Young India Fellows 2013-2014

  • Farakh Abbas

    Farakh Abbas
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B.Tech in Electronics, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar

    Academically always outshining my competitors, district topper in the Xth and XIIth, I have an abiding love for drama and am the founder of the KASH theatre group (KuchAdhureSapneHumare). In collaboration with the government of Odisha, KASH has launched many drives in the state, such as ‘NO PLASTIC’, ‘ANTI DRUGS’ and ‘SAVE THE GIRL CHILD’, and presented many stage acts and street plays in the major cities of India.

    Acting from the age of four, I have had the privilege of performing infront of the Prime Minister of India,Dr.Manmohan Singh, and have received the Royal Coin of Coronation from the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Hon. JigmeThinley for directing a Buddhist play. I'm a Green Crew Member for the British Council and like to make short films on social and climate awareness; I have been awarded for a few of them.

    I Believe That: When a drop of rain falls into a pond, it loses its identity. But when the same drop falls over a petal of a lotus, it shines like a pearl. I believe that one should always choose the right place to shine upon. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to learn and grow. I am also seeking visibility and appreciation for my work, which will fundamentally impact my organisation and make my country proud.

  • Tanita Abraham

    Tanita Abraham
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. A. from Christ College, Bangalore
    Post-Graduation: Diploma in Print Journalism from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai

    Being a nomad is second nature when you come from a family that loves to explore places and is always moving around. It also helps when they are voracious readers and books are constant companions through every journey.

    It was while completing my Junior College from St. Xaviers’, Bombay,that my interest in social issues and NGOs was developed and my understanding of the field increased. I was also introduced to and mesmerized by the world of music and all it had to offer after I joined the Christ College Choir in Bangalore while pursuing my undergraduate studies. Performing with the choir taught me discipline as well as team-work, since I was working in a team of 110 members to produce one unified result – and all this after having given up years of precious lunch breaks.
    Determined to see through a dream that started while I was very young, I joined the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, and subsequently became a Sub-Editor with The Hindu in Hyderabad.

    I Believe That: I believe each of us has multiple skill sets and passions that must be honed to produce the best results - not just for ourselves, but for the world around us.

  • Sarah Afraz

    Sarah Afraz
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B.E. in Biotechnology from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore

    Having been brought up on a diet of the culture and people of various places in India, my love for the complex labyrinth that is our country has only grown by leaps and bounds. While my course of study was always fascinating, interests outside academia, such as being the Chief Editor of the college magazine and Captain of the Badminton team, helped me understand a lot about myself.

    Of all the activities that I took part in, it was my engagement with the children I taught on weekends that really stuck with me. Joining Teach for India as a Fellow in 2011 was a natural progression of the desire to be a cog in this wheel of change and work towards a more equitable society. With a deeper interaction with the under-privileged of our country, I have come to the YIF to understand society, its context and implications, and for help in defining my role in it.

    I Believe That: “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
    - Eric Hoffer

  • Aditi Agrawal

    Aditi Agrawal
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Graduate Diploma Programme in Design from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

    I graduated from National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad as a furniture designer. I love working with my hands, and giving ideas a physical form has always been an immensely satisfying and meditative process for me. This has led me to execute various design projects like public space furniture, a sensory playground for special children and even the learning of Hebrew typography. I also went to study a semester at the design department of Holon Institute of Design, Israel.

    In school, I was ‘Artist of the Year’ for many consecutive years and won the Times of India Painting contest in which 10,000 children from all over Delhi participated. Later on, I was awarded the iF Concept Design Award 2013 for designing a sensory playground for children with special needs. I also won second prize at the Bosch-NID India Changers Award 2012 for designing ‘Nutshell’, a ferrocement bench for public spaces. My work has been exhibited in the furniture category at India Design (ID) 2013 as part of the Park Elle Decor student showcase.

    I have always loved to travel and explore my natural and historical surrounding in the quest for inspiration.The years at NID helped me appreciate various perceptions and celebrate the diversity and differences in our country. Contrary to popular belief, I feel that there is immense scope for design in India. There are so many issues and opportunities in the field that need to be addressed with sensitivity and I would like to concentrate my energies in that direction. I want to utilise my year at the YIF to interact with people from varied domains and collaborate design with other fields to widen its scope and effect.

    I Believe That: I agree with Swami Vivekananda when he says – ‘Man is the maker of his destiny’. This idea drives me to choose and chart my own path. These wanderings give me the opportunity to delve and explore, struggle hard, and finally head towards my destination.

  • Shahzaib Ahmed

    Shahzaib Ahmed
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Economics from The Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University

    I have had the unique opportunities to work with the Ministry of Power on World Bank funded projects and the European electricity exchange markets, on which I prepared detailed reports. I worked with the Commonwealth Games knowledge centre (a sports kpo) as a research analyst, where my team prepared a white paper on the impact of the CWG on various sectors of the economy. I have also had the privilege to head the team for the production and launch of the world’s first coffee table book on Women’s Cricket.At the same time, I have been working with the Youth Congress on strategy management and have got the chance to work closely with prominent congressmen like Mr. Rahul Gandhi and Mr.Jyotiraditya Scindia.

    In college,I served as the Vice President of the Students' Union,was a senior executive member of the Economics society and the joint Head of the Corporate Communications Cell.  During college I have written papers on the impact of CNG in the NCR and also did a detailed comparative analysis of the healthcare sectors of India, the EU and the USA.

    I love travelling, especially by road, and have a keen interest in photography and collecting stamps. I like to teach kids and have done that in college and later on through NGOs. My aim in life is to first be a good human being and a responsible citizen, and as a career path,I want to join the civil services.I strongly feel that we have the resources to make huge improvements in all sectors, but the management is poor.I am really excited to be a part of the YIF and look forward to learning a lot from all the Fellows and faculty.

    I Believe That: I strongly believe that imagination is the preview toour future and with that mantra I would like to put in all my efforts so that we can create and rediscover our evolution as a nation in the fast-changing global scenario.

  • Pavan Ananth

    Pavan Ananth
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B.E. in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering with specialisation in Business, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

    I moved to Singapore when I was 16 and was awarded the Singapore Airlines scholarship to fund my entire education and all expenses for the four years of study. I completed a summer exchange programme in Paris, designing computer games and worked at P&G, Singapore for two years as the Project Manager responsible for launching new initiatives for Olay across Asia. I led the launch of six new product line-ups in Asia, spanning across nine countries and earning revenue of $100 million. Despite this good track record, I quit my job in December 2012 to travel for six months in South Asia.

    My life's defining experiences have been through travelling and exploring unique cultures and peoples around the world. Some of my biggest passions in life are mountain climbing, scuba diving and paragliding. I am most proud of climbing a 6200m peak in the Himalayas and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and am on a quest to climb the Seven Summits. I have learnt through my travels through numerous acts of warmth and kindness from strangers that in general, most people are good. It’s been life altering, to say the least, and has provided me with many new perspectives.

    I Believe That: My favourite quote is from the movie Gladiator, and one I firmly believe in: "What we do in life, echoes in eternity."

  • Amulya B

    Amulya B
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Degree and Institution: B. A. in Psychology, Journalism and English Literature from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore.

    As quiet person by nature, it has always been a challenge for me to make my presence known in a room full of people. Hence, my comfort with creative pursuits, where my imagination knew no bounds. I lived in the stories I wrote and the poems I penned. Theatre, Music, contemporary dance, writing made me connect with the world in my own unique way. I wrote my first play when I was 12, I won the Sheetal Memorial Award for Best Outgoing Student in school and also won a state-level ‘Best Actress’ prize when I was only eight years old.

    In college, I embraced English Literature while being the secretary of Kannada Association, and tried my best in making sure the languages and the culture associated with them co-exist harmoniously, in an atmosphere where speaking in Kannada is looked down upon. I also took up street photography, which made me appreciate things that are considered mundane and trivial. I stood 2nd in the national level Photography Competition in IIT-Bombay, ‘Framed’, during their annual festival, Mood Indigo-2011.The contest was judged by ace photographer Ritam Bannerjee. Around the same time, a short story I had written won Christ University’s annual state-level short story competition in Kannada and was published along with four other prize-winning stories.

    I worked at International Business Times, covering stories on US Education for their website, University Daily News. I also assisted a filmmaker in making documentary films for the Karnataka Agriculture Department on Israeli Agro-technologies.

    I love doing translations from Kannada to English and vice-versa and someday wish to introduce literary masterpieces of Kannada to international English-speaking audience.

    I Believe That: Theatre and Literature are conduits for a person to explore every hue of emotion with an intensity that cannot be found anywhere else. Ever since I can remember, I have been passionate about these two areas and have seen how they affect the soul and help a person lead a complete life. I recently attended a workshop at Ninasam, Heggodu, one of the premiere institutes for theatre in India and heard someone say, “Theatre is the only place where you can live so many lives through the roles you play, but at the end of the day still possess the luxury of coming back to yours.” Hence, I strongly believe that if today’s world needs anything, it is empathy. And it can only be instilled through the incorporation of literature and theatre into our mainstream material-oriented education. I hope to someday contribute something in this direction.

  • Taniya Bajaj

    Taniya Bajaj
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University

    As a child I watched my mother, a doctor, get up in the middle of the night and rush to the hospital for an emergency and my father, a civil servant, travel to rural India to try and address developmental issues. My parents instilled in me qualities of humility, sincerity and dedication from an early age.

    I had changed five schools by the age of 12, a few in remote districts, and one in London. At the age of 14, I obtained the Diplome de Langue Francaise Niveau B2, a diploma for fluency in French, from the Alliance Francaise. I got extensively involved in social work in school, teaching the underprivileged children in our parallel school. I continued teaching the underprivileged at an NGO during college, which gave me a real sense of accomplishment. I also headed the Economics Club, aimed to encourage learning beyond the classroom.

    With a keen interest in Public Policy, I hope to be a young leader and play an integral part in the reform process of our country.

    I Believe That: I sincerely believe that actions are more important than intentions. As a character in the film Batman says, “It’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.”

  • Dimple Bangalore

    Dimple Bangalore
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. B. M. with specialisation in Human Resource, Centre for Management Studies, Jain University, Bangalore

    I served as the President of the Commerce Forum, SBMJC (2009-10) and social lead of Yuva Ignited Minds, a Bangalore based social organisation (2011-12). In Yuva Ignited Minds we conducted a campaign called 'No Litter By Me' in which we inspired 50,000 school children not to litter. Ideating and heading this campaign as the social lead put me through a series of leadership tests. This experience was liberating because I felt resonance at the end of every test.

    Being a part of clubs like Power Club and Toastmasters International, improved my communication and mentoring skills. I am thankful for all these organisations as they provided me a unique set of experiences that helped me shape my personality.

    "If everything seems under control, you are not going fast enough."

    This maxim is indeed the motivation behind all my actions and keeps me on my toes. If at anytime my life seems perfectly under control or very comfortable, I tell myself that it’s time to keep things rolling. I believe in constantly trying new things, being better at those new things and constantly pushing my limits so that every day I value myself more than I did the previous day.

    And I also think the most important thing in life is to be there for the people around you, be there for your country and at the same time be there for yourself.

    I Believe That: I AM my own PASSION!

  • Tanvi Barge

    Tanvi Barge
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Information Technology from Annasaheb Dange College of Engineering & Technology, Sangli, Maharashtra
    Post-Graduation: M. A. in Media and Cultural Studies from TISS, Mumbai

    For better understanding of myself and others around me, I switched tracks in my education and moved towards the Arts. After studying IT, I applied for a post graduation from TISS, Mumbai. I have worked on projects like the M-ward (led by TISS), National Rural Livelihoods Mission (Government of India) and played the role of media practitioner, column writer and photographer.

