The Intensive Charcha with the Delhi Changemakers
By: Anusha Saxena (Program Lead, GAP Accelerate and Experts)

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24th August, 10 am. As I entered Lakshyam center, a group of enthusiastic kids walked towards me and greeted me with their happy faces. I knew my day was going to go well after this warm greeting. The school was a small clean building with 2 – 3 classrooms, an open play area and 20-30 children with a hope of a bright future ahead of them. Raashi Anand, who is an anchor of shaping these lives, with her modest and heart-warming smile, guided us towards the discussion area where we started “The GAP Intensive Charcha”.

I was excited, happy and a bit tensed, all at the same time. After putting all the hard work, from co-ordinating between the Changemakers and ‘A’ team members and getting all the documents ready within 2 weeks, the GAP Intensive was finally ready to hit the road!

Left to right: Anusha - GAP Agent, Changemaker Raashi Anand, Intensive Leader Arun Verma – Founder of AVDS, Coach Shyam Malhotra, Gaurav Shah - founder of Indian School of Development Management.

Rashi Anand, GAP Changemaker and Founder of Lakshyam, works towards improving quality of life of the not-so-privileged communities. The walls of the school echoed her efforts and dedication she has put into the cause she believes in. Lakshyam has rigorously implemented innovative solutions towards welfare and health, education and women empowerment in the past 13 years.

As Dr. Loretta Scott once said- “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”. Keeping the same thought in mind, I and the ‘A’ team (Action team of industry experts), each with a different and unique perspective were all set to start the most awaited - GAP Intensive Charcha. This power packed A team was led by Intensive leader Arun Verma founder of AVDS with Coach Shyam Malhotra, Gaurav Shah founder of Indian School of Development Management, Vipul Mathur Co-founder of Qilo and the student volunteer Samhita.

Raashi started the GAP intensive session by sharing her journey with Lakshyam and all the activities Lakshyam has been doing towards empowerment of women and children. Be it fashion for a cause or the unique traditional art and craft creations, each initiative at Lakshyam is driven by pure zeal and dedication.

The ‘A’ team discussed Rashi’s aim for Lakshyam, areas where Lakshyam needs assistance, annual budgeting, the kind of model they want to work on, conditions for exit, mix of types of funding based on the project categories and many more topics which will help us increase Lakshyam’s impact in the next one year.

After this intensive discussion, my excitement was accompanied by the feeling of satisfaction with a small sense of achievement.

I started off with my A team from Lakshyam to Arun’s office, AVDS in Noida to have our second GAP intensive session with Changemaker Shobhit. This is perhaps the most creative office I have ever been, each and everything in this office was an unique piece of art!

Shobhit Mathur, co-founder of TallBird, is a conscientious man who aims to create employment opportunities for the ones who struggle to find entry level blue collar jobs. I was amazed to know the journey of Tallbird, how it evolved with time and how numerous studies, surveys and implementations, led Shobhit to where he is today. It was also interesting to know that his team is presently working on creating a job portal through an App and that will run on a community based model.

Left to right : Shobit Mathur – Founder of TallBird, Arun Verma – Founder of AVDS and Vipul Mathur - Co-founder of Qilo

This session got intense as hours passed by. Every member in the A Team contributed their best inputs. The team focussed on Shobit’s vision, the path to reach his goal and the obstacles in that path. We discussed in detail about one key problem that Shobit wants to solve through TallBird. I wish that TallBird flies higher with the support of the GAP Intensive in the next one year and makes a greater impact.

After this wonderful experience with both the Changemakers and the ‘A’ team, it was time for me to bid good bye to Delhi. I am all buckled up and excited to work with my A team towards dramatically increasing the impact of both these initiatives and having many more GAP Intensive sessions in the next one year.