NIRMAN provides a highly focused and personalized fellowship support to a few carefully chosen alumni and facilitates them in the initial year(s) of their work in the social sector.
Titled Kar Ke Dekho, the objective of this fellowship is to enable the spirit of experimentation in the young people to venture into solving social challenges.
The fellowship is limited to the alumni who have been part of the NIRMAN workshops and is a full-time endeavor. As part of the program, the selected fellows work for the duration of (usually but flexible) one year on a social problem that is close to their heart, either independently or with select nonprofit organizations or through their own organizations. The fellowship provides a modest stipend to cover monthly remuneration of the fellow for the period of one year along with sometimes provisions for his/her learning and travel.
The Educational Goals of the Fellowship Program are:
- Direct contribution in social action by the fellow for one year by serving the community with tangible outcomes and/or working on innovative ideas of social problem solving
- Increased understanding of the fellow about his/her own abilities, interests and about social challenges
- Building useful skills necessary for problem solving, strengthening his/her resolve to continue to work further in the social sector
- The fellow being able to develop clarity about his/her mission and future path including the exact problem he/she wants to solve, a suitable place to work, an action plan and economic support for him/her for the subsequent year(s)
The NIRMAN Executive Team accepts applications on a rolling basis and conducts selection process to choose deserving candidates from the pool of applicants who want to work on important topics of social need.
The applicants have to submit the following:
- Statement of purpose
- Action plan of the one-year work to be done along with key deliverables and a timeline
- Financial needs and budget for the year
- Approval letter from the organization the fellow chooses to work with (if s/he is not working on an individual project), stating the date of appointment of the fellow and the duration
The applicants are informed about their selection after a series of dialogs with the NIRMAN team to develop clarity about their motivation, need, feasibility and concreteness of the action plan. The NIRMAN team continues to facilitate the fellows’ journey regarding the choice of the issue, effectiveness of their work, solve bottlenecks, provide suggestions for new ideas and learning inputs, connection with resource persons as needed, etc.
Till now NIRMAN has awarded more than 40 fellowships to select individuals working across various sectors like education, health, rural development and livelihoods, watershed management, local governance, environment, etc. After kick-starting their social action journey with the support from NIRMAN Fellowship, the alumni have continued to work long term in the social sector furthering their impact on the challenge(s) they chose. Some of the past and present fellows include:
Building innovative appropriate technology solutions for the bottom of the pyramid.
BE, Mechanical Engineering
Proprietor, Mokar Enterprises
Improving language literacy, fluency and curiosity about reading in tribal children
MA, IIT Madras
Research Fellow, QUEST
Improving patient follow-up and outcomes in mental health care settings in rural and tribal areas
Dr. Varad Puntambekar
MBBS, AIIMS Delhi
Public Health Fellow, SEARCH
Managing a residential school for ~180 students from 5th to 10th standards in remote region of Patoda tehsil in Beed district
BE, Information Technology
Providing quality and affordable healthcare in the villages of Saoli tehsil in Chandrapur district
Dr. Suraj Mhaske
MBBS, IGGMC Nagpur
Founder, SOBAT Foundation
Environmental impact assessment of large dams on riverine landscapes
PhD Candidate, ATREE Bangalore
MTech, CEPT Ahmedabad
Conservation of cattle biodiversity and improving farmers’ livelihoods
Coordinator, Revitalizing Rainfed Agriculture Network
Water, livelihoods and rural development in the villages of Arvi tehsil in Wardha district