US researches to study Hubli-based NGO's work
Rishikesh Bahadur Desai, TNN Jan 30, 2010, 09.45pm IST
HUBLI: A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will descend on Hubli with a special mission in a few months. The researchers will have a focused agenda __ to study the activities of Deshpande Foundation (DF) here.
The researchers will not only study the impact made by the NGO that promotes social business, but also highlight the creations of Indian inventors on the world stage. "This will, in turn, help us design the way ahead," foundation founder-trustee Gururaj Deshpande told the 'Sunday Times of India'.
"Several top officials, including a former director of MIT, visited India last week. Apart from areas of our operation, I took them around IISc and IITs. They came to Hubli also," Deshpande said.
"There is a lot of invention going on in India. But it is not being recognized by the right people. The MIT study will help us bridge the gap between those who invent and those who support inventions," he said.
'LEAD'ING FROM THE FRONT
The foundation, located at BVB Engineering College here, aims at shaping a participative education module for students. Its LEAD programme supports over 4,000 students across north Karnataka to develop technologies and come up with new ideas to solve problems of everyday life. It also has several leadership promotion qualities for schoolchildren, parents and NGO leaders.
"The LEAD (Leaders' Accelerating Development) programme supplements students' education. Their participation in such a programmes will boost their confidence. The student may end up being an inventor or a corporate leader or an NGO activist. But he or she will be among the best," Deshpande said. The MIT study will help the foundation to fine-tune LEAD and other programmes.
DF has a strong MIT connection. Gururaj and his scientist-wife Jaishree Deshpande also founded the Deshpande Center at MIT School of Engineering in 2002 to increase the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace.
What is Deshpande Foundation?
The Deshpandes started the foundation in 1996. DF fosters social entrepreneurship by supporting a variety of non-profit organizations in India in the areas of health, education, micro-credit and agriculture. Its various programmes aim at creating local leadership.
The Stoneham-based foundation operates in USA and India. It has attracted the attention of social change leaders worldwide due to its unique programme like Venture Philanthropy and the Sandbox scholarships that help foreign nationals to work in Indian NGOs.