies, summer vacations, my loving teachers, and those letters from hostel to Ma. And I cant imagine that for any child. With the fond view of a world where every child could get back his childhood, where every child is an owner of his dreams, where every child has a sentimental convocation photo on his dashboard, where every child feels that he/she is born to make manifest the glory of God in each one of them, I joined Teach for India. One step closer towards a really flattened world.

You be an engineer or a doctor, a travel guide or a businessman, a mathematician or a musician , if you think of each and every profession in the paradigm of service, as a thankful way of giving back to the part we owe to our existence in this world, we would be a better place. With around 600 million young people waiting for change to happen in India today, what more beautiful a concept can there be, than to fillip this completely renewable and assumingly inexhaustible source of youthful energy to create millions of nodes of changes in every
gully, nukkad and crossroad of India.Just imagine. One Gandhi, multiplied six hundred million times. Crazy mathematics. That, is the power of “Be”ing the change. And that is the space where wonderful organisations like Teach for India aspire to work.

And lastly, I would leave you with a thought to reflect on. Someone once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves – who am I to be brilliant, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world…”

For change to happen, you either wait to see, or you choose to Be! Take your pick.

 

 

(It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. Join the movement. Be the voice.For applying for the two year, full-time paid fellowship program with Teach For India log on tohttp://www.teachforindia.org/applynow.php )

Surya Pratap Deka,

Teach for India Fellow 2009.–
People make fortunes. I make a difference.

 

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