“Ignited minds are the most powerful resource on earth, and the one billion minds of our nation are indeed a great power waiting to be tapped.” – Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ignited minds.
Inspired by these great words and with an intention to arise and ignite a consciousness of social responsibility in the young minds of India, was founded Yuva Ignited Minds(YIM). The idea behind YIM is to provide a platform for young minds to practice social service together. By young minds, they do not mean an age but an open and conscious mentality of realizing and accepting one’s responsibility towards society.
Started in 2008, by 12 under graduate students of SBM Jain College (only 3 of them are currently associated with YIM), today YIM has reached to over 650 members in 5 years and currently has chapters in 3 colleges in Bangalore. It has reached out to over 125,000 people and has conducted more than 100 events to address various social issues in Bangalore and few parts of rural Karnataka.
Mayank Solanki, co-founder YIM and an alumnus of School of Inspired Leadership, says, “If you know why you want to do something, you will figure out how to do it. There have been times where we doubted ourselves, did not know how to go further, had no idea how to balance studies and after graduating did not know how to pay our bills.” People kept joining YIM and some co-founders kept leaving but YIM did not abandon the spirit and idea with which it started. Today all the three co-founders have a regular 9-to-5 job to support themselves, but are carrying out and trying to expand the impact of YIM.
They work on three agendas, which they believe are the 3 pillars of a healthy society – Swasth (health), Shiksha (education) and Samaj (social). YIM has done a variety of projects under all these agendas. They have organized eye camps, plastic surgery camps, awareness drives about organ donation, AIDS and drug addiction, anti-littering, anti-tobacco campaigns etc. The members of YIM have also taught basic curriculum subjects like english, mathematics, science etc at orphanages and conducted vocational trainings at old age homes and some government schools.
YIM does not have any paid or full time working employees and run at an operating cost of Rs.1.36 per person per day. All the activities and campaigns are carried out by the members of YIM with the help of agenda leads who are supported by another set of campaign/project leads. All the members of YIM contribute Rs. 500 per year and Mayank says that they have never had a problem with the finances to carry out any project on any scale. He adds, “People want to give money for the good cause but they are apprehensive of the fact that it may not be utilized for the same. The processes and structure of YIM have been made very transparent to remove these doubts from people’s minds. By providing expense reports, we make sure every contributor knows where every single penny is utilized.“
YIM has been recognized among the Top 100 social change makers in Asia by the Foundation of Youth Social Entrepreneurship (FYSE). They want to ignite social responsibility and action throughout India and have offers from many cities to start YIM chapters. To encourage social entrepreneurship as a potential career option and to magnify the impact of ignited minds on society, YIM is also planning on teaching social entrepreneurship.
To know more about Yuva Ignited Minds, visit their website.