Why I chose Milaap and what my initial experience has been
Contrast between the living conditions at the place I was working and just outside it would often make me unstable. Outside that magnificent campus, struggle in the lives of the poor people has not changed much. For me this was a struggle forced upon the people which they least deserved to have. I always wanted to help them in raising their standard of lives, assess impact and be in the capacity to improvise on that. To make impact in the lives of underprivileged people, I felt I need to get out of the 4*4 glass cubicle. I would try to avail as many opportunities as possible to work in the social development sector. I wanted to see very closely how the things are happening at the ground level as different governmental and nongovernmental agencies work alone and in collaboration. And for what input, what output is being generated and how early I will be able to see people out of the poverty and misery. Milaap fellowship was one of those opportunities that I realized is very close to what I wanted to do. Though I also had other similar fellowships in mind, but as soon as I came across Milaap, I thought of giving it a shot. I wasn’t not much confident of getting an interview call, but somehow it happened when I had least expected it. A number of Milaap fellows have some international experience making the fellowship pretty competitive. First, I appeared for telephonic interview where I was asked about my motivation to work for Milaap as a fellow and my previous experience which could be related to my motivation to work for Milaap. After the telephonic interview I was called for face to face interview at Milaap office in Bangalore. I had shifted just a couple of weeks back to Bangalore so I had no travelling reservations to appear for a face to face interview. Anoj (the co-founder of Milaap) and Sushmita interviewed me at Milaap Office in Bangalore. After the interview, I felt as if I have almost made it to the fellowship.These days I am going through training at Milaap office. Every fellow is expected to get 3-5 days of training to sharpen their writing, behavioral and photography skills as they are going to be the tools on the field to get the best out of the fellowship and contribute most to the cause of Milaap. It’s the 3rd and final day of training for me here. Sushmita conducted the fellowship induction session and made me aware about the organizational structure and fellowship responsibilities. Raval helped me in getting on pace with the salesforce platform (the CRM application used by Milaap). Bhairavi had her session on field partners and talked about how Milaap conducts its business with its partner organizations and what incentivize the Milaap to work in the field. There was a sessions on blog post writing and social media as well. Connecting with the previous fellows always helps as they have had the real time experience on the field. In my case, Surya not only answered all my questions in details but also told me a lot about the things that I should know as a fellow well in advance to have a confortable experience of the fellowship.I am yet to put my boots on the ground and get the real experience, nonetheless it has been enriching so far. All the people here look cool and approachable. There is hardly any communication barrier, often seen in large organizations, caused by complex organizational structure. Even a silent sitting inside Milaap office provides one with learning on how to put an organization together, scale it and make it successful.