Top 6 Fellowships/Experience Programs to Get Exposure in the Social Sector

The social sector in India is one which is vastly unexplored. People in India truly have a positive intent to make the society better, but they are unsure where to start. In today’s day, nearly all universities and companies abroad seek candidates having a social work experience of a minimum of two hundred hours. Moreover, working at the grass-root level in the social sector helps in understanding the development of a nation, along with its failures and deficiencies, by being a part of the process itself.

Here are some fellowships and experience programs in India through which one can consider gaining an enriching and lasting exposure in the social sector.





The Teach for India Fellowship is one of the most prestigious fellowship in the social developmental sector. Initiated by Shaheen Mistry in the year 2009, Teach for India now boasts of 1500 alumni leaders in various enterprises, fuelling the fellowship’s vision for attaining excellence in education. The fellowship stems from a dearth in India’s education system of well-rounded teachers, a large number of dropouts, lack of infrastructure and a basic education inequity. The fellows of this program get the opportunity to solve India’s education crisis, simultaneously developing their potential as future leaders of the country.

What: A postgraduate fellowship where the most promising graduates and professionals are placed as full time teachers in under-resourced and low-income schools.

When: Two years, full-time commitment.

Who: Anyone with a bachelors’ degree under is eligible to apply, be it undergraduates or working professionals. Age no bar.

Where: Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad.

Whether Paid: PAID. Stipend of Rs. 17,500/- per month, rent or relocation compensation extra of Rs. 5,500/

Alumni: Tarun Cherukiri, founder of Indus Action; Lewitt Somarajan, founder of Life-Labs.




The Gandhi Fellowship was initiated in 2008 by Kaivalya Education Foundation (KEF) and supported by Piramal Healthcare services. This fellowship challenges young talented students from top colleges in the country to facilitate the development of the Indian Education scenario. The fellows are allotted five schools each, where they work directly in tandem with the Headmistresses, developing themselves in the process. The Gandhi fellowship derives its name straight from the father of the nation, who believed that it is vital to be the change one wants to see.

What: The fellowship aims to develop the leadership skills necessary to cause disproportionate positive change in society by supporting primary school headmasters to transform their schools.

When: Two years, full-time commitment.

Who: Young and talented students from top colleges having leadership skills and extracurricular achievements.

Where: Rural areas of India nearby metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru

Whether Paid: PAID. All-inclusive monthly grant of Rs. 14,000/-, a fixed monthly phone allowance of Rs.600/-  and rent-free accommodation and other allowances as applicable.

Alumni: Gitanjali Babbar, founder of Kat-Katha; Jabir Kirat, founder of Green Worms.




The Azim Premji Fellowship is an opportunity to interact with the diverse stakeholders with varying backgrounds of the educational and social sector in India. It seeks passionate young individuals with a willingness to interact with people and take part in various teaching and capacity building activities of the schools they are going to be associated with. The fellowship involves-
a) 5 weeks classroom module to strengthen conceptual understanding of education and development issues
b) 22 months of intense field engagement at the grass roots level in the district institutes of the foundation.
c) Working on a live project that has significant purpose of improving quality at practice level.

What: The fellowship aims at development of the education sector by giving an enriching experience in various spheres of the sector.

When: Two years, full-time commitment.

Where: Rural areas of Karnataka.

Who: Candidates having 3 to 10 years of work experience, with a post-graduate or a professional degree in any discipline. Knowledge of Kannada is required. 

Whether Paid: PAID. Stipend amount will be Rs. 27000/- per month (Provident Fund, Medical-Life- Personal Accident Insurance benefits are in addition. Taxes would be deducted as applicable).



The Deshpande Fellowship Foundation was founded in the year 1996 in India, which is the funding enterprise of the program. The Deshpande Fellowship program is an interactive and dynamic program designed to inspire and motivate potential social entrepreneurs of the country. The fellows undertake rigorous studies for the duration of the program which involves study of modules as well as hands-on practical experiences.

What: Fellowship consists of a seven and half month program geared towards providing a budding batch of social entrepreneurs with the skills they need to create positive change in society.

When: Seven-and-a-half-month commitment, full-time.

Where: Sandbox, Hubli, Mumbai.

Who: Candidates between 21-28 years of age are preferred, with a graduate or post-graduate degree and atleast one year of work experience. However, passionate freshers and women especially are encouraged to apply.

Whether Paid: Tuition fees of Rs.40,000/- with a bank loan facility is available.



The America India Foundation runs the William J Clinton Fellowship for aspiring social sector leaders. The Fellowship creates a community of socially engaged, global citizens who represent the leaders of tomorrow. Alumni of the program are leaders in international development, academia, journalism, business, entrepreneurship, public health, and other fields. Together they represent a collective force for sustaining a long-term agenda dedicated towards change in India.

What: The Fellowship pairs a select number of highly skilled young professionals with leading NGOs and social enterprises in India in order to accelerate impact and create effective projects that are replicable, scalable, and sustainable.

When: Ten months, full-time commitment.

Where: Rural areas of India.

Who: A permanent citizen of either the US or India, with a bachelors’ degree, preferably within 21 to 34 years of age

Whether Paid: Monthly stipend




PMRD Fellowship is an initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) where the focus is to reduce poverty and improve the lives of people in rural India. The focus of the programme is on reduction of poverty and improving the lives of the population in backward and isolated regions of India.

What: PMRD Fellows will work closely with District Magistrates of backward and remote districts in improving program delivery and interface with marginalized sections, aiming to reduce the developmental and governance deficits. Fellows will also participate in a post graduate degree program through e-enabled distance learning and contact sessions leading to M.Sc/M.Phil in Development Practice, to be conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

When: Two years, full-time commitment including an orientation period of 3 months.

Where: Identified backward districts by the concerned state governments.

Who: A citizen of the Indian subcontinent or a migrant from India, between 22-27 years of age, having a recognized graduate degree.

Whether Paid: The fellowship covers all expenses and reimbursements are made.


Also Read: How to Use Blogs to Tell Your Social Enterprises Story


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