Devika StartingBloc Essay 2


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Answer to the question:
The StartingBloc Fellowship is a diverse community, with Fellows coming from a variety of sectors and backgrounds. How will you contribute to this community?

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Devika StartingBloc Essay 2

  2. 2. FROM A UNIQUE, ACCOMPLISHED BACKGROUND Currently in Young India Fellowship Programme, a one year, liberal arts, March 2013 multidisciplinary programme  Cohort of 97 fellows selected from 3000 applicants  Diversity of thought: YIFP taught me to think on each issue through multiple perspectives – sociological, anthropological, philosophical, financial, technical Devika, India B.E. (Hons.) Computer Science and M.Sc. (Hons.) Economics, dual degree  At BITS Pilani, a premier university ranked among top 10 engineering colleges  Learnt multitasking effectively by balancing different interests  Became so acclimatized with linguistic and cultural diversity that monoculture now seems foreign Member of Jagriti Yatra (translates to Awakening Journey)  An 18-day long train journey around India, with 400 youth participants, to visit social entrepreneurs and enterprises in 13 locations  Learnt to appreciate regional and economic diversity  Gave me a strong foundation and network in India’s development sector  Hope from meeting other young people who share my commitment to develop India 2
  3. 3. FROM A UNIQUE, ACCOMPLISHED BACKGROUND CONTD. Worked for 6 months as Associate in Samhita Social Ventures, Mumbai  Corporate Social Responsibility consultancy and online donation portal March 2013  Gained in-depth comprehension of Indian NGOs and donors  Taught software and web skills to other employees Diversity in places of stay Devika, India  Up to age 17 in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Small city with population density around 472/sq km*  College in Goa. Small state with population density around 394/sq km*  Six months in Mumbai. Population density: Over 20,000/sq km*  Ten months in National Capital Territory of Delhi. Population density: Over 11,000/sq km*  I understand the opportunities and limitations of small towns.  I revel in the energy of crowds in large metropolises. Grew up in a single parent, educated household  Understand the value of education and how it can impact life decisions  Segregation and acceptance within societal structures 3*Source: Census 2011, Government of India
  4. 4. WELL-CONNECTED TO DIVERSE, COLLABORATIVE NETWORKS JY – Social Enterprise Knowledge pool for March 2013 startups Devika, India YIFP – Diversity is the buzzword. BITSAA – Alumni Corporate heads to Association. college students.Chapters across the world. Artists, architects,Can connect to employees consultants, lawyers, and heads of various bankers and many more organizations. 4
  5. 5. PASSIONATE ABOUTGlobal Wellbeing Lessening Gender Inequality March 2013 Worked with Development  Travelled alone to 25 NGOs Office of a Member of across 8 states in India in 40 Devika, India Parliament to improve days to understand implementation of National organisational structure of NGOs Rural Health Mission, the working for women Central Government scheme for development rural healthcare  Research projects on NGOs Volunteering with RAXA, an NGO working for domestic help and focused on developing free women exploited for software for electronic medical commercial sex records  Studied main challenges to primary education for girls in different countries 5
  6. 6. WELL-GROUNDED IN THE INDIAN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT SECTOR While working at Samhita Social Ventures, gained in-depth knowledge of: March 2013  Indian NGOs  Donors: Foundations, High Net-worth Individuals and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives Devika, India  Samhita tried to streamline donors’ proposal requirements through Indian Philanthropic Confluence in 2011 Social Enterprises and NGOs  Interacted with both while travelling alone and for Jagriti Yatra  Understand the merits and demerits of each in different sectors within development  Gave a talk on Social Development in India to 80 UK college students in Delhi, India as part of a UK-India collaboration Can help other fellows with both facts and descriptions of grassroots as well as large organizations 6
  7. 7. A BELIEVER IN STRONG PRINCIPLES Inequality rankles me. March 2013  I want everyone to get the opportunity to develop and reach their full potential.  I’ve worked to remove any form of discrimination in my spheres of influence. Devika, India Go after a goal, relentlessly. Perseverance and resilience.  In first year of college, I wanted to change majors. But that required academic excellence. Scored 10/10 GPA in second semester.  When I realized that work at Samhita was becoming too distant from the grassroots, I decided to travel to NGOs. Quit the job, registered for a dissertation on campus and made a travel plan. Weigh pros and cons for any situation and move quickly once the decision is taken.  Had to take tough decisions as the Chief Election Commissioner for Student Government Elections in college  My integrity is incorruptible. Serves others as a moral compass. Live well within less means: When I cut down on a want, I can fulfill someone’s need 7
  8. 8. ALWAYS EAGER TO LEARN NEW THINGS March 2013 Devika, India 8
  9. 9. INTERESTED INFood Photography Writing & Travelling March 2013  Edited Yatra Saar 2012, synthesis document for Jagriti Devika, India Yatra  Edited annual college magazine  Blog at  Travel extensively for work and pleasure  Made a documentary on Spiti Ecosphere, a social enterprise based among the Himalayan Flickr Photostream mountains in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India 9
  10. 10. March 2013 Devika, India THANK YOU!10 For more information/clarification, feel free to write to me at: