Buddha Fellowship

Project Leader

SRIJAN (Self- Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action) is a public charitable trust registered in 27th January 2000. SRIJAN is a grassroots implementing organization working with 1 lakh resource poor families with Vision of “Make Rural Community Self-Reliant and Live with Dignity”.

SRIJAN has been successfully running Buddha Fellowship Program (BFP) www.buddhafellowship.com since last three years. This program offers opportunities for fresh graduates and experienced professionals to become a Buddha Fellow – a Development Entrepreneur. Each Buddha Fellow is committed of solving the problems small farmers face in terms of vagaries of market, perishability of farm produce, etc. while also becoming a job creator, rather than a job seeker. By 2030, we aim to groom and deploy 1000 Buddha Fellows impacting the lives of 5 million poor at the margins.

Project Background

Outside of a few, the dominant idea of the social or public good in higher education institutions in India is being reduced exclusively to the creation of wealth. Young people in elite campuses may often not be aware of the relevance of civic space for marginalized people to make visible the challenges they face and to seek state support to overcome these challenges. Similarly, the students may not be aware of the ‘social sector’ (or the sector that is neither private nor government) and the excellent work they do to sustain democracy, accelerate development, reach the ‘unreached’, etc.

There are always about 5 percent people looking for opportunities to understand the condition of the disadvantaged sections of the society and even immerse themselves, pandemic having heightened these tendencies.

Objective: (i) Increasing engagement among youth in elite institutions of higher education around questions of social justice and elimination of rural poverty. And (ii) From the top 50 institutions, seek and recruit 750 youngsters who are willing to immerse / seek experience in Rural India with an open mind to making rural upliftment and rural development a career option

Medium Term Outcomes

We expect the following outcomes over the medium term:

  • Socially aware leaders in the corporate sector (from among 10000 students of top educational institutions, and from among 750 students who go through immersion, internship and mentoring);
  • They will have a heightened awareness about issues of poverty and inequality, and social justice; and
  • They will appreciate and support CSOs wherever they are headed in their careers


  1. Enhance understanding and raise awareness among 10,000 students of under-graduate and post-graduate programs in 50 top educational institutions about social reality of the country and about how civil society organizations are addressing inequality and injustice in our society.
  2. Guide 750 socially aware & concerned youngsters (20 years +/- 2) into investing 2 weeks of time in rural India.
  3. Inform students about the avenues for continued or life-long engagement such as in the CSOs and Development Entrepreneurship programs such as Buddha Fellowship, Villgro and Social Alpha.
  4. Research and documentation about immersion of students and Buddha Fellows entrepreneurial journey: Documenting the rich experience of 33 students and Buddha Fellows.
  5. Build partnership with 50 top educational institutions and develop a cohort of like-minded (development oriented) faculty members across these institutions, who become stakeholders in this program. Also invite leading development thinkers and intellectuals to this group.
  6. Collaborate with sixty plus livelihoods, education, health and environmental conservation organisations in the RCRC coalition, who will be equal stakeholders of this program.
  7. Set up three regional centers – north, east and south.

Prior Experience

BFP was launched in 2017 to address the greatest challenges facing society today – inequality, discrimination, injustice and suffering. Instead, Buddha Fellows, in their small way, are filling the world with hope, opportunity and a vision for an inclusive society.

The purpose of the Buddha Fellowship Program is to enrich the talent pool (both in terms of size as well as quality), particularly entrepreneurial, for the development sector as a whole.

Our last three years’ track record speaks of the following: (i) We are able to attract some bright minds from some of the best colleges; (ii) We are able to retain 50 per cent of them, at the end of 18 months of the program (6 out of 11 in the current batch); (iii) Some of the most accomplished and eminent people are mentors; and (iv) Buddha Fellows have clocked a revenue of US$ 137,000 through seven enterprises and are able to raise finance, grants and loans, for their enterprises (over US$200,000). Please visit our website www.buddhafellowship.com

Rural Immersion is the most important part of BFP, having provided rich rural exposure ranging to 52 students from eight IIMs in multiple states. Most of the students had never seen a village before. BFP invested a lot of energy in Buddha Fellows for creating that “missing link” between rural producers and markets.

BFP is looking for a Project Leader who will spreadhead this new initiative.

Major job responsibilities of a BFP Project Leader, but not limited to are –

  1. Building partnership and shared understanding with academic institutions (management, science and technology, humanities), intellectuals and with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for this new initiative
    1. Exploration with Academic Institutions by conducting meetings with professors/faculty members, placement coordinators, student councils etc. and building a project ambassador in each institute
    2. Explore with sector experts, public intellectuals who would be interested in speaking with youth about societal inequalities, development agenda etc.
    3. Consultation meetings with CSOs in RCRC Coalition and other NGO networks such as RRA Network, RCRC
  2. Raising Social Awareness among Students of top institutions
    1. Sub program 1: on Campus activities
      1. Organizing multiple panel discussions and josh talks on campuses
      2. Organizing multiple virtual sessions like -panel discussions, josh talks, for students (setting up virtual platform – to be regionally organised – north, west, east and south)
  • Mentoring of students by Social Leaders (during the summer at the end of 2nd year of an UG course)
  1. Coordinate with Marketing and Communications team for (media engagement, zoom, website, social media, short video making, printing, photocopy etc.)
  1. Sub program 2: Off campus
    1. Immersion (stay) of students in NGOs n RCRC Coalition in different geographies (boarding, lodging and travel): 50 in the first year, 100 in 2nd and 250 in the 3rd
    2. Content Creation: Repository of relevant reading material, videos, fresh documentation on success stories of Buddha Fellows/social leaders/entrepreneurs (including the Book of Aspiration – on social leaders)
  1. Work with Project Director on overall project design, facilitation and management
  2. Coordinate and guide Regional Coordinators for local project management and reporting
  3. Coordination with Communication Coordinator for project promotion and marketing
  4. Contribute in project monitoring, report writing and knowledge creation
  5. Supervise finance team for financial planning, budgeting and report writing etc.

Experience / Skills Required:

  1. Previous experience in handling large scale youth sensitization or awareness building programs
  2. Good at creating new partnerships with a variety of stakeholders like academic institutions, NGOs, independent experts etc.
  3. Proficiency in written English and Hindi
  4. A body of work to showcase
  5. Self-starter with an ability to deliver on tight timelines
  6. Flexible and a team player

This is a full-time position with a probation of three months. The person would be expected to work at our office in South Delhi from Mon-Sat between 9:30am – 5:30pm.

Salary: Rs. 1.2 to 1.5 lakh per month or Rs. 14.5 to 18 lakh a year

How to Apply:

Interested candidates may share their CV at jobs.shortlisting@gmail.com with the Subject line ” Project Leader” latest by 25th October 2021.

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