New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has launched a unique mentorship programme called ‘Nurture the Future’, under which civil service probationers will have to adopt adolescents as mentees and guide them throughout their educational and professional lives.
The initiative, which was formally launched during the first-ever common foundation course for civil service trainees of the 2019 batch, aims to provide mentorship to underprivileged and socially or economically-backward children studying in class 10 and above.
In the first batch, the government has identified 425 children from 11 villages in Kevadiya, Gujarat, where Sardar Patel’s ‘Statue of Unity’ is located, and associated them with the 425 officer trainees of 20 civil services, including the IAS, IPS, IFS and IRS.
“We have linked the officer trainee and their mentee with their Aadhaar numbers, so that they can stay in touch throughout their professional lives,” a senior official from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.
“The idea is in sync with the government’s desire to provide mentorship to those from underprivileged backgrounds, and also instil a sense of social responsibility among civil servants,” the official added.
“It will also ensure that these children continue to have access to these civil servants even when they become secretaries and top officers in other positions.”
While the government has started the programme in Kevadiya, it aims to expand it to other parts of the country in subsequent years.
“We are even creating a portal for this purpose, and while right now only probationers at LBSNAA (Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration) are a part of this programme, we will eventually ask all government training academies to adopt it,” another official said.
A ‘fulfilling’ experience
Vikram Virkar, a trainee IAS officer who has become a mentor to a class 10 student, said while the programme is at a nascent stage, it has already been a fulfilling experience.
“My mentee was very curious to know what I do, the nature of my job, what he needs to achieve what I have achieved, among other things,” Virkar said.
“He wanted to know where I come from, whether I can speak English fluently, and how he can overcome his inability to speak English,” he added.
“There were some very innocent questions, like if one can be successful without speaking English well, or whether I’ve ever been to Mumbai or not.”