The LEaders Accelerating Development (LEAD) Program of Deshpande Foundation, Hubballi, Karnataka fosters innovative and entrepreneurial thinking within college students by exposing them to social issues and by encouraging them to volunteer their time and effort into the community. LEAD ignites their latent talent to come up with creative solutions and implement the same. LEAD is an incubator where innovation meets implementation, knowledge meets experience, social issues meet solutions and efforts meet impact.
Through the unique platform provided by LEAD, more than 35000 students from more than 210 colleges throughout Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are implementing bold solutions to small and big problems in their communities while simultaneously building their self-confidence and developing important leadership skills.
LEAD believes in shaping the youth's personality to be a great human by building the LEADership qualities. This process involves several aspects. With numerous concepts to support the leadership growth and entrepreneurial ability among college youth, LEAD organizes value addition programs and various events to mark its achievements.
These programs under LEAD are the resources for making a LEADer come to action. We believe the society needs more valiant approaches to social change, so LEAD takes all the chances on new ideas and intentions of the LEADers and the members that share our ardour to engage citizens and change the world for the better, today. We don’t edge ourselves to any one field or issue, but instead, let a set of deep values drive all of our projects.
Mr. Niranjan Kargi, A Mechanical Engineer of Belagavi is a consistent contributor to innovative products serving needs of the society. NIRNAL (Water Purifier) is a compatible, portable, reusable, healthy and an eco-friendly water purifier. This acts like a filter when the water oozes out of Nirnal fixed to the bottles. It is easy to use and also imparts taste and some essential minerals to the water at only Rs.20.
LEADer Vimala Kadam from Chikodi observed a major issue ie,. defecating in open and took a huge stand with the help of Gram Panchayat under Swaach Bharat Yojana, by helping villagers build toilets in their house. With the huge count of 1425 toilets, LEADer Vimala now sets a great example for determination and courage to make a change in society.
LEADer Ridhima and Monica have installed "Hygiene kits" all over Varanasi. It has benefited people by giving away Hygiene kits in 25 public toilets, tourist attractions, malls and theaters. This initiative is something that is never thought of in India and it is 100% self-sustainable. The District Education Officer gave a permission letter to schools in order to cooperate with LEAD and followed the hygiene kit. Then it made it compulsory to follow in schools in the region.
The list goes on with many more changes that have taken place over the years. Our Vision is clear and all we will do is Join hands and not just think about the change but also get the change.
The inception of LEAD happened in the year 2008 when Naveen Jha heard the ideas of students who wanted to make a positive impact in the society. There were about 80 active students from the group "Colors of Youth", who came up with creative ideas for the development of the community. Named as "Colors of Youth", they were brainstormed and implemented few innovative projects such as making fuel from biomass, promoting open source software, setting up a viable traffic control system and many other interesting ideas.
The success of "Colors of Youth", supported by Deshpande Foundation led to increasing the number of projects and as well the number of energetic students. This is where the need for the separate program was felt. Hence on Aug.15, 2008, LEAD was formed. With a small team to a huge family was a process of learning and giving back to society in LEAD and this scale was made possible with the dedicated and leading efforts by Ajay Suman Shukla. He became the part of LEAD in 2009 and scaled the program from initial three districts to 21 districts and in six states. LEAD Prayana, LEAD Leadership Program, LEAD Internship are the value added additions to LEAD and made possible with his leadership, approach of inventing new to the program and passionate team. Sharing this team with you is a matter of trust to acquire.
The Deshpande Foundation strives to create social ecosystems of entrepreneurship and innovation throughout India. Founded in 2007 by Mrs. Jaishree Deshpande and Dr. Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, the premise behind the Deshpande Foundation is to spread the belief that local leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship can be catalysts of development. With this belief in mind, the Deshpande Foundation dedicates its efforts to foster social, economic, and intellectual growth in the North-West Karnataka region and beyond. The Foundation has been supporting its NGO partners with grants, mentorship, and connection to outside leaders including industry experts, academics, for-profits, investors and philanthropists. We have set up India's largest incubation center, Sandbox Startups.
We have established India's largest residential skill development center, Deshpande Educational Trust, at Hubballi, training 5,000 youth every year. The center is spread over 3 lakh sq.ft of cutting edge training infrastructure and labs to equip rural and semi-urban youths with a wide range of skills, including social entrepreneurship, accounts, electrical operations, human resource management, office operations, CNC machining, and others.
The aim of the Deshpande Foundation is to improve the quality of life for all. This means making quality education, healthy livelihoods, and access to healthcare available to every citizen. In pursuit of that goal, we have partnered with more than one hundred organizations engaged in the aforementioned fields. With the Foundation's support, our partners reach out to more than a million families in the Hubballi Sandbox region in Northern Karnataka. Deshpande Foundation also works in the states of Telangana (Kakatiya and Nalgonda Sandboxes) and Uttar Pradesh (Ek Soch Sandbox).