Lead Leadership Program 23.06.2014 to 02.07.2014

An overwhelming experience shared by one of the participant Mr. Mayur Ahuja from Pune about the LEAD Leadership Program.
DAY 1:
LLP commenced on very beautiful morning on 23 June, with 31 undergraduate students at Deshpande Foundation, Hubli. Participants were hailed from Hubli, Pune, Kolhapur, Bijapur, Chikodi and Gulbarga. Each participant had to introduce each other in a very funny manner.
We were then randomly divided into separate groups and committees for the smooth functioning of the camp for the next 9 days.
The functional head of LEAD, Mr. Ajay Suman Shukla, briefed us about the remaining 9 days. To our surprise, we were then asked to gear up for a night’s stay at the Kalkeri village. As soon as we reached Kalkeri, we were escorted by a young little boy Chetan who introduced himself in English. This was something totally unexpected. In no time, a group of foreigners caught my eyes. Our instructors told us that they come and teach English, Information Technology on a 4 month internship basis.
Day 2:
Our morning started with an exercise. At 6:00 am, we headed towards the forest for the Eco walk. The peace of mind you get would probably take you to another world.
At 9 am, we were divided into two groups and given straws. We were supposed to make the best out of it.The two teams made a violin and a replica of the Eiffel Tower. We were then introduced to the Public Relations Officer of Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya and he took us around the school. There were more than 8 classrooms for music. A platform given to the students of village can change their lives.

We met Mr. Adam (CEO of KSV). Adam’s journey at KSV is exceptional. He has been with KSV since the past 10 years and visits his family in England every year.

As students of LEAD, we thought of helping the school. During the monsoons, pathways become muddy, so
we decided to make a pathway with stones which would make it easier for them to walk and also prevent soil erosion. The feeling was much more than just happiness. It was a time for a display of talent by the students at KSV. They performed classical dance, classical music using various musical instruments. It was time for us to say goodbye to the students of KSV. With a heavy heart, we left KSV at 5 pm.

 DAY 3:

A session on Leadership was organized after the exercise and breakfast. The task was to pick a photograph out of 50 pictures that was spread on the floor. Each individual was asked to describe the leadership quality with all the creativity they could use.
At 1 PM, three guest speakers, Mr. Arjun (Entrepreneur), Mr. Rajan Patel and Mr. Ashwin Kumar (Entrepreneur) visited us. These guests had enormous amount of experience in the field of entrepreneurship. Mr. Arjun has worked with TCS for over 8 years and then decided to switch to entrepreneurship. He described his journey of the big switch from a job to a business. Mr. Patel has worked with Embrace which makes a portable incubator for babies. Mr. Kumar is an MBA graduate. Students asked them a lot of questions about their start up, leadership skills, journey, personal life etc. This was one of the most interactive sessions.

An interesting session came our way on the key factors of our life. The three factors are Direction, Alignment and Commitment. Direction would describe the path one would follow to succeed. Alignment would define the way in which the target would be accomplished and commitment would label the dedication an individual has to make in order to complete that objective. Any imbalance between these three elements would make your path to success more difficult.

DAY 4:

A Leadership Development session was conducted, different qualities and aspects that help anyone to become a good leader was highlighted.
Post lunch, Mrs. Annie Vijaya(HR Manager of Deshpande Foundation) conducted a very innovative class. A set of questions were given which everyone was supposed to answer sincerely. Our answers reflected how well we managed our time. Ma’am gave us some very good tips to avoid wasting time.

At 5 pm, Mr. Rajan Patel shared his journey of becoming an entrepreneur. At Stanford University, he got the opportunity to make an incubator for babies which does not use electricity and is much cheaperand could be kept with the mother. His innovation along with his team proved that there is a solution to every problem as Deshpande foundations tag line says “Problem starts with they, Solution starts with I”.

DAY 5:

An hour of workout was followed by an extremely exciting game, ‘Zip-Zap-Zoom’. A lot of concentration and alertness was required to win this game. After breakfast, Mr. Adithya (Founder of Innovations 101) had a very interactive session on Entrepreneurship and the prerequisites required to start – up.

The much awaited opportunity came our way when we had an interactive session with the CEO of Deshpande Foundation, Mr. Naveen Jha. Students had a lot of inquisitiveness about the structuring and working of the organization. All students questioned Sir and Sir was more than happy to answer  all these questions.

