LEAD Udghosh at BHU, Varanasi

In the presence of Mr. Dilip Modi (Founder Ek Soch Sandbox), Ms. Vinita Sethi (Managing Trustee, Ek Soch), Mr. Naveen Jha (CEO, Deshpande Foundation), Mr. Vikram Dheer (Chief HR Officer, Spice Digital) on 20th September, LEAD Udghosh an event of Ek Soch Sandbox, Deshpande Foundation was conducted at Entrepreneurship Seminar Hall, MCIIE, IIT BHU. The event LEAD Udghosh was organised in the presence of 186​ LEaders who were selected from different colleges of Varanasi, BHU and IIT, along with them the local college faculties and parents too witnessed the event. ​

College students who are the part of LEAD and who implemented their ideas in community showcased their 15 leadership projects­ that they had done in Varanasi.
Around 120 new students are selected in LEAD based on their innovative leadership ideas that they want to implement in Varanasi and surrounding. These ideas are concerned with existing social issues and the betterment of the society. During this occasion selected students from different colleges extended with the support of mentorship and fund to implement their ideas into action
As the chief guest remarks Mr. Dilip Modi appreciated the efforts of the young leaders and also spoke about great leaders; Mr. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Dr. Abdul Kalam, he also shared his view on the reason of starting the Ek Soch Sandbox in Varanasi. Mr. Naveen Jha opened the platform for the youth to ask the questions rather than giving speech. Students had meaningful questions on the purpose of LEAD, how to be a CEO/Leader, what is the impact of leadership projects, etc for which Naveen patiently answered the questions of Students.

The best performing LEaders were appreciated for initiating the projects in the society.The awards were presented to Mr. Abhishek and Ms. Aaliza  as Master LEader, Praveen, Deepak, Rohit as the Best LEader and Krishna, Shikha, Ram as the Active LEaders.

Now the LEAD will extend its support to the students of SHEPA college, KIT, SMS college, DAV college, Vasanta Kanya College, Vasanta college for Women, BHU –MSW dept., BHU – Agri., BHU- LAW dept. BHU- Tourism, BHU- Faculty of ARTS

On 16th January, Deshpande Foundation launched its third Sandbox in India called “Ek Soch Sandbox” Uttar Pradesh in the presence of Mr. Dilip Modi (Chairman, Spice Mobility Limited & Founder Ek Soch Sandbox), Ms. Vinita Sethi (Managing Trustee of Ek Soch Sandbox), Dr. Rajeev Sangal (Director, IIT BHU), and Mr. Naveen Jha (CEO, Deshpande Foundation).

LEAD Program works with college youth to give them a platform to understand the values of their ideas and execute the ideas through which they would gain the leadership skills and entrepreneurial mindset with practical exposure. 

LEader Supriya of BLDEA’s A. S. Patil College of Commerce MBA Programme, Bijapur

LEader Supriya, Shakti Jain, Varsha Darbar, Trupti Ajagond, Daneshwari Jambagi, Prachi Porwal from BLDEA’s A. S. Patil College of Commerce MBA Programme thought of an initiative called cost effective Organic farming with the purpose of educating the people of Vijayapura about organic farming and promoting in setting up the private kitchen garden in each ones home.

Initially Supriya purchased 200 saplings of capsicum and tomato with the support of LEAD Program and approached people at door to door to sell them and explained people about the importance of organic farming and the kitchen gardening.

As it was a unique initiative, other leaders of the college took up the same initiative as a part of the event Impetus and sold 1000 saplings. The amount that was collected after selling the plants was amounted to Rs. 18,050/- donated to the Bijapur orphanage at Vijayapura which will be utilized to plant the saplings of fruits and vegetables in the land of about one and half acre. The action taken up by the LEaders will bare good fruit to the kids at the orphanage in near future. The kind act as also contributed to nature in planting several plants and also has made way for the people to grow their own vegetables.

LEader Supriya says that after taking up the initiative she has gained confidence and developed the skills of convincing people and its has helped her in thinking of new ideas which will help in the betterment of the society.