    My major achievement is my participation in UNESCO’s First Mobile Learning Symposium held in Paris, France in 2011. Through this symposium I got an opportunity to lead, share my experiences of the Indian education system and give inputs for the future of mobile learning education. It was a great honour to represent India and put my country’s issues and achievements on a global platform. It also helped me understand the role of the UN’s millennium development goals in crucial areas like education, gender, technology, corporate networking, etc.

    My first documentary film, ‘Ek Akhari Panaah-One last refugee’, based on remembering the 1992 riots in Mumbai,was telecast by NDTV 24*7. Shooting the documentary was an amazing experience. Also, when I started working with minority groups, especially women and young girls in ‘Mumbra’ (a place in Mumbai), I got very involved in portraying social injustice.

    I Believe That: My favourite quote for life is, “Everyday is a new challenge that brings new opportunity which leads new experience.”So, by taking advantage of being alive I want to fulfil my goals in life and contribute my knowledge for social causes.

  • Percy Bharucha

    Percy Bharucha
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. B. A. in Marketing from BKMIBA-HLBBA
    Post-Graduation: Masters in Management Communications from the Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA)

    Born with an itch to sell, I won a Gold Medal while doing my BBA and then I further pursued a Masters in Management Communications. I served my brief stint in the corporate world as a copywriter, an assistant director and an account planner with Leo Burnett & Rediffusion Y&R, working on the latter’s key clients. Some of these including Tata, IOCL, Sahara, etc., which won me and my agency a much coveted Silver Effie. So far I’ ve been awarded the Governor’s Medal and was appointed as a Speaker Attache for AdAsia 2011.

    I’ve been instrumental in setting up and marketing an Intellectual /Activity Lounge called Detour in Ahmedabad, and was able to successfully launch MICA’s first national level theatre festival, ‘It’s All Greek to Me’, which became another first for a management college.

    I Believe That: Richard Feynman once said, “I was born knowing nothing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.” The pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, to be free to follow that search to wherever it may lead, an environment where the integrity of our work is unquestioned – that is what I strive for.

  • Tanuj Bhojwani

    Tanuj Bhojwani
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay

    I have been active in my University's technical activities and was a part of the team that represented IIT Bombay at ROBOCON 2008. I was also a Manager at Techfest 2010, where I conducted robotic competitions across four countries, among other things.

    I have worked in Opera Solutions, a Management Consulting and Analytics firm, where I helped Fortune 500 companies optimise their procurement spend. In 2012, I started Apeirogon Ventures, a start-up focussed on getting big-data technology to the education sector. Apeirogon was eventually incubated in TLabs, the accelerator run by the Times Group of Companies.

    I like literature, programming, playing board games and solving cryptic crosswords.

    I Believe That: “Memento Mori.” This simple Latin phrase translates roughly to ‘Remember, you are mortal’. While these may seem like morose words to live by, they do put everything else into perspective. This phrase reminds me to not brood over what is done, not tobe upset by loss or failure, and to cherish precious moments of happiness. It reminds me to take risks and minimise regrets. We have no control in the matter of our death, but we do get to choose the kind of life we live, hence we must choose wisely.

  • Karan Bhola

    Karan Bhola
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Economics from Loyola College, Chennai

    Life thus far has been an experiential learning process for me. The first 18 years of my existence taught me how to observe, learn, adapt and embrace change – owing to the Army environment I was raised in.

    I am a proud alumnus of Mount Saint Mary’s School, Delhi Cantt.,an institution that reinstated the values I was brought up with and also honoured me with the coveted leadership position of Head Boy.

    Subsequently, I moved to Chennai, where I studied Economics at Loyola College. I was awarded a Gold Medal for academic excellence in my first year. My extra-curricular involvement was in community service (through the Enviro Club and the Jesuit Outreach Mission) and AIESEC. The latter was the best possible simulation of the real world that any 19 year-old could get and gain a competitive advantage from, through a value-driven leadership experience. I handled Corporate Relations for AIESEC Chennai in 2010, as a member of the leadership body. My long-term desire to be involved with theatre was realised when I got a minor role in ‘Rent – The Musical’, a play about young impoverished artists shadowed by AIDS, in 2011.

    My stint with Deutsche Bank as a fresher gave me an insight into the Private Banking and Wealth Management business. My contribution through sales, an area I am passionate about, was recognised and I was inducted into the DB Private Banking Club of Honour in 2012.

    I enjoy stretching my vocal cords, innovating upon my culinary skills, capturing whatever I see around me through my camera, and travelling.

    I Believe That: I firmly believe that there is no substitute for hard work. At 22, I wish to further hone my attributes, gather new perspectives and build on my own - which would make me the entrepreneur and change agent I look forward to being - through the YIF.

  • Surbhi Borar

    Surbhi Borar
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. (Honours) in Statistics from St. Xaviers’ College, Mumbai

    I am a perfectionist who believes in perseverance and consistency. I strive hard to work with distinction in any task I undertake. I have consistently achieved excellence in academics, have been selected to represent my college in a conference on “Technology and Social (In)Justice” at Harvard University and have held various positions of responsibility through school and college. I was also an Organiser of the Finance Department for Malhar, an inter-collegiate competition hosted by St.Xaviers’.

    My passion for creating an effective education system in India was kindled during my stint as a volunteer with NGOs like TFI and Akanksha, where I initiated a Science Module for secondary classes. However, one of the most enlightening experiences has been working closely with juvenile delinquents at the Juvenile Delinquents Home in Mumbai. It sensitised me towards the need for better living conditions and educational facilities for minors in the government’s custody.

    At YIF, I will have the privilege to interact with a highly motivated group of peers and mentors, who will inspire me to explore and learn better; and the better I learn, the better will I be able to help society.

    I Believe That: In words of Bill Watterson, “It’s a magical world, let’s go exploring!”

  • Kruti Brahmbhatt

    Kruti Brahmbhatt
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: B. A. and M. A. in Economics from Gujarat University

    I always dreamt of seeing the world and went to the US at the age of 19 to pursue an ‘Associates in Arts' degree from St. Louis Community College, Missouri, USA. While there, I started my entrepreneurial journey and was chosen as one of the four girls from the University to participate in the leadership programme by the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life. After returning to India, I worked with Zydus Cadila for a year in the field of corporate communications.

    Teaching underprivileged children in India and in the US have been some of the most enriching experiences for me as they helped me define and drew me closer to what I consider valuable in life. A student for life, I am fond of most forms of arts, travelling and adventure sports. I am interested in writing stories about people living in between different homes around the world. I believe the beauty of living in multiple places is that one’s worldview is forced to enlarge. For me, it is important to write about both sides of a story and not only the one which is more dominant in the eyes of the world.

    I Believe That: My favourite quote is from T. S. Eliot, who said: "We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time."

  • Sudarshana Chanda

    Sudarshana Chanda
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in History from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University

    My love for history and literature can be traced to summer afternoons spent listening to my grandfather as he regaled me with lost tales of valour and glory. I still feel a strong desire to explore, a desire that began with childhood fantasies of being Hercule Poirot’s assistant.

    Growing up, I was exposed to various forms of art, culture and thought processes that a city like Kolkata, my hometown, is well known for. As a foodie, I unabashedly tried to convince my professor that I should do a paper on Mughlai food, complete with a smattering of reviews of various dishes. I have a deep love for music and cinema. Having earned a junior diploma with distinction in Rabindra sangeet, it was my desire to learn the piano that encouraged me to work. This catapulted me into achieving financial independence while I was still in college. A self-confessed cinephile, I headed Projekt, the Film and Photography Society at my college, often forgetting my morning paper in the midst of a glorious late night movie.

    I’ve interned with Times Response, as a student mentor with Roads Pvt. Ltd., and worked as an applications consultant with Collegify. Besides assisting illustrator Tapas Guha, I’m engaged as a research assistant with journalist Paranjoy GuhaThakurta for a book on freedom of expression on the internet. I’ve also done reporting stints for the children’s literature festival, Bookaroo, and for the British Council.

    I was awarded the Amba Dalmia Prize for ‘Creative Talent and Commitment to College’ and the Faculty Prize for ‘All-round Excellence’. The Department of History also deemed it fit to present me with a letter of distinction for academic excellence. However, the appreciation and acknowledgement from my peers and professors have been a greater source of inspiration.

    I Believe That: “Fantasy is simply a reality we are not in touch with.”

  • Devleena Chatterji

    Devleena Chatterji
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University
    Post-Graduation: M. A. in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University

    “Dare to dream and always dare a bigger dream” are the words I constantly live by, challenging myself to always achieve more. I did my schooling mostly from Nagpur and it wasn’t a small feat to convince my folks to let me pursue Humanities from Delhi University, having pursued Commerce in class XII. Today, I proudly display my postgraduate degree in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics.

    Coming from a non-resident Bengali family which held Bengali culture dear, I was trained in Hindustani Classical Music almost from the time I could sit up and talk. Throughout school and college, I participated in various singing competitions (group and solo) and won many national events. An avid reader, writing poetry and small articles has been my hobby and I was the editor of our Departmental Magazine and Social Service Society Magazine. My internship with Times of India also helped me publish a few articles in one of the foremost publications in the country. I also delved into acting and directing while making a short movie titled, “Raju Ban Gaya Sociologist” which highlighted the quirks of my subject, its people and the Sociology Department in DSE.

    Having interned with Samhita Social Ventures, I developed an interest in Social Entrepreneurship along with my passion for academics.

    I Believe That: I have a strong desire to serve my country, and I believe that good education can do wonders to change the scenario of our country. Thus, I hope to eventually work with ‘education’ to help mold responsible and well-informed citizens for a better India. I hope that my year in YIFP fuels my passion and helps me build a better future for myself and my country.

  • Piuli Roy Chowdhury

    Piuli Roy Chowdhury
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

    I am a graduate in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. My curricular and co-curricular engagements during this period introduced me to the challenges of public policy-making, which is of utmost importance in our tumultuous world today. Besides gaining a preliminary theoretical backdrop by virtue of studying subjects like Growth and Development, I found an opportunity to express my ideas at forums like the National Conference on ‘Twenty Years of Economic Reforms and Inclusive Growth’ (2012) at Tiruchirappalli.

    Moreover, my experiences with volunteering at three different NGOs, which include Raphael- a school for mentally and physically challenged children in Dehradun, SevaSadan Society Girls’ High School, Mumbai and Akanksha Foundation, Mumbai, have sensitised me to the hardships of the vulnerable sections of society.  I have cleared the Bronze level under the International Award for Young People (IAYP) and have also trained as a Bharatanatyam dancer.

    With this background, I believe that the Young India Fellowship Programme is the next logical step in the greater scheme of things. Such an all-rounded programme will help broaden my perspectives, which have been previously streamlined because of circumstances.

    I Believe That: Let us, then, be up and doing,
    With a heart for any fate;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
    Learn to labor and to wait.
    -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Sourya D

    Sourya D
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Journalism Honours from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University

    “You may write me down in history / with your bitter sweet lies / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still like dust, I'll rise”
    - Maya Angelou

    Three years at Lady Shri Ram College for Women made me live these lines as a woman, a dreamer, a debater, a journalist and everything else I dared to be. My exposure to societal issues as the President of the Student Union and the Secretary of the Interact Club in schoolled me to pursue Journalism Honours for my undergrad. Journalism took me to the grassroots of the real world and gave me numerous leadership opportunities, such as being the Associate Editor ofthe annual magazine and the placement coordinator. But that one thing that truly shaped me by challenging me to think, analyse and question objectively is debating. I've been the Tournament Director of the LSR debating society and have won the Best Adjudicator award at numerous national debating tournaments.

    College also kindled my passion for issues related to women's rights. I've worked with the Human Rights Law Network and the Becoming I Foundation on issues ranging from education to reproductive rights and healthcare. I'm currently independently sculpting a gender sensitisation project for low income communities and a legal awareness project for women, aimed at bridging the gap between policy and people.

    I Believe That: Change is possible if you choose to get up from your arm chair of activism. And one day, I dream to speak at these debates of change in a courtroom.

