Blog

KARM Fellowship – ‘Girls with Dreams to Women with Vision’

05 January 2022

By

Radhika Bharat Ram

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
4 min read

‘Girls with dreams to women with vision’ is the task that the KARM Fellowship has set up for itself. A unique, heart-felt opportunity for young women about to begin university education, it is aimed at those who have the spirit and drive to not be limited and defined by the difficult circumstances that they are born into. It is an effort which seeks to enable change leaders in their journeys, inspiring them to effect change in their communities and circles of influence. To achieve this, a tangible aim of financial independence and worthy, impactful careers of choice for each Fellow has been set both individually and for the Fellowship, as a whole.

The effort intends to power the professional aspirations of future women leaders in their areas of choice. Based on empathy, hard work and a desire to foster change, the Fellowship provides nurturance, learning opportunities, guidance, and skilling in addition to college related financial expenses and laptops to deserving girl students.

The curriculum for the Fellowship has been planned after deep conversation and keen observation, leading to the recognition that formal education, unfortunately, leaves several key areas unaddressed, thereby, adversely impacting professional opportunities. To fulfill this yawning gap, the four pillars of Education, Mentorship, Life Skills and Community Service, have been identified as key to the development of these Fellows. It is envisioned that as the girls pursue their formal education through Delhi University, the KARM Fellowship’s curriculum shall be delivered, in tandem. Not only is this being done to build essential skills, but also to inculcate a strong sense of community, to enable a warm and dependable cohort. A thought-through calendar of workshops, instructional sessions, internships, and experiential learnings, along with one on one mentoring and inspirational talks has been put into place.

While the pursuit of the formal degree is undertaken within the set boundaries of the university, the other three pillars have been curated with care by the Fellowship. Using the World Economic Forum’ guidelines and suggestions regarding Skills for the future, the curriculum has been built to ensure predictability and parity for and among the chosen Fellows. To provide certain guard-rails to the instruction, the three college years have been divided thus:

  1. Year One – Who am I?
  2. Year Two – Ready to learn
  3. Year Three – Towards Independence

 
All instructions in the three years have been designed bearing the above life stages in mind.

The Mentoring pillar is unique in its design. Each Fellow has been paired with a mentor for the duration of the Fellowship bound by a customized curriculum. This rests on a prudent selection of the KARM mentor, who is a tall leader with strong compassion, empathy, and respect for learning. The curriculum provides suggested conversations for each meeting to the mentor; at the same point, providing a mirror exercise to the mentee to ensure that each conversation is meaningful and worthy. This will provide her with steady support, a guided professional development plan and a real-life role model.

Our carefully designed Life Skills curriculum is delivered through workshops, Story Telling, Inspirational Talks, Simulated Group exercises and Thinking and Articulation classes to provide an enriching learning experience. Internships shall be mandated during university breaks to provide experiential learning and a gallery view of the world of work. Strong elements of the Fellowship are the leadership programs, reading lists and a well-networked and supportive community that looks out for one another.

Further, our Community Service Program runs through the Fellowship to ensure that we pay forward what we have received and commit ourselves to fostering change definitively. This is being done through partnerships with key NGOs in the areas of Education, Menstrual health and Care for the Aged.

The first cohort of 20 was selected from the 500 applications received. The selection for the second cohort is underway, with many exciting applications coming our way, through which we hope to bring in 25 bright, young women into our fold early next year. As we go forth, we shall be a 75 strong Fellow community at all points in time, in addition to the KARM team, year on year. Add the brilliant alumni to this and we have a truly worthy community of women!

Our program, we believe, will organically foster a ripple effect in communities, as each girl touches the lives of many more, becoming a powerful synchronized orchestra.

References

A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training

Author

Radhika Bharat Ram

Founder, KARM Fellowship for Young Indian Women & Joint Vice Chairperson, The Shri Ram Schools

Radhika is the Joint Vice Chairperson of The Shri Ram Schools in Delhi NCR. She leverages her active contribution in the education space by serving as a member of the Board of SRF Foundation. Under the aegis of Shri Educare Limited, an education consultancy company, she has been instrumental in setting up The Shri Ram Millennium Schools in NCR & The Shri Ram Early Years.

Lending her name and voice to pertinent social causes, Radhika currently serves as the Chairperson of the Indian Blind Sports Association & the JPM Senior Secondary School for the Blind. She is also the Jt. Secretary of The Blind Relief Association, a non-government organization working to empower visually impaired persons by imparting education and skill development training.

Radhika has recently founded her own Foundation, KARM Trust, which will be working on supporting girls & women from less fortunate circumstances in the area of Education & Health and creating larger awareness on Gender Equality. KARM Fellowship is their first initiative under the Foundation. Based on the four critical pillars of Education, Mentorship, Life Skills and Community Service, the KARM Fellowship aims to augment the formal undergraduate college education of young women. Designed to empower these women from less privileged backgrounds, this effort will both facilitate their ability to compete in the real world and contribute meaningfully to their communities.

With a keen eye and interest in reviving the rich heritage of Indian arts and culture, she has served as the Hon. General Secretary of Delhi Crafts Council from 2016 to 2020. As a part of her engagement at Delhi Crafts Council, a number of initiatives were undertaken that were directed not only towards the survival of crafts but with the livelihood prospects of the artisans as well.

Radhika is also a trustee of CAPED – Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Early Detection that has been working in the area of awareness creation for women-centric cancers with a focus on cervical cancer. Radhika is a firm believer and strong advocate of women’s health and well-being. Her work with CAPED mirrors her passion towards the cause of spreading awareness and promoting good health in the country.

Radhika is a Trustee of the Ananta Aspen Centre, a board member of CARE India & HelpAge India and the Co-Chair of the CII National Education Council. Additionally, Radhika has been a member of the steering committee of CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Program since 2014 which promotes women’s empowerment at grassroots level. She has also co-founded Theatre For A Cause to raise funds for NGO’s through Theatre.

She was conferred by Women Economic Forum as Women of the Decade in Community Leadership in December 2019.  She was also mentioned as one of the change makers in the book ‘Why People Give’ by Ratna & Suhasini Vira.

Radhika earned a degree in Bachelors of Commerce from Delhi University. She has participated in plays as a lead singer to raise funds for NGO’s. Outside of work, she enjoys music, pottery and she is also a runner, having completed several half marathons.

Did you enjoy reading this?

You might also be interested in

Blog

Investing in an Inclusive Startup Ecosystem in Bangladesh

Blog

3 takeaways from Taipei’s ‘smart city’ solutions: how one country can learn from another

Blog

How Corporates Can Build the Capacity of Social Purpose Organizations

Stay updated. Sign up for the #1 newsletter on social investment in Asia.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We see social investment as a continuum that encompasses everything from philanthropy and venture philanthropy to impact investing, CSR and sustainable investment. We call this the “Continuum of Capital”.

We see social investment as a continuum that encompasses everything from philanthropy and venture philanthropy to impact investing, CSR and sustainable investment. We call this the “Continuum of Capital”.

©2021 Asian Venture Philanthropy Network | AVPN is registered in Singapore as a charity (UEN 201016116M)