LEAD LEadership Program_2015

LEAD LEadership Program_2015

The LEAD Leadership Program (LLP) is a ten days long unique residential Camp, it emphasizes practical exposure over classroom learning. The Leadership Program combines hands on learning experience in understanding practically leadership, team building, critical thinking, creativity and entrepreneurial mindset through inspiring guest speaker sessions, individual mentorship, activities, leadership actions and live exposure visits to industries and community based organizations in order to foster practical, critical and creative thinking ability within the students.

We know that the Leadership Program has the potential to not only educate, but to transform students which has touched around. LLP aims to help students become strong leaders through practical exposure to an array of subjects, site visits, and guest speaker sessions.    

Yoga Sessions

Yoga is an ancient art based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being at one with their environment. Each day of LLP use to begin with warming up exercise and a yoga session in the morning from 6'0 Clock to 7:30 from various mentors like Mr. Ajay Suman Shukla – Team Leader for LEAD and one session in each batch by Mr. Vivek Pawar – CEO of Sankalp Semi Conductors which was followed by the session on questioning and answering which encourages students to ask all the silly questions that they have without any hesitation and fear.

Kalkeri Sangeeta Vidyalaya (KSV)

KSV provides an academic and musical education, in addition to food, accommodation, health and care for 300+ underprivileged children. LLP LEaders had different activities in KSV like eco walk, community activities, and walk through the school to know the system of music, team building activities, interaction with the kids, performances by kids and many more.

LEaders have truly enjoyed the stay at KSV especially the love and affection by children. The LEaders realised that adjusting with what we have and being happy with what we get will lead us to happy life.

Guest Speaker sessions

Anuradha Raghavendra Rao: Smt. Anuradh is a traditional painter of Warli and Madhumani painting. She started her business in the year of 2000; initially, she did warli painting on dresses receiving a good response from customers. With this she earned more than Rs.2000/- a month. Gradually, she started to make Warli and Madhumani painting on stoles, kurthis, silk and cotton sarees. Her customers increased from 200 to 2000 customers.

Hemavati: is a B.Sc graduate, has been producing highly nutritious and tasty food products using millets, ragi, and sugar substitutes since 2005. Geared towards providing diabetics and health conscious individuals with delicious treats, Hemavati faces competition against branded companies and has a limited supply of millet-based products to meet her business's high demand. In order to expand into a thriving enterprise, Hemavati required business mentorship and marketing training which Navodyami provided. She has already invested some amount in her business and plans to invest more in technology.

Mike Kellmen: Mike is a PR specialist at Deshpande Foundation he is responsible for new, innovative media, PR strategy creation as well as implementation. Also he does web/graphic design, content writing and event organization. He has completed his education in film studies, cinema, film analysis, cinematography as well as communication and PR management at Latvia, Boston, London. He has worked in various European countries (Italy, Latvia, UK), as well as in Uganda, Africa and in India.

Dhairya Pujara: Dhairya Pujara is the Founder, CEO for Ycenter - a higher education social innovation enterprise. With Ycenter, he is creating community centered projects in Africa and India in the fields of healthcare and education. He started his first e-commerce company in India at the age of 19. Dhairya is a "Global Shaper" chosen by World Economic Forum's Philadelphia Hub Community. He has been a global TEDx organizer, blogger at Huffington Post and a public speaker on entrepreneurship and international development. Dhairya has been invited as a speaker at Wharton, Drexel, Temple, Rutgers, Social Innovation World Forum and more.

Manjunath Pujar: Mannjunath Pujar is a Propritor of Shree Matha Nutrifoods manufacturing Ragi based Supplementary and Nutritious food since 2002. He is mentoring budding entrepreneurs on Marketing, quality management also giving strategic information about business development.

Vidya Gurav: Vidya Gurav is a Proprietor, completed B.sc and started her pickle manufacturing business 7yrs and she named it as JB Pickles, the monthly turnover is nearby 2 Lakh rupees.

