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In November 2012
A 2 Day leadership development program based on the book
Leading A Mission With A Mouse...A dead Mouse
Life Changing Moments Of Truth
Experience # 1
Jerry spoke at the SOIL Change Leaders MBA orientation program and was amazed to meet some students who wanted to join the NGO sector. One of them actually said that she wants to join the sector as it is a good life at places like WHO and UN and has lots of perks and benefits. I spoke with them all that while money is important; working in the sector is just not about money only it is about passion, commitment and efficiency to deliver social justice. Given below is feedback from one of the converts after the talk. I am happy to see young minds take to the right course.
Dear Sir,

Your video and talk got me back to my track...that had become somewhat a distant dream of late.......but now m back in action.... got UNESCO as my SIP program in SOIL n got my mentor changed from a grt industry person to a NGO head....

I still repent having said "full time work and full time paid" while wt I actually meant wz to get "rightly paid for my job"....and I understand that working in the sector is not about my lifestyle but what I can do for the community.

Looking 4wrd 2 frequent connects..n your guidance and mentoring to do good for society.

KS (Name changed for confidentiality reasons)
Experience # 2.
"In our impatience to Build we shall never destroy while we may die for our cause We shall never kill anyone for anything"

In January 2012 with Mr. Raktim Mukhopadhyay a civil servant and now a civil society leader, Jerry co- facilitated a training workshop in Orissa for over 300 young people in an area that has huge Naxalite movement and coercive recruitment from among the youth. This was a couplet that the young girls and boys came up with. It was their own wisdom and Jerry only helped them articulate the same. They all pledged to do something meaningful with their lives no matter what the adversity they may have to face. Jerry learnt a lot of resilience and patience from all the young stars. This is grassroots wisdom.
Experience # 3
Dear Jerry,

Hi. This is AD. I was in the Airtel workshop that you conducted last week. I was discussing your ideas with my father last night after he returned from his travel and was pleasantly surprised to know that you both know each other. My father’s name is Gen. D.S T and he attended your talk at the International Youth Centre along with my younger brother. My father has great regard for you and thinks you are a firebrand leader who inspires not only the youth but also the older generation like himself. My father is on the UN global board and is also good friends with Gen. Ian Cardozo who I believe is also your mentor. I also learnt from him, that you refused to accept the Padmashri/ Magsaysay awards on personal and moral grounds. They all consider you as a living legend and are huge fans. I heard so much about you last night from my father and brother that I felt motivated to know more about you and conduct a Google search on you. I must say that I am very impressed with all I read about you and I also heard through some of your speeches on YouTube. I liked most of your thought provoking talks and liked this one the best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqxf6U_zJz4 . You should have shown us some of your talks also during the workshop. I could not find your talk from the International Youth Centre. I also wish we had all known a little about you, but then you never even introduced yourself properly and we had no clue who we were listening to. I had heard about you before but did not connect the dots while you were training us. I did feel the depth and commitment while you were speaking and during your interaction with us on the table, but at that time I wrote that off, as the trained mind and acumen of a professional corporate trainer. I wish I had known that you are the founder of icongo and if we had known who was training us, we all would have been more attentive and probably have got better understanding of leadership then, through your first person experiences. I experienced a huge change in my attitude and learnt more about humility during the sessions with you and am grateful to you for being straightforward and telling me about my scope for improvement candidly.

I have studied all the work you are doing with icongo. I have a personal request and wish to meet with you if possible as I have a concept for a nonprofit organisation and feel that you could be my best mentor for the same. Kindly do consent to give me some time and meet with me. We could meet up for lunch at a place convenient for you and discuss my plans and ideas. I shall consider it my good destiny if you agree to be my mentor. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

AD (Name changed for confidentiality reasons)
Experience # 4
“Jerry, I got shortlisted for the prime ministers rural development fellowship last night. I wud like to meet you before i go for the next round of GD/PI, if that is ok? The lectures at icongo seminar helped me a lot as I had made notes which i used in my first round.” SS.

