The term "development" carries diverse interpretations, varying paradigms, and contextual definitions across global communities and regions. According to VAAGDHARA's vision, authentic development entails bestowing communities with the autonomy to determine their developmental trajectory—a path ultimately aimed at achieving contentment, happiness, and fulfilment. This intrinsic philosophy aligns seamlessly with the enduring principles of SWARAJ, a sustainable goal that has transcended centuries.

An additional layer of this developmental outlook involves the cognitive effort to harmonize the community's self-defined developmental aims with the objectives outlined by the United Nations in the form of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This symbiotic integration is a crucial cornerstone of the process. The journey also entails an in-depth exploration of the hurdles obstructing the community's pursuit of happiness, followed by the facilitation of solutions grounded in the principles of SWARAJ—a process further fortified by the judicious use of research, data science, and technology when applicable.

Youth involvement in community development holds profound significance. Their innovative ideas and boundless energy play a pivotal role in comprehending and addressing community challenges. The skills they bring to the table enable them to seamlessly integrate community initiatives with cutting-edge technologies, fostering efficiency and effectiveness that ultimately lead to sustainable development practices.

This active participation also serves as a crucible for nurturing crucial attributes such as leadership skills, empathy, and a robust civic sense. Empowered by this engagement, youth emerge as active contributors and future stewards of their communities, instilled with a sense of responsibility that transcends generations. It is within this context that the quest for youth fellows gains its momentum.

In this dynamic interplay, VAAGDHARA undertakes the responsibility of aligning the academic backgrounds and interests of the fellows with a course of action that effectively serves the community's aspirations. Thus, the drive to involve youth in the fellowship program is not only rooted in their potential but also intertwined with VAAGDHARA's holistic perspective on development.

Vision and Mission
VAAGDHARA envisions a fellowship program that identifies, facilitate and provides that environment, knowledge and process to the dedicated youth to prepare them for enabling and empowering the community in improving their social, cultural, and economic perspective, in the best way possible. The primary objective is to instil a deep understanding of SWARAJ's essence within the context of marginalized community development. This empowers young individuals to actively engage with communities and implement SWARAJ principles to drive meaningful change. The program reinforces their unwavering commitment to SWARAJ, enabling them to identify and address challenges effectively.
Program Highlights

The Young Professionals Fellowship is a transformative 24-month initiative designed around 'learning by doing,' empowering young professionals to contribute significantly to the sustainable development of tribal communities. This initiative encompasses two key phases:

  1. Induction Phase (3 months): This phase serves as a comprehensive introduction to SWARAJ philosophy, the development practitioners, subject matter experts, community and the multifaceted challenges faced by marginalized communities. Through immersive experiences and interactive sessions, fellows will build a strong foundation for their journey ahead.
  2. Fellowship Duration (21 months): The heart of the program, this phase immerses fellows in a holistic range of activities that mirror VAAGDHARA's operational dimensions. This includes practical fieldwork, dedicated research time, active involvement in policy advocacy, engagement in mass communication through radio platforms, and collaboration opportunities with technical and IT experts. This comprehensive approach ensures holistic learning, enabling fellows to explore their passions and strengths.
Program Objectives

The Young Professionals Fellowship strives to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Empowerment through SWARAJ: Equip young professionals with the principles of SWARAJ for self-governance and informed decision-making.
  2. Fostering Dialogue: Establish an ongoing platform for young professionals to exchange insights, experiences, and knowledge.
  3. Creating Change Agents: Enhance the capacity of young individuals to emerge as effective change-makers and leaders within the realm of sustainable development who have the right Approach, Skills, and Attitude to handle any situation.

Integration and Collaboration: Enable young professionals to collaborate with seasoned experts, facilitating their seamless integration into VAAGDHARA's team.

Anticipated Outcomes
  1. Cultivating Empowered Leaders and Change-Makers: Through the fellowship program, a dynamic cohort of adept young leaders and change-makers will be nurtured, placing emphasis on the principles of self-governance, responsible decision-making, and holistic community well-being. Their presence will infuse the community with innovative ideas, cutting-edge technologies, and an enhanced understanding of the outer world. This convergence will not only elevate the community's development trajectory but also offer them exposure to new career pathways, blending traditional wisdom with modern tools, thereby ensuring self-reliance and sustainable progress.
  2. Empowering Young Leaders for Tangible Impact: The fellowship will empower young leaders to bridge the gap between sustainable development goals and real-world challenges faced by the community. These leaders, will translate global objectives into actionable, localized initiatives for community enhancement. This transformative journey will not only benefit the present but also establish a foundation for a future where the community thrives amidst modern advancements, while preserving its cultural heritage.
  3. Forging a Dynamic Network for Collaboration: The program will facilitate the formation of a dynamic network, interconnecting individuals from diverse backgrounds, skills, and experiences. This network will foster collaboration, enabling the exchange of ideas, methodologies, and knowledge within the realm of sustainable development. This network will serve as a platform for mutual learning, amplifying the impact of collective efforts while promoting cross-cultural understanding and shared solutions.
  4. Nurturing a Generation of Trailblazing Leaders: Upon completion of the fellowship, a generation of young leaders will emerge, equipped with unmatched competence, boundless passion, and an unwavering commitment to address the global challenges of today and tomorrow. Their engagement in community development, backed by advanced technological knowledge, will pave the way for a sustainable and just future.

This fellowship program epitomizes the essence of SWARAJ, emphasizing practical engagement and experiential learning. As fellows embark on this immersive journey, they will not only nurture their personal potential but also contribute significantly to the comprehensive development of marginalized communities in the tribal areas of Western India. With SWARAJ, VAAGDHARA aims to empower communities with climate-resilient sustainable livelihoods, food and nutrition security, assured child rights, and an improved governance system. By integrating new-generation and indigenous technology, knowledge, and practices, VAAGDHARA is committed to realizing its vision for a brighter, more sustainable future.


Post-graduate in Rural Development, Public Policy, Economics, Social Work and other equivalent areas. 


Banswara, Rajasthan

A total of 5 fellows will be selected for the program. Each selected fellow will receive a monthly stipend of INR  40,000.