Anup Vijapur: From creating a road to developing a cashew nut grading machine, Anup Vijapur has been working on amazing innovations. A mechanical engineer by profession, Vijapur found his passion in computer and technology. His innovation has simplified the cashew nut sorting system. Earlier 30-35 kgs nuts per hour could be sorted manually, but with the use of this technology, around 70-75 kgs nuts can be graded per hour according to their size, colour, defects.
Naveen Jha: Naveen Jha is the CEO of the Deshpande Foundation, India. He has been with the Foundation since its inception in India, bringing a vision of enabling local solutions through a bottom-up approach. Under Naveen's leadership, the Foundation has touched thousands of lives including non-profits, students, youth, academics, and universities. Naveen has also pioneered a series of youth development programs that help transform the attitudes of young people into solving problems locally, including LEAD.

Vivek Pawar: Vivek is the founder and architect of Sankalp. He founded Sankalp in 2005 and has led the company as CEO through its start-up phase and transitioned the leadership at the scale-up mode. He enjoys industry thought leadership for his visionary approach, leadership skills and for his  Analog-Mixed Signal technology leadership.

Sharing by Aarya Vishwanath Hallikeri

Active leaders shared their LEAD journey– Mr. Aarya, social media intern and Yuva Summit 2014 awardee expressed his personal and his team growth and Leaders like Akhilesh from Laxmeshwar, Makaranda from Hubli, Rohan of Belagaum location and Mamta from Davangere location and several others shared their journey with LEAD which made them feel the platform that LEAD is giving to the young students.

Gender Module session
Gender word seems so simple but in reality it is so complicated at certain situations in day to day life, to sensitize the participants of the issues relating to gender and to enhance their capacity to understand, analyse and utilise gender dimensions session was engaged to the LLP students by Ajay Suman Shukla Functional Head of LEAD with the purpose to Promote gender as a priority concern in development planning and implementation, to raise participants’ awareness on how gender plays a key role in the way women and men participate in social, political and economic activities. LEaders had various activities like answering the questionnaire, group discussions, debate on the topic whether it a boy or a girl who plays an important role which helped them to participate actively and also made them realize the importance of both as per the situations and different walks of life.

Community activities: 

LEaders were given the challenge to utilise the leadership qualities that they had learnt. The group of every batch was divided into several groups and were asked to collect the grains to support Akshaya Patra which helped them in understanding the mindset of various people and how as a LEader they need to act and plan the strategies to achieve the outcome. LEaders also collected clothes and also raised funds which will be handed over to the KSV students.

Leadership Module

Session on Leadership module is engaged for the students in order to make them understand; who is Leader? Where Leadership starts? What is Leadership?  Etc. To give them a deep sense of categorising a LEader, the students were given with the pictures of great personality and were asked to rank them as per the Leadership qualities after which they were questioned the reasons and were then told that every individual has a different leadership qualities and each leader has his or her own unique approach.

The Leadership module also helped them in understanding self and understanding others which is important for them to handle different people at their respective college. There were different set of activities through which they realized the true meaning of leadership. Students are super excited and are confident enough in achieving the action plan that they had prepared.

Media Session:
Photography is a passion for most of the youngsters as it treasures the memories and the moments that are gone. Shashi from Media team first asked them to throw questions on photography which made them open up and then explained them about various cameras, settings, effects and the ways of using camera. The students were given with the live examples about each and everything that was taught due to which students actively participated in the session.


The creativity is within you. Looking differently is creativity. Doing something new is creativity. Exposing what is within you is creativity. LEaders were amazed with the activities that were planned for them as it was a new ball game to them. Abhishek from LEAD Davangere introduced to them about creativity and then engaged them in making the normal articles like wood pieces, pine cones, lids of the bottle, wood pieces and many more to creative materials after which the students were asked to sell the materials in order to have them experience the convincing skills and to increase their confidence level by selling their own created articles. Each and every individual were amazed and surprised after they got to know about their own hidden talents.

Design Thinking workshop:

The session was introduced to the third batch LLP by Niranjan as most of them were graduates from engineering field. With the intention to create a mindset of becoming entrepreneurs the workshop was engaged for two days where the students understood the process of knowing the people and then designing a prototype. The students were then divided into 5 groups and were asked to visit Hospital, Bus transportation, Means of Transportation, Railway station and food cafeterias to identify the problems as per the method taught to them which students successfully completed it and presented them with the solutions.

