LEAD Prayana

Post Prayana 2018 Report




LEAD Prayana, which began in 2012, is an annual leadership journey that takes over 120 passionate students aged between 18-26 from throughout India on a 15-day tour across Karnataka, and parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Packed with role model sessions, hands-on activities, and site visits, LEAD Prayana inspire students by exposing them to individuals and institutions which have innovated and implemented solutions to major challenges. Through this leadership journey, we aim to instill in the participants a need to bring change through effective leadership.
Through sessions with our specially selected role models and speakers, the participants are exposed to leaders across a variety of fields and not only learn more about topics including entrepreneurship, agriculture, technology, and the non-profit sector, but hear about the up and downs these accomplished leaders have gone through in their own leadership journeys. An emphasis on asking questions offers the participants the unique experience to interact with the role models and speakers and makes their Prayana more personal and rewarding.
Hands-on activities and community break-out sessions take the participants out of the classroom to enhance and apply their leadership skills in the community. Conducting educational activities and interactions in villages along the route and team building activities amongst the participants are planned with the aim of experiential learning.
While ultimately a learning experience, LEAD Prayana is also an opportunity for fun and friendship. Group activities such as dancing, yoga, and games not only offer time to have fun and unwind during the journey but help the participants to get to know each other. With participants from five different states across India, LEAD Prayana aims to offer a national networking opportunity for its participants and the possibility for lifelong friendships and connections with other.


Parvati1I always believed in the fact that everybody has a story, An untold story. A story that can transform millions of lives once shared. What I looked for in the journey is, to understand the nature of people. To know why they do what they do. Prayana having had 110 students with different backgrounds and lifestyle helped me to learn the things I wanted. I was able to find like-minded people. I was able to know, to what extent my ideologies were appropriate. I had an experience that will stay with me for as long as possible.

–Parvati Masali

I have gained plenty of much-needed contacts for my future!! Got many things to learn from many and even from myself!! Came to know the real meaning of adjusting and being with huge unknown people for 15 days is big thing for a little introvert person like me I take time to mingle and I never knew I cloud make these many worth full contacts and I have learned what’s its like to be choosy in life like i have chosen certain people who are like minded!! Overt it was a great experience

–Abhirami J


I learned how to smile wholeheartedly. I was a doctor for all even without completing my MBBS! I got to know the importance of failure in life. I learned that the most important thing in success is taking the first step towards it. My passion for innovation has turned into madness! (in a good way)

–C M Gurusuddaiah


It’s a tremendous and well experience from which I cleared the meaning of the thought, “DO NOT AFRAID OF GROWING SLOWLY, BE AFRAID OF STANDING STILL”…and thanks for LEAD and Prayana team.

–Shivananda Baradi


The journey which I experienced is the life which I didn’t experience in my 18yr of life

–Chethan B M

Firstly, it was an eye-opening journey for me where I could realize how I can make use of my strengths and the time. I also understood about different entrepreneurship opportunities and the challenges to be faced. Motivated me completely to focus the leadership skills in the right channel for the society.

–Aabharani G Javali


LEAD Prayana is a total package of Learning and Leading life….It was very helpful for me…its opens my Eyes and saw many many Best leaders who are best than me…..So now I have a goal to surpass them and become the best among all.

–Immanuel Pathare

Day 0

Unleashing your LEADership the potentials, LEAD Prayana 2018 started at VTU campus, Belagavi. The registration process was followed by the first session with Miss Nimika Ratnakar and Mr. Dharma Keerthiraj. This day noted down the participants from all over Karnataka who were looking for an amazing journey ahead. The first day ended with a welcome ceremony of all 110 participants.