  • Saswati Das

    Saswati Das
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Architecture from TVB School of Habitat Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University; Sangeet Visharad / Bachelor of Music (Hindustani Classical Vocal) from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya

    The things I care about deeply are reflected in the subjects that I chose to qualify in. I am a qualified Hindustani Classical vocalist and completed graduation in Music at the age of 18, a degree from the prestigious university held by very people at that age. I then graduated as an architect from TVB School of Habitat Studies.

    Post my graduation in architecture, I went on a solo back-packing trip to Europe. While at times it was daunting to go it alone, it was also incredibly freeing and sensitising experience. I believe that all these varied activities have opened my mind to diverse values, mores and expressions.

    I have worked at a small creative design firm, Axiom India, in collaboration with INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage), Delhi Chapter. I have worked on urban redevelopment and renewal plans for various parts of Delhi, as part of a proposed serial nomination of Delhi as a UNESCO World Heritage City.

    I Believe That: Learning from diverse fields helps in re-appropriating our lost cultural space, which then allows a sense of informed and true freedom. This is a sentiment I have tried to portray in the lines below.

    She gives freedom.
    She arouses desire.
    The cage of realities suddenly comes alive.
    There is hope,
    And a desire for beauty is raging.
    Dreams come flashing as the world remains silent.

    O Mountain Girl!
    When shall I be, what you always are?

  • Monisha Dhingra

    Monisha Dhingra
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in Psychology from Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi

    Happiness and actualisation, I believe, lie in an empathetic understanding of the world, and in acceptance of the self and the other. At the root of this overarching empathy lies the concept of knowledge. True knowledge, I think, lies in stepping out of the comfort of one's pre-conceived notions and experiencing the world in a phenomenological manner. For this one needs to constantly question what one knows and seek out what one does not know and ultimately accept what is as what it is.

    For the past three years, I have immersed myself in the study of Psychology. Neurotic as it may be, for me the world is one big laboratory for analysis, interpretation and application. However, I believe that to grasp "reality" as accurately as possible, one needs to develop an eclectic perspective. Because if the self becomes the centre, the other becomes a subset of the ‘I’ and the reality becomes a function of the resultant gravity. As a result of this understanding, I have  constantly tried to "step out", to "find out" and "to discover". I am an avid reader, a learning debater, a dancer,an occasional writer and a constant thinker. I have always tried to catch the tide and learn from every passing opportunity.

    I Believe That: The Young Indian fellowship for me is a dream programme designed to promote exploration. I see myself as a researcher, no matter whether a professional one or not, and I believe that YIF would help me further develop a researcher's temperament.

  • Onaiza Drabu

    Onaiza Drabu
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Business Studies from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, U.P.

    For as long as I can remember, I wanted to do everything I possibly could; learn Persian, be a painter, write a novel and, of course, become the CEO of World Bank someday.

    As a 22 year old, having graduated with a Finance major in Business from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and got a secure admission as a Young Leader at the Indian School of Business, I started working at McKinsey&Co., and my life’s path seemed set. That was before I was introduced to the YIF. Now, I realise that I need to get back to doing something I could potentially enjoy for a living.

    Over the years, I have discovered that I have the versatility and an inborn need to do a variety of things and each one of my experiences has taught me something new. I’ve been a member of every Editorial Board I could connect with and the Chief Editor for two of them. I’ve interned with a newspaper and two banks during my years in college.  At a student-run magazine, I headed the marketing team; at an entrepreneurial start-up, I was a content associate. As part of the core team of ‘Synergy’ – a society in college -I helped conceptualise and organise what was possibly Delhi University’s grandest business event. To give free reign to my imagination, I paint; to express myself, I write. Sometimes I click photographs as well. I am an enthusiast and through the Young India Fellowship, I seek to satisfy my urge develop a little more into the person I want to be.

    I Believe That: In the poet Iqbal’s words, “Nahinteranasheman ,qasr-e-sultanikigumbad par,Tushaheenhai, baserakar, pahadonkichattanon par.” (You don’t have to make your nest on the dome of Queen’s palace, Oh Eagle, you are royal, choose to reside on the peaks of mountains.)

  • Chahal Garg

    Chahal Garg
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Degree in Product Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi

    I have worked as a researcher and product designer for Jindal Architecture Ltd., as well as a Chinese tele-communication devices firm. I find myself being inspired by the complexity of India, where local improvisations sometimes lead to national success stories. Always interested in the subject, I pursued a Masters in Strategic Design from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, to hone an approach which would allow me to see design possibilities all around me. I worked in Europe on projects ranging from brand strategy for Barilla, to experience design and territorial branding for the European Capital of Culture (ECOC), developing a broad and sensitive outlook,in keeping with the challenges of our times.

    Returning to India, I started volunteering to encourage youth entrepreneurship among the underprivileged and co-founded a start-up. My main contribution to the start-up was the dissemination of craft skills to women at risk in order to build a model of sustainable livelihood. Besides my involvement with this venture, I write for fashion and lifestyle on the web and hold a graduate diploma in the Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam.

    I have been declared a Tata Scholar by the J.N Tata Foundation and recently won the nationwide ‘Young Designer Hunt’ organised by the ministry of Textiles.

    Now, I am embarking on a journey to create a new space for collective action, one where many people can come together in the liberating experience of creating and sharing.

    I Believe That: A thorough optimist, I believe in fables, free-thinking and collective creativity.

  • Anil K George

    Anil K George
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B.Tech in IT from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore

    An Information Technology graduate by degree, a Senior Business Analyst by profession, a sports enthusiast by passion, a deep thinker, debater and a dreamer by nature; that should sum me up.

    At school, I was elected as the School Pupil Leader and Football team Captain of Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, Chennai and in college, as the Chairman of the prestigious English Literary Society among other things. I served as the Chief Editor of the F3GetLoaded team in IQube – 2011, an International Techno Management Fest conducted by the Information Technology Association.

    As an intern at eBay, I started a debating club – ‘War of Words’. While working at Mu Sigma in Bangalore, I received the prestigious ‘High Impact Award’ and presented organisation-wide talks on the diverse projects that I led, projects that helped me truly appreciate the power of data. Apart from being nominated as the ‘Trainer of the month’ at the Mu Sigma University and mentoring fresh recruits, I also helped win numerous trophies for the Mu Sigma Football team (the Malayali in me just had to ‘kick’ in).

    In 2011, I brought my passion in Ultimate Frisbee to Coimbatore from the beaches of Chennai. My team, ‘DisCreed’, now stands 11th among 26 teams on the national circuit. I was voted and honoured with the ‘Most Spirited Player’ award by Saina Nehwal at the Bangalore Ultimate Open 2013. I have also served as an Ultimate coach and volunteer at Pudiyador, an NGO working for the education of underprivileged children..

    I also trained for a short period in Mixed Martial Arts and I love to dance.

    I Believe That: “If you want something you’ve never had before, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done before.”

    The time has come in my life for me to dream bigger;to dream of a nation that understands the contemporary issues it faces, a nation that can provide high quality education to all its people, an empowered nation whose people are collectively mature enough to make the best of a democracy. It is time to work towards creating my dream India.

  • Deepika Ghosh

    Deepika Ghosh
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in Economics from Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi

    My love for Economics goes a long way back - I was awarded a C.B.S.E. merit certificate in Economics in 2010, and I earned myself a gold medal in college for my performance in the University of Delhi exams in 2011.During my time in college, I interned at BILT in Finance (Treasury) and at Accenture Management Consulting in Capability Development. I was also selected for the Gandhi Fellowship and the Teach for India Fellowship, as well as two other jobs in consulting.

    In addition to my academic and professional achievements, I have cleared the third level of examinations in Hindustani classical music with distinction. However, in my pursuit of enriching experiences, and on the advice of a wise, much-loved teacher, “Never underestimate the value of scholarship”, I decided to take up the Young India Fellowship.

    I Believe That: The poem ‘Auspex’ by Robert Frost has become my principle to live by – Once in a California Sierra I was swooped down upon when I was small, and measured, but not taken after all, by a great eagle bird in all its terror. Such auspices are very hard to read. My parents when I ran to them averred I was rejected by the royal bird as one who would not make a Ganymede. Not find a barkeep unto Jove in me? I have remained resentful to this day when any but myself presumed to say that there was anything I couldn't be.

  • Vagisha Goel

    Vagisha Goel
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Information Technology from Delhi College of Engineering

    After graduating as an engineer in 2011, I worked at Goldman Sachs, Bengaluru for about two years. One gets to learn a lot from one’s first job.  In my case, I got inspired to do something completely different from what I had been doing. From working as an Analyst Developer, I am dreaming about becoming a Social Entrepreneur. The “10000 Women Initiative” of Goldman Sachs, aimed at empowering women, acted as a catalyst for me to envision starting my own self-sustainable NGO. I wish to provide a platform to budding entrepreneurs in the country, especially women from the lower middle class, who have the ideas and enthusiasm but lack resources and guidance. I have worked in technology, but I need to make myself capable of much more before I can be of any help to others. I am hoping that the Young India Fellowship will play an important part in my being able to achieve this growth and equip me with the necessary skills.

    I believe that the best form of learning is through experience, whether through an internship, a project, a course or even a conversation. While in Goldman Sachs, a two-month long training programme in New York exposed me to the thought processes of my colleagues from different countries and helped me create a global network. I was a summer research intern at IIT Delhi and a winter intern at National Informatics Centre (NIC) in New Delhi. At Bengaluru, I worked with an NGO called  BalUtsav, which attempts to educate non-school going children and I saw first-hand how NGOs function and how they can make a difference.

    I am a foodie who likes exploring new cafes. I am a theatre aficionado and a lover of adventure sports like rock climbing, trekking and sky diving. I have attended a two-week course in Basic Mountaineering at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi. I also love to travel and explore new places. At the YIF, I look forward to learning not only from the excellent teachers and mentors, but also from other Fellows.

    I Believe That: Education ends in college but learning continues throughout life....

  • Eva Gupta

    Eva Gupta
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Electronics & Communication from Institute of Technology and Management, Gurgaon

    My school days at DPS Vasant Kunj were responsible for igniting an insatiable curiosity in me and the desire to try all that life had to offer. What followed were a few years where I got involved in many fields. Of all the issues I engaged with, what actually touched a nerve was the problem of global warming.

    In the interests of a sustainable future, I worked on a project on rain-water harvesting (funded by and awarded the Volvo Young Environmentalists award by the International UN Environment Programme). I also started, and whole-heartedly pursued over the three years in college, an NGO called YUKTI, which organised special festivals for underprivileged children, blood donation camps, and clothes donation drives.

    Whether it was learning taekwondo, or competing across 10 gruelling rounds to win the Lead ITM competition (similar to LEAD INDIA), my individuality and uncompromising nature have always been my driving force.

    After completing my engineering in ECE from ITM Gurgaon, I worked with Ericsson for three years, where I initiated Project Akshar (related to recycling paper) and also helped start the my cultural committee in my department.

    Besides all this, I am also passionate about music, sketching  and reading, and at the YIF I wish to expand this list even further.

    I Believe That: Life is short and opportunities are rare. We have to be vigilant in protecting them; not only the opportunity to succeed, but the opportunity to laugh, to see the enchantment in the world and to live.

    In other words, as William Shakespeare said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men / Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune / Omitted, all the voyage of their life / Is bound in shallows and in miseries.”

    This year at YIF will mean all this for me. It will be the time to shine and see our dreams within reach —a time for us to become the people we’ve always dreamed of being!

  • Monica Hariharan

    Monica Hariharan
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Journalism and Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication
    Post-Graduation: M. A. in Media Management, with a specialisation in cause-related marketing, University of Westminster, London

    I have always wondered about what sets me apart from others. In the journey of the constant pursuit to find the answer, this is yet another escapade. Towards the end of my undergraduate studies in Journalism and Communication, I decided to study Media Management at the University of Westminster in London. In the free time I had between the two degrees, I spent a thoroughly satisfying and enriching couple of months working for an NGO in Delhi called Nyaybhoomi, trying to find loopholes in the functioning of the Transport Department and Municipal Corporation using the Right to Information Act as a tool.

    Being in London gave me a diverse range of new opportunities, ranging from playing for a local ladies cricket team, to attending regular public lectures outside of my course syllabus. I worked for Repucom, a sports sponsorship agency, in the Research and Consulting division with a range of clients. I also got the chance to listen to renowned speakers ranging from RamachandraGuha to Jeremy Hunt, Nicholas NassimTaleb to CallumMacrae speak on a host of interesting subjects. Through these talks I realised that while I enjoyed studying Media Management and saw opportunities for a promising career in the field, ironically, I found some of what these speakers were talking about more intellectually stimulating.

    I see YIF as a chance to explore new avenues, exchange ideas, broaden my own perspective and inculcate a further sensitivity to social issues and policy making procedures.

    I Believe That: Not all those who wander are lost, from what I hear.

  • Nikhil Jain

    Nikhil Jain
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Mechanical Engineering from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore

    "Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can see the beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."

    Since my school days, I was pretty good at studies and that fact carried me along on the tide of social convention to becoming an engineer. Although I am a mechanical engineer, I no longer handle gears and engines; instead, I now design them through software packages like ANSYS and CATIA. The little technical expertise I had led me to publish two technical papers, with a third one in the pipeline. “Optimisation of Venturi flow meter model for the angle of divergence with minimal pressure drop by CFD method” was my first paper, published in ICCOMIM, MSRIT, Bangalore. “Floating rotor disc braking system for commercial bikes” was my second paper, published at ACMFMS, IIT-D. Apart from these I have won several idea and design contests across south India.

    I am a football fan and a Formula One racing freak. Writing has always been an abiding interest, and it has kept me alive and thoughtful. I write a blog and practice Ambigrams.

    I Believe That: I believe that accidents are experiences and that they make us stronger and better. I believe that the YIF, through its learned faculty and exceptional students, will make me better equipped to step out into the world.

  • Sonal Jain

    Sonal Jain
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Media Studies with a specialisation in Audio-Visual Media from Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune

    I represented Indian youth at The Outsider Show hosted by Tim Sebastian on UTV Bloomberg, was a member of the First Indian Student Parliament in 2011, presented speeches before former Indian president,Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalamon multiple occasions and was a runner-up for the Swami Vivekanda Youth Leadership Award in 2009.

    I worked on two Volkswagen television commercials during my internship with Nomad Films, India in Mumbai. I was a marketing intern with Berkshire Insurance (Delhi) and also interned at the Human Resources &Corporate Social Responsibility cell at Taj Hotels & Palaces. I also did a year-long online internship at a start-up,Internshala, while managing my undergraduate studies.

    I worked on audio-visual projects for Xebec, an ad agency in Pune, and did a documentary for a campaign to save tigers by the magazine Sanctuary Asia. I also worked on a film for The Banyan, an NGO in Chennai which works for mentallyill women.

    A lover of literature, films, theatre and tennis, I say my biggest strengths have been my belief in action and the power of resilience.

    I Believe That: Being open to ideas, people and change are things I deem very important. I am easily interested and curiously lost.

  • Prachi Jha

    Prachi Jha
    Age: 26
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in English Literature and Social Psychology from Lewis & Clark College, Portland, U.S.A.

    While in college, I was put on the Dean’s Honour roll for academic excellence and was also elected as the English Department Representative to the Student Academic Affairs Board. I worked at Teach for India, Mumbai, both as a Fellow and a Programme Manager, an experience that left an indelible mark on me. I found myself getting increasingly involved in the issues of education in the country and served as a class teacher in a low-income government school for two years. I stayed on another year as a staff member, supervising and supporting a team of 17 teachers.

    I Believe That: “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
    -Max Erhmann, “Desiderata”

    This quote pretty much sums up my belief system.  The world we have inherited is hardly a pleasant place; there is greed, apathy and injustice in abundance. We can say that things will never change. We can say that our own contributions will be insignificant. Or we can, persistently and deliberately, create and seek out instances that fill us and those around us with hope, gratitude and love.  This is all I hope to do and accomplish in my lifetime.

  • Lavanya Julaniya

    Lavanya Julaniya
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in Political Science from Miranda House, University of Delhi

    I believe that man is born to break established truths and to find a purpose in life. For me, that purpose has been to become a change agent because when I look back, I realise that I have been happiest when working towards the creation of something new.

    I worked with Sanctuary Asia as coordinator for Kids for Tigers, motivating 20,000 children to become climate champions. I represented India at the British Council’s Global Changemakers Forum and was later invited to help organise the forum. Perhaps my proudest moment was when I addressed world leaders at Kofi Annan’s initiative - Global Humanitarian Forum for Climate Justice in Geneva in 2009; I was one of the four young climate witnesses to address the Forum.I also worked with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition and was a Speaker at People’s Summit, Toronto, which was civil society’s alternative to the G20 held in Toronto in June 2010.

    Pursuing my other interests, I represented India at the Canadian Science Writers’ Conference in Ottawa, Canada. I was also selected as a young explorer to represent India at Mike Horn’s Explorers Challenge in Switzerland. I am a State level gold medallist and was awarded as Sanskriti School’s best skater for two years running.

    In 2011, I launched Amaani, a non-profit initiative for underprivileged children that uses innovative methods to make learning a fun pastime. Through Amaani, I see the vast scope for improvement in our education sector, and also the need to attract more inspired people to help change the status quo.

    With YIF, I hope to equip myself with ideas, knowledge and skill sets to march towards new horizons.

    I Believe That: In Richard Bach’s words, “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world; the master calls a butterfly.” I believe in looking at each ending as a new beginning.

  • Sai Krishna K

    Sai Krishna K
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B. Com. from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore

    A fanatic Bangalorean, and ideal Tambrahm, I grew up in a large family, fed on a steady diet of stories, values, music, math and curd-rice! Bangalore’s weather, meeting people, history, mythology and politics are foremost among the things I am passionate about.

    I am a Chartered Accountant (ICAI) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (ACFE, USA). I have previously worked as Assistant Manager (Internal Audit) at Bharat Petroleum responsible for assessing, reporting and rectifying controls & compliance. During my tenure, I got to travel extensively, understand the oil Industry, and work on developing and studying policies and procedures.

    I was awarded the Bronze Standard of the International Award for Young People in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme when I was in school and was the winner of ‘Verbattle’, an all-India inter-collegiate debate competition. I also hosted the National Seminar on ‘Women Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy’.
    At YIF, I hope to bring my experiences to the table and am eager to gain new perspectives and guidance that will add meaning to my personal and professional pursuits.

    I Believe That: ‘Manadhil Urudhi Vendrum, (May you be determined in mind)
    Vaakkinile Inimay Vendrum,(May you be sweet in words)
    Ninaivu Nallathu Vendrum,  (May you be good in thoughts)
    Nerungina Porul Kai pada Vendrum’ (May you achieve all that you can)

    These words of the great Tamil poet Subramania Bharati have shaped my life. I believe we are the architects of our destiny – and how we get there is as important as how far we go. People are the greatest wealth accumulated during one’s life and it must be the endeavour of every educated, able bodied person to reach out to the disadvantaged around him.

  • Rashi Kakkar

    Rashi Kakkar
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Com. (Honours) from The Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University

    After getting my B.Com. degree, I worked as a strategy consulting analyst with Bain & Co. (BCC).

    Steve Jobs once said,"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
    I had heard these lines repeatedly but only in the summer of 2012 did I understand the meaning as I decided to follow my heart and enter the sports management industry in India - I joined Total Sports Asia.

    Having played junior competitive tennis, I knew what sports in India needed – professionals driven by passion with a commitment to change! The current state of Indian sports makes my heart bleed.

    I Believe That: There is a bleak light at the end of the tunnel, but to reach there we must become brave enough to walk through the darkness. I dream of getting Indian sports out of this darkness.

  • Smruthi Bala Kannan

    Smruthi Bala Kannan
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Integrated M. A. in English Studies from IIT, Madras

    As a 17 year-old kitchen-lover, I moved out of my suburban home in pursuit of poetry around five years ago. I have since received a post-graduate degree in English studies from IIT Madras.

    While I was earning my degree, I engaged with psychology, natyam, music, aesthetics and culture studies. I developed an interest in visual and material forms, ranging from typography to stone sculptures. A book of my poetry, titled Wind Sketching, was published in 2011 by Writer's Workshop, Kolkata.

    I can switch between Tamil, English and Sanskrit in a conversation. Having worked as a teacher and a translator, I feel strongly about some problems in the way languages are taught in schools today. I am pushing for a rethink in the way primary and secondary education work.

    In my spare time, I am adept at abusing Occam’s razor.

    I Believe That: As Arthur Kudner said in Science Quotes, we ought to “use small words the big way” to be truly effective.

  • Rupali Kapoor

    Rupali Kapoor
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in History from Hans Raj College, Delhi University

    Having lived in Africa, Saudi Arabia and India, I have been exposed to a variety of cultures and societies. And my study of History at the undergrad level has equipped me with a different perspective on the world around us; a true understanding of the past helps us gauge the present better.I believe that the present holds abundant opportunities for us and I have tried exploring diverse avenues, interacting with the world and its inhabitants, which has been an extremely valuable learning experience.

    My selection to the Student Executives at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya brought my leadership skills to the forefront. It was a fruitful experience, wherein I was involved in cultural and sports events, social awareness campaigns and administrative work. In college, I was ranked third in the University in my second year. I was also an active member of the History Society. My internship with McCann Erickson Social gave me an insight into the world of advertising and helped me understand the dynamics of the human mind. 

    I initiated a toy collection drive for Anganwadi children and this endeavour taught me how such welfare projects function. An internship with Centre for Environmental Education (a UNDP Funded Project) raised my interest in environmental issues. This encouraged me to work with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as one of their Campus Ambassadors for various campaigns, namely Nature Walks, Earth Hour and City for Forests.

    The fast-paced world of news reporting at CNN IBN engaged me with a multitude of social concerns from a different vantage point. I now hope to work in a manner that fruitfully combines research with pragmatic aspects of social development and hope that the YIF will provide me with an opportunity to engage with new disciplines and gain new experiences.

    I Believe That: I have a deep concern for human rights and Amnesty International gave me an opportunity to be one among hundreds of organisers around the world for an annual letter-writing marathon. The most valuable thing I learned from this event was that sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that have the most powerful impact.

  • Nirmal S Kartha

    Nirmal S Kartha
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Madras

    I secured a rank of 310 in the IIT-JEE exam of 2009 from an applicant pool of over 4 lakh students, an achievement that earned me some kudos. I was a member of Team Ubuntel, and one of 50 semi-finalists in the Oxford Global Entrepreneurship Challenge ’12.As a coordinator for Shaastra Nights, I facilitated the first 3D projection mapping show in South India by a Russian company, Gromilov. I was also part of the team that got inducted into The Limca Book of World Records under the record category, “Longest Line-Follower Bot”.

    I had once successfully figured out the meaning of life and existence in my head but, unfortunately, forgot the lessons I had learned and answers I had found when I woke up.

    If you’re reading this page, it’s probably a safe assumption that you are probably here for a little bit of inspiration or information about the kinds of students in this programme. Onwards then, I say. If I had to define myself, I would say I am a pensive thinker, functional drinker, divergent linker and occasionally, a compulsive winker.

    I Believe That: Life’s what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. So if there is one thing I would want to be at any given point in time, it would be: happy.

  • Pavneet Kaur

    Pavneet Kaur
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Computer Engineering from Pune Institute of Computer Technology

    Having completed my graduation, I worked with Amdocs, an MNC, as a Subject Matter Expert. Realising that it wasn’t my true calling, I quit my job when I was 21 and set out on a journey of self-discovery to figure out my moorings.

    During my college days, I taught at Niwant, an organisation for the visually challenged, and was the head of Friends for Care, an NGO that mobilises youth to take up social work.

    I won a scholarship from SPICMACAY to intern with Mazdoor Kisaan Shakti Sanghatan with Aruna Roy as my mentor. The one-month stay in Rajasthan in the village, the Jagriti Yatra and intense introspection finally made me connect the dots and understand what it was that I found worth doing.

    I started working as an Academic Head (Manager) of a tribal project in Bhartiya Jain Sanghtana, Wagholi.  Along with that, I also taught at Make a Difference, a platform that empowers youth to become change agents.

    I Believe That: I firmly believe that one should develop the courage to follow one's dreams and when the desire to achieve them is greater than the fear of failure, magic awaits.

  • Aafaque Raza Khan

    Aafaque Raza Khan
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech in Mechanical Engineer from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal

    As a child, I used to look up at the dark night sky with its bright stars and the idea of finding out more about the wonders that lay beyond the realm of our small blue planet captured my imagination. My involvement with space science began when I became a community educator to spread scientific awareness among young students and the masses.

    During my undergraduate studies, I backed my interest with a high level of research and development, and represented India at various international platforms in the Space community. I am the founder and team leader of the “Azad-1 Student Satellite Project” at MANIT, under which 40 undergraduate students are working on the design and development of a Nano-satellite; we aim to launch it by 2015.

    I was recognised as one of 12 young students/young professionals from across the globe and was awarded the International Astronautical Federations’ (IAF) Emerging Space Leaders Grant at the 63rd International Astronautical Congress ‘12 in Naples, Italy.

    In 2011, I was awarded by the United Nations’ Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) with the “Developing Countries Support Grant” and was given the opportunity to present my paper at the UN/IAF Workshop 2011 and IAC 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa.

    At present, I serve as a voluntary Executive Co-Secretary at the Space Generation Advisory Council, Vienna (SGAC), a UN NGO representing students and young professionals in the space community.

    I Believe That: There is no substitute for hard work in achieving your dreams and in the words of the great Albert Einstein, I try to become a man of values and not a man of success. I have come a long way in the pursuit of my dreams but there still is a lot of stru

  • Praveen Khanghta

    Praveen Khanghta
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: B.Tech in Industrial Engineering and Management from National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra

    I was the editor-in-chief of the Institute Magazine, worked as a student representative for external collaboration with industry and academia, and was a student rapporteur for the Indian Energy Congress. Academics got me interested in management and the quality dimensions of service. I won a gold medal for best research project on the performance assessment and improvement of higher education in India.

    I worked as a fellow for Teach for India for two years in Seelampur, North-East Delhi. In the second year of my fellowship, as part of a community project, I co-founded a school in partnership with a madrasa in the area and worked as a teacher/ school leader. I have also worked to identify micro-innovations in education and have tried to manage the community engagement of groups marginalised in education through vocational projects for various national and international organisations. I also work for an education-focused philanthropic fund and think-tank to increase accountability in our public education system.

    I Believe That: My reflections as a teacher led me to the conclusion that learning for life and having a broad-based education is vitally important. To explain what true education means to me, I’ll take a line from Tennyson’s Ulysses - “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

  • Kaustubh Khare

    Kaustubh Khare
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Architecture from IIT, Kharagpur

    A stroke of luck gifted me the last but one rank for me to get admitted to an IIT in 2008. So after being schooled in the pleasant climate of Bangalore, I moved to the hot, humid and quirky town of Kharagpur to pursue a Bachelors degree in Architecture.

    Along with the degree, I managed to collect a mixed bag of experiences. Nostalgic rangolis, surreal plays, embarrassing designs, strange documentaries, dramatic presentations and some inspiring friends were all part of the mix. Designing a memorial for the Indian Army at Shillong, along with internships in Germany and Sri Lanka added more colour to the rainbow my undergraduate years had become. As luck would have it, there was even a pot of gold at the end of it all. I won the Chandiramani Cup for the Best Outgoing Student, for my all-round performance in social and cultural activities.

    I Believe That: We need to move to move along the line of good faith and fate to get anywhere in life. This is the attitude with which I look forward to a year at the Young India Fellowship.

  • Farida J Kothari

    Farida J Kothari
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. in Psychology from Women’s Christian College, Chennai

    As a strong believer in the power of education, one of my long term goals is to help in the building of India's future educational infrastructure. On this basis, I began volunteering with CRY in a programme that focuses on the educational advancement of students belonging to economically weaker sections of society. I also worked with special needs children and am an active member of Young Indians (the youth branch of CII).

    I enjoy learning French and have recently received the Mary Ellen Stephenson Prize for securing the highest marks in French in my college. I was also one of the founding members of my college’s first French club, “Pirouette”.

    My cultural interests lie in the fields of debating, drama and oration. Though I have participated and been placed in several competitions, my biggest achievement was being awarded the First Place and Best Speaker awards at the Elihu Yale Inter Collegiate Debate 2011-12, held in association with FICCI and the Indo-American Association.

    I Believe That: The YIF is an opportunity to enrich my body of knowledge through experience, allowing me to discover myself and achieve my goals.

  • Rahat Kulshreshtha

    Rahat Kulshreshtha
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in Media Studies (TV Production) from University of Westminster, London

    The passion to create and innovate is the driving force behind my existence. I’m a filmmaker by profession, looking for new challenges to create purposeful content using new and innovative forms of filmmaking, and use this incredible medium to bring about positive change.

    The most significant part of my education has been at a boarding school, The Scindia School, Gwalior. While there, I threw myself into every experience that came my way and learnt from every opportunity. From participating in extracurricular activities like squash and horse riding, to debating and music, I also managed to hone my leadership skills. I led the NCC brass band during the Republic Day Parade in 2006 (one of my proudest moments) and was also the school captain. I helped the school debating team win the Gibson Memorial English Debate, an inter-school debate held at Mayo College, Ajmer. I was adjudged the best speaker in the finals.

    I was able to secure a fully residential scholarship at the University of Westminster, London, for a course in Film-Making. Apart from technical abilities, the course gave me the opportunity to explore myself and the possibilities within the creative space of film. Being in London was a huge learning in itself, simply through having to collaborate with individuals from all over the globe! I worked with an independent film production company, Warp Films, as a post-production manager and got the opportunity to work on six feature films in two years, some of them under the best minds in the British film industry. I won the 10th IDPA Award for Excellence in 2013 for my documentary ‘Give Me My Money’. ‘Shackles of Liberty’, another documentary on the controversial detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, was given recognition at the Golden Gate Film Festival, San Francisco.
    Today, I live and work in India as an independent filmmaker, making documentaries and music videos.

    I Believe That: I believe that my ability to confidently take on new challenges every day and the continuous effort to bring smiles to people’s faces are going to be the two factors that will help me create the change I wish to see in the world!

  • Anand Kumar

    Anand Kumar
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. in Agriculture from Benaras Hindu University

    Climate change brings a common platform where humanity talks with environment, industry talks with pollution, poverty talks with technology and the future talks with the past. Even though these words are mine, this was the belief that had been outlined in the Brundtland report under the title of “Our Common Future”. When we address environmental problems, it leaves us with the dilemma of where to begin. Do we solve the energy problems of the developing countries, agrarian crises of the least developed countries, or the political crises of the Middle Eastern countries?

    I was born in the fairly rural setting of Begusarai, Bihar. Throughout my childhood, I enjoyed the immense resources of the incredible Indo-Gangetic plain. But I never really thought about or understood the complexities that plague the farmers of Bihar on almost a daily basis. That was to come later, when I decided to study agriculture at Banaras Hindu University. Through the course of my studies, I began to feel that the shadowy nexus between businessmen and policymakers handicapped Indian agriculture and wasted precious natural resources. In those four years, I presented several papers at national and international seminars; one of them was on the “Cremation of Poverty”, a case study of the marginalised Dom caste of Eastern UP and Bihar. After graduating, I joined the team for natural resources management at TERI University, New Delhi. Here I got many chances to apply my previous knowledge and learn from experts. I started working on the restoration of India’s largest fresh water lake,Kanwar Lake. While at TERI, I got the 2nd prize for the best social entrepreneurship idea,which I presented under the title “Rural Internship”. I also represented and organised the institute in many sports teams at a university level for three consecutive years.

    I Believe That: Basic humanitarian values will ultimately rule over the cultureof the haves and have-nots, and people will move beyond discriminations.

  • Prabhat Kumar

    Prabhat Kumar
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Electrical Engineering from Jalpaiguri Govt. Engineering College, Jalpaiguri

    I got the ICICI Fellowship, as a result of which I travelled across India and interacted with top social and business leaders. I found that some parts of India have developed fantastic models of development, but these models have not been extended and replicated across other parts. This may be due to the lack of resources, the willingness of people or lack of transfer of knowledge. Whatever the reason, I think it’s time for youngsters like us to take the lead in developingan eco-system of mutual co-operation and collaboration to extend such models across India.

    I was a member of the founding team and co-ordinator of Jyoti (a night school for more than 150 underprivileged students) at my college. I worked with Bridge and Roof Co. (India) Ltd. in Gujarat, AT India and its promoted producer company,DevBhumi, in Uttarakhand and  Watershed Organisation Trust, Pune on planning and monitoring.I am also a core team member of Pratimesh Labs (, a start-up which is developing a low cost, portable and easy-to-use product to get a complete blood count, primarily targeted towards rural health care.

    I have represented India at various International conferences, such as: the South Asia 2020 Conference,Dubai, organised by New America Foundation in 2013, Asia Youth Leaders’Summit'12, New Delhi, the 2nd Annual Young Change Maker Conclave'12, Mumbai, etc.

    I am Editor of the newsletter of Jagriti Yatra, an annual train journey across India to awaken the spirit of entrepreneurship among young people.

    I Believe That: In my travels across India, I met and interacted with thousands of farmers across the country. I feel that the Indian agriculture system is still evolving and has tremendous potential to expand. I also feel that production is not an issue; the real issue is finding the correct market for the produce. In India, most farmers pursue agriculture out of tradition, not as a profession. So I believe that the day we are able to change the mentality of our farmers from “Tradition to Profession” will be the day that we’ll change the paradigm of development in India.

  • Swati Kumari

    Swati Kumari
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Pharmacy from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi

    After finishing my graduation, I put in two years as an Associate in Business Process Improvement and Technology strategies at Dr. Reddy's Lab in Hyderabad. While there, I won first prize in the Quality by Design technical contest and scientific stall.

    In terms of my academic pursuits, I was the topper in the All India Sanskrit Competition organised by Arya Samaj. I am also a certified professional in Value Stream Mapping and hold a certification by Google in power searching. I was one among 12 Placement Representatives of my batch during my undergrad.

    If I look at what I consider my major achievements, holding a Patent for generic formulation would rate somewhere at the top. I am also the author of a scientific article published in an international pharmacy journal, a poster presented in an international conference and co-author of a poster presented at the Indian Pharmaceutical Association Convention in 2010.

    I Believe That: Inspired by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s quote,“Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge, knowledge makes you great”, I believe in imparting knowledge to others. To that end, I was part of the National Service Scheme (NSS) in college, because of which I taught primary, secondary and senior secondary students of government schools. I also organised computer literacy programmes and camps for students and volunteered for blood donation camps.

  • Ramya Maddali

    Ramya Maddali
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Pharmacy from Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai

    I peek out of the curtains to see an auditorium filled with 3000 people, waiting for my performance. There are giant butterflies in my stomach. What if I slip? What if my false hair (savaram) falls off! What if I forget my steps? My cue comes on and I step on the stage. The lights dim and I dance.

    It is another day but the sensation remains the same. I know I have to get the words right, the intonation perfect and the message across in a way that no one else can. But can I? I step on to the dais. Once I hold the mike and the spotlight finds me, I feel complete. I talk.

    The court seems deserted but that’s just a deception. In twenty minutes, the arena will be filled with friends and foes cheering me or thrashing me as I lead my team. As captain, I have been able to unite the team and make them see how important it is that we win that day. My nerves are taut with tension but my mind is clear. The whistle blows and I serve.

    I didn’t study the entire semester as I preferred dancing, oration, sports, quizzing, theatre, debating, attending conferences, giving seminars, yoga, gaming, reading, writing or travelling to actually studying for the exams. I could feel pure, unadulterated fear in my heart. Because this performance would not garner just applause or boos; it would be permanently tattooed on a mark sheet. With a thumping heart, I look at the questions.

    I am a 21 year old girl from the temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. I did my schooling in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and I have graduated with a degree in Pharmacy. I realised my potential at a young age, but I still need the right push for me to make a difference to society, which I know the YIF will provide me with.

    I Believe That: “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” And that is exactly what’s on my mind. I wish to gain a lot from the YIF and I will make sure that I give back as much. There is a dormant leaderin me; all she needs is a little nudge.

  • Palak Malik

    Palak Malik
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in Journalism from Delhi College of Arts & Commerce, Delhi University
    Post-Graduation: M. A. in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia

    After completing my post-graduation in Mass Communication, I joined Marie Claire India. In the almost five years (on and off)of association with Marie Claire, I have handled a diversified portfolio. I started with editing pages, and then ventured into food and décor styling. I gradually shifted my focus to lifestyle and feature stories. In addition to writing stories, I started doing still photography for the magazine. My work has taken to me to almost whole of India, and has made me believe that travelling is the best form of education I’ve had so far.

    I Believe That: The words of Harun Yahya have a particular resonance for me: "I always wonder why birds stay at the same place when they can fly, anywhere in the world. Then I ask myself the same question."

  • Ashwin Manghat

    Ashwin Manghat
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Electronics and Communication from GEC Barton Hill, Thiruvananthapuram

    I have always tried to extend myself beyond the courses of study and basic expectations that people had of me. In college, I was a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ student branch, EXECOMM, as well as Chief Student Coordinators of the Career Guidance and Placement Unit cell.

    While in college, I was working with a non-profit organisation, Make a Difference (MAD), aiming to educate and empower children at risk. Serving as HR and English Project Head and later, the City President the experience was an eye opener, both internally and externally, in terms of my own capabilities and in throwing light into the state of society.

    Apart from this, I have been part of a non-profit/entrepreneurship initiative, an intra-city portal for organizing blood donations.

    Even though I am a B. Tech graduate, I consider myself a concerned citizen first and foremost.

    I Believe That: One of the leading guidelines in my life has been a Japanese quote delivered by Jithin C. Nedumala, founder of MAD. It said, "The character of the society we live in is not shown by the way we treat our elite, but in the way we treat our weakest." I have always had the desire to ‘do’, and ‘do’, I was able to, thanks to MAD.

  • Sriharsha Masabathula

    Sriharsha Masabathula
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Economics (Honours) and a Minor in Philosophy from Ohio Wesleyan University, USA

    As an undergraduate, I pursued an Economics degree with a focus on Poverty, Equity and Social Justice. I was consistently placed on the Dean’s list for academic merit and was also awarded departmental honours in Economics for my Honours thesis.

    My passion for Economics, coupled with my desire to meaningfully apply it in the real world, has led me to harbour an interest in varied fields. As I travelled to Alaska to model glacial climatology using mathematics, or to Japan to work as a volunteer to help the 2011 earthquake victims, I realised that an understanding of diverse perspectives is crucial to addressing many contemporary issues.

    I was winner of the World Bank Open Data Competition in 2013. I was selected to present my research on the “Impact of afforestation on the global climate” at the 22nd Annual Conference of The International Environmetrics Society. I got the Norman Leonard Research Award to conduct socio-economic analysis of farmers in a forestry project in Andhra Pradesh. I also won the Florence Leas Prize for “Exceptional ability and outstanding performance” in Mathematics for two straight years in college.

    As President of a social enterprise in India, Veda Climate Change Solutions Ltd. (, which helps connect the rural poor to international carbon markets, I successfully helped deliver carbon revenue to poor farmers for the first time in India and also globally, in collaboration with the BioCarbon Fund of the World Bank. I also represented the organisation in the Carbon Expo 2012 held at Cologne, Germany, perhaps as the youngest member of the Indian delegation led by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The experience has given me insight into the complexities of formulating policy that truly makes a difference on the ground.

    I Believe That: The true purpose of education is aptly captured by Oscar Wilde, who said: “Who wants a cynic who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.”I aim to use my knowledge gained from experiences inside and outside the classroom to make a difference in the world around us.

  • Gaurav Mehta

    Gaurav Mehta
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune

    A race-car driver by passion and profession, I am the reigning National Champion at the SAE BAJA, which is a four-hour ATV Endurance Race. With a passion to win and the dedication to carry it through, I currently race touring cars with Volkswagen Motorsport.

    Born and brought up in the once serene and peaceful city of Pune, I have done my schooling from Loyola High School and recently graduated from the College of Engineering.

    Since childhood, I have always enjoyed taking up new challenges, which has helped me diversify and realise my strengths. An instinctive leader, I was the youngest captain of the college racing team and instrumental in making it the nation’s highest ranked team in the field of ATV racing. Leading and motivating a group of 30 petrol-headed team mates through three years of designing, fabricating and finally racing our own All-Terrain Vehicle against those of the best engineering institutions the world over has paved the path for my future.

    An absolute sports buff, I have been on my school and college Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis and Swimming teams. However, Cricket is, and will always be, my first love. My constant association with sport - and especially Motor Racing - has taught me the importance of team-building, hard work and perseverance, grit and determination.
    However, my proudest moment thus far has definitely been when I represented India at the World Racing Championship in South Africa. The ability to be a symbol for my nation was a high point for me and through the Young India Fellowship, I hope to make this patriotic fire burn even brighter.

    I Believe That: “Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.” - AyrtonSenna

  • Apurv Kumar Mishra

    Apurv Kumar Mishra
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B. A. L. L. B. (Honours) from National Law Institute University, Bhopal

    Since I was very young, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country and been exposed to its various facets. I completed my schooling from Gujarat, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. After moving on to Madhya Pradesh for my graduation, I was working in the Mumbai office of a law firm, Amarchand&Mangaldas& Suresh A. Shroff& Co., before I applied for the Young India Fellowship.

    I’ve been an active participant in debates, MUNs and moot court competitions since my college days and have been reasonably successful in them. I like to believe that my travels all over the country, first as a school student and later in college, have been a great learning experience and have had the biggest impact on my personal development. My research interests include behavioural sciences and corporate law. In my free time, I like to read non-fiction and try my hand at the acoustic guitar.

    I Believe That: “Perseverance is favourable”, words that I have taken from the ancient Chinese text, I Ching. This is my personal motto as well.

  • Sakshi Mohan

    Sakshi Mohan
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. (Honours) in Economics from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

    The one thing that I pride myself on is my ability to juggle multiple activities at the same time. At school, I performed consistently well in academics, sports and extracurricular activities such as debating and instrumental music, and was subsequently elected the head girl and given the Best Outgoing Student award. I am also a Gold awardee of the International Award for Young People and won Best Research Paper on Green Energy at the South Asian Economic Students Meet in 2012.

    I have had the best moments of my life while travelling. Having grown up in Oman, I have always been fascinated by languages and cultures. This fascination followed me to Kolkata where my initial aggravation with the homogeneity of the community soon turned into love for Bengali culture. Through opportunities such as internships and academic events, my itchy feet took me places even during the three years of my undergraduate studies.

    Interning with NGOs such as FICCI and Transparency International, I have developed a strong interest in policy research. Trained to believe in the existence of an optimum solution to every problem, I wish to find ways for society to come as close to it as possible in reality. 

    I Believe That: “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”
    – Miriam Beard

  • Nidhi Mohta

    Nidhi Mohta
    Age: 26
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Electronics & Telecommunication from Amity Institute of Telecom & Technology Management, Noida
    Post-Graduation: M. Sc. in Marketing Management, Manchester Business School, UK

    A postgraduate in Marketing Management from Manchester Business School, UK, I have had over three years of amazing experience working for start-ups in the fields of Marketing, Sales and Business Development.

    I have been fortunate enough to work closely with some visionaries who looked at running businesses not as means to make profits but to bring about positive change. At the age of 24, when one is expected to simply churn out excel sheets and reports in most places, one of my bosses placed his faith in me by making me handle Marketing and Sales for the entire Delhi/NCR region. With a crack support team, I was able to double the company’s revenues from my area in a matter of months, and was eventually given the responsibility to handle the entire North India region. My other stints were equally rewarding, and have led me to believe that to be successful in life, it is important to prioritise people over any other aspect.

    People around me call me an “Idea-smith”, due to thestream of ideas I churn out. As a postgraduate,I came up with a few entrepreneurial ideas, one of which went on to win that year’s “Best Venture Project” award. I also worked with the University Student Recruitment and Outreach Team as a Student Ambassador to devise activities to encourage young people to consider university as a viable and attractive option. At the under-graduation concluding ceremony, I was presented with the “Best All-round Student” award at the university level.

    I am passionate about extreme adventure sports, and have done skydiving, paragliding, mountaineering and underwater diving. I even worked part-time as the Team Manager for the Indian Navy Skydiving Team, where I handled communications and PR, conducted training programmes and ensured participation in international skydiving competitions around the globe. I enjoy reading and travelling, and am also a theatre and movie buff.

    I Believe That: I have always strived to live by one of Oscar Wilde’s mantras - “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” I want to take this one year at the Young India Fellowship Programme to learn as much as I can and to gain diverse perspectives on the wonderful journey called life!

  • Worrin Muivah

    Worrin Muivah
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Social Work from St. Joseph's College, Bangalore

    I was awarded the Best Outgoing Student of the Social Work Department of St. Joseph's College for my various contributions during my three years in college. I represented the college in various national and state level football tournaments for three consecutive years. Football has always been an important part of my life and has taught me all about team work and the importance of looking out for each other’s backs. I interned and volunteered in Hanoi, Vietnam, with Vietnam for Peace Volunteers for a month after my graduation. The stint in Vietnam was important as it gave me a better perspective on life and the importance of making the right decisions.

    I was also elected the President of the North-East and Tibetan Student's Forum and my tenure as the president of the NETSF during the unfortunate N-E exodus that happened in Bangalore was one of the most challenging experiences that I had ever faced. But it also made me the person I am today. It gave me the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life, and also gave me a chance to discuss communalism and racism on Live TV.

    I Believe That: The line from the Bible, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”, has always been an axiom I have believed in and the cause of whatever successes I have had in my life.

  • Shrestha Mullick

    Shrestha Mullick
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. A (Honours) in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata
    Post-Graduation: M. A in Comparative Literature with a specialisation in Latin American Literature and Culture from Jadavpur University, Kolkata; PGDM in Appreciation of Indian Art (specialisation in Folk Art) from Kavi kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Maharashtra

    I believe that there is no end to learning, and experimenting with different fields of study is what I enjoy most. I was awarded the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (2010) for an exchange programme at the University of Amsterdam and that has been one of my life’s most enriching experiences. I feel that people can truly push their limits when placed outside their comfort zone and in my case, the international classroom was both the push and pull factor. Being associated with the London College of Music as both a student and an assistant teacher, a Grade 8 in Oral Communication from the London College of Music and a DSLR-Basic Completion certificate from the Nikon School were other factors that shaped me into who I am today.

    Among my other high points was winning the A.K. Ramanujan National Paper Reading Competition (2011) hosted by M.S. University, Baroda.  I also won the 12th Five Year Plan Hackathon (2013) hosted at IIT Kharagpur by the Planning Commision, New Delhi. I was also student of the year and a gold medalist at the RKM Institute of Culture, Kolkata. 

