Support Community Development in Leh India!
We, the India Fellowship 2017 batch are currently working in rural remote areas of India to contribute and make a difference to the community. We would be really grateful if you could help and support us by contributing any amount to our campaign.
The India Fellow program is an experiencial social leadership program where young people are placed with grassroots organizations to work on different social issues directly with a community. An important part of the fellowship is the 4 trainings which give us an opportunity to interact with our peers and an incredibly diverse set of practitioners and SMEs.
The third training which we are preparing for right now is the 10-day Travel Workshop which will take place in Ladakh. Ladakh is a mountain-desert region – a complex ecosystem comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities, with temperatures ranging from 35° to -35°C. Ladakh is one of the rare places where one sees water, sand and snow in the same frame. All 27 of us will go to learn, and work with different organizations.
This workshop is being organised by the fellows themselves, i.e. they will be raising money and taking care of all logistical arrangements themselves.
Our cohort is currently working in diverse geographical and thematic areas (providing healthcare in Kalahandi, to advocating against sexual abuse in Mumbai, to working with local artisans in Thoubal, Manipur), in Ladakh too, we will be interacting with diverse organizations like:
• SECMOL, a non-conventional school and the inspiration behind the school in “3 idiots”.
• LEHO, that promotes sustainable development using local renewable natural resources.
• Pagir, which provides equal livelihood opportunities to the differently abled.
• Leh Nutrition Project, which began as a nutritional programme, and now works on education, health, women empowerment, and livelihood improvement.
• Ladakhi Women's Travel Company, a responsible travel agency owned and operated by local women.
• Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, an alternate education institute which engages in research & development to tackle various issues in the domains of education, culture, and the environment.
In our cohort, a doctor will learn how villagers keep each other healthy and eliminate the need for a hospital, a public health professional will see how years of harsh winds and cold has rendered a big portion of the community with deafness, and an aspiring social entrepreneur will learn how one man’s initiative has moved glaciers and changed the cropping pattern of the valley.
In this fellowship, fellows work directly with a community on social issues, with a team of dedicated social workers, and most of all, explore the heartland to truly understand India. By the end of the journey, they have experienced social sector and have a clearer idea of how they can contribute to a better India. The exposure to social challenges will empower the fellows to find their own leadership potential, shape their futures, and make a difference.
As for the Travel Workshop, it is a unique learning experience for fellows because it allows us to come together as a group and apply our diverse skills in different thematic areas in an ecosystem that is unlike anything we have come across before. Most people think of Ladakh as a popular tourist destination because of its unique geography. We will also try to analyze the social and environmental problems that have come up because of this geography. Dyuti Sen from the 2016 cohort who went for the workshop last year said that through it she got a chance to apply design thinking to the real world problems and “It also helped me look at Ladakh beyond its apparent beauty, through a new lens.”