Written by our fellow, Surya who is working closely with our field partner Mahashakti in Bolangir, Odisha. Bangalore, the City of Gardens, holds a special place in my heart for many a reason. The lush green urban sprawl and the long list of my friends who made the city their home are certainly the prime reasons. Now, the city got even closer to my heart; it is where I embarked on my career path, after graduating from college, as a Milaap Fellow. I underwent a training program at Milaap’s office in Bangalore with four other fellows during the second week of January. It seemed less like a training program in an office. From discussing and learning serious subjects related to Milaap Fellowship on a round table to relishing a meal or a cuppa together, it was more like a home where the fellows and employees of Milaap interacted as family members and worked towards a common goal (of Milaap): to positively impact poor communities.After the training program ended on 10th January, I left for my field location, Bolangir on 12th January. Bolangir is a small town in the western part of the Indian state, Odisha. I took a bus to my hometown Vizag, which is on the way to Bolangir. Resuming my journey after a brief stay at home for the Makar Sankranti festival, I took a train to Bolangir on 15th January in the morning. Encompassing picturesque rural and sylvan settings of Odisha for a significant part of the time, this train journey is unlike any of the ones I made before. The scenic vistas broke the monotony of a 7-hour train journey. Finally, I reached Bolangir in the evening. I retired for the night at a hotel.On the next day, 16th January, I was received by Mr. Krupasindhu Mishra who is the Senior HR Manager of Mahashakti Foundation, the field partner of Milaap. Mahashakti Foundation (MSF) is a social development organisation established in 2004. I was then taken to MSF’s Administrative Office where I met my soon-to-be colleagues: Mr. Jugal Kishore Pattnayak, the Managing Director and other employees of MSF. MSF employees are very affectionate and welcoming; it hardly took any time to become friends with them. I am provided an accommodation right next to MSF’s office, and assigned a caretaker to look after my requirements during my 6-month stay. Life went very slow over the last one week as I spent time in the office learning about the initiatives of MSF and about the communities aided through micro-loans from Milaap. However, I'm confident that this journey as a Milaap Fellow will attain momentum in the days to come, for, the time I spent in office only made me feel more enthusiastic to make my first field visit soon and interact with borrowers in the poor rural communities.
The First Move, For 6 Months Of Happiness.