PROUD ALUMNUS – Vishaka Chitare
Thought of not being able to express her entire potential arrived in the young mind of Mis. Vishaka Chitare. The second sibling in a simple middle-class family, she always dreamt of bringing changes to society. Her constant search for a platform to exhibit her skills and gain experience ended when Dr. Jayashri Nagaralli, LEAD co-ordinator of Smt. Ahalyabai A. Patil Arts and Commerce College for Women, Chikkodi motivated her to join LEAD. She says, “My life changed significantly once I became a part of the blue army, the longing to be part of a bigger cause and of playing a significant role made an integral part of LEAD.”
It was the last year of Bachelor of Commerce when the Nirbhaya case shook the nation including Vishaka. She studied the loopholes in the law that played a key role in these cases and then rallied with the blue army to make amends and punish the guilty. She led a group of LEADers with the same cause, collecting signatures and reaching more than 2000 people for the cause. It was her first project and it laid the foundation of hope, courage, team, and most importantly leadership! LEAD helped her to learn communication and interaction with others in a practical manner. The overall development of a LEADer has been one of the key aspects of the program.
To lead one must know how to follow, Mis. Vishaka learned it when she met LEADer Jyothi who came up with the idea of building houses for the needy. She joined the team and worked with them putting all possible efforts. At the end of the project, a total of 07 houses were built and an important lesson learned. The team was awarded at Yuva summit 2014 becoming her first award. From here on she spent all her free time in either joining other LEADers for their projects or starting her initiative. She jokes about how she would be the photographer of the team and end up having fewer or no images of herself. She strongly believes in teamwork and hence was part of many projects such as installing street lamps, yoga, and self-defense with her gang of 8 members.
One of the most important projects for her was The Toilet construction at Jainapur village. She canceled her vacation so that she could work towards this project which eventually ended up being awarded at The Yuva Summit 2016 for the 250 toilets built in four months. Now she had already become an integral part of LEAD. She further motivated around 300 students in her college to join LEAD and express their ideas.
According to Mis. Vishaka the Lead Leadership Program (LLP) of 2016 became a major turning point of her life. She joined the LLP July 2016 as a student where she learned conflict solving, team building, and LEADership modules. She says that this LLP was her transition towards joining the LEAD team. It helped her to understand the workings of LEAD as a platform and her role when she joins the team. She joined the LEAD team on June 01, 2016 and has been an inseparable part of it till now. She could not contain her happiness when she received her joining letter and an update in the team section of the LEAD website.
As a program officer, she has brought significant improvements to her location. She has reached four nearby locations such as Ankali, Nipani, Sankeshwar and established a strong presence of LEAD amongst the local youth. She has helped more than 2000 students to metamorphose into impactful LEADers. LEADers under her mentorship have achieved a lot of impactful projects who were also awarded. LEADers under her mentorship achieved a total of eight awards at The Yuva Summit
Her story does not end here, In her further time with LEAD as a program officer, Mis. Vishaka aims at creating more problem solvers at the grass-root level of society. She is keen on bringing change in the mindset of people towards a lot of aspects of society. She is dedicated to the goal of developing youngsters and students into the LEADers of society.
LEAD as an organization stands on the shoulders of thinkers and doers such as Mis. Vishaka Chitare and is immensely proud of her!