India in 2019 is clearly progressing towards a prosperous future with a firm and steady pace. This progression along with the requirements brings with it immense opportunities for the society, especially the youth to join in and contribute proactively to this progress train. India with its young population stands to benefit extensively from this change, which not only presents a multitude of opportunities but also gives space for the youth to learn new skills while contributing to nation-building.
After my graduation in Chemical Engineering, I was looking at similar opportunities to be a proactive part of nation-building and contribute to the socio-political sector. However, for me, the first requirement for sure was to get trained in important skills which would not only open new gateways of opportunities but will also give me a holistic idea of the intriguing socio-political domain in India. After a bit of research and interaction with various professionals, I got to know about the Indian Institute of Democratic Leadership (IIDL), which was one of kind in India, providing education and training in the field of Politics, Governance and Leadership.
With a peer group of students from more than 10 states, IIDL gave me an opportunity to interact with professionals coming from various fields with diverse career goals. Peer group included from PhDs to executives of MNCs with career goals from being an elected representative to working for social organizations. Continued interaction with this diverse peer group helped me overcome my inhibitions and also helped me in getting exposed to different ideas and perspective which ultimately lead to lifelong friendships.
Other than the peers the faculties visiting the institute also brought with themselves a plethora of knowledge. The visiting faculties included senior elected representatives, prominent journalists, various policy experts, representatives of various think tanks, life coaches, senior lawyers and many others. The institute did not have any permanent faculties and all major parts of the curriculum were delivered by these visiting experts. Undoubtedly, this was another positive factor for the institute, getting visiting faculty to teach the subject which falls under his or her niche domain gave us the requisite expert exposure.
IIDL is an initiative of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, which in itself is a benchmark for training and capacity building programme and also shares a beautiful lush green campus with IIDL. The course also included various field visits like Mumbai High Court, Central Railway headquarters, Indian parliament, US consulate and many other places; it also included week-long study tours to Madhya Pradesh during assembly elections and to the national capital. The course also included various simulation training programs like model parliament, model United Nations and others.
For me, my time at IIDL certainly brought a significant change in my perspective and surely widened my knowledge base from beyond the books to real practical exposure. However it wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance and mentorship of Shri Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Shri Ravindra Sathe, Shri Ravi Pokharna, Shri Umesh More, Shri Devendra Pai and all the RMP and IIDL staff who made sure all the students got the best of training and exposure for their respective career goals.