Darshan Mundada has long been committed to improving human rights and the human condition, especially among the disfranchised in his native country of India. As a teen, he founded a civil society that is dedicated to social welfare, community building and sustainable development.
That early work led to his selection as a Rotary World Peace Fellow and influenced his decision to pursue a graduate degree at UNC’s School of Social Work. As an MSW student, Mundada has embraced academic and professional opportunities, including internships abroad that have educated and trained him to tackle pervasive poverty issues back home.
Mundada is particularly interested in learning from agencies and programs that focus on empowering women through educational, financial and other social development services. In spring 2010, he received a $10,000 grant to develop a social business model that uses a triple bottom-line approach to rehabilitate and reintegrate former sex workers into mainstream society.
He has earned recognition for his commitment to social justice issues. Recently, the Institute for Sustainable Development selected him as one of its 2010 Sustainability Fellows. The Duke-UNC Rotary Center for International Studies also awarded him a certificate in peace and conflict resolution.
Since the start of his educational journey, Mundada has held tight to one goal: to return home to help those in need. Following graduation, he will do just that.
“I yearn to return to my motherland because I know that the combination of my heritage with my education gives me the strength to ‘be the change’ I want to see,” he says.