Have any questions about the Gandhi Fellowship experience?
Gandhi Fellowship is an intensive, experiential, 2-year residential professional program in Transformational Leadership that helps talented young people learn all the necessary soft skills to sustain in the 21st century.
The fellowship aims to measure the holistic development and growth of each fellow. The fellowship curriculum works towards the building and strengthening of every fellow’s leadership.
The fellowship is built around the following processes:
Kaun Banega The New Millionaire (K.B.T.N.M)
Government System Immersion
The curriculum is also subject to modification based on the varying needs of the community we engage with and the fellows.
The organization identifies fellows based on their existing skills and competencies, then customizes the journey of each fellow according to the aspiration path identified, helping them articulate their private dream backed by a public reality. A fellow gets various facilities along with a stipend. A job is a defined task where an employee has to work towards the goals of an organization/company, which involves a basic payment structure.
Their major role is to get a first-hand experience of the classroom to understand the various aspects of teaching and learn about our ultimate stakeholder: the child. Over the 2 years of the fellowship, a fellow will consult the headmasters, teachers and other government officials 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, the kitchen garden, library, organizing School Management Committee (SMC), mobilizing community participation and improving the quality of student learning. Fellows also work with district officials to transform schools by developing people, processes and data management system, and work with state-level officials to impact systems that equip sustainable changes.
By working on a social change problem, the fellows build themselves while building the nation. In doing so, they will understand change leadership at a deep level, and 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 leadership competencies.
Founded in 2008, Gandhi Fellowship started with 11 fellows in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan. The aim was to create young change leaders across the country to drive positive transformation at all levels by reforming the system of public education.
India is facing a serious leadership crisis in every domain.The fellowship feels the need to guide 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.
Age group 21-26 years
Achiever in Academics and Extracurricular activities (Sports, NCC, NSS, voluntary work, performing arts, debate, literature etc)
Sensitive towards the pressing problems of the nation
Graduate and Post Graduate from any of the diverse streams: Engineering, Applied and Pure Science, Commerce, Management, Humanities and Liberal Arts, Social Work, Psychology and Behavioural Science, Mathematics, Journalism and Mass Communication, Education, Law etc.
The fellowship is inspired by the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. Two core principles which are at the foundation of the fellowship are:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
The youth who sign up for the fellowship are motivated to first look at themselves, bring in personal changes as required and then impact positive changes in the society they live in.
“Creating opportunities for reflection in action”.
The fellowship operates on the belief that the only way to understand the society related conditions better is to put oneself in those circumstances and gauge one’s reactions to it. The process of action and reflection provides the fellows with an in-depth insight into their inner self and the intensity of the problems in the society and systems around them. With this practical method of training, they find their own strength and the clarity to resolve problems at large.
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-month journey, a fellow has to gain 7 basic competencies which require a dedicated time frame. The fellowship curriculum is designed to help the fellow attain these competencies in this period of time.
Gandhi Fellowship operates across 14 states in India: Delhi, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Uttarakhand.
A unique grant system encapsulates the philosophy of encouraging and supporting the youth to take risks and build entrepreneurial skills. Gandhi Fellowship provides a stipend 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 the fellows post-fellowship. The basic grant of Rs 14,000 is divided into:
Basic monthly sustenance of Rs 7000 (pre-tax) and
Interest-free reserve amount of Rs 1,61,000 cumulated from the remaining Rs 7000
The cumulative reserve amount will be paid at the end of the team and the successful completion of the fellowship after a period of 23 months. This cumulative grant supports the Gandhi Fellowship graduates to kickstart their choices of a social enterprise individually or collaboratively with other fellows, international learning exposure or specialized higher studies in line with their aspirations.
The organization has stringent policies to ensure appropriate safety and security of Gandhi Fellows during the 23 months of the fellowship. The measures can broadly be summed up under 4 heads:
Medical: All fellows are covered by medical insurance and accidental insurance. During the community immersion, there are arrangements made for standby doctors and hospitalisation, if required.
Physical: Appropriate measures are taken to ensure that the fellow is safe during the tenure. This includes proper leave and license agreement (for urban areas), and/or approval from the gram panchayat (for rural areas), and/or registration with the nearest police station. For community immersion (SLDP), usually, the headmaster is also looped in.
Emotional: The PL(Program Leader) and the other members of the organization are always available to address any emotional issues that the fellow may face during his/ her tenure.
POSH(Prevention of Sexual Harassment): Our POSH policies are strong and cases of improper sexual conduct are addressed with due diligence.
Yes, fellows are medically insured during the two years of the Gandhi Fellowship Program.
The fellows are in safe hands during the entire course of the fellowship. The program-leaders and staff members are sensitized appropriately about gender security issues. The administration team supports our women fellows in the location with customized and suitable solutions as and when required. The organization has zero-tolerance for harassment, intimidation or humiliation of sexual or gender-based nature in its workplace and is dedicated to ensuring the enactment, observance and adherence of the guidelines and best practices that prevent and prosecute acts of sexual harassment.
The parents can take the contact number of the reporting authority of the fellows and also that of the co-fellows.
No, the parents are not allowed to live with the fellows. However, they can visit their ward under the authorization of the assigned Program Leader of the fellows.
No, fellows are not allowed to visit home on the weekends.
Yes, the fellows can choose to utilize their casual leaves to go out for trips.
Yes, holidays for the entire fellowship batch are scheduled to fit in with the school calendar. A break of approximately 1 week is scheduled to coincide with Diwali, and another 1-week break is scheduled during the school summer holidays. Every fellow is assigned to take 10 casual leaves each year. Almost all activities during the 2-year program are done in groups, hence fellows are discouraged from taking random breaks apart from those which are scheduled for the group as a whole.
A fellow isn’t bound to complete the fellowship, and hence has the freedom to leave. However, the fellowship is a commitment and is meant for those who are serious about making an impact. We want people who see value in these two years and won’t drop out prematurely due to family pressure, marriage plans, fancy pay packages of their friends, or university education. The fellowship has its own assessment system. A fellow will be evaluated based on their individual participation, engagement, and the outcome achieved through the process. Sometimes the organization also asks some fellows to leave if they fail to show progress and don’t 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.
No, one cannot continue or extend the fellowship after 2 years.
No. Gandhi Fellowship is a residential program. Since the fellowship is all about developing professional competencies, staying in assigned accommodation and sharing knowledge with other fellows are necessary.
During the two years, there are processes which help define the personal dreams of the fellows. There is a placement cell in the fellowship which helps in finding jobs if necessary, but the fellows are independent and find their own way in pursuing their dream - which is the very idea of the fellowship.
Post the fellowship, fellows pursue their dreams according to their choice, but not all fellows take up a job right after the fellowship. There are a few who take up an entrepreneurial career and others who pursue further studies.
There is a placement cell in the fellowship which helps in finding jobs if necessary, but fellows are independent and find their own way in pursuing their dream-which is the very idea of the fellowship. However, there is an alumni team who support a fellow in aspirational career growth and planning.
They will be supported by our Alumni Support Team - NEST, where one will get a chance to pitch their social enterprise idea to a panel of experts cum mentors to shape their business plan.