A Young India Fellow who got chosen to work in the PM’s rural development program and used the knowledge he got about rural India in the first person from Jerry. He has now promised Jerry to be the voice for the voiceless, stand up and speak out for the rural poor and be an advocate for their issues.
Experience # 5
In January 2009 Jerry held a workshop with several farmers in the belt where farmers are committing suicide due to marginalization. For the first time someone gave an opportunity to the farmers to express their views and ideas and Jerry facilitated the same. The Farmers told Jerry that Microfinance amounts of Rs.5000/- and 10,000 are ineffective as with that they could not even buy good quality seed. They told Jerry that they need 1.5 to 2 lakhs for real empowerment to happen, as they need to get their land back from moneylenders, build bore wells & drip irrigation systems, cultivate the land, buy good seed and that if they got this help they would be able to grow 3 cash corps instead of the 1 crop they were cultivating currently. After listening to them, Jerry along with the farmers & Neelima Mishra created a strategy that was christened as “CARING CAPITAL” and through LetzDream Foundation & the Agriculture Finance Corporation (a government body promoted by NABARD) gave the farmers money as required by them. The rest like they say is history. A new model for supporting farmers was created. The Farmers are growing 3 cash crops every year today and paying back the loan every 6 months.. The Farmers have also got empowered and of course Neelima Mishra, who led this process at the grassroots was nominated & chosen for the Magsaysay award last year. This model proved that Farmers and people in Rural India are low risk and will pay back loans no matter how big if given the opportunity. Today various such plans are being replicated by several institutions. Here is one of the stories from the farmer directly -
Yeh tumhare baap ki kheti nahi.pdf
Given below is the Caring Capital model
Measure not in terms of the financial bottom-line but more on SOCIAL IMPACT and OUTCOMES!!

Let us see how communities have got empowered, prospered and become self sufficient through our funding!! While most funds would look at financial figures, we at LDF look more into the prosperity and sustainability of the people that are the core stakeholders for CARING CAPITAL. We aim to explore the most innovative, involving & sustaining business models and make money available “in time”, not just to women self help groups but also to men who may be farmers, artisans and/ or craftspeople.

LetzDream Foundation has recently signed an MOU with AFC (Agriculture Finance Corporation Ltd.) to disburse loans through the latter towards implementation of project “ Caring Capital for Sustainable Livelihood of Farmers in Jalgaon and Dhule, Maharashtra.

The money would be extended as loan to the identified farmers in distress to achieve sustainable livelihood for identified purposes. This is a first of its kind association on the part of the organization, to promote livelihood by microfinance and microcredit that goes beyond the usual norms of the term and gives the beneficiaries to be social entrepreneurs in the true sense.
Our approach:
The LetzDream Team met with the farmers in need and during a workshop came to understand the actual requirements of the latter.

For the first time, a model of microcredit/finance was created not by people extending the loan but as a team effort after holding long hours of discussions and engagement with the farmers who have the best grassroots knowledge on the needs and requirements.

The farmers provided very crucial inputs in designing and finalising the MOU, which included the loan amount (much higher as compared to the usual norms which is around 5-10,000 Rs.), re-payments structure, reporting and project management etc.

We strongly believe that CARING CAPITAL can work and can work very well if the knowledge comes from the community in need because they know what works best for their empowerment!
CARING CAPITAL objectives:
1) Strengthen processes and systems by working with the entire positive and addressing all the negative findings

2) Ensuring timely intervention with people seeking credit by enabling the MFI we give the investment to decide on borrowers at their discretion.

3)Slow sensitisation to make other investors to adopt the standard processes we create along with community and SHGS.

4)Since LDF shall not directly implement but invest in grassroots initiatives, we shall work towards strengthening the human capital of organisations we partner with for documentation, financial management.

5) Through our models we shall holistically promote the right of access to financial services i.e. influence other donors institutional and individual to change their perspectives towards financial sustainability of the SHGs; influence commercial organisations to decrease interest rates; influence government to enact fair interest rate policies in the state; support mainstream finance institutions to reach the poorest of the poor by mitigating risks through our interventions.
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