The SBI Youth for India Fellowship is one of the leading rural Fellowships in the country that gives the urban youth an opportunity to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to the problems faced by rural communities.
Unique by design, this 13-month program has attracted Indian youth from prestigious institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, IITs, NLU, JNU, NID, IIM and renowned MNCs like Goldman Sachs, Infosys, Mahindra, Tata Motors, Mu Sigma and Dell among many others. For the 2022-23 batch this year, the applications are open to all Indian youth aged 21 to 32. Citizens of Nepal/Bhutan or an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) are also eligible.
Are you the next SBI Youth for India fellow? Click here to apply – you4.in/c22.
Last date to apply is Monday, 2nd May 2022.
Run by the State Bank of India’s CSR arm, SBI Foundation, the fellowship is now in its 10th year with a rich alumni base of 450+ alumni spread across prestigious development sector organisations across the country. Post Fellowship over 70% of the alumni go on to pursue meaningful careers in the social sector by working in Rural Development, Public Policy, Governance, and Academia. 33 SBI YFI alumnus have either founded or initiated a program, enterprise, or non-profit of their own, and 65 of the alumni have pursued their higher studies post their SBI Youth for India Fellowship experience.
The exposure to rural realities and challenges during the fellowship motivates fellows to remain committed to solving pressing issues of the society. Shriti Pandey (2016-17 Fellow) founded ‘Strawcture’ in 2018. Strawcture’s technology helps reduce pollution by compressing crop waste into agri-fiber panels for industrial and commercial builds. Shriti also got featured in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2021 in the industry, manufacturing and energy category. A double whammy in Forbes, as SaloniSacheti (2017-18 Fellow) also featured in the social impact category the same year for her project ‘Baansuli’ that she pursued during her Fellowship. Baansuli offers livelihood to the ‘Dangs’ tribal population by producing handcrafted jewellery from locally sourced bamboo in one of the poorest pockets of Gujarat.
The Fellowship requires Fellows to relocate to remote rural locations across the country and lead projects focused on 12 thematic areas, like environmental protection, women’s empowerment, water, self-governance and much more. The Fellows work in close coordination with 14 reputed NGOs that provide the Fellows with access to specialised expertise in their chosen thematic area. In the last two years, Fellows’ projects focused on helping rural communities cope with the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the areas of Rural livelihood, Health, Education, and Technology. The number of youths who volunteered to join the Fellowship to work with rural communities increased as the Fellowship saw approximately 90,000 applications during the pandemic last year.
The Mantra of the Fellowship is to Unlearn, Collaborate, Build, and Sustain. While the unlearning experience helps youth discard preconceived notions and assumptions about the real challenges faced by rural India, the Fellows also take inputs from experts and local communities to understand their challenges better. The Fellows aim to work on projects by collaborating with the community and various key stakeholders to identify and work towards interventions to build their intended projects; while also focusing on the fourth aspect of sustainable development.
Apart from the opportunity to make a significant social contribution at an early age, the fellowship also offers various additional advantages, which makes it a highly sought-after and attractive opportunity for young Indians. Some of the benefits include:
- Social Impact – The sheer opportunity to make a positive difference can be a powerful catalyst early in anyone’s life, no matter how small.
- Leadership Development – Fellows inevitably develop essential leadership skills as they are independent and responsible for the planning and execution of their intended projects.
- Multidisciplinary Experience – Fellows hail from various educational and professional backgrounds. While many apply their academic knowledge and past experience to build their projects, the nature of every project inevitably spans across various disciplines.
- Personality Development – The Fellowship helps develop holistic personality traits that include problem solving ability, empathy, perseverance, self-confidence, and many other aspects of self-discovery and development that organically emerge through the Fellowship experience.
- Alumni Network – The Fellowship’s global alumni network is also a tightly woven community that continues to support and drive positive impact long after their Fellowships conclude. Many corporates, universities, startups, and social ventures actively seek out and they prefer working with those with fellowship experiences considering the essential skills they’re likely to have picked up during their Fellowship journey.
If you wish you to learn more about the Fellowship, apply or recommend a potential youth leader who would be a good fit for the Fellowship, visit the SBI Youth for India website – www.youthforindia.org today.