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Building an empowered and equitable India

Friday, September 09, 2016

Prerana Langa, CEO, Yes Foundation

Prerana Langa is the CEO of Yes Foundation, the Social Development arm of Yes Bank. She holds the distinction of setting up YES FOUNDATION from the ground up with a vision to build an empowered and equitable India. Prerana has 17 years of experience in CSR and community partnerships. She holds a Masters degree in Management and has successfully completed the World Bank and the Harvard University South Asia Institute Executive Development Program in Corporate Social Responsibility. In conversation with Dominic Rebello she speaks about engaging and empowering youth to participate in the total social transformation of India

How is Yes Bank associated with Yes Foundation?
YES FOUNDATION was established by YES BANK with the vision of building an empowered and equitable India. Since inception, through its Responsible Banking ethos, YES BANK has made innovative efforts to enhance social value creation – YES FOUNDATION is an extension of this approach towards playing a larger role in India’s social development.

What is the model of YES foundation and how is acting as a catalyst plugging gaps in the development sector?
At the genesis of YES FOUNDATION, it was clear that we did not want to follow a 'me too' model. The idea was to identify gaps in the development space and play a pivotal role in bridging those gaps. Under the visionary guidance of our Chief Mentor, Rana Kapoor,the Foundation acts as a catalyst and force multiplier focusing on youth and Non-Profits – key constituents in the ecosystem of India's social transformation.

We identified three major gaps in the development sector - lack of access to sustained finance, robust human resource practices and strong communication. We then developed programs to address these issues through approaches that can be scalable and pragmatic.

How is the foundation driving social change?
Through our initiatives, we create opportunities for youth of India to have first-hand experience of social causes and to drive social change.

YES! i am the CHANGE (YIAC), our flagship program, engages youth with social causes through a 101-Hour Social Filmmaking Challenge. The experience of participation in the Challenge exposes youth to pertinent social issues, thereby helping them move from being merely ‘aware’ to being ‘sensitive.’ On the other hand, high-quality films made by participants form invaluable communication resources for the use of Non-Profits. It is a matter of great pride that last year, YES! i am the CHANGE emerged as the World’s Largest Social Film Movement with participation of more than 5 lakh youth across 2500 cities and towns pan- India.

YIAC social films are screened nationally and internationally to raise awareness regarding social issues.

Tell us about “Launch of YES! i am the CHANGE”
YES! i am the CHANGE 2016 was launched on 20th July with widespread appreciation on social media platforms. The youth of India, embraced this highly significant social initiative and in the first leg of the challenge itself, in student category, held between 13th to 17th August, approximately 6 lakh youth participated in the 101-Hour Social Filmmaking challenge. This year, we expect 12 lakh youth to participate in the social movement.
The next category is will be held between 9th to 13th September, 2016 for employees of corporates and Non-Profits (including volunteers and interns). After this, there an Open category for all individuals to be held between 1st to 5th October, 2016.

How do you plan to go for International expansion of the program and engage the diaspora youth with India's social transformation?
This year, we have introduced the YES! i am the CHANGE International Social Filmmaking Challenge which has been launched to provide the Indian diaspora youth a platform to engage with social causes through the powerful medium of films. The pan is to forge strategic partnerships with educational and media institutes, media houses, youth movements and Non-Profits globally to facilitate participation

What is the social impact of the program?
In the first year (2013), YES! i am the CHANGE had 2,100 participants. In 2014, it emerged as India’s Largest Social Film Movement with 50,000 participants from 1,000 cities and towns. Last year (2015), YES! i am the CHANGE emerged as the World’s Largest Social Film Movement with participation of over 5 lakh youth from 2,500 cities and towns across India. However, it is not merely about the numbers, but the impact it creates. The films made by YES! i am the CHANGE participants are creating ripples of change across the country. Many participants either started volunteering with Non-Profits or harnessing the power of media to further social causes.

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