I am not sure if I can remember the year exactly, but it was way back when I was in my first year of college… I completed my exams and it was vacation time, and as any other ordinary first year student of B.Com in Gujarat, I was free – relaxing and roaming around the entire day. I feel this is a very crucial time for any youth, because at this time you are full of energy and enthusiasm; and if one doesn’t get proper guidance on where to direct that energy and enthusiasm, it gets wasted in the ‘Vellapanti’. But in my case, I was lucky enough that one of my friends Jayesh Mohta, who is also a member of Volunteer Ahmedabad (VA), suggested that there was some YLC kind of thing going on in Ahmedabad… The program is 1.5 months and deploys the youth of Ahmedabad to do something for the city and community at large; along with developing their leadership and other personal skills. Now at that moment, honestly, I was occupied with nothing and was willing to do anything which would utilize my time. Apart from this, it was a free course as well, this added feathers to the hat. So, I thought let’s try it out! Bare minimum I would at least meet a few new people, talk to people in the community, learn communication skills, and probably make some friends. But trust me, as of today, I feel that was the best decision of my life. Joining YLC and engaging myself with VA and Indicorps at large, turned my life like anything. Read the rest of this entry »
Abhijit Kaushik is an Indicorps 2012 Fellow partnered with Sadhana, an NGO operating in Chamarajanagar district in Karnataka. Abhijit’s project is to create and execute a village development plan in Tavarekatte Mole, where he currently resides.
Nature. The word often brings up images of greenery and serenity. Things that are “natural” give us some inherent sense of security. Yet the modern world has grown far apart from natural solutions, and has substituted them with unnatural alternatives. In some instances, the natural itself has now been coined an “alternative” (you might have heard of “alternative” energy or “alternative” medicine). Yet in parts of rural India, the natural lifestyle has become a habit rather than a standard that people strive for. This natural lifestyle is such a deep-rooted part of life for these communities, and came about through taking advantage of readily available resources. I know this because of the first hand accounts I have had with coconut trees in Tavarekatte Mole, the rural community I live with in Chamarajanagar, India. Read the rest of this entry »
The Indicorps Summer Internship Program allows individuals to spend 4-6 weeks at the Indicorps office in Ahmedabad on a variety of individualized projects tailored to meet Indicorps’ needs, intern interests and strengths. The Internship allows individuals who are passionate about India to engage directly with Indicorps staff to support the Fellowship program and local projects. Internships are available to anyone unable to make a one-year commitment.
The ideal intern has:
- Motivation, initiative, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, forward-moving environment
- Strong oral and written communications skills.
- Strong problem solving and organizational skills.
This post is written by Shital Shah, an August 2005 Fellow. Shital currently focuses on mobile financial services strategy with ShoreBank International.
Should nonprofits exist forever? With socially-oriented missions and as anchors in local communities, nonprofits play a unique role in addressing gaps where governments and markets may have failed. When there is a market to address that will provide a margin, businesses will exist as long as they are able to maintain profitability and their product or service holds relevance. Most businesses, however, do not exist in their current form into perpetuity. While not all exits are signs of success for a business, the concept of an “exit strategy” that is equivalent to success – being bought out, going public, selling shares – is seen as affirmation that the business is doing well and profitable enough to transition into a new form. Read the rest of this entry »
Bhanu grew up in India and moved to US for graduate studies. She received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. Since her Ph.D. Bhanu has been actively conducting research in diverse areas in Europe and US . She currently lives in Ohio, USA and balances her time between family, career and volunteering.
My daughter, Divya (second year Indicorps Fellow), invited me to attend the February 2013 Indicorps workshop with her. When the invitation came, it was, as a mother, hard to turn down the opportunity. I joined Divya on the seven day workshop in Maharashtra and then travelled with her to Chandigarh to spend four days in Janata Colony – Divya’s “home” away from home. While packing for my trip, Divya advised that I should travel light with a backpack and be prepared to rough out at some places by sleeping on the floor. Doubt crept in. “Had I made the right decision?” I wondered. Could I, at my age, manage a camp style life immediately following the long journey from Columbus, Ohio to Nagpur, Maharashtra? At this point, I decided to drop all my hesitations and go with the flow of what was to come!
This post is written by Roopal Shah, Indicorps Co-Founder and an avid surfer.
Indicorps’ decision to unmoor itself from running a Fellowship program after a decade of running successful fellowships has parallels with an experienced surfer deliberately surfing without a leash. 70-year old surfing veteran and owner of Star Surfing San Diego, Glenn Paculba says, “For me, surfing without a leash is about an attitude - I’ve practiced and challenged myself to know that when I remove my leash and go out that ‘I am good and that I won’t lose my surfboard’ – it’s that confidence that I can perform well and not be influenced by caution and fear of losing my surfboard.”
January 14, 2013
Sonal Singhal was an Indicorps 2006 Fellow and is currently a member of Indicorps’ Board of Directors. Sonal is currently pursuing her PhD in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley.
At first glance, the two most formative experiences of my life in no way inform each other. The first – a year spent in rural India reforming rural education with Indicorps, a program that supports the youth of the Indian diaspora as they engage in grassroots development – and the second – five years spent as a graduate student at UC-Berkeley studying evolutionary biology – are literally and figuratively worlds apart. Yet, as Indicorps discontinues its fellowship program and embarks on a new leg of its journey as an organization, I am moved to reflect how Indicorps influenced the way I live my life, which includes the scientist that I have become today. And, I am surprised to find that my current pre-occupations of managing my international fieldwork program, collecting large data sets, and analyzing my findings have been indelibly (and positively!) influenced by my year in India. Read the rest of this entry »
Anila Yadavalli is an Indicorps 2012 Fellow partnered with Ahmedabad based SHARDA Trust. Anila’s project focuses on building and implementing a community specific math curriculum.
Would you call the glass half-full or half-empty? With six months complete and six months left of my Indicorps Fellowship, I am going to declare my glass as half-empty, as there are so many things that I am striving to fill it up with. Halfway through my Fellowship, with only six months to go, I would like to take a moment to pause and reflect on the highs and lows of my time in Ahmedabad and how it will guide the remainder of my time here. The first six months play a very important role in the remainder of my Fellowship, after all, if your glass is halfway filled with milk, I doubt anyone would be too keen on filling the rest up with orange soda. Read the rest of this entry »
What is the quality of life? How does one define quality of life? How does life and death affect an individual’s quality of life? Where do you draw the line where life means a better quality of life, versus death means a better quality of life? How do you know if the line you drew is accurate and the right choice? And who is responsible for suffering and relieving that suffering? Read the rest of this entry »