    I Believe That: "You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming"~Pablo Neruda.  I do not fear change, but welcome it with the hope and a challenge for greater things to come and go.

  • Prathima Muniyappa

    Prathima Muniyappa
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Exhibition and Spatial Design from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

    Walled cities, moat lined castles, impregnable forts, arched bridges, monolithic rock-cut temples, underwater caves……

    These are some of the places I spent my childhood in. My family was constantly moving from one place to the other, and this life lived in limbo, not allowing for any long-term relationships with people, led to my having a love affair with the spaces around me. I have grown up believing that walls have voices, that stones speak volumes, that plants have stories and that the earth has memories. To be honest, I believe it to this day.

    It is therefore fairly logical that I went to NID, where I studied Exhibition and Spatial design to further my passion for spaces and narratives. Along the way I made several discoveries about design, creativity, transformation, humility, people and integrity. I spent eight months sitting on the banks of the river Tungabhadra, where the stones speak of the rise and fall of civilizations, attempting to interpret the history of Hampi and redesign its site museum. This project was my final chapter at NID. I then worked as an independent consultant to the Department of Tourism, Karnataka, as a spatial designer for a Heritage theme park in Hampi. I also worked with leading conservation architects and historic building consultants, Abha Narain Lambah Associates, on several projects like Chattrapati Shivaji Museum, Mumbai, Bank of India and Raj Bhawan, Kolkata.

    I Believe That: As my life unfolds around me, I see myself doing several different things for the values I hold dear - from cleaning up streets, to designing posters for causes, and from wall painting to performance art. I see no need to label myself and this allows me the backbone I need to embrace the new and challenge myself. I end with a quote from Nietzsche, “Those who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

  • Vaishnavi Nambiar

    Vaishnavi Nambiar
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Economics from Christ University, Bangalore

    Growing up in a small coastal town in north Kerala, my school years were spent around books and travelling. A few years in a boarding school enabled me to realise the importance of accountability for one’s own actions. I went on to Christ University, Bangalore to major in Economics. Centre for Social Action, a student movement that engages in community development, threw open the doors for me to proactively work towards the development of our country. My college years became about women’s issues, waste management, sustainability and inclusive growth.

    I was awarded as the ‘Most Promising Outgoing Student’ in school. Leading the student volunteering division of Centre for Social Action (2012-13) gave me the opportunity to head events such as MILAN, which brought together 400 children from villages and tribes across eight Indian states for a sports/ cultural exchange. I was awarded ‘Best Volunteer’ (2010-11) in college. I was also part of the editorial teams of several newsletters and magazines that represented Centre for Social Action, Department of Economics and Department of Political Science.

    Reading, writing, photography and travelling have come to be my passions.

    I Believe That: There is always a choice, a conflict between two directions, two decisions, etc. The choice that wins out of this inner conflict should always be what we believe in;because it is this belief that defines us and should be what we live for.

  • Amrita Nanda

    Amrita Nanda
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Mechanical Engineering from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore

    If I had to find a word that describes me best, I would say it is ‘Innovative’. Before coming to the YIF, I have worked as Senior Engineer–Design, Military Communication Group, Heavy Engineering Division at Larsen & Toubro Limited. I also hold the prestigious Fellowship of the Melton Foundation - an international, intercultural organisation with members from Chile, China, Germany, India and U.S.A., a fellowship that I have held for over five years.

    The year 2012 can be considered a productive one for me. I was awarded a grant to attend a leadership development and intercultural networking workshop in Casablanca, Morocco. I was also chosen for the Melton Foundation Idea Incubator Global Citizenship Conference in Jena, Germany, to present my ideas on grassroots innovation.

    I consider it one of my strengths that I can put across my thoughts in an impactful and lucid manner. I was a quarter finalist at a state-level debate competition, Verbattle, in 2007. In 2011, I was Editor of TEDxUFRO in Temuco, Chile. I have also done a voice-over for an animation series to spread education among under-privileged children in urban areas.

    I Believe That: You should follow your passion. I am passionate about grassroots innovation, intercultural learning and diversity. Through my Fellowship in the Melton Foundation, I received grants to travel to and interact with people from different countries, developed diverse perspectives about global issues, and took giant steps towards becoming a global citizen. Goethe said, “Whatever you want to do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” These words have always been a source of inspiration for me. I hope to take my passions forward to contribute to the development of our society.

  • Akanksha Narain

    Akanksha Narain
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honourss) in Journalism from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi
    Post-Graduation: PG Diploma in Conflict Transformation and Peace Building from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi

    I was always interested in how people and societies functioned - or failed - and this led me to pursuing a degree in journalism from Lady Shri Ram College. While there, some of my convictions were strengthened, while others had to be abandoned as a host of new ways to approach a story were presented to me. I furthered my interest in the subject by doing a postgraduation in conflict transformation and peace building, a subject that I believe is vital for our world today.

    In my working life, though I started off as an analyst for Facebook, I am involved at present with the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan.

    If you ask me about my other great passion, it would be for Chess. The game has given me hours of challenges and pleasure – and has brought some recognition my way. In school, I was awarded ‘AOA’s Cash Award’ for excellence in Chess for nine consecutive years. In college, I was awarded College Colours for the same and also placed 1st in the Delhi University Chess (Girls) Tournament. I am also a National Scholarship holder for excellence in Chess.

    If I look back to try and figure out my two major achievements in life, they would be linked with Chess as well. The first would be when I was the second runner- up in Chess at the National School Games in 2003, but the really unforgettable experience was represented my country at the World Youth Chess Festival.

    I Believe That: “Not all those who wander are lost”, in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien.

  • Rajat Nayyar

    Rajat Nayyar
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors Degree in Tourism Studies from Welcomgroup Management Institute, ITC Hotels Division, Gurgaon; Graduate Diploma in Applied Business Studies from Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Auckland, New Zealand

    My grandmother started cultivating the power of my imagination when I was a child, taking me for walks in Vrindavan and speaking about the mythological heritage of the place and the country at large. 

    Upon completing high school, I was selected for the Welcom Legionnaire Program with ITC Hotels, where I spent almost four years. Concurrently, I graduated in Tourism Studies from IGNOU.

    My family saw it as a major risk when I announced my disinterest in continuing in the hospitality industry. It was a little hard for them to understand that my mind was about to explode with frustration at my not being able to use its creative potential. I set off to study further, doing my post graduation in Marketing and Social Media from Whitireia Polytechnic, New Zealand, which helped me understand consumer behaviour on the internet. After graduating, I was hired as a collaborator and web-analyst with Sertaobras, an NGO advocating for the rights of artisanal cheese-makers in Brazil.

    Back in India with an online job, I travelled to Banaras for a few days, where I started an ethnography and alternative media project, Espirito Kashi. The project, rooted in Banaras, aims to document and preserve the fading culture, heritage and folklore of India. It also provides an online platform for poets, social activists, folk artists and small NGOs.  I am also assisting Dr. Vijay Choubey (North Indian Classical and Folk Violinist from Varanasi) in recording and publicising his music and videos online. 

    I aim to progressively develop ethnographic and visual story-telling skills;along this path, I would like to create an environment for a dialogue on ethnographic observations and set up an alternative media studio in Varanasi.

    I Believe That: Where the magic of the world is made,
    Where the whole world of moving and non moving things
    Seems the dalliance of mind,
    Is the One Place with the nature of the Supreme Soul Truth,
    Luminous Wisdom, and Bliss.
    I am that Kashi whose essence is self knowledge.
    - Adi Shankaracharya

  • Barkat Ul Nisa

    Barkat Ul Nisa
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. in Science from University of Kashmir
    Post-Graduation: M. A. in Social work from University of Kashmir

    Born and brought up in Kashmir, the land with never-ending stories of agony and anguish, I have experienced conflict from very close quarters. I have been a witness to the most inhumane conditions around me, where human life holds no significance and life is nothing but a perpetual struggle for existence.

    I did my Bachelors in Science from University of Kashmir in 2008, and later completed my Masters in Social Work from University of Kashmir in 2010. I was awarded with a distinction in the International Assessments (English) by University of New South Wales and the All India UN Information Test by Council of UN Information, a wing of the USO.

    I have worked on the issue of education during my tenure at Prayas JAC Society and have had hands-on experience of working on the educational issues of under-served children. A year later, I moved to Concern India Foundation, a support organisation, which helped me enhance my perspectives on various developmental approaches and added to a holistic understanding of the social work issues around me.

    I like travelling a lot, exploring new places and walking miles on end all alone. I had been a consistent trekker during my school years and was part of almost all the expeditions.

    I Believe That: I firmly believe in the power of the self and that it’s ‘Us’ who create the good and the bad around us. I wish to live a life of enriching experiences, with no fear of falling or looking back. I am even willing to risk my existence just to emerge anew.

  • Kritika Pandey

    Kritika Pandey
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra

    Growing up between Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand, and the coastal city of Surat, Gujarat, I had the opportunity to explore two exciting extremes of the education system. Thanks to that, I pursued horse-riding, roller-skating, public speaking, Kathak, Hindustani music, and particularly fiction and creative writing, with the same zeal as I chased grades inside the classroom.

    I became the Jharkhand State topper in the CBSE exam in Class X and was also winner of the inter-school debate organised by the International Library & Cultural Centre, as well as the 9th Inter Institutional L.N. Birla National Debate competitions. I left school to study Electronics and Communications Engineering and it was there that the structured thought processes of an engineer crashed into my romantic theories. In the four years in college, I volunteered as a teacher in village schools as part of my college NSS team, played the bass guitar for the first all-girls band in BIT Mesra, and discovered my enthusiasm to employ fiction as a tool for addressing religious chauvinism and class struggle in India. My undying passion for creative writing resulted in ABOUT A GIRL – my personal blog site. My blog post THIS ONE’S FOR YOU, ANAMIKA—THE NAMELESS recently won the ISB iDiya for IndiChange blogging contest, organized by the Indian School of Business and helped make a humble donation to Prajwala— an anti-trafficking NGO that works towards preventing women and children from entering prostitution.

     I am a big music devotee and follow heavy metal, funk, grunge, classic, rock, indie pop, indie folk genres as well as old Hindi songs with quenchless curiosity. The only reason I learnt to play the guitar was so I could play Loose Lips, by Kimya Dawson and the biggest love affairs of my life happened between the brittle yellow pages of Dickens’ classics. So that’s why, after leaving behind my first job offer in the telecommunication sector, I’m here at YIF to learn the art of never having to compromise on my biggest dreams simply to put bread on my table.

    I Believe That: The best things that happen to us, happen between the pages of a good book.

  • Subrata Pandey

    Subrata Pandey
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Crafts Product Designer & Researcher with a specialisation in Metal, Terracotta crafts from the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur, a Social Entrepreneur, and also an avid painter and a photographer in her leisure time.

    I worked at the grassroots level in rural clusters of Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha, as well as with the corporate retail industry in Bangalore. After my experience in different models of handicraft bodies, I decided to return to Odisha as it has the most number of handicrafts, but still fails to become notable in the Handicraft economy.

    Therefore I, along with my engineer friend Shaswat Mohanty, started an experiment in Jabapanposh, a nearby village, and got an overwhelming response to our initiative. We started with 56 women on the Applique Project, and we haven’t looked back since then. Our main inspiration behind this initiative was to think global and act local for the sustenance of handicrafts as an industry. For us, the most rewarding outcome was the empowerment of women. Apart from looking at handicrafts, we facilitated education and basic facilities for their overall development. The main occupation of the women trainees was as daily wage labourers for making roads and houses. Once we started giving crafts-based training, these people gradually got involved with Punarnawa Crafts as a mainstream occupation. This year, our venture was selected for the watch list, 2013 in an Economics Times column written by Amit Grover, founder of Nurture Talent Academy which selects the most creative ventures in terms of its impact as well as sustainability.  