Day 1

38928996475_a491fbf590_k (2)The first day of the enthusiastic journey started with yoga session and tour of VTU campus. Prayanees started their day with a session with Mr. Naveen Jha (CEO of LEAD), Mrs. Jayashree Deshpande (Co-founder of Deshpande Foundation), Mr. Raj Belgaumkar (Chairman of IMER and Board member of Karnataka Law society), Mr.Satish Annigeri (registrar at VTU), and Mr. Jayant Humbarwadi (Executive Director at Ashok Iron Group).38929000395_3fd418b6b3_k

Following this was the kick off and flag hoisting ceremony. Later the Prayanees visited the AEQUS Aerospace Company and Mahesh Foundation. The first day ended with the excitement of being amidst the kids of Mahesh foundation Village where they encountered the hardships and efforts of struggling lives.

Day 2

Day 2 started with traveling to the largest Skill development, Hubbali. Followed by the peaceful yoga session Prayanees had a session with Mr.Sanjeev Kapoor, Indian celebrity chef, entrepreneur, writer and television personality. He said, “Following your passion along with little support and guidance can take an individual to places” He brought about an excitement within the crowd enlightening the Prayanees the way of living.

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The journey continued with the campus tour of Skill Development and session with Mr. Rajaballi (head of the Skill Development center of Deshpande Foundation). Prayanees headed towards Kirloskar Ferrous Ltd, Hospet where they heard to Mr. Ravindra Gumaste who addressed about individual contribution to bring about positive change.

Day 3


After a night journey to Manipal, the Prayanees visited Anatomy and Pathology Museum of Manipal University. It is acclaimed as one of the best museums in Asia and one of the largest anatomy museums in the world. The day continued with the session of Dr. D G Prabhu, Vice Chancellor of Manipal University.


Followed by this was the tour of the magnificent campus. Later the crowd headed to the unique sports complex of Manipal University. The journey rested at the serene Malpe beach where the Prayanees enjoyed to the fullest.

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Day 4

Followed by the journey to Dharmasthala, Prayanees had a session with Mr. Manjunath (Director of SKDRDP organization). He explained about the community activities in Dharmasthala. Mrs. Anusaya of RUDSET center addressed the Prayanees about their work towards the entrepreneurial skill development and unemployment. Prayanees headed towards SIRI, the women empowerment development center of Dharmasthala. Here the Prayanees witnessed work done in order to develop women of rural areas.

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This Evening the Prayanees stepped into a rehabilitation center that helps the participants to understand the work done for de-addiction. Mrs. Mamata, HR manager of SKDRDP addressed an ocean of Prayanee’s queries. The day ended with a reflection session at Dharmasthala.

Day 5

Day began with peaceful meditation session in the morning. Prayanees headed to Ratnamanasa, a source of agriculture education to students.

Prayanees witnessed the interest of agriculture in those students staying there. Prayanees spread awareness about digitalization in villages. Later they met a small help group of villagers who had developed themselves with the help of SKDRDP. Followed by lunch Prayanees visited Arboretum at Ujire through which participants gained knowledge about plants and their importance.

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Through the visit to the car museum and Manjusha Museum Prayanees saw all the antiques. Prayanees got an exposure of community activity by cleaning the parking area and by spreading awareness about digitalization through Nukkad Natak. The exciting day came to an end with blessings of Lord Manjunath.

Day 6

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39208799574_b02c86889e_kPrayanees celebrated republic day of the year 2018 in a school at Ujire. Followed by the flag hoisting and cultural events the Prayanees had a visit to SDM Ujire College where they witnessed the variety and creativity in education. Prayanees visited the radio station in the college which is run by students under the guidance of staff. In the station, conversation on social issues, debates, and others were taken up which was broadcast to local areas.


The session with Mr.Yashovarma, Secretary of SDM Education Society and Mr. Keshav, the Principle of SDM Ujire College enlightened the crowd with the real meaning of education and knowledge. They also visited the Annapurna Kitchen and learned about the way of cooking and the machines used for cooking and cleaning. The journey proceeded to Mysore with an activity of business planning for the lower class of the pyramid.