Post lunch, Students were given an opportunity to introduce their friends with certain questions after which we were divided into 4 groups and asked to prepare a skit within 15 minutes. Students displayed their talent in drama and highlighted many social issues prominent in today’s world. After dinner, Ms. Aasha (Entrepreneur), delivered a talk to the students about her journey and the need for more entrepreneurs.

DAY 6:
We visited, Akshay Patra (NGO) which provides mid-day meals for over 14,00,000 students. We were shown the kitchen at Akshay Patra, Hubli and it was an opportunity none of us would ever want to miss. They make 4 tons of Rice and 12000 liters of Sambar every single day. On the way back from Akshay Patra, we all personally realized the importance of every grain and empathized with the people who face hunger. It was the most touching moment of our life.

Our next visit was to Agastya Foundation. We all had some idea about the objectives of this organization. The best part about Agastya foundation is their mobile labs. They have over 60 mobile labs that go to different villages with different models and spread the wonders of science. Each mobile lab visits a school thrice in a year. Agastya Foundation is well established in more than 5 states and teaches almost 5, 00,000 students each year.

The purpose for which Akshay Patra and Agastya Foundation is working towards the society is commendable. Post lunch, the graduation ceremony for the LEAD INNOVATORS program was organized. The program focused on Design thinking and tackling key problems of society. LLP students learnt the use and applications of Social Media Networking. Many misunderstandings about social media networking were cleared.
Day 7: 

Active leaders shared their testimonies of LEAD journey– Mr. Aarya Y.S, (Student- Menchanical Engineer, 2nd year) shared the experience about the project and the feeling that he had after the project was completed. It was indeed a nice time to know about the young man as he has contributed something more than the expectation. We had lot of question to him for which he patiently answered for each one of them.Most of us fear to face the public and speak to the crowd. Mr. Sai Pakash (Lead student) conducted a session and gave a clear picture about Public speaking and how one has to present themselves before the crowd.

Post lunch, Ms. Deepashree Ram Mohan (LEAD-Program Manager) conducted a session on creativity, She explained about what is creativity? How it helps in our learning and our life. With many examples she quoted to what extent a man can think on creativity. She than assigned the task of creating things through modules, painting, best out of waste, Bags etc. At the end of the day students made best out of waste and created models in a creative way at the graduation day.

Mr. R V Raikar (Director of SGI College-Kolhapur) gave a surprise visit to our participants and interacted for few minutes. He was amazed with the creativity things that the students were preparing.


Day 8:


Sessions started with activities on communication skills by Mrs. Aditi. Mr. Krishnaji conducted IT Session. Students were given an opportunity to create Email id, and educated them about the email etiquette.Resume writing and its importance. Students learned and practiced many important skills that will benefit them in their personal and professional development.  We also learnt in brief about important computer programs like Microsoft Word etc. 

At Evening 7 pm we had one more important session that is RTI. Mr. Prashant Deshpande(Practicing Advocacy)  explained about RTI in detail and about how to apply for application, How this RTI works, as India has lots of problems so being young leader’s how to solve our problem and how to get information to create better India. We were than assigned with a task and it was all about going outside and convincing people to watch our Street Play about RTI. Finally we could convince 25 to 30 people. We presented and we conveyed our massage to audience regarding RTI.

Day 9:

The day of mixed feelings and emotions, we learnt accelerated learning and also the importance of asking questions. One cannot grow and live without asking questions and developing some kind of inquisitiveness. An activity highlighted the significance of reasoning. We had to pen down as many question as possible in a time span of 10 minutes. Questions like ‘What exists beyond this world?’, ‘Why is a bus stand called bus stand when people sit at a bus stand?’ were asked which broadened our horizons and encouraged an open minded approach.


Mr. Anup Vijapur(Technical Head-Nanopix) shared his Lead journey, the experiences that he had the learning’s that made him grow and the feelings being different person after being with the LEAD program.  He was awarded as Best Leader in International LEAD Mela 2010. He got sponsored to Tata Jagrati Yatra (worth Rs. 30,000),. Students had lot of questions. All students started to ask questions and he answered to each and every question in simple and effective way which was indeed so worth.
After the session we had a surprise session by  Mr. Ajay Suman Shukla (Functional Head-LEAD) which was a great experience as he shared his Lead journey, why he choose Hubli to start his career?, What kind of challenges he faced, and  he motivated students by sharing  his experience. We learnt so many things from Ajay sir. Most of us were very much inspired by him, he was one such person with the unique set of attitudes and principles which we had never seen before, his dedication towards work, smiling face always it was a funny and awesome interaction  which we would never forget.


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