The convergence of CSR, NGOs, trusts, social enterprises and governmental institutions in the impact sector has opened up several lucrative avenues for individuals willing to contribute to rural development and nation building. SBI Foundation MD & CEO Sanjay Prakash called upon India’s brightest young minds to seize this opportunity and build successful careers contributing to Indias rural growth story by pledging 13 months to grassroots development, at IIT-Kharagpur’s B-School festival Purvodaya.
Addressing the 600 students attending the event organised by Vinod Gupta School of Management of IIT Kharagpur, Mr. Prakash said, “As you step into the professional world, your goals must have a triple bottom line; thinking beyond profits to focus on people and the planet. Prestigious institutes like the IITs harness the power of youth efficiently. With the right guidance, the youth of this country are poised to become changemakers.“
SBI Foundation MD addressing the students at IIT Kharagpur
SBI Foundation, the CSR arm of State Bank of India (SBI), enables this through its flagship program SBI Youth for India Fellowship, which deploys socially-inclined urban individuals to remote inaccessible areas for 13 months, where they collaborate with rural communities to plan and execute pragmatic projects to help alleviate the area’s developmental challenges. The Fellows receive rigorous training and mentorship on several subjects like education, environmental protection, health, alternate energy, social entrepreneurship, self-governance, women empowerment, technology, water and sanitation, and are trained to internalise a ‘Systems Thinking’ lens to understand the interconnectedness of complex social issues.
The Fellowship has a rich legacy of initiating highly skilled professionals, including several IITians, into the rural sector, forming the gateway for them to adopt the Triple Bottom Line into their careers. For instance, YFI Fellow 2016-17 and IIT-Madras graduate Siddarth Daga developed innovative personalised motorised wheelchairs under the brand NeoMotion, and recently secured Rs. 1 crore funding at 1% equity at Shark Tank India. IIT-Delhi graduate Simran Grover, who finished his fellowship back in 2012, founded Bask Research Foundation, a research and policy advocacy initiative in the energy sector. Former Fellow and IIT-Madras graduate âKavya Menonâ, who completed the YFI Fellowship in 2015, co-founded AWARE India Trustâ, and is actively involved in research, advocacy, field work and policy formulation on subjects like environmental sustainability and gender equality.
“Despite the new socio-economic challenges posed by the pandemic, the enthusiasm of the youth of India to join the Fellowship did not shatter. The present batch of the Fellowship is serving communities at 45 diverse geographic locations in 15 States to accomplish impactful projects,” explained Mr. Prakash.
Applications for the SBI Youth For India Fellowship for the batch of 2023-24 will open shortly. The Fellowship receives over 50,000 applications each year and inducts approximately 100 Fellows.
Now in its tenth year, the SBI YFI Fellowship has amassed a 500+ strong alumni base, of which approximately 70% have continued to serve in the development sector. Over 30 alumni have started their own ventures, and 85 went on to pursue higher studies at reputed educational institutes like Harvard, Yale and London School of Economics, among others.
SBI Foundation at large works on every key developmental issue in India through its 8 flagship programs and verticals, broadly focused on rural development, education, livelihood, healthcare, women empowerment, promotion of sports, and disability rights and inclusion.
About SBI Foundation
SBI Foundation is the CSR arm of the State Bank Group. True to its tradition of “Service Beyond Banking“, the Foundation recognises the importance of engaging with communities across key focus areas such as rural development, healthcare, education, empowerment of PwDs, sustainability & environment, livelihood & skill development, youth empowerment, promotion of sports, and more. In this pursuit, SBI Foundation works across 28 States and Union Territories of India, undertaking several initiatives to make resources available to the most vulnerable sections of the society, directly and through strategic partnerships with impact-making entities in the social sector in the most transparent way to create inclusive, sustainable development. SBI Foundation believes in reflecting the ethos of the State Bank Group in running interventions that are ethical, promote growth and equality, and create a positive impact on society.