Ankit had worked with Capgemini in Mumbai and on location in Abu Dhabi for 4 years before he joined SBI Youth for India. It was his previous experience of working with under privileged kids that drove him towards joining the fellowship program.
Ankit was on a sabbatical from his company, and hoped to explore and contribute to rural India while understanding the intricacies of traditional life and technology. His larger aim over time was to bridge the gap between rural and urban India.
Post his orientation and deployment in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu, Ankit initially started working on research and administration work at the MSSRF campus in Thanjavur. After a month or two, Ankit realised that there’s no unified system which can be used to dispense information to villagers.
Information is crucial for fishermen and farmers. At times it’s a matter of life and death for them. Ankit designed a prototype of an IVRS helpline using Cloud Telephony that would provide weather updates and other key information on demand via mobile phones. He tested the prototype with around 100 villagers and worked on perfecting it further.
Ask him about his most memorable moment of the fellowship, and he’ll tell you about his orientation lecture where the program Coordinator Mrs Geeta Varghese had said, “Life is a sentence; it’s a jumble of words. There are punctuation marks which give meaning to our life.”“SBI Youth for India was one such punctuation mark which gave my life meaning”, he says.
If you would have asked Ankit what he would do after the fellowship, he would’ve probably shrugged his shoulders and said that he might continue working with the NGO or he might be inspired to start an NGO or even join the IAS. All that he was clear about in the beginning was that he wanted to work for people who needed help.
Today Ankit is working as a Program Director at Reliance Foundation. His project is an extension of the prototype that he developed during the fellowship. The service is active in 40 districts across 7 states and a union territory. They reach out to the villagers in the service areas via Mobile, Radio, TV and Audio Conferences. At present they’re working on more ways to reach out to the villagers.
Do you want to find a sense of direction the way Ankit found his? Then be a part of the SBI Youth for India Fellowship programme.