Empowering Rural India: SBI Foundation’s Youth for India Fellowship Fuels Innovation and Social Impact

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The SBI Foundation, in its relentless pursuit of sustainable development and inclusive growth, is preparing to kickstart the 11th batch of its highly acclaimed Youth for India Fellowship program. This unique 13-month fellowship aims to bridge the gap between urban and rural India by providing trained and informed volunteers to rural communities, facilitating development planning, and supporting implementation at the village level.

With the application process open until May 31st and the fellowship set to commence in August, the SBI Foundation is once again seeking socially aware and active young individuals who can contribute their innovative ideas and passion to positively impact rural communities. By participating in this program, urban youth gain a better understanding of the ground realities and challenges faced by rural India, while overseas citizens of India have an opportunity to connect with their roots in a more meaningful way.

Over the past ten years, the Youth for India Fellowship has proven its effectiveness in nurturing talent and driving social change. Sanjay Prakash, the CEO and MD of SBI Foundation, proudly shares that 70% of former fellows have continued to pursue meaningful careers in the social sector. The impact of their work has been remarkable, with projects implemented by fellows across 200+ locations in 20 states, resulting in inclusive and sustained growth in even the remotest corners of the country and positively impacting over 1 lakh lives.

The success stories of past fellows serve as an inspiration for future participants. For instance, Siddharth Daga, a former fellow, co-founded NeoMotion, a company that designs and customizes tech-enabled wheelchairs, providing mobility solutions to people with disabilities. Another example is Shriti Pandey, who founded Strawcture in 2018. Her innovative use of technology to compress crop waste into agri-fibre panels for industrial and commercial buildings led to her recognition in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2021, highlighting her efforts in reducing pollution.

The Youth for India Fellowship goes beyond a mere volunteering opportunity; it offers a structured orientation with rural sensitization and immersion programs. The fellows receive mentoring and capacity building support while having the freedom to explore and experiment with potential solutions in collaboration with non-profit partners. This approach fosters innovation and accelerates ideation, nurturing young talent to become future leaders in social entrepreneurship and community development.

As the SBI Foundation continues to fuel social enterprise and contribute to India’s development and G20 goals, the Youth for India Fellowship remains a flagship program that catalyzes innovation, drives change, and brings hope to rural India. By building a talent pool of young changemakers, the fellowship ensures that the spirit of empowerment and progress reaches every corner of the nation, making a lasting and positive impact on the lives of rural communities.

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