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An effort towards change

Archana Mishra, Feb 11, 2013 21:39 IST

Channelising youth

Motivating: Prakahar Bhartiya aspires to play a role in the society by bringing changes.
Unlike a lot of youth of his age, 26- year old Prakhar Bhartiya was, since school days sure of what he wanted to pursue in life. He knew that he had to bring change in society and it was during his college days that he brought into existence an organisation ‘Youth Alliance called Lead the Change, Igniting Hearts. Initially, the alliance was restricted to minor activities like plantation drives, food relief camps and motivating people to vote. But it was Teach for India fellowship taken by Prakhar that changed the course of this organisation.

“Now, the organisation is dedicated to developing social leaders, youngsters who are equipped with
leadership skills to resolve challenges faced by their communities,” says Prakhar. “We have a range of programmes like Lead the Change, Gramya Manthan and Come Alive, which are meant to create awareness and bring change in society,” says the young lad. For every batch, he selects 30 youngsters for a six-week programme and exposes them to pressing issues of societies such as human dignity, education and rural problems. “We provide study solutions offered by role models and give the candidates a short experience in leadership education. So far we have created six entrepreneurs who are working in rural and urban areas,” says Prakhar.

An engineer by qualification, Prakhar’s Youth Alliance is his belief system. “My fellowship which I pursued after finishing engineering, exposed me to reality. I used to teach slum kids in Mumbai. By the time I finished my two-year-long fellowship programme I realised my students could read and write properly. I started to believe that changes are possible,” says Prakhar.

Fulfilling a dream that aims to channelise youth power was not that easy especially when parents raised their doubts. “My parents were not happy with my decision to do something other than engineering. They were annoyed when they got to know that I did not appeared for college placements and was looking for something else. But my brother was supportive,” says Prakhar.
However, running an organisation that aims to establish 20 centres all across the country in the next five years is still nascent and subject to its set of problems. “Funding is important to run an organisation. Many a time I have to manage without a salary for three to four months. But, I get support from friends working in different countries and drawing handsome packages,” smiling Prakhar, calling them his biggest mental and financial support.

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