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Manifesting Compassion in Leadership Development


In the Bapu Trust, soon after inception in 1999, we learnt that personal motivation, effective team collaboration, aptitude for creativity and innovation and leadership are not 'natural instincts'.  They  have to be diligently cultivated, refreshed and mentored, within a value based framework. The World Center for Creative Learning Foundation ( mentored our organizational development needs by creating a "HR manual" for us. The abiding values of this manual were:


- Respect for all, whatever the functional levels;

- Self-determination and motivation at all levels;

- Collaboration within staff and teams;

- A leadership driven organization

- Team effectiveness and optimizing usefulness to oneself, to one's team, the organization, and to communities;

- and a value based ethical system


Bapu Trust, over the years, has maintained an OD culture throughout. We have created spaces and processes for positive and proactive exchange between team members, people and organizational values, harm reduction in working together, non-violent communications, filling out roles while maintaining boundaries, 'letting go', 'leadership' over 'management', etc.


Slowly, with the introduction of Arts Based Therapy trainings for BT's organizational leaders, programs became more colourful, more contemplative, and centered within aspirations of each person, while forging deeper connections in each team and with the larger organization and communities. Words like "Partnerships", "Networks", "Ripple effects", etc. became more frequently used within the team establishing our interdependence.  We continued to be  wonder-struck by the large wave-like, expansive effects that even small gestures of generosity and caregiving can have.  So, BT people partnered more closely together with tens and hundreds of people in a way to build collective aspirations for a world free of suffering; and we became more and more expansive in our wish to be useful and in our collective actions. The process of 'scaling up' began!


Will we be able to safeguard our people centric work culture, our compassion, our wish to be wise and useful, and our strong ethical value base? We will for sure, try!!


The 'Leadership' language has been very handy, continues to be useful, especially the tools and the techniques. However, it does not go deep into people, touching their very existence and transforming them from within. It does not give moral questions for everyday life.  Working in mental health, with a vast diversity of people this is what we need.


We rechristened our HR program as "Manifesting Compassion in Leadership Development".


With loving and intensive trainings and mentorship by WCCLF, and slowly soaking in the wisdom of all our Buddhist Teachers, Bapu Trust has started "Pradnya Smriti" (Remembering the Wisdom).


Prajnya Smriti is woven around the 6 Paramitas (Ways to transcendent wisdom)- generosity (dhana), discipline (shila), patience (kshanti), diligence (veerya), meditation (dhyaana) and wisdom (prajnya).


The objectives of Prajna Smriti across all levels of BT are:


-  To set a common moral code for all staff

-  To transfer values from the few old staff to a whole new batch of incoming staff

-  To break 'binaries' (senior /  junior; old / new; literate / illiterate; etc.) and being more tolerant, accepting and interdependent BT community

-  To cultivate virtuous habits and mindfulness at all levels in the organization

Two different PrajnaSmriti programs are presently being run in the organization. One set of 8 and more sessions are being facilitated by Bhargavi Davar for the senior and middle management staff (in English / Hindi); and another set of 8 and more sessions are being facilitated by Kavita Saju Nair for the supervisors and the field staff (in Hindi / Marathi).

For more details, contact

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Tel: 0091-20-26441989

Bhargavi Davar


Kavita Saju Nair