Srinagar: The inaugural class of Naropa Fellowship programme was on Thursday organised in Ladakh. The Naropa Fellowship is a new program empowering young, socially-conscious leaders to serve their communities, with a focus on under-represented Himalayan regions.
According to a statement, the programme kicked off with an orientation and welcome ceremony, where Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, a Spiritual Regent to the Gyalwang Drukpa, gave an address on the importance of education and culture, especially in the Himalayan region, and on developing the skills to serve a larger community.
Dr Pramath Raj Sinha, co-founder Naropa fellowship elaborated on how a love and respect for local heritage can be very rewarding in one’s career.
The Naropa Fellowship, founded by the Gyalwang Drukpa, is a one-year, residential post-graduate academic programme that will create and nurture agents of change in the world. The immersive curriculum focuses on sustainable social and economic development in Ladakh, the greater Himalayas, and beyond. The first batch of fellows begins the program this month, taking residence on the dedicated campus in Hemis village, Ladakh.
The inaugural class comprises of 70 students from across the Himalaya nations like Nepal, Bhutan and India (Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and more). Together they represent a wide breadth of work and social experience, adding to the diversity and richness of academic exchange. Total scholarships worth INR 7 crores were awarded to students who were carefully chosen from across these regions.
Over 40 of the world’s leading academics, industry experts, and entrepreneurs will guide the students as visiting faculty, facilitating their professional development and growth. The reputed faculty includes Kenwyn Smith, Professor, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice; Kathy Dewitte, Dean, Arteveldehoge school, Belgium; Stuart Hendry, Entrepreneurship Lead Professor, University of Cape Town; Sara J. Corse, Associate Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson University and many others.
Socially-conscious entrepreneurship that integrates local heritage can both strengthen and stabilize regions as they develop. The fellowship will aid young leaders in addressing region-specific challenges like unemployment, cultural erosion, and the disenfranchisement of native parties. To this end, the curriculum is uniquely holistic, integrating personal development courses, communications training, and cultural explorations. Fellows will ultimately design and execute a “live project” that identifies and solves a real community issue. Faculty support will include industry experts, academics, entrepreneurs, and community leaders.