- Grassroutes Fellowship Program Selected Candidates
- Grassroutes Group Program
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Please refer to the 2011 Handbook. It answers questions such as
“What does the pre-road trip orientation entail?
What work are the fellows expected to do for/with the NGO?
What deliverables does a fellow submit at the end of the road-trip?
How do you select fellows? What qualities do you look for in applicants?”
Other Frequently Asked Questions are answered below.
Will I be the only Fellow matched with a certain NGO/organization?
Maybe not. We will try our best to match at least 2 fellows to each NGO. However, we will not restrict ourselves to do so. If you are the only one matched to an NGO, we will make sure you are safe.
How do you assess impact for an organization such as Grassroutes?
Impact is assessed based on displayed behavior of our fellows and not the inherent changes it made in them. We understand that, not all inherent changes are converted to actions. For instance, one team, on their road-trip, learned that it was easier for a village to pool funds to build a temple and not a school. They questioned this behavior. They found out that, temples were perceived as cultural centers (for celebrations, discussions, social meetings) and not just for religion or God. The sole purpose of school is education. The opportunity cost of building a temple is not as high as that for building a school. This made the team question the status-quo and ask “How can you change this misconception?”
This is the kind of impact we are looking for in the fellows, through their journeys.
Grassroutes had 3 editions so far. How has the Grassroutes fellowship program changed fellow’s lives?
Grassroutes experience is a personal journey of discovery for a fellow. While for some Grassroutes experience has found new interest areas to explore like social enterprise while for the others it made them question some of the fundamental beliefs of their own like Capitalism v/s Socialism. All these experiences have resulted in young people who are much more mature about problems, social change and the role they can play. For individual stories, Please check the ‘Impact’ page under Media for more impact stories.
Why are the NGOs in rural areas?
We believe that if we are able to move fellows out of their comfort zones by taking them to unknown territories where place, people and set-up is new, the learning that a fellow will have is much more than an urban setting.
What is the purpose of ‘day zero’/pre-road trip orientation?
Through ‘day zero’ and orientation we aim to inspire the fellows and broaden their perspectives. We want to empower them with knowledge and perspective to look closer, to learn more, on their road trips. We are de-influencing them, removing their biases and personal prejudices.
Can 30 day road-trips bring about a significant change?
We revised our previous edition’s 10 day road trip to a 30 day one, to increase the impact on and made by fellows. We want the fellows to contribute as much as they can to the partner NGO. Through the road-trip experience, if Grassroutes can inspire passionate, young people into social action every year and challenge them to find ways to help non-profits & change-makers in this country. We may not be able to offset the contribution of the NGO always, but it’s a delta-x change that we will be proud of! Moreover, with the stories collected from these journeys, we plan to bring to fore the amazing social work being carried out at the grassroots and try to engage the rest of the nation in supporting these activities or similar ones in their community. Grassroutes is also an experiment in using the internet to spread ideas virally and finding innovative ways to get more people, especially the youth involved in social change.
How did you guys come up with the idea of Grassroutes?
Back in college days, on a road-trip to Pushkar, the 3 of us impulsively decided to take the train at the Tilonia station – just because we had read about it somewhere! As we went around exploring the place and spent time with the people there, we were simply awestruck by the way Barefoot College simplified technology that we were learning in our engineering subjects and empowered women through rural entrepreneurship. We were so inspired that when we went back, we put in all our knowledge and energy behind a few community development projects around Pilani and we were surprised at the change that we could bring to people’s lives. We believe that a dose of inspiration combined with the energy of the youth can actually make a few dents in the universe. Grassroutes is just an effort to bring the two together.
So who can apply for the Grassroutes Program?
Simple – Indian national below the age of 25 with social consciousness can apply for the Grassroutes program. Refer to the handbook for more details. Mail us if you don’t completely fit into the criteria.
When does the next set of road-trips take place? By when do I have to apply?
We will be sponsoring around 40 fellows’ road-trips during the summer break this May 2010. The road-trips will be of 30 days duration. Applications are up. Visit our apply page for more details.
Who takes care of my travel, accommodation, food, laundry, safety etc. on these trips?
We provide the fellows with an idea on what they can expect during the course of the road-trip. We arrange for you accommodation and food. The rest of the travel plan has to be worked out by the fellows themselves. We believe that personal safety is the responsibility of each and every individual and the Grassroutes Team can only ensure that all the precautions are in place. The fellows need to pay for their travel to Bangalore for Day Zero, while the part of the journey from Bangalore to the Host NGO and back is taken care of by Grassroutes. The cost of internal travel during the Fellowship is to be borne by the Fellow.
Brilliant Idea! How can I help the Grassroutes team?
You could help us spread the Grassroutes movement in various ways – be it by sponsoring any of the fellows, helping us find change-makers in the rural heartlands, providing technical help on video production, helping the Fellows achieve their targets or by working with us. Shoot us a mail at email@example.com.