Hi! I'm Lipi Gupta.

I had an adventure this summer in Agra, India trying to make a difference in the lives of 35 young women of Nagla Kharga Village. I'd like to share my experience with you; I hope their stories move you as much as they have inspired me! Thank you for reading and feel free to contact me [by posting a comment/question] if I can be of assistance in any way, in a similar endeavor of yours!

Project SHAKTI was funded as one of 2009's 100 Projects for Peace.

Project SHAKTI Overview

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Skills I Utilized

  • Running a treadmill to keep a project running successfully: Maintaining the energy to give my 110% to the girls everyday during class -- and then run around my exhausting schedule was physically hard work, but also exhilarating!
  • Getting an Idea and Running with it: Even undertaking this project was a leap for me; but on the ground, I had to be decisive and fast-acting due to the short time, and also to justify my role as project manager in the community
  • Balancing being Inclusive [the participatory process] and being Directive [taking command when necessary]: Before undertaking this project, I focused on making sure everyone felt heard and relied too much on collaboration rather than on calling decisions myself (when I was in the position to). Now I've found the effective medium!
  • Flexible Resourcefulness: What do you do when monsoon rains get into your taxi's engine when you have 35 girls and half the village elders waiting for you, when the certificate-printer is closed due to a power-outage, when you plan a lesson around a series of carefully-strung videos and youtube unearthed-gems and then plug in the battery/inverter to hear it sputter and fail thanks to the dishonest salesman, when you walk into class with hours-worth of preparation to conduct reading activities, only to find out that 80% of the girls are holding the newspapers upside-down and had grossly exaggerated their reading abilities, when the sociologist whom your entire project relied upon the on-site support of, has broken her ankle and is unable to even get to the site????? ...... Well, you take a deep breath (or 10), tell yourself that you can work with this opportunity to rise above a challenge, and get to it!
  • 'Counseling'/Listening/Being Actively Reflective but Not Interfering/Imposing

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to you for taking on a project that will make a wonderful difference. Your work is inspiring. I'm glad our book (Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn) was valuable for you.
    Kind regards, Carol Metzker