LEAD Valedictory 2019- Ek Soch Sandbox, Varanasi


LEAD Valedictory 2019 function hosted in collaboration with MCIIE, IIT BHU is celebrated to commemorate the hard work, innovation, and achievement of young college youth and faculties. The annual year of LEAD begins in August with the Kick Off event and is completed at end of March with LEAD Valedictory.

Registration and guest welcoming

The ancient city of ghats, Banaras, hosted LEAD Valedictory 2019 on March 31st at GT Auditorium, MCIIE, IIT BHU, Varanasi. The celebration began with a rangoli competition for the LEADers with the theme of: “My Vote, My Democracy”. LEADers had set up project showcasing stations and shared guests about their initiatives and experience with LEAD.

The main program was inaugurated by the honourable guests and the panel session was kicked-off by Ek Soch Director, Ajay Suman Shukla. Mr. Suman acknowledged both women’s colleges (VCW and AMPG) for being super supportive of LEAD. He told the audience how the principals of both colleges did not hesitate to collaborate with LEAD. And these colleges are doing an excellent job of giving their female students the opportunity and encouragement to be highly involved in LEAD initiatives and the community.


Input from our guests:

Guest Session

“Students across our entire college are taking-up initiatives and doing LEAD projects very well. I’m proud of my girls. I would like to invite and offer all support to the LEAD team to work on further impactful initiatives with our students.” – Dr. Alka Singh, Principal, VCW Rajghat, Varanasi

“We have come a far way to be here because we have faith in our students and their potential to excel through LEAD. LEAD has really made an active presence in our campus” – Dr. Rachna Dubey, Principal, AMPGC, Varanasi

“Continue coming to Deshpande Foundation and you will change yourself as a person.”

– Dr. Awadesh Singh, Director, Institute of Fine Arts

Dr. D.B. Singh (Director, RSMT/UP College, Varanasi) shared with immense pride that he and Mahamana Ji studied at the same institution. He also offered to start LEAD in his institution.

Ms. Sarika Shrivastav (Director Ashoka Institute of Technology & Management, Paharia, Varanasi) shared the need of entrepreneurship building in college youth and quoted a few examples.

“In a person’s life, there are two main things: will and skill. If you have the will to do something you will grow your skill and if you have skill utilize it!” – Mr. Gaurav Pathak, Program Manager, Microtek Institute of Technology, Varanasi

Prof. P.K. Mishra (Coordinator, MCIIE and HOD Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT BHU, Varanasi) shared how he thought of making a change from his own village to solve the water scarcity problems and suggested various ways people can preserve water. He appreciated Ajay Suman Shukla by saying: ‘jo tum lav jalaye ho, jalate raho’ (you have lit the fire of leadership and entrepreneurship and let it grow).

Prof. Ramesh Chand (Director, Institute of Agriculture Sciences, BHU, Varanasi) said that the volunteer work of youth is most needed to impact rural community. I would love to support the initiates taken on water conservation.

It was then time to acknowledge the LEADers and their initiatives as well as the top performing colleges. Some LEADers were promoted to the Master Leaders and LEAD Ambassadors while others received awards for the impactful changes with their initiatives. The best supporting and performing colleges were: VCW, AMPG, and VKM.

9 LEADers are awarded and 07 LEADers were recognized of the year.

Master LEADer and ambassador promotion, awards, lead valedictory
LEADers were promoted and awarded

LEADers promoted to Master LEADer: 10


Throughout the day, musically talented LEADers hit the stage to entertain the audience with various energized dance performances.  There was also a live painting completed in only 15 minutes. Their passion and talent was clear on the stage. Everyone was in high spirits as LEADers, staff, and guests celebrated the incredible achievements of LEAD during the past year. The LEAD team is very excited for what the future will bring!

About LEAD:

The LEAD Program of the Deshpande Foundation fosters innovative and entrepreneurial thinking within college students by exposing them to social issues, encouraging them to volunteer their time and effort into the community, and igniting their latent talent to come up with creative solutions. Through the unique platform provided by LEAD, started in 2008 from one college and today we have reached 47,520 college youth, 37,701 LEADers, 20,640 leadership projects in 150+ institutions, and 34 locations from Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh are implementing bold solutions to big problems in their communities while simultaneously building their self-confidence and developing important leadership skills and building innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.

Ek Soch LEAD 2018-2019 Highlights

  • Hygiene kits in 25 public toilets, tourist attractions, malls, theaters and all the primary & secondary school.
  • 50 Shadows worth Rs 1,20,000 installed on Divyang tricycles.
  • Installed 02 Library and 01 Computer Lab in Govt. Schools.
  • Renovated Temple walls in Varanasi with colours.
  • Sessions and awareness on Child abuse in 10+ schools and places.
  • Created World Record by Sending 51K Greeting Cards to Indian Army.
  • 03 Parks were renovated in Varanasi.
  • 10+ summer camps at different places for the children.
  • 639 accounts opened,
  • 04 Govt. School Renovated with basic facilities with fund raise of 2.5 Lakhs.
  • Sanitary Pads, Women Hygiene awareness in the community with 5000+ reach.
  • 9740 women recognised and appreciated on International Womens Day
  • Volunteering teaching 60+ kids in different slum areas.
  • Volunteering teaching 60+ kids in different slum areas.
  • Free education in community with 150+ Students.
  • Working with 9 colleges, 300 active leaders.
  • Hosted a LEADership Journey for 5000 KMs with 53 youth.
  • Collaboration with IIT Kanpur, BIMTECH, Chandwara Village, Akshay Patra Foundation, Spice Digital, MCIIE, IITBHU, United Nations, VCW, AMPG and VKM.
  • Ajay Suman (Director) spoke as TEDx speaker.
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