To financially support early-stage Social Leaders who are working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged section of Indian Society, residing anywhere in slums, rural or tribal areas of the country.
The Indian society is passing through very intriguing times. While on one hand, the gap between rich and poor continues to increase with rise of industries and migration, yet on the other hand, many individuals, mostly youngsters, are now choosing to let go of their conventional career options with the corporations to serve the sections of the society that have been under-served. Be it the Dalit communities, disadvantaged small scale farmers, daily wage earners, people living in the slums, tribal lands or LGBT community, many individuals, primarily from middle class background, are coming forward as social leaders to serve the needs of these communities and ensure that they live with dignity.
However, in spite of their courageous efforts, the journey of these social leaders remains full of challenges. In addition to the social pressure that they have to face from the side of their parents, peers and close relatives, one of the primary challenge remains to manage their financial requirements for daily sustenance. Some of them are, at times, lucky enough to receive support from their friends or family members, while the others end up burning out and leaving their efforts in-between to go back to their conventional career options.
The Vriksh Fellowship is an initiative to support such social leaders so that they can continue the work in their beginning years and reach a point from where they can sustain it from its own side. The fellowship aims to support the social leaders who are presently working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged section of the Indian society residing anywhere in slums, rural or tribal areas of the country.
The purpose of the fellowship is to identify and support the social leaders by providing them a monthly financial assistance of Rs 12,000 each for their daily sustenance for a period of 2 years (+1 year based on requirement and commitment); with an understanding that while they continue to work full-time on their initiatives, they would be able to find a practical way to self-sustain their efforts post the fellowship.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY
Any Social Leader who is presently working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged section of the Indian society residing anywhere in slums, rural or tribal areas of the country, and who:
a) is a founder or co-founder of his/her social initiative.
b) is engaged in the social initiative full-time for minimum one year. The social initiative must be an original idea of the applicant and must be a non-profit.
c) is willing to work full time in his/her social initiative for the entire duration of the fellowship
d) envisions to promote a healthy value system, thereby encouraging compassion, social and economic equality, justice, secularism, co-operation etc
e) is able to provide details on how he/she is sustaining at the time of making the application
f) is able to provide a realistic plan how he/she will become self-sustaining at the end of the fellowship to continue the work
g) is 22 years of age or older (Born on or before December 31, 2000)
The social leaders who have registered their own organization for their initiatives shall be given preference for the fellowship. For the ones who have not registered their organization at the time of making application for the fellowship, our team shall either ask them to register or try to understand their reasons for not filing a registration, just in case they have any ideological reasons for the same. If the team finds mentioned ideological reasons satisfactory, it shall consider the application for the fellowship.
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY
- Any new project of an existing old organization
- Religious initiatives
- Research Studies
- Advocacy/lobbying initiatives
- Recipient of other similar fellowships
Round 1: Preliminary Application Form
Round 2: Detailed Application Form
Round 3: Telephonic Interview
Round 4: Field Visit to understand on ground presence of the initiative
During the course of the fellowship, the fellows shall be required to submit a monthly report of their activities in a very simple format, that would ask for list of activities done, activity' purpose, brief description, number/profile of people benefited, outcome etc. In addition, our execution team shall stay in touch with the fellows on phone (at least one phone call per quarter) and also shall visit them on-field at least once a year.
No interference Policy: During the course of the fellowship, for two/three years, our role would be to support the fellows financially by providing Rs 12,000 per month. In addition, we may also encourage or invite the fellows for further capacity-building or self-development based on his/her interest, by either organizing a workshop on our own or by recommending a workshop being conducted by some other organizations on specific topics. This aspect of capacity-building or self-development shall be absolutely optional for the fellow to benefit from; our team shall not try to impose it on the fellow by any means. Our team shall also not try to interfere with the work of the fellows; we shall only offer our non-financial support whenever sought, we shall not impose it or make it mandatory. However, advice or guidance may be provided at any time.
If our team, during its evaluations, observes that the fellow is no longer meeting the mandatory pre-requisites of the fellowship, which are 1) being involved in the initiative full-time 2) working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged section of the society through a non-profit initiative 3) promoting a healthy value system 4) having registered an organization if advised to do so etc, it can choose to discontinue the fellowship after giving one month notice period to the fellow. The fellow shall also be given an opportunity to share his/her reasons for not adhering to the pre-requisites.
- All financial transactions during the course of the fellowship shall be processed through bank accounts.
- All legal proceedings shall fall under the jurisdiction of High Court of Himachal Pradesh.