FAQs

  • 1. What is Gandhi Fellowship?

    Gandhi Fellowship is an intensive, 2-year Residential Professional Program in Transformation Leadership. The Fellowship gives a platform to bright, young minds of the nation to support and partner primary school headmasters to transform their schools to achieve the desired educational outcomes. In the process, Fellows discover their private dreams and get the support to convert these dreams into reality post fellowship, through The New Millionaire Program.

    2. What exactly happens during the Fellowship?

    The fellowship aims to measure the holistic development and growth of a fellow. The Fellowship Curriculum works towards building and strengthening of fellow’s leadership. The curriculum is built around the following 13 processes:

    1. Field Support (FS) – For School and Community
    2. Classroom Immersion (CRI)
    3. Community Immersion (CI)
    4. Leadership Curriculum (LC)
    5. Monthly Workshops (MW)
    6. Boot Camps (BC)
    7. Kaun Banega The New Millionaire (KBTNM) -a process set up as a contest with multiple rounds that provides the fellows a platform to explore depths of the problem they are interested in solving and practice pitching the solution to various stakeholders.
    8. Learning Journey (LJ)
    9. Monthly one-on-one (1:1)
    10. Debriefs (DB)
    11. Wellness Management (WM)
    12. Vipassaana
    13. Private Dream Articulation (PD)

    3. What exactly do Fellows do in schools?

    Their major role is to get a first-hand experience of the classroom to understand the several aspects of teaching, and learning of our ultimate stakeholder: the child. As a fellow, over the two-years of fellowship you will consult the headmasters and teachers to build their capacity as a leader, overcome school related challenges- organizing an ideal morning assembly, increasing student enrolment, improving the mid-day meal system, organizing School Monitoring Committee (SMC), mobilizing community participation and improve the quality of student learning.

    4. How will the Fellows benefit from the Fellowship program?

    By working on a social change problem, the fellows understand change leadership at the generic level, a system design thinking process that they can apply to any social problem they want to solve. The Fellowship is designed to help the fellows develop the following seven competencies - Self Awareness, Collaborative Work, Excellence, Influence without Authority, Value Articulation, Risk Taking / Entrepreneurship and Articulation of Private Dream.

    5. What do Fellows do after two years?

    During the two years, Fellows are supported define their private dream and are equipped with the skills to pursue it after the 2 years. There is a placement cell in the Fellowship which helps in finding jobs if necessary (aligned to their Private Dreams), but fellows are expected to be independent and find their own way in pursuing their dream - which is the very idea of the Fellowship. The New Millionaire Program(TNMP)is structured to help fellows who want to make a difference and develop their potential over a period of 10 years (including the 2 years of fellowship) to become TNMs. The New Millionaire is defined as a person who can impact a million lives over a period of 10 years through Social Entrepreneurship.

    6. Why was this Fellowship program created?

    India today faces a serious leadership crisis in every domain. The top minds of the top colleges in our country are busy running after personal success. The Fellowship feels the need to guide the talented young minds to actively engage with solving the myriad problems plaguing the country today. The fellowship curriculum is focused on providing an experience wherein fellows are educated in becoming social change leaders to impact at least a million lives positively. The core belief of the program is that the only way we can ensure all lives are improved is if we have committed and skilled people in large impact roles, who can collaborate and innovate to solve such problems at scale.

    7. When was the Fellowship started and how many have participated in it so far?

    The Fellowship started in 2008 with 11 fellows in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. In 2009, the Fellowship program expanded to Ahmedabad with a batch of 23 fellows and in 2010 it further expanded to Mumbai with the third batch of 35 fellows. The fourth batch had a strength of 107 fellows and in 2012, 134 students joined the Fellowship. Last year for the decadal batch of Gandhi Fellowship, we recruited around 200 fellows. With the 8th batch graduating in 2017, we now have a strong alumni network of 747 Gandhi Fellows

    8. What kind of support will the fellows get during the 2-year period?

    A unique grant system encapsulates the philosophy of encouraging and supporting youth to take risks and build entrepreneurial skills. Gandhi fellowship provides: an all-inclusive monthly grant of Rs.14,000 (taxable), a fixed monthly phone allowance of Rs.600 (taxable) and rent-free accommodation, transport and other allowances as applicable based on the need to support the fruition of ideas of youth post fellowship, basic grant of Rs 14,000 is divided into:

    • basic monthly sustenance grant of Rs. 7000 (pre-tax) and
    • interest-free reserve amount of Rs 161000 cumulated from the remaining Rs. 7000

    The cumulative reserve amount will be paid at the end of the Term and successful completion of the Fellowship after the period of 23 months. This cumulative grant supports Gandhi Fellowship graduates to kick start their choices of a social enterprise individually or collaboratively with other Fellows, International learning exposure or specialized higher studies in line with their aspirations.

