Friday, January 16, 2009

Get them young

It has been a long time I wrote a post on this blog - any blog for that matter. The immediate cause of this post has been request from a friend in E4SI to spread the word around about their fellowship program.

Make sure you do visit their site, get more details, join and spread the word. They have some really good and respectable companies as their partners and the list is longer this time.
I came to know about E4SI at the International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship held sometime back in Chennai. Thereon I came in contact with Nitin Rao, the founder. Luckily, he stays in Hyderabad and Badhri n I could catch up with him. An oft discussed topics, nowadays, in regard with the social sector has been the interest that youngsters have shown in the area of social development. This was a big theme at the conference too where I met many young people who were associated with organizations in the social sector. One example I can cite is These organizations, which themselves are quite young have brought in a refreshingly new prespective in the way societal development is looked at.

They are aiming at a paradigm shift from charity and grant based model to one which is profitable and also accountable to its stakeholders. As one friend opined "You do not need to be poor to help the poor". Going to the next step is the understanding of this sector. This again has been a widely debated topic and opinions exist on both extremes. Intentions alone cannot help us in achieving our goal. We need to understand the problem that we are trying to address. In this respect I often cite an example.
Today I am in a helping mood and I say "I will try and help someone'. I see a visually impaired person standing across the road. I dart across the street grab hold of his hand and get him to "MY" (symbolism intended) side of the street. I pat myself on the back and move on. I did not even ask the person if he really wanted to cross the road. To make matters worse, now the person does not even know where he is.
Thus it is very important to understand the dynamics - without complicating and overdoing things. Oppotunities like E4SI try to create that bridge between the willing and those who need the services of the willing, by getting them to "start to understand" the way things work. I personally feel that such initiatives are required so that young graduates with good intentions get a sense of direction. Though I am not very enamoured by the choice of colleges, - the top ones - that is a topic of some other post where I will try to include Nitin's views too.
Readers, do put in your comments, even if you disagree with what is written here!

1 comment:

Badhri said...

In fact there are a lot of cases where much younger people than college graduates get involved (thought mostly the prominent ones seem to be from outside India).

Read "Nothing for us without us"