Communication and IT Sessions:

Communication is very important in the present generation. The sessions started with activities on communication skills by Mrs Aditi on Presentation skills, importance and means of communication, email drafting and resume writing. Students were given an opportunity to create Email id, importance of effective emailing, resume writing and its importance. She stressed more on body of email content and effective resume writing. Students learned and practiced many important skills that will benefit them in their personal and professional development.  In IT sessions, they learnt how to create accounts and effectively use sites such as facebook and Gmail.  Students also learnt about important computer programs like Microsoft Word, excel and PPT.

Team Building activities
During the camp, students encountered a variety of hands-on activities, in-depth readings, personal reflections, group discussions, and opportunities to have your own adventurous experiences. They were able to Understand how groups develop and what you could do when, in order to make experiences more meaningful and Know more about what drives learning, the elements that support it, and what you could do to make experiences more joyful, and managing emotions – the gateway to learning. Students tasted the energizer like passing the balloon and Juguja, Birthday line up, Queen of Sheeba, Series of numbers, identifying each other’s names and lot more activities were engaged by Guru Siddayya, Sunil Bargundi, Bhargavi, Sanmati from LEAD Team.

Exposure visits
LEADers visited Akshay Patra and witnessed Asia’s biggest kitchen and they were given an opportunity to taste the food prepared. The system of cooking food in large quantity was witnessed by them. The students later travelled to Agastya Foundation at Akshaya Plaza and studied about low cost science based models and their system of reaching out to students in order to teach kids about science very easily. The students later visited Navodyami store and purchased the handicrafts also understood how the entrepreneurs from small scale industries have grown up with all the ups and downs and are stable with their business now.

Graduation ceremony

        The celebration to remark the success of LLP on the last day of every batch is a combination of joy, sadness and pride feeling of learning new things and a fresh start. The students executed their talents by performing them the last day like dancing, mimicry, enactment, sharing and the award ceremony for the successful completion of LLP with the hope of fresh beginning, new start and promises to become an able leader in imparting the knowledge gained with others and also in achieving new heights as a LEader. 

  • LEaders after the visit to KSV were touched and moved by the affection and the urge to learn more and more so the students decided to collect the funds and through which they have raised Rupees 11,385/- and have given it to the administration at KSV.
  •  The collective amount that was earned after selling out the materials of creativity was amounted to rupees 14,341/- which will be utilised for further activities of LEaders. 
  • 2023 Kgs of Grains were collected during the community activities which is being given to Akshaya Patra and also to KSV.

LEader Akhilesh from Laxmeshwar shares his feeling after attending the camp.

"Finally the day had come where I had the opportunity of being a part of LLP – 15 camp. For which I had been waiting since a long period of time. As I had heard number of experiences and learning from my senior leaders about this most awaited camp, I was pretty excited and full of fervour for the camp to commence.

My biggest and most favourite learning from this camp was through community projects. Community projects are activities in which students are grouped together and given some social challenges which benefit the society. So in the projects I involved they taught me the true lessons of life which no learning center can teach. I learned to communicate with the people of the real world who were busy in their own world and had to make something productive form them! And that’s a big deal. I learned to convince people from different backgrounds. I learnt the real meaning of punctuality. I learnt how it feels to be out there in the real world with responsibilities to fulfill. Most importantly I got a glimpse of what leadership is! I also had lots of fun in which I learnt to interact with friends from different regions of the country. Team work, time management were the integral lessons from the fun I had at LLP – 15. In many ways this awesome camp of 10 days became a phase of change in my life. Now I face the same world but with a different perspective of mine which makes it a lot more exciting and peaceful. Now that’s what I call Change!"

LEader Chandana Abhisha from Davangere sharing her feelings about LLP.

"Learning happens in schools too but in LEAD its quite unique.Things here are taught practically, that too in simple routine activities. It is remarkable that,transformations were awarded and appreciated. The greatest learning from the camp was, don't ever run in the race of life, just go where your passion lies and it will never let you fall. Life is all about being happy"

157 LEaders from 5 states were trained and mentored in four different batches of LLP 2015 who will be the leading examples to the other youngsters of their respective locations and would take LEAD to the next level with their zeal and passion in creating more leaders with a bigger impact.