Sarthak Mentoring Program is a Lifeskills mentorship program with an aim to reach out to the young minds in the remotest parts of the country. It was initiated with a vision to decrease the gap between urban and rural India in terms of education opportunities, skills, and aspirations. It has been observed that the students in the rural areas are deprived of so many important opportunities just because of the family they were born in, known as the ‘lottery of birth’, which later on impacts the educational, social, and economic outcomes of these people. A need for a sustainable response to these disparities was felt by the founder Abhijeet Anand and Nishitha Boda, which gave rise to this idea of a deeper relationship between the students/mentees and the mentors which is not only focused on career counseling but also on building oneself, their skill sets, their talents and most importantly journeying together, learning from each other. It is a volunteer-led and volunteer-managed program. Sarthak has empowered 100+ future leaders from 4 states of India since 2017.
The mentees are the young aspiring minds from remote towns and villages of India, usually between the age of 9-16 years who are motivated and wants to build India’s future. They are selected on the basis of their family background and their zeal for their future. They have to go through different selection processes and interactions so that their journey so far can be understood and to ensure whether they are actually ready to go that extra mile. Mentors are individuals who are experienced in their careers and have achieved success in their lives. They also go through two rounds of interviews and are chosen on the basis of their vision and passion for building the young minds of the country. Since 2017, Sarthak has worked with 50+ mentors from 21 Indian states and 5 countries (India, Romania, Australia, Italy, and Norway.)
The mentors and the mentees are paired on the basis of their interests, hobbies, and career choices. Once paired they journey together to understand and find a direction towards the mentee’s aim with the help of a structured curriculum. Sarthak Mentoring Program’s curriculum not only focuses on career but also on self-awareness regarding strengths and weaknesses, skills, and passion. It also looks at communication skills - both intra- and interpersonal, storytelling and meditation. Sarthak attempts not only to make the mentees intellectually informed but also emotionally and spiritually. Supporting them in connecting within and understanding themselves is one of Sarthak’s endeavors.