Just imagine walking along a straight line and then something or someone comes along and changes your direction by just one degree. This minutely small shift might seem insignificant at first but can completely change the course of your journey. This is what I experienced throughout the fellowship program. So many one degree shifts that keep reshaping my course ultimately to lead me where, I didn’t know. I just trusted to go with the flow, uninhibited and undeterred.
The biggest contribution the fellowship had to my life was to help me experience different emotions- from sadness to joy, from frustration to relief , from disappointment to satisfaction. There was immense joy in seeing that child picking up a multiplication technique you taught him, or see a villager’s modest home light up with a solar lamp in the night. I sometimes felt these were very small time changes and I wasn’t creating a large scale impact. But during my journey I realised how before even attempting to make large scale changes to the system, it is so important to know how these small changes impact the lives of people. We have this habit of thinking we know the solution to other’s problem. Maybe we do, but is it really a solution for them or just nuisance we are further creating, we can know only by spending enough time amongst them.
This fellowship helped me realise my interest of working in the space of providing access to clean and alternative forms of energy. Coming from an engineering background( well I just feel it helped!) I was always keen to explore this sector. This fellowship gave me this opportunity and there has been no looking back. I found a very engaging connect towards understanding current energy issues, its trends and impacts throughout the world.
I therefore decided to continue working with the NGO I interned with during the fellowship. I took up the project of setting up local energy centres in the village- a one stop shop to meet all the energy needs of that community. Although ambitious and challenging, this fellowship has provided me with the confidence and know-how to pursue my passions. I also know that whenever I get stuck, I will always go back to the friends I made during this time and the lessons I learnt! There is no doubt in my mind that such a fellowship opens doors to possibilities we never knew existed. It only takes for us to take that initial leap of faith and I daresay- it was fully worth it!
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.
~ Albert Einstein
Ankit Agrawal is a fellow of the 2012 cohort and went on to pursue his higher studies in sustainable environments. You can find more about his fellowship journey here …