When Vinay Nagaraju’s participated in the Self-Expression and Leadership program in 2001 he created project called ‘Spandana’. It is an NGO that works with under privileged children in Bangalore. Since it began in 2001, Spandana has gotten major global corporations such as Honeywell to donate to it’s causes, including first aid kits for schools, library augmentation, education supplies, scholarships and academic awards and prizes. The accomplishments of Vinay and Spandana have gotten a lot of attention from the local media in Bangalore and recently, Vinay was one among 100 young leaders from 25 countries to be chosen to participate in a Global Social Innovation Fellowship at London Business School.
Here is a story from the Times of India Banglore
Four bright Bangaloreans are off to London to participate in a Global Innovation Fellowship programme, says Geetha Rao
They’re chock full of ideas. And the room fairly crackles with their youthful energy. These four are very unusual youngsters, who have accomplished so much so soon and in such uncommon areas. So much so, they have been selected to participate in a Global Social Innovation Fellowship Programme in London this week; an event jointly organized by StartingBloc in New York and London Business School. So what makes Vinay Nagaraju, Nitin Rao, Ashwin Lakshminarayan and Tristha Reddy different? Their aspirations and their achievements. Two of them in IT companies and two still students, they make up four Bangaloreans who have been invited to the event. They are among the 100 chosen from across 25 countries in the world.
Vinay Nagaraju, 28, works with Honeywell Technology Solutions. His tryst with social commitment began when he co-founded Spandana with friends through which they work with two schools in Bangalore. They’ve stocked books in the library, sport equipment, and enrolled potential dropouts from slums, children of single mothers, in school. That’s besides helping raising funds for terminally ill and destitute children.
Ashwin Lakshminarayan, 24, who’s with Wipro Technologies, is a member of EKAVI, and through this international organization, he has been actively involved with village and school adoption in Karnataka. So far, it’s meant awarding scholarships to students, training teachers, procuring stationery and drinking water for these schools.
Nitin Rao, the youngest, is studying at National Institute of Technology, Suratkal; but when you hear him use words like grassroots innovation, concept notes, and micro-financiers, you know there’s more to him than mere swotting. He writes development-related papers for an MIT education startup The Spark Group.
Tishtha Reddy has just done her graduation in management and political science from Singapore, and will soon join Stanford University School of Education for her MA, because she wants to learn all she can about management in education. Not surprising since she comes from a family that’s into education in a major way. Later, she wants to join politics, because she believes that to make a difference, you must start at the highest level. But for starters, she has taught her servants kids some English and other subjects.
What’s special about them? They are from privileged backgrounds, and work tight schedules, yet make time over the weekend to make a difference.