    Additionally, please read Question 15.

    9. Who is behind this Fellowship program?

    The Fellowship is an initiative of Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF)- A Piramal Initiative. It is led by a professional and experienced management team and given strategic direction by an eminent management board, whose members are: Mr. Ajay G. Piramal - Chairman of Piramal Healthcare, Mr. Narayanan Vaghul - Chairman of ICICI Bank, Mr. Debashish Mitter - leads the Michael and Susan Dell foundation's strategy and Mr. Aditya Natraj - Founder Director of KEF and previously a corporate finance consultant with KPMG.

    The Fellowship is funded by Piramal Foundation, UNICEF, USAID, The Hans Foundation, Porticus, Edelgive Foundation, TATA Communications, The Central Square Foundation and Michael & Susan Dell foundation. To honor the invaluable contribution made by Mr. Ajay Piramal the Fellowship is called Piramal Fellowship in Rajasthan.

    10. What are the core principles of the Fellowship?

    The Fellowship is inspired from the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. Two core principles which are at the foundation of the Fellowship are - Firstly,

    1. "Be the change you wish to see in the world".
      Fellows are encouraged to cause any external change by changing themselves first.
    2. He also believed in the process of “action and reflection”, and used reflection as a major tool for personal and then societal change.
      Reflection is an integral part of the two year journey of the Fellowship. Fellows are supported and encouraged to go through the continual cycle of action and reflection as a part of everyday life in the Fellowship.

    11. Why does the Fellowship Program run for 23 months and not a year or three?

    The Fellowship is not designed for one year because we believe that developing effective leadership skills takes time and cannot be compressed in a twelve month schedule. The Fellowship believes that in the 23 months journey, a fellow has to gain 7 basic competencies which require a dedicated period of time. The Fellowship Curriculum is designed to help the fellow attain these competencies in this period of time.

    12. Do Fellows get holidays?

    Yes. Holidays for the entire Fellowship batch are scheduled to fit in with the school calendar. There is a break of approximately 1 week scheduled to coincide with Diwali and another 1 week break during the school summer holidays. Because almost all activities during the 2-year program are group activities, Fellows are discouraged from taking breaks apart from those which are scheduled for the group as a whole.

    13. Can anyone leave the Fellowship after one year or be asked to leave mid-way?

    There is no bond and one has the freedom to leave. However, Fellowship is a commitment and is meant for those who are serious about making an impact. We want serious people who see value in these two years and won’t drop out prematurely due to family pressure, marriage plans, and fancy pay package of their friends or a university education. The Fellowship has its own assessment system. A fellow will be evaluated based on his/her participation, engagement and outcome achieved through the process. Sometimes the organization also asks some fellows to leave if they fail to show progress and meet up to the expectations of the Fellowship. A warning and certain time frame to bounce back and show progress is usually given to them.

    Additionally, refer to Answer 8 about stipend payment.

    14. Can I stay at home and join the Fellowship since I am already in the location where Gandhi Fellowship has its operations?

    No. Gandhi Fellowship is a residential program. Since the fellowship is all about developing professional competencies, staying in office accommodation and sharing knowledge with other fellows is necessary.

    15. If I have a Social Change idea and want to start Social Enterprise post Fellowship then how will the organization support me?

    You will be supported via the 'Social Incubation & Enterprises Program'. This program supports aspiring social entrepreneurs through special idea incubation, business mentor-ship and start-up funding support up to Rs. 20 lakh after completion of fellowship.

    16. How safe is the Residential Fellowship program for women?

    You are in safe hands. The Program Leaders (Mentors in the block) and staff members are sensitized appropriately about gender security issues. The administration team supports our women fellows in the locations with customized and suitable solutions as and when required.

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