Sonam Rathore - One woman’s perseverance to effect change
"The Captain goes down with the ship" is an old saying that implies that the leader of the ship will not abandon his crew even in its worst stage.
Sonam, a Fujitsu Scholarship alumna would vouch for this phrase. A girl who studied in Faizabad, moved to Pune and then to Mumbai only to realize that her roots are stronger back home. A cheerful and tenacious person but a realist in knowing what she wants to achieve and how.

This is the story of how one woman transformed her life and the lives of people around her. Sonam’s Capstone Project quest was to create a sustainable model. A model that would ensure employment opportunities thereby encouraging people to stay back in Faizabad. The spark for such a huge project flared from her mother’s response to her question "Why does nothing change around here?"Her mother said "People like you who get educated never come back to improve things."

The Journey
With a stimulated mind, Sonam began her Fujitsu Scholarship journey in Japan. The program provides a multi-campus network of the five modules delivered in four countries; Japan, US(Hawaii), Singapore and Thailand. Having studied in Europe, she had no knowledge about the Japanese or their culture. During the Japan Module she visited companies and discussed their strategies with them. Sonam’s experience in Japan left her spellbound. Their punctuality and kindness had her fall in love with the place in no time.

"The Japanese are people who follow rules. Everybody in the company knows the vision of the company." - Sonam Rathore, Fujitsu Scholarship Alumna

Understanding others point of view was a major takeaway for Sonam in Japan.

Sonam’s main reason for applying for the Fujitsu Scholarship Program was the Thailand Module. She learnt about sustainability of NGOs and how they were working wonders in the villages. In Thailand, the younger generation leaves abroad to study but comes back to improve their villages and economy. The differences in attitude and the method in which issues were handled enabled Sonam to see a new perspective.

While Thailand involved field work and talking to people, Hawaii was more about team work and individual assignments.

The Impact
Sonam’s Capestone Project evolved around increasing awareness and providing access to the Chikankari market in Faizabad which is 120 kms away from Lucknow. Chikankari is an indigenous handicraft that is dying and forcing citizens of Faizabad to move to different cities in search of better job prospects. Sonam felt the need to do something for her hometown.

The Fujitsu Scholarship Program increased her awareness and changed the way she sees things.

"I have never paid attention to handicraft apart from buying it. Now I have realized the importance of these crafts and how we need to save them before it’s too late." - Sonam Rathore

Change starts from within and change is the only thing that’s constant. Sonam’s social awareness has increased multifold and she feels responsible for the affairs of her city. Sonam is effecting change at a small level. Sometimes, it’s important to think big, start small and create an impact.

"The Fujitsu Scholarship Program is for anyone who wants to be the cause for change." - Sonam Rathore

The Global Leaders for Innovation and Knowledge Program has opened new doors for Sonam. She not only handles projects for her state government but also manages their digital platforms. While constantly striving to initiate dialogue on sustainability in her state, Sonam is transforming her society one day at a time.
Do you want to change the world you live in? Apply now for the Fujitsu Scholarship Program if you wish to effect change.