Class 7 (2008-2010)
Darshan P. Mundada, India
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Social Work
Darshan is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification and yet has spent most of his years immersing himself in social development – seeking answers to social problems in India. At the age of 16 he founded the Friends’ Society and by the time he finished school, had not only experienced the challenges of starting and managing a non-profit, but had carved a niche for Friends’ within the Development Professionals’ community of Pune, India.
His passion for social work drew him to a Masters in Social Work from University of North Carolina (UNC) during which period he was also awarded a certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution as a Rotary Peace Fellow, through a joint program by the UNC and Duke University. He developed an understanding of the intricacies of refugees and migration by working under the Dalai Lama, and the pertinence of microfinance and social businesses as an essential vehicle for social change under Prof. Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh.
On returning to India, Darshan’s entrepreneurial spirit saw him design and create two self-sustaining social interventions: Sareelution, a vocational project that engages victims of human trafficking in recycling old sarees into shopping bags; and TRAVolution – an educational pilgrimage for students from developed countries to experience and learn from the kaleidoscope of development issues and work in India.
Currently, at Innovaid, as the Head of Programs & Operations, Darshan guides the social endeavors of celebrities by identifying opportunities for social innovation, and develop programs and requisite strategies to match client priorities. Darshan manages the programs and uses his experience to ensure that the initiatives make meaningful social change on the ground in India.