You can lead the change
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You can lead the change

If your heart beats for a cause and you want to do something about it, chances are that you can, provided you lead the change. Scholarships and fellowships focussing on enhancing your leadership potential can help you take up a greatly fulfilling career, writes Garima Upadhyay.

education Updated: Feb 23, 2012 16:40 IST
Garima Upadhyay
Garima Upadhyay
Hindustan Times

If your heart beats for a cause and you want to do something about it, chances are that you can, provided you lead the change.

Meet Archana Nair, national president, Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) and a leadership fellow, who has been able to work on her anti-drugs campaign with the support of LFT. As a fellow, she gets a monthly stipend and mentorship from the best in the field. She says, “LFT has given me a lot of confidence and skills to deal with people and situations. The fellowship has helped me expand my horizons and give a head start to my ideas.”

It helps to find out if you have the potential to be a leader. Says Arunav Banerjee, director executive education and consulting at School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), “In our everyday life we see that there are sometimes compelling situations which throw up a leader. It is not only true in the world of politics, but equally true in the world of business or even in schools and colleges, where we see a lot of leadership, some natural some acquired. If the question is whether anybody can become a leader, the answer is debatable. Leadership skills can obviously be honed, polished or developed; whether they can be created from scratch is not a clear verdict.”

Stressing the same is Nandan Kamath, a Rhodes scholar. Though Rhodes focusses a lot on leadership acumen of the candidates, the programme is about intellectual stimulation. “It was not a leadership training programme but an opportunity for exposure. As an experience it gave one lots of ideas on projects worth working on, the confidence to pursue one’s passion, an international network of like-minded individuals and the tools to bring it all together.”

These fellowships also help you identify your priorities. A case in point is that of Prakhar Mishra, who took to full time social work after his stint with Teach for India (TFI). Recounting his experience, he says, “There is a lot to learn from kids and their community. They come smiling to school even when they know they will be beaten back home, when they know today it is their turn to be up all night due to lack of space. I tried to make school hours special for them, full of energy, excitement and learning so that they could look forward to the next day. After the fellowship, I revived Youth Alliance (YA) and since then I have been working to see it flourish.”

Leadership programmes at a glance

Youth Alliance: Lead the Change igniting hearts…
The applications are on for this programme. For more details please check The last date to apply is February 28, 2012

Leaders for Tomorrow: Various programmes and workshops
LFT runs various programmes and workshops that stress on personality development, interpersonal skills etc throughout the year. Please check for more details

Teach for India: Teach for India Fellowship and volunteering opportunities
Teach for India Fellowship is an year long programme where you help teach students in primary schools in Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. Check for volunteering opportunities with them

First Published: Feb 22, 2012 10:21 IST