Recently, Pravah received an invitation that was also a challenge! Mr. C Babu Joseph, Executive Trustee & CEO, Axis Bank Foundation, impressed by the various programs conducted by Pravah for youth, invited us to conduct an orientation workshop for their employees in September 2012.
Coming from premier engineering and management institutes of India, the participants of the workshop were a different lot than the young volunteers Pravah works with. Designing a two-week long workshop for them was interesting and not easy for Pravah facilitators. To suit the age group and the corporate mindset of the participants, the workshop focused on developing their leadership skills through elements of self awareness, building systems thinking, creating and interpreting authentic stories and inspiring involved citizenship.
With valuable inputs from our mentors and design experts Arjun and Meenu, founder members of Pravah, the workshop design was finalised. Shilpa, Ritika, Naghma and Meenakshi, looking forward to a new experience, geared up for facilitating the workshop with full gusto. Ravi Gulati and Meenu, Board members of Pravah, joined the program to inspire the participants with their change stories and words of wisdom.
The Rural Exposure, a part of the workshop was a different experience for most of the participants from Axis bank and they found it challenging to adapt to the rustic environment. Out of their comfort zones, they were made to realize that the village stay was quintessential to the whole experience. Realization soon dawned about how privileged they are and the rural-urban connections closely linked to their lives. The experience was very meaningful as the participants’ fundamental perspectives on education, development & livelihoods were questioned.
This workshop was a learning experience for Pravah facilitators as well! Interacting with this new set of participants reaffirmed our belief in work done at Pravah with youth who are comparatively free of baggage and learn to be change makers for sustainable social change. Creating a program to suit the new participant profile by adapting our modules and designs was good practice too. We are proud to be acknowledged as an organization that can inspire people to transform themselves and the society.
~ Neha Kamal