What kind of jobs can I look for after attending the ‘SBI Youth for India’ Fellowship Programme?

The SBI Youth for India Program is a unique and a great initiative by State Bank of India. Considering the fact that around 70% of Indian population still lives in rural areas across thousands of villages in the country, it is not hard to imagine how useful and relevant this programme is.

President Barack Obama in his recent address in Mumbai particularly mentioned that India and US can very effectively cooperate in the agricultural space besides manufacturing, infrastructure etc. He clearly indicated the need and importance of improving the process of economic upliftment in the rural sector and of creating more jobs and opportunities in the sector.

Incomes in the rural sector have been growing steadily and will continue to grow as well as aspirations and needs of people, young and old. There are very few businesses, which will not have grown in the rural areas and almost all companies and businesses are gearing up, if not already done, to address this very important segment of the Indian society.

Organisations and industrial sectors which have direct focus in the rural area fall into various categories, which are:

Agri Inputs: Fertilisers, seeds, pesticides, farm equipments, modern irrigation methods etc.
FMCG and consumer durables: Encompasses very diverse businesses starting from apparels, footwear, personal and hygiene products, drinks and beverages, confectionery, electronic consumer items etc.
Transport: Automobile, trucks, two wheelers
Communication: Telecom services, mobile sets
IT: Hardware and software, web-based services
Education and publication: Schools, colleges, vocational institutes etc
Retail
Healthcare: Hospitals, clinics, retail of medicines, insurance services
Banking: Retail banking

Ravi Bhatia, MD, Gilbert Tweed AssociateThere are a host of other businesses but the above would be the most important where immediate growth is inevitable.

– Ravi Bhatia, Managing Director, Gilbert Tweed Associates

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MS Swaminathan, father of India’s green revolution calls for partnership rather than patronage in rural India

Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation used to say that India lives in its villages and that Gram Swaraj (village self rule) is the pathway to Purna Swaraj (Complete self rule or Freedom). He also used to exhort young women and men about the need for ending the divorce between intellect and labour in rural India. This means that we must marry brain and brawn in village professions. The Indian Youth could contribute by bringing about such a marriage.

Programme Fellows have to understand the opportunities available in our villages for being of help in strengthening the livelihood security of rural women and men and the ecological security of rural areas. Since usually we have two monsoons, namely, southwest and northeast monsoons, it is important to spend at least one year in villages to understand the relationship between climate and the lives of the people.

The leadership qualities needed are a seeing eye and an understanding heart. Above all, they should approach the villagers with a sense of humility. The method of working should be partnership and not patronage.

If all the above criteria are fulfilled, youth can take our villages ahead to the 21st Century and foster agrarian prosperity and rural regeneration.

MS Swaminathan

Do you want to be a Real Leader?

Real Leaders are ordinary people, with an extra-ordinary vision and determination. The search for Real Leaders has never been easy. The launch of the “SBI Youth for India” Fellowship Programme marks the beginning of a journey to identify India’s Real leaders  – young men and women who seek to understand India better, care for its people and lead the change for a better for India.

50 young men and women will be selected from across India and trained to take up the challenge of becoming Real Leaders through a transformational experience in the heart of ‘Real India’ – ie rural India, which is home to 70% of India’s population.  ‘SBI Youth for India’ invites outstanding young professionals and graduates to commit a year to rural India and work on projects with experienced NGOs to catalyse rural development.  Join the movement to transform yourself, and rural India.

THE METAMORPHOSIS

Will you be bitten by a snake? No, instead you would be gripped by a whole new world and the raw intelligence of an Indian village. You would learn about life in India’s villages, the customs and traditions and how they impact development. You will also learn what plagues the rural economy and how value can be created at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’.  And much more. In essence you will know about what matters, if India is to become a truly developed nation, and what it will take to get there.

The metamorphosis starts as and when you are selected. Think of your most impressive self and apply here. The applications will be evaluated by a team of experts. Once you are selected you will be trained for your journey to the rural set up. Your aptitudes will be assessed and you will be sent to ‘your’ village and ‘your’ NGO, where the process gears up. You will work closely with the NGO and with the help of a mentor you will be educated and trained to touch rural lives. The greatest discovery of all begins here, discovery of your own self — your values and your determination to lead change.

THE CHALLENGE

Your real challenge wouldn’t be about how you will adapt to the rural set up. Rather, it will be to think of India as an inclusive country which cannot truly progress, without rural India progressing.  We had 16,196 farmer suicides recorded just two years back. The per capita income in rural areas is Rs 25 per day. Compare it with yours. Not to feel better, but to think better. We have approximately 600,000 villages, 25% of which do not have year-round drinking water and 75% consume water of poor quality. Women suffer from poor reproductive health and deliveries are performed with the assistance of under-trained midwives usually leading to deaths of both mother and child. The average literacy rate is around 50-65% and is as low as 20-25% among women in backward areas.

It is not all blind spots in rural India. Stories of change are innumerable. If it is one Mr Swamy and Mrs Chinni in Purkal, a small village in the foothills of Himalayas, it is a Hirbai Ibrahim Lobi in Jambur, Gujarat. They are the Real heroes of India. And this is your chance to become one. Your country, your chance!