Day 7

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The day started with a visit to one of the most lavish and attractive multinational companies across the world, Infosys. Infosys has one of the biggest libraries. They had a session with Mr. Sundar KS (Associate Vice President) who spoke of the keys of success. He shared the foundation story of Infosys and gave a message that Start is easy, sustainability is difficult. Mr. Sundar gave keys of success such as dedication, commitment and also he told to follow our values. Mr. Sundar expressed saying, “Start is easy and sustainability is difficult” and he also said, “You need not be God to anyone but be fair to everyone”.


The Prayanees had their lunch and marched towards Mandya, where they learned the importance of organic farming. Later they traveled to towards VTU campus of Madenhalli.

Day 8



With the energetic aerobics session, Prayanees started the day and headed towards Samantharam, a disabled trust. During the visit, Prayanees realized how courage and technology can build a person into the strongest version of him. Also, Prayanees came across with the various programs Samarthanam carries for homeless. Prayanees had a chance to meet players of Indian Blind Cricket team in the session with Mr. Mahantesh( Founder and trustee of Samarthanam). After the emotional and inspiring visit Prayanees headed to Mavanhalli and met a man who is the perfect example of “Age is just a number”, Mr. Narayan Reddy.

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In the session with Mr. Narayan Reddy, an organic farmer Prayanees understood that “Hard work always pays off”. Followed by the dinner Prayanees had a reflection session with most enthusiastic personality, Mr. Ajay Suman Shukla(Team Leader, LEAD).

Day 9

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Prayanees opened their eyes to the chirping of birds in Mavanhalli. Prayanees had an experience to farm work and also enjoyed the short time in the farm. Followed by the session with Mr. Narayan Reddy, Prayanees headed to Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore. After finishing up the lunch in Microsoft, they had a session with Mr. Naveen Asrani, Mr. Bala, from Microsoft and Mr. P.C Mustafa. The session focused on developing the entrepreneurial skills and important keys to success.

This continued with the session of Mr. Ramji Raghavan (Founder of Agastya Foundation). He advised prayanees to choose their field according to their interest. He also spoke about the importance of life-changing moments by comparing them with “HA”, “HAHA”, “HAHAHA”. Success opens the door for the ones who have the courage to fight every complication on the way.


Ms. Malathi Holla (Indian Paralympics winner) is the best example of this statement. Prayanees had the most emotional interactive session with Ms. Malathi Holla. Followed by this inspiring session they headed to VTU campus. That night Prayanees fed each other and had dinner as a huge family.

Day 10

Journey to Kuppam started in the dawn from VTU campus, Madenalli. After a short introduction by Mr. Nitin Desai, Prayanees had a campus tour where they saw science in practice. Prayanees were impressed to see the implementation of all scientific theories and artificial planetarium. Prayanees also worked in fields and stepped forward for removal of unwanted plants and also planted around 30 sampling in the surroundings. All the groups visited different night schools where they conducted various activities for those kids.

Prayana is not only about learning but also enjoyment. The night at Kuppam turned out to be the cultural night with The Indian Folk music and enthusiasm and energy.

Day 11

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After such enthusiastic night Prayanees returned back to Hubbali. Prayanees were taken to Deshpande Foundation to welcome them with pomp. The day was all about Milan and Sangam of all three routes of Prayana 2018. Prayanees enjoyed jiving in the campus. This was followed by Sessions with Mr. Gururaj Deshpande (Founder of Deshpande Foundation) and Mrs. Jayashree Deshpande.
Later, Mr. Deshpande gave a brief historical introduction about Deshpande Foundation. Mr. Naveen Jha (CEO of Deshpande Foundation) continued the session by unrolling stories behind LEAD and LEAD Prayana in interesting way.

The prayanees were introduced to the LEAD team and they witnessed the ‘MANTHANAM’.

