Shaping The Leaders of Tomorrow

21 May 2018

The Naropa Fellowship is actively fostering enterpreneurial skills among the youth in Ladakh to address inherent issues, finds Damini Goel

Source: The New Indian Express, 21 May 2018

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Ladakh? Obviously its scenic beauty, snow-capped mountains, green patchs of land, bright blue skies and unimaginable terrains. Now, you can not only experience the awe-inspring nature of the region, but also study entrepreneurship free of cost. Yes, that's right, for free. Started by the Drukpa Order, the Naropa Fellowship Programmes is being offered free of cost to 40 students, including the tuition fee, food and lodging.

The fellowship is a one-year residential, postgraduate academic programme forcused on creating agents of change, who will work towards fostering an eco-system of entrepreneurship in Ladakh. It is also focused on eco-tourism, cultural and heritage preservation, and sustainable development to empower the youth to contribute to the development of the Himalayan region.

"As we know, Ladakh is a remote area in the Himalayan region and it lacks proper educational institutes. So, our main aim behind starting the fellowship is to provide quality education to the people here and to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills that will foster a robest socio-economic environment in Ladakh and the greater Himalayas. Our purpose is also to retain local talent as a lot of people move to cities like Chandigarh and Delhi in order to seek proper educational facilities and employment opportunities. Additionally, there is also a need to educate the younger generation regarding the importance of maintaining their distinctive culture and heritage," says Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, co-founder of the programme.

This fellowship is not only about providing modern and quality education, but also preserving the cultural heritage of Ladakh and the Himalayan region. For the founding year, the programme, which costs Rs10 lakhs per person, will be offered free of cost for 40 students.

Do you want to be a part of it? Here's how you can: The applicants are required to fill the form online or send it via post. They will then go through a thorough evaluation process. If shortlisted, the applicants will have to attend an interview. They will be evaluated on their commitment towards working for the upliftment of Ladakh and the surrounding Himalayan regions.

The fellowship will be conducted at Hemis, a village located 40km southeast of Leh, Ladakh. The campus is surrounded by the stunning landscape of Ladakh. Want to know the best part? Over 40 of the world's leading academicians, industry experts and practitioners will guide and instruct the Naropa Fellows as visiting faculty. Currently, applications are open for the first session, beginning in September 2018.

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