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“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

India lives in villages. This is one of the most common saying we have heard but there are very few who want to go and understand the problems that are being faced by our villages.

Gramya Manthan (Rural Immersion Program) is dedicated to developing social leaders; well-rounded youngsters who are equipped with leadership skills to solve the challenges faced by Indian villages. Its core aim is to ignite young hearts with holistic concern for their society and nation.

Gramya Manthan aims at bridging the gap between India and Bharat. It will select 50 most amazing hearts from the country and take them on a rural exploration. The idea is to make youth realize the pressing issues of our country, it will help them understand the problems of our villages and execute solution during the course of program. It will be a 9 day (Weekend to Weekend) residential program in the remotest part of our country with the intent to rediscover Bharat by experiencing the burning issues.

Apply Now: http://youthallianceofindia.org/gramya-manthan/apply-now/

Gramya Manthan’s Core Purpose:

There is a huge sense of disconnect between rural India and today’s youth. Youth has no clue of what are the problems being faced by our brothers and sisters in rural parts. They have read a lot, heard about the issues but have mostly never experienced or if experienced then they did not get a chance to think and execute solutions over there. We strongly believe that 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 opportunity to solve small problems, we can ignite the fire in their hearts. This fire can make them think of both “Why they ?” and “How ?”, it will infuse a high sense of  ”I Can” in them.

  • It will change the outlook of young people towards issues in rural India 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

Process:

Gramya Manthan (Rural Immersion Program) is divided in three stages:

Part 1: Induction and Case Studies of model villages of India (first two days)

Part 2: Living the way villagers live (a day with a village family)

Part 3: Work in a village and address one of the prevailing problems coupled with group reflections, sharing and leadership forums

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 are aiming at nurturing young role models in the society. We also have a range of programs like “Lead The Change”; “Samarpan”; ”Come Alive” meant to create awareness as well as bring change in society.

For more details: http://youthallianceofindia.org

 Contact: 07838540546

Email: info@youthallianceofindia.org

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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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Here are a few links to some blogs by TFI fellows from the 2009 and 2010 cohort and TFI staff members.

  • TFI Journey: Srini, a 2010 Teach For India Fellow, writes about his journey with Teach for India and  his stories of change both inside and outside his classroom in Dharavi, Mumbai.
  • It’s Political Motivational and…: Prakhar is a 2009 Teach for India Fellow. He has been teaching for a year now and his blog is an amazing repository of stories about his time as a teacher in a school called Sant Gadge Maharaj in Kondhwa, Pune. Do check out the “Letters to my friends” section on his blog for some great snippets of his life as a TFI fellow.
  • Teaching as Leadership (Astitva): Another 2009 Teach for India Fellow, Dhiren teaches in K.C. Thackrey Vidya Niketan school in Pune. Besides his refelctions on his two year stint with Teach For India, a strongly recommended section on his blog would be his strategies to teach mathematics to children.
  • Belief: Ritika is a Teach for India fellow from the 2010 cohort. She teaches in a school in Mumbai and the blog is her diary about the TFI experience. Keep an eye out for some great pictures.
  • Mahesh Prajapati: Mahesh is also a 2010 Teach for India fellow. He teaches in Mumbai and writes about his experiences on the blog. He also writes lovely poetry in Hindi!
  • My White Lotus: My White Lotus is Tarun’s exhaustive and wonderfully written description of his journey as a Teach for India fellow since the past year and a half in Pune. Do read his recollections from his recent trip to visit charter schools in NY as a Teach for India fellow.
  • One in billion: Taylor is a staff member at Teach for India and has helped launch the Teach for India movement. His blog, as the introduction says, is about five things “- experiences related to living and working in India, happenings at Teach For India (my employer), development and fundraising-related, career-building, and entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, smart business ideas. “
  • I Teach for India: With a very appropriately named blog, Divesh is a 201o Teach for India fellow. Read about his journey and “Why” he chooses to Teach for India.
  • Reflections of my mind: Aritra is a part of the 2010 batch Teach for India fellows and the blog is his reflection as a Teach for India fellow in a school in Pune.
  • Walking in their shoes: Raisa is also a 2010 batch Teach for India fellow or a “tenner” as they are called. She teaches in Mumbai and her blog is peppered with some great pics displaying her immense creativity.
  • Insane Inanities: A 2010 Teach for India fellow, Anurag seeks to write about his journey to Teach from India from his college. He teaches in Mumbai.
  • Frogs in my class: Meera is a 2010 Teach for India fellow. The curious title of the blog alludes to some real frogs who share Meera and her students’ class with them. Her blog is filled with her experiences as a teacher in a school in Pune and sometimes even a humourous take on them as the title of the blog suggests.
  • With the Left and the Right: Srikanth, also a tenner, teaches in Pune and the blog is a mix of his experiences in the classroom as a Teach for India fellow and all that he gets to do in his spare time (whenever he might find it).
  • Edoocation: Milind is a 2009 fellow and has been teaching in Mumbai since the past year and a half. On his blog, he speaks about his views on Education policy and issues as seen through his experience as a Teach for India fellow. He also came up with the wonderful idea of listing down the dreams/aspirations/ideas of all the 2009 fellows post their two year fellowship. Read about them on his blog.
  • Words Raining: Dhanya is a 2010 Teach for India fellow teaching in Mumbai. On her blog, she writes about her experiences as class teacher in a school in Mumbai as a tenner.
  • They Teach; I Learn: Subhadra is from the 2009 cohort of Teach for India fellows. She teaches the 5th standard in Mumbai. They Teach; I Learn, a blog title which speaks volumes, is a rich and often moving record of her experience as a teacher in Mumbai.
  • Be the Change: Be the Change, which is also the Teach for India motto, is Rahul’s blog. He is a 2009 Teach for India fellow and teaches in Mumbai. His blog not only contains his experiences as a TFI fellow since the past one and a half year but also his opinions and ideas drawn from his work as a Teach for India fellow, on how to improve the state of education in India.
  • Delusions, allusions, illusions, visions: Meenakshi is a 2010 Teach for India fellow teaching in a school in Pune. She muses, alludes, talks about her life as a teacher in Pune and the delusions, illusions and visions therein.
  • The classroom for learning: Manu is a 2009 Teach for India fellow and has been teaching in a chool in Pune since the past year and a half. As a part of his summer internship, which he did as a part of his Teach for India fellowship, he interned at the Druk White Lotus Shey in Ladakh. He has posted a video of his experiences there. Also read about his experiences as a TFI fellow accompanied with some great videos and pictures.
  • Conviction in Your Thoughts: “Conviction in Your Thoughts” is the title of Ritesh’s accounts of his two year stint with Teach for India. He is a fellow from the 2009 Teach for India cohort and teaches in Pune. On his blog, he reflects as an individual and as a teacher about his experiences during this fellowship. Read his post on “The challenges of being Abu“, which is his chronicle of his student, Abu’s, life with him.
  • in on under above : Neha is a 2010 batch fellow. She writes about funny incidents and sometimes revelations in her classroom. Currently she is a grade 2 teacher in Worli Seaface BMC School in Mumbai.
  • Gunvant Jain : Blog by 2010 Fellow and IIT-Madras graduate Gunvant. Some excellent articles on skill-based learning.

The opinions or column written by these fellows or staff are their  own personal experiences.

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