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With blessings of Lord Krishna at Iskon Temple of Hubbali, Prayanees visited Akshay Patra, Asia’s largest Kitchen. In the session with Mr. Rajesh Patni, Prayanees understood the work that happens in Akshay Patra. They also had a tour of the kitchen. Followed by breakfast at Akshay Patra Prayanees visited Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya, a residential school which supports students from socially marginalized and economically backward background. Prayanees were shocked to see the talent of music in the children from the school. After the tour of such unique campus, Prayanees put their efforts in fieldwork. The journey now left to the place to visit the Parle G biscuit factory to know more about the processing of biscuit to become a finished product. Prayanees came back to Deshpande Education Trust and were mesmerized to know about the Treasure Hunt event which was conducted by Ex Prayanees and Yuva Summit Volunteers.

Day 13


The final morning was energized with yoga session which was conducted by Mr. Vivek Pawar. Continued by the session Mr. Vivek shared his success stories and tactics to set goals in life. The next community activity gave Prayanees a way to understand real issues of life. Prayanees collected more than 200 Kgs of grains and donated them to Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya. They also created a buzz about digitalization. Prayanees did not want to miss the chance of having a conversation with villagers to know their problems and also solve them.


The evening was spent with ever young and humorous coaches and interacted with Mr. Ram G (Ex COO for Airtel) and Mr. Niket K (CEO and Founder of Atyaasa consulting Pvt Ltd). Followed by the session with Mr. Anup Vijapur (Innovation Head, Nanopix) Prayanees enjoyed dinner at Dineson’s and returned back to Deshpande Education Trust. The Day ended with the excitement for living the biggest and most awaited event “YUVA SUMMIT 2018”


Few moments from the Feedback and Farewell…..

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A special activity was conducted for the Prayanees that is the “Feedback activity” where prayanees left no chance to express their feeling about the journey, relations, learning and the list goes on.

The Journey taught the real meaning of life and the end wasn’t the actual end for prayanees but it was a new dawn to all. The world outside awaited for their bright minds to come and explore it.

I’ve unleashed my leadership potential… now what?

After seeing each of your leadership potentials being unleashed during this extraordinary journey, we at LEAD would like to see you go on with hands-on leadership experience. To make real change, we would like you to get engaged in the following ways.
1. Stay connected! Follow LEAD on all social media platforms (@dcselead) to get regular inspiration and see what other LEADers are doing in their communities. You’ll also never miss any LEAD events or updates! Keep in touch with fellow Prayanees to stay motivated, support each other, and build long-lasting friendships!
2. Haven’t started a LEAD project yet? START NOW! During LEAD Prayana, you met many role models and speakers who made a big difference by addressing a small issue in their community. Now it’s your turn! Don’t have an idea? Start looking around you for issues you think you can help address. You can also check out the Idea Bank on our LEAD website (leadcampus.org), or get in touch with local LEADers to gain inspiration or join a group project.
3. Become a Master LEADer or LEAD Ambassador! Now that you have completed LEAD Prayana, you are eligible to apply to become a Master LEADer, and eventually a LEAD Ambassador. Master LEADers are on the front line, engaging with promising students and spreading the word about the benefits of joining LEAD. Ambassadors get the chance to represent LEAD on their campus and work closely with the LEAD associates and school administration to help LEAD grow at their college. Contact your local LEAD associate to discuss setting up an interview.
4. Attend a Valedictory! LEAD Valedictories occur in many LEAD centers across India in April, and it is where the stand-out projects and LEADers in that location are identified, showcased, and awarded. It is a great opportunity to reunite with your fellow Prayanees from your area and to network with other local LEADers. Visit our website (leadcampus.org) for more information.
5. Join the LEAD Leadership Program (LLP)! LLP is a unique 10-day residential camp that emphasizes practical exposure over classroom learning. LLP combines hands-on learning experience in understanding practically leadership, team building, critical thinking, creativity and entrepreneurial mindset through inspiring guest speaker sessions, individual mentorship, engaging activities, and exposure visits to industries and community-based organizations in order to foster practical, critical and creative thinking ability within the students. LLPs take place in late May, June, and July, and you can find application information on our website, leadcampus.org.

Best of luck as you continue your leadership journey!

Ajay Suman Shukla & the LEAD Team

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