Vriksh Fellowship for Social Leaders, by Sahaj Foundation [3 Yrs; Stipend Rs 12K]: Apply by Sep 30

the vriksh fellowship for social leaders by sahaj foundation

Sahaj Foundation invites applications for their 3-year Vriksh Fellowship intended to financially support the journey of early-stage Social Leaders working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged section of Indian Society (anywhere in the slums, rural or tribal areas).

About the Fellowship

The fellowship is an initiative of the Sahaj Foundation, and it envisions providing monthly support of Rs 12,000 to select Social Leaders for their personal daily sustenance while they continue to do their work with communities full-time. The pre-requisites of this 2+1 year long fellowship require the applicant to be

1) a founder/co-founder of the initiative

2) engaged with the not-for-profit social initiative full-time for a minimum of one year.

The interested ones may choose to apply in English as well as in Hindi. The last date for filling the application form is September 30, 2021.

To financially support early-stage Social Leaders who are working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged section of Indian Society, residing anywhere in slums, rural or tribal areas of the country.


Indian society is passing through very intriguing times. While on one hand, the gap between rich and poor continues to increase with rising of industries and migration, yet, on the other hand, many individuals, mostly youngsters, are now choosing to let go of their conventional career options with the corporations to serve the sections of the society that have been under-served. Be it the Dalit communities, disadvantaged small scale farmers, daily wage earners, people living in the slums, tribal lands or LGBT community, many individuals, primarily from a middle-class background, are coming forward as social leaders to serve the needs of these communities and ensure that they live with dignity.

However, in spite of their courageous efforts, the journey of these social leaders remains full of challenges. In addition to the social pressure that they have to face from the side of their parents, peers and close relatives, one of the primary challenges remains to manage their financial requirements for daily sustenance. Some of them are, at times, lucky enough to receive support from their friends or family members, while the others end up burning out and leaving their efforts in-between to go back to their conventional career options.

The Vriksh Fellowship is an initiative to support such social leaders so that they can continue the work in their beginning years and reach a point from where they can sustain it from their own side. The fellowship aims to support the social leaders who are presently working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged sections of the Indian society residing anywhere in slums, rural or tribal areas of the country.

The purpose of the fellowship is to identify and support the social leaders by providing them monthly financial assistance of Rs 12,000 each for their daily sustenance for a period of 2 years (+1 year based on requirement and commitment); with an understanding that while they continue to work full-time on their initiatives, they would be able to find a practical way to self-sustain their efforts post the fellowship.


Any Social Leader who is presently working for the benefit of economically or socially disadvantaged section of the Indian society residing anywhere in slums, rural or tribal areas of the country, and who:

  1. is a founder or co-founder of his/her social initiative.
  2. is engaged in the social initiative full-time for minimum one year. The social initiative must be an original idea of the applicant and must be a non-profit.
  3. is willing to work full time in his/her social initiative for the entire duration of the fellowship
  4. envisions to promote a healthy value system, thereby encouraging compassion, social and economic equality, justice, secularism, co-operation etc
  5. is able to provide details on how he/she is sustaining at the time of making the application
  6. is able to provide a realistic plan how he/she will become self-sustaining at the end of the fellowship to continue the work
  7. is 22 years of age or older (Born on or before December 31, 1999)

The social leaders who have registered their own organization for their initiatives shall be given preference for the fellowship.

Note: For the ones who have not registered their organization at the time of making an application for the fellowship, the organizing team shall either ask them to register or try to understand their reasons for not filing a registration, just in case they have any ideological reasons for the same. If the team finds mentioned ideological reasons satisfactory, it shall consider the application for the fellowship.

Who are not eligible?

  • Any new project of an existing old organization
  • Religious initiatives
  • Research Studies
  • Advocacy/lobbying initiatives
  • Recipient of other similar fellowships

Selection Process

  • Round 1: Preliminary Application Form
  • Round 2: Detailed Application Form
  • Round 3: Telephonic Interview
  • Round 4: Field Visit to understand on-ground presence of the initiative


During the course of the fellowship, the fellows shall be required to submit a monthly report of their activities in a very simple format, that would ask for a list of activities done, activity’ purpose, brief description, number/profile of people benefited, outcome etc.

In addition, our execution team shall stay in touch with the fellows on phone (at least one phone call per quarter) and also shall visit them on-field at least once a year.

Other Information

  • All financial transactions during the course of the fellowship shall be processed through bank accounts.
  • All legal proceedings shall fall under the jurisdiction of High Court of Himachal Pradesh.

Click here for more information.

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