India Fellow cohort 2015 has been spread in different parts of India across 19 organizations working for various causes. I am placed in Pune in Agastya International Foundation, with some other fellows placed around Pune city. From the initial days of the fellowship I have been lucky enough to meet my co-fellows once in a while. And of course, technology has helped me to keep in touch with others.
There are several advantages of being an India fellow. Of course, I am happy to know about the diversity of work among my co-fellows. The concept of peer learning is little more than just knowing. Learning from the experiences of other fellows is an amazing concept all together. Discussing facts and thoughts very frankly and openly with each other, makes you think, react, agree, disagree, sometimes even find a solution to certain problems or accept the problem as it is. It also helps discover the geographical and cultural similarities and diversities and also to learn about social norms of certain places (which are often surprises).
But, most important is what is taken back with you from the meeting. The takeaways from these meetings may not be the highlights of the day. It can be a thought that you discussed, or may be a place visited or an event that took place. It can also be just the feeling that you went through in the rendezvous. It gives a confidence to move forward, working with the host organizations and being open to learning. It has always been fun meeting and staying with friends. And I am very much excited to meet others and hope to meet them soon.
The closeness that we feel towards the co-fellows is often reflected in the care for each other and acceptance of each others’ individuality. Thus, helping us to be empathetic and also, strengthen the bond. The bond, based on authenticity and mutual respect between the 28 of us, pioneers working in the grassroots to discover our own self and make a change in the world by getting our hands dirty.