An Electronics & Communications engineer from Harayana, AkshayKapur, had worked for a few years in Grail Research, a market research and consulting firm in the National Capital Region. His daily work usually involved data analysis.
Throughout his career he had noticed one thing – agitated talk. There was pointless chatter on all sorts of social issues, but rarely any constructive action to improve the situation. This inactivity from educated minds led to his personal turmoil and he took it upon himself to do something about it by joining SBI Youth for India. “Empty glasses and living room debates seemed to be the only tangible contribution of the majority of India’s so called intellectual elite”, says Akshay.
During the SBI Youth for India fellowship, Akshay worked closely with BAIF in Udaipur District of Rajasthan on improving the value chain for goat rearing – The IM Goat Project.
Akshay went through the drill of conducting a baseline survey, training the farmers, documenting and analysing the results. He worked on creating awareness amongst all the concerned parties – the producers and traders regarding the support systems available to them, how they can go about breeding the goats in a systematic manner to make it a more profitable activity.
At the end of the year, the project was a success!
When asked about his experience and learnings as a fellow, there’s only 1 sentence he reiterates “There’s a wealth of wisdom in our people”
He says the fellowship turned his thinking around. Gone were his thoughts of ‘helping’ the villagers, he has started learning different and new things from them. Gone were all the definitions and differentiations, washed away in a deluge of experience, no more did he see others as rural or urban, rich or poor, literate or illiterates, upper castes or dalits. Everywhere, all he could see were people!
Post the fellowship, Akshay decided against a corporate job but instead took up the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellows’ Scheme to work in naxal affected districts. After going through the selection process which involved a competency test, written exam and personal interview, Akshay was selected to work with the prestigious PMRDF Scheme.
“The SBI Youth for India fellowship definitely gave me an edge over other applicants” says Akshay. Today Akshay is working in Chattisgarh and will be finishing his 2 year fellowship period in the next 2 months. Over the past 2 years, Akshay has worked on Watershed Management project, State Skill Development Enactment project and has acted as a Supervising Officer for 7 Gram Panchayats i.e. 15 villages.
He assists the District collector in developing various schemes and ensures that processes and procedures are set for their implementation. When asked if the SBI Youth for India fellowship helped, Akshay says “The fellowship gave me a deeper understanding of problems at the grassroots, preparing me for PMRDF.”
Are you also tired of just talking about what’s wrong with our nation? Then join SBI Youth for India and work towards inclusive growth.