Shaping dreams of young India: Sarthak Mentoring Foundation’s journey of empowering 150+ children from 4 states, 10000 mentor hours

Rahul Kaushik
10 Min Read

A large number of India’s younger generation face the problem of inequality of opportunity simply as a result of their birth family they were born in known as the “lottery of birth”.And the societal impact on educational, social, and economic outcomes is enormous and long-lasting. The only way to achieve an ideal society is to create one by actively contributing to its development. There is a huge potential for youngsters to become capable, confident, and powerful. Sarthak Mentoring Foundation (SMF) Says, We believe that regular mentoring may help turn ideas into action, and we’re on a mission to mould the future generation’s leaders.

Sarthak Mentoring Foundation (SMF) was founded, in 2017, to reach out to young minds in the country’s most remote areas. It was established to close the gap in education opportunities, skills, and aspirations between urban and rural India. The founder Abhijeet Anand and co-founder Nishitha Boda saw a need for a long-term solution to these disparities, which led to the idea of a deeper relationship between students/mentees and mentors that is focused not only on career counseling but also on developing oneself, skill sets, and talents, and most importantly, journeying together and learning from one another. It’s a volunteer-led and managed initiative. Since 2017, SMF has empowered over 100 future leaders from four Indian states. Our mission is to empower young people from all backgrounds and regions to build a stronger connected world through life skills mentoring relationships.

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Sarthak Mentoring Programs are powered by extraordinary people from all around the country and beyond who have pledged to take action to bring about the change they want to see. The mentors, whom we refer to as Saarthi, are highly motivated individuals. The interaction between Krishna and Arjuna in the Mahabharata’s great battle, a term as described in the Bhagwad Geeta. Mentees are young aspiring adults from India’s core who will influence the country’s future.

Mentees are chosen through a thorough screening process and background checks to ensure that we are working with young people who need help and are willing to go above and beyond. The children in the program range in age from 9 to 16 years. Mentors are professionals and driven people who have achieved success in their life and are always striving to improve the world. Mentors are chosen after two rounds of interviews and background checks by peers. We’ve worked with 50+ mentors from 21 Indian states and 5 countries since 2017. (India, Romania, Australia, Italy, and Norway).

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We kick-started in November 2017 with Sarthak-U, a unique initiative that aimed at connecting the needful students of society to the people who have the potential to build a sustainable future. The program enabled every student to dream big and go for it with the support and care from their mentors. 10 mentees were selected from a suburb, Jamalpur in Bihar for the first cohort. 10 passionate mentors from across the country with varied backgrounds joined this initiative. The mentees were students of 9-12th standard classes. Mentor-mentee profiles were created according to the mentee’s goals and interests. Our mentees have excelled in various competitive examinations such as Board examinations and Engineering entrance examinations through our guided efforts.

Inspired by institutions such as IIT Super 30, in February 2018, Sarthak introduced 12 enthusiastic volunteers from IIT (ISM) Dhanbad to 30 mentees of CSRL Assam Super 30, under the program Sarthak-I. Through their support and mentorship, 4 of them made it to IIT while the others were selected for NIT. Besides career development, our mentors invested their valuable time and efforts in personal development and nurturing the mentees so they can all lead purposeful life.

In Feb 2019, a new communication platform was launched named “Super Mentor Program – Inspire, Mentor, Empower”, where leading innovators of the country got connected with the change-makers of the Sarthak team. The mentors were young professionals from across India and outside who spent 1-2 hours a week mentoring the students from needful backgrounds, especially from remote areas. And Super Mentors were the mentors to Sarthak’s group of mentors and supported them in shaping the future of India. We believe in the ideology that a country will flourish if each individual takes the responsibility to share their knowledge and wisdom gained through experience to the younger generation, to care for them, and to be committed to supporting others in their journey.

Through two years of experiments impacting the lives of 70+ kids with 45+ mentors until 2019, we then launched a new phase of the program which focused on developing a structured mentoring curriculum to improve the engagement between the mentors and the mentees. 2020 has been a special year for Sarthak as we expanded to Ladakh, one of the remotest parts of the country. Although young minds are active and responsive, they nonetheless lose out on a lot of exposure. As a result, forming a new cohort in Ladakh was necessary. The inaugural batch consisted of ten students from various sections of Ladakh who are supervised by five Ladakhi and five non-Ladakhi mentors and was led by Chuskit Angmo. Even though the mentor-mentee pair is always in touch, every month a collective call was held through various thematic events to bring all of the mentors and mentees together to reconnect, re-inspire, have fun, and learn together. Sarthak Mentoring Foundation takes immense pleasure in helping children from the most remote parts of the country such as Ladakh realize their aspirations.

Journey with Sarthak not only benefits the mentees but also the mentors as they find it meaningful and learn from it. Here are some experiences shared by our mentors, Shreya Pandey (Schlumberger, Gurgaon) shares– “Being a part of Sarthak has made me more compassionate. When we meet these kids, we get to know the immense level of expectations which they have from us. It becomes a triggering point and a driving force to keep meeting these kids and guide them in their journey of life.”Kratika (KPMG, Gurgaon) shares  – “Grooming a child is a lot more difficult than anything.” Another Shashank lochan(Accenture, Mumbai) shares– “Got confident to understand their small issues which create doubt in their mind to come up in life and able to provide solutions to the extent…”Apart from them, other mentors like AncaScarlei, Peeyush Kumar, Sheo Shankar, Nishitha Boda, and Abhijeet Anand found a sense of responsibility and contribution in building the creators of future India and the world. They expressed a great sense of satisfaction in their lives.

In September 2021, Sarthak Mentoring is all set to launch Sarthak Mentoring Initiative, a one-of-a-kind initiative for underprivileged children to turn their dreams into reality. An experience filled with hands-on learning where students are exposed to real-world skills training and guidance on career decisions, allowing them to realise their ambitions and shape their aspirations. The year-long program provides students with

  • Group mentoring sessions on life decisions, personality development, public speaking, and other soft skills will help them be more confident to face the real-world situations
  • Virtual university visits to universities in India and overseas to expose students to future chances and experiences
  • Gain basic to intermediate proficiency in one of the following skills: copywriting, video production, art, photography, and design
  • Opportunities to interact with people from various professions and cultures
  • Coaching on crucial life decisions at their age
  • Basics of Financial education

Sarthak Mentoring Says, We aim to build a group of leaders from areas where real India thrives, from which the next Prime Minister, Mary Kom, and Deepika Padukone will emerge. This initiative helps to change the lives of youngsters from rural areas of the country by connecting them with responsible and competent people from all around the world who mentor them through a structured mentoring curriculum.

We have touched 150+ lives so far, and if you believe in our cause and are passionate about helping children in need, support us by volunteering or donating, to bring these kids a step closer to their dreams. Every small contribution made collectively adds to the achievement of a bigger goal. Let’s join hands for the positive growth and development of society. Reach at

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I'm Rahul Kaushik, news writer at GrowJust India. I love to write National, International and Business news. You may reach me at
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