Ford Foundation alumni return to roots

PATNA: The wind of change in the state has induced several eminent persons to return to their roots in recent times. Now, it is the turn of Ford Foundation International Fellowship Programme, Bihar chapter, alumni as they have decided to contribute to the changing positive climate in the state.

In a meeting held here on Friday, 15 alumni of the Bihar chapter of one of the most influential foundations of the world decided to come back and serve the state. These alumni have done fellowship in various US and UK universities.

Talking to TOI, Ford Foundation International Fellowship Programme director Vivek Mansukhani, who had come here from Delhi to attend the meet, said out of 25 Bihar alumni, 15 have decided to pursue their work in the field of social justice and empowerment in their home state. While many of them are associated with various NGOs, others work with development media or as consultant to the government for social welfare programmes.

“The alumni while pursuing their degrees in the universities of the US and the UK had a lot of international exposure. Now they are individually working in fields like education, health, media and other development sectors,” Mansukhani said.

One of the alumna, Neena Sharma, who did MS in public health (international) from University of Leeds, UK, and is now working as nutritional expert with Swasth, an organization which has been working in coordination with the state social welfare department, said: “I had the opportunity to work outside the state, but I wanted to use all my experience for the welfare of people of my state among whom I have been working since long.”

Neena added she would try her best to convince people, particularly those who face problems, like she faced, in pursuing higher studies.

The meet was also attended by state rural development minister Nitish Mishra, Asian Development Research Institute member secretary Saibal Gupta, Magadh Mahila College sociology teacher Renu Ranjan and Internal Programme Initiatives director Anindo Banerjee of an NGO, Praxis.


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