State Bank of India has launched ‘SBI Youth for India’ a one-year rural Fellowship Programme for young professionals & graduates as a step towards bridging India’s growing urban-rural divide. The ‘SBI Youth for India’ Fellowship Programme is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative which is designed, funded and managed by the State Bank of India in partnership with reputed NGOs. Present at the launch was Mr. O.P. Bhatt, Chairman, State Bank of India.
The urgent need to preserve socio-economic stability by promoting ‘inclusive-growth’ and to bridge India’s rural-urban divide is being increasingly acknowledged by corporates, policy-makers and other stakeholders. Harnessing the energy & skills of India’s educated youth to strengthen rural development projects, will help in promoting rural growth as well as in creating awareness in India’s youth about the real challenges facing the nation. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. O.P. Bhatt said that “Being India’s most trusted Bank, SBI is ideally positioned to undertake such a national initiative. The Programme has been designed keeping in mind the need for India’s youth, who will be future leaders, to appreciate development challenges facing the country in a hands-on manner, as well as to participate in nation-building activities not only during the Fellowship, but also throughout their careers, in whichever field they choose to specialize.”
The Fellowship Programme has received an overwhelming response with over 3900 applications. The first batch of 35 Fellows which includes 9 women comprises of youth from diverse backgrounds, including IITs/IIMs/Bits Pilani/NIFT and foreign universities, as well as leading corporations. Corporates like the Tata group and Mindtree have supported the initiative by providing sabbatical to their employees who have been selected for the Fellowship.
The selected Fellows will work in rural areas on development projects for a period of one year. They will be trained and mentored by SBI’s partner NGOs - BAIF, MSSRF (M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation) & Seva Mandir – who manage rural development projects across India. Specific emphasis will be laid on helping the Fellows understand & experience rural realities, as well as provide them with opportunities to undertake initiatives that can tangibly enhance the welfare of rural communities.
To help Programme Fellows re-integrate into the mainstream after the Fellowship, SBI has tied up with leading placement Consultants like ABC Consultants & Gilbert Tweed to provide placement support & counseling
More details about the programme are available on the website: www.youthforindia.org