The India Fellow design has four prime pieces that fit into each other over the full time duration of 18 months
Working at grassroots
Fellows spend most of their time (16.5 months) working at grassroots with an organization committed to bring social change. This can be anywhere across the country. The fellow is expected to live in their work area, typically a rural or a peri-urban setup. They work with colleagues and mentors to understand the complexities at that level. This powerful experience inculcates sensitivity, consciousness and a deeper understanding for the fellow to look at the social issues India faces
India Fellow has 45 days of residential training, spread across the duration of 18 months. It is required for all the fellows to come together at a common place for this component. This is divided into four parts, every six months into the journey – induction, midpoint, travel workshop and endpoint. The India Fellow pedagogy is unique. It is geared towards making the journey from knowledge to wisdom. It engages a strong collective of varied sector leaders, academicians, researchers and practitioners
Every fellow is exposed to a pool of mentors, both from the host organizations as well as the fellowship network. A mentor is an expert in their domain, someone who would be a philosopher and a guide to the fellow. Along with that, the fellowship ecosystem consists of facilitators, alumni and experienced professionals from various walks of life. Fellows get to meet them during training and workshops. This helps the fellow build meaningful relationships and an influential network for professional growth
To ensure a balance between action and reflection, throughout the 18 months, fellows document their observations, experiences and insights as monthly blogs/vlogs/podcasts. Additionally, they work on a detailed monograph at the end of the journey. There are virtual sessions with mentors, online courses and collective fundraising. All this builds a holistic understanding of sector and develops crucial skills. This component is designed in such a way that the fellows can leverage every opportunity to learn with peers
ALL THINGS MONEY!
The financials of the fellowship is designed sensitively, such that all key stakeholders – fellow, host, fellowship team part take in it to keep the platform thriving. It will not be fair to view the fellowship as an opportunity to have an income. Rather, view it as a scholarship one receives, to learn in myriad ways and have their costs covered.
The fellow also gets a modest but adequate stipend from the host organization for sustenance. This is INR 22,000 per month in metro cities and INR 18,000 per month in rest of the country. This ensures that they do not spend anything out of pocket in this journey.
The cost to select and nurture a fellow through this unique journey is INR 3,00,000. The fellows join the fellowship team every cohort, in a collective fundraiser with each other, to raise this sum for the cohort that follows them. Fellows typically look at fundraising INR 1,25,000 for this. This is not a strict mandatory figure. Often our fellows raise way below or above this sum. Please note, this is not a fee or to be paid upfront. The fundraiser happens throughout the fellowship duration of 18 months.