    I Believe That: I believe in "Think Global, Act Local". To be self reliant all we need is perseverance with a sincere determination to bring the change we want to see.

  • Pavitraa Parthasarathy

    Pavitraa Parthasarathy
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. from SASTRA University with a Major in Information Communication Technology

    I was brought up to believe that an enriching life is one in which there is value for education, and my   journey so far has been an enriching learning experience.  A speaker, poet, jewellery designer and master of ceremonies by interest, I have volunteered with two NGOs in Bangalore in the field of education. I also spearheaded a national level guest lectures series for a part of the college tech fest, with most eminent dignitaries as speakers. Having light feet, I see dancing wealth that I have hoarded; dance is my elixir of life. 

    I have travelled across India and seen the unsung heroes who toil in the development sector as a Yatri, and that has been an inspiring experience that I shall treasure for life.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, a book of wisdom for all time, has revolutionised the way I see myself. It was after reading this beautiful book that I shed my conventional outlook and perspectives, and decided to strike out on a path to pursue my passion.

    I have always believed that what we know is equivalent to a drop in an ocean and what we are yet to explore is the ocean itself; and I wish to begin this exploration at the YIFP.

    I Believe That: I agree completely with Oscar Wilde when he says, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

  • Dhanashree Patil

    Dhanashree Patil
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. A. with specialisation in International Relations and Economics, Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA

    I was a recipient of the Pestalozzi International Village Trust (UK) scholarship and a member of the Sigma Iota Rho International Relations Honors Society. Wherever possible and in whatever capacity I am able to, I have always had a keen urge to make a difference. Whether in India or abroad, I have volunteered my time and skills tosocial causes and organisations that strive to help out people in need.

    I interned at Sewa International Organisation (Pune), where I was involved in activities related to enhancing the educational participation of slum children. I worked on a study on the effectiveness of women’s self-help groups in the slum areas of Pune as well. My responsibilities also involved analysis and reporting of the organisation’s work in this area over ten years.

    I interned at the Under the Mango Tree Organization (Mumbai), which works to empower rural and tribal farmers across India through beekeeping training. I worked on the organisation’s website for effective media presence and wrote case studies based on my field visits to project areas, which will be used in the organisation’s future fundraising campaigns.

    I Believe That: Rabindranath Tagore’s poem ‘Mind Without Fear’ has always been an inspiration for me. “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, where knowledge is free, where the world has not been broken up into fragments...Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action, into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.” I dream of a free India where the mind is without fear and thus I strive to contribute to the making of such a nation.

  • Roshni Durai Rajan

    Roshni Durai Rajan
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. in Business Management and B. A. in Economics from State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York

    A true romantic and dreamer by nature, I am anything but practical. I followed a common path and got myself a dual degree. While studying, I tried to hone my passion for swimming and found just the right programme for me- Adapted Aquatics. It is a programme that works with special people by helping them through water therapy, thereby improving their quality of life. My journey with Adapted Aquatics was incredible. The life lessons learnt there are something that I will carry forward for the rest of my life. During my stint with Adapted Aquatics, I had the honour of receiving the ‘Dana Bregan & Brian Burman Excellence in Teaching Adapted Aquatics’ award.

    After graduation, I was keen to explore special education in India. To understand the landscape of our education system and its challenges and successes, I joined Teach for India and taught in an under-resourced school in Pune for two years. The last two years with TFI have been nothing short of a thrilling, overwhelming rollercoaster ride. The kids I taught have been my greatest strength and inspiration through the fellowship and those super-stars have come a long way from where they were even two short years ago.

    I Believe That: There are a number of quotes and people I derive inspiration from, but the one that truly echoes my thoughts is what Mother Teresa once said: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.” As times change, and things around us seem more dark and depressing, the dreamer in me believes that if each of us has a little faith and patience, and does things with a whole lot of love, the world will be a better place to live in.

  • Ira Rajeev

    Ira Rajeev
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Gargi College, University of Delhi

    Born and brought up in Delhi, I completed my schooling and college in the nation’s capital. I studied at Sanskriti School and was one of the first students to be enrolled in the school during its inception. I was awarded the 4Cs Prize for being Caring, Compassionate, Co-operative and Courteous in school.

    A true Delhiite by nature, I am really enthusiastic and also have a creative bent of mind. Dance, music, painting - they all fascinate me. I am trained in Hindustani Classical Vocal Music and have performed on All India Radio. I have also trained in the Indian classical dance, Kathak, and various folk dances of India and learnt diverse dance forms at the Shiamak Daver Institute of Performing Arts.

    In college, apart from being one of the top scorers, I was an active member of the Indian Music and Dance Societies, and participated in and won in various competitions at the university level. I was elected Cultural Secretary of the College Student Union and was responsible for coordinating and managing the Cultural Societies. As the Cultural Secretary, I organised ‘Reverie’, the Annual Cultural Festival of Gargi College. As General Secretary, Commerce Department Union, I planned and organised the Commerce Festival and as Commerce Representative, Placement Cell, organised placement sessions and workshops. My biggest achievement so far has been my nomination for the “All Rounder Award” of Gargi College.

    I worked at KPMG Global Services, Gurgaon in the Audit Department. I was selected to be an E-Grade Representative who serves as a link between the management and the employees and was also a part of the Audit Social Committee. I won the first position in the KPMG Global Services Star Quest 2013, an inter-Business Unit talent show and contest, for my dance performance. Having worked for almost two years now, I am really excited about joining the YIF and am looking forward to a whole new world of learning.

  • Smrity Ramavarapu

    Smrity Ramavarapu
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. in Chemistry, Zoology and Microbiology from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore
    Post-Graduation: M. Sc. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from Pondicherry University

    “In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”
    ― Ansel Adams

    I was born into a big-fat South Indian family whose most treasured heirlooms were morals and principles. Ever since I could think, I have been exposed to the thoughts of great idealists and intellectuals and have always been encouraged to emulate them. This has led me to become what others generally call a dreamer.

    Life can be lived best if you make it an adventure. For me, living life goes beyond concrete walls and my learning is not limited to class-rooms or textbooks. Nature and wilderness has been my constant companion and greatest teachers.

    After graduating, what I needed most was to have an avenue for my passion and I interned at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment. After this, I went ahead to do my Post Graduation in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. I then interned with the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History on a project funded by the Planning Commission of India. This time I worked up in north India in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. I would call this a life changing field-work experience as I realised the need for the implementation of laws and policies which are scientifically sound for the integration of human welfare and conservation of Indian biodiversity. Currently, I am working on human-elephant conflicts in Theni Forest Division, Tamil Nadu.

    As an Ecology student, I love backpacking and exploring the country. Apart from collecting bulky data, I have made friends for a lifetime. Theatre and Photography are my other driving forces. I was elected as Secretary for the Dramatics Association, Mount Carmel College and my play won the Rangasankara Awardand second prize for a Radio Play in IIT-Saarang (Chennai) in 2009.

    I Believe That: My father often says, “Success cannot be measured by the amount of money one made in one’s lifetime but by the amount of difference one made in others’ lives”. I think every one of us has the opportunity to touch a number of lives during our own lifetime. It is how we use these opportunities that defines us.

  • Rachana Ramchand

    Rachana Ramchand
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli (NIT, Trichy)

    Self-proclaimed geek, scrabble enthusiast, Japanese puzzle addict, amateur pianist, avid reader, wannabe education reformist, compulsive traveler, food connoisseur and a lover of the bizarre.

    Having been born in a town called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, life was bound to be a roller coaster ride right from the start. My 22 revolutions around the sun was spent living in an array of places in and around Great Britain and India, and till now I have stepped foot on 19 countries across the globe.

    Before embarking on my journey to college, I was awarded the prestigious Nelson Foundation Scholarship (by Kemin Industries) of 20,000$ which is awarded to one student within the US and one student from the rest of the world. A huge morale boost, college saw my transition from a study-oriented quizzing addict into a leader - a member of the core committee of all three major fests of NIT (Trichy), Campus Placement Committee coordinator for my department (computer science and engineering) and a manager/conductor of various national-level literary events among a few. Apart from this, in my final semester I was involved in teaching 6th to 8th standard students spoken English. This had a profound impact on my life, opening up my eyes to the harsh situation of the education system in India at the middle-school level.

    Post college I worked for a year with Oracle, Hyderabad which not only boosted my technical abilities but also taught me invaluable lessons about the corporate world.
    During this entire time, the piano has been a part and parcel of my existence with music shaping who I am today. Trained in Hindustani music as well as Western Classical, music is where my comfort zone lies.

    I Believe That: Life is too short to take easy. Learning new skills and improving already existing ones makes every moment worth living. Doing something that is not easy, struggling to accomplish it and then finally managing it - the fruit of such success is sweeter than any other.

    "Avoid the polluted flock, Shun the reeking herd, Be the stoic bird, The eagle on the rock." (from The Eagle and
    The Mole by Elinor Wylie)

  • Himanshu Ranjan

    Himanshu Ranjan
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B.Tech. in Petroleum Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad

    I am a passionate writer who aspires to bring about change through the power of the pen and hence, blogging is my hobby. (I wouldn’t mind if you paid me a visit at A petroleum engineer by choice, I am yet to figure out how I can contribute effectively towards the energy security of the nation. Among my two major achievements I would count leading the team from ISM Dhanbad to win the Great Step 2012 at IIT Kharagpur as a big one. The other would be winning second prize for presenting a paper on 'Interpretation of Well Log Data and Reservoir Characterisation Using Genetic Algorithm' at ISM Dhanbad.

    A social worker at heart, I have actively worked in two NGOs, 'Fast Forward India' and 'Kartavya', which are run by students of ISM Dhanbad and are evolving fast. As a class teacher, I loved teaching children living in slums. As a career counsellor, I've guided inquisitive school students while working for 'DISHA', a project of Fast Forward India. I was the coordinator for 'BLOODLINE', another project of Fast Forward India, where I led and was a part of awareness programmes to promote voluntary blood donation. While doing street plays, handling emergency cases, visiting schools, organising camps, conducting surveys and donating blood, I learnt the importance of collaboration, initiative and team work. For my efforts, I was felicitated by the Deputy Commissioner, Dhanbad for organising the best blood camp and for promoting the maximum number of voluntary blood donations in Dhanbad.

    I Believe That: 'To do is to be', and therefore I hope that the YIF will help me to realise my dreams and widen my exposure and access, so that I can lead positive change in the world through great actions.

  • Garima Rathore

    Garima Rathore
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in English from Hindu College, Delhi University

    I like to think of myself as a multi-faceted person. I was the School Head Girl and recipient of the School Colours Award for excellence in academics and co-curricular activities. In college, I received the Meritorious Scholar Award for academic excellence from Dr.Kiran Bedi. I was the student representative on the Academic Council of my department and was responsible for organising and conducting the Dr.Lalita Subbu Memorial Weekly Seminars. I was the Campus Ambassador for Google and was selected for interning with Google India in its Online Sales department. As a member of Caucus- a Group Discussion Forum - and MUN society of the college, I helped in the organisation of the International Hindu Model United Nations Conference, which is the biggest MUN conference in Delhi University.

    With the multidisciplinary programme that the YIF offers, I feel that I can grow even further and get a step closer to achieving my ambitions.

    I Believe That: Leo Rosten once said: “I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to simply be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, and to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” The quote pretty much defines what I want from life and this sentiment has been the driving force in everything that I've done so far and in what I plan to do further.

  • Ashwin Sundar Ravichandran

    Ashwin Sundar Ravichandran
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. from Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore

    Born in Delhi, I moved to Madras at the start of the new millennium. Influenced by my father in many ways, I have always been an ardent lover of technology. In the 8thgrade, I had the chance to represent India in the International Robotics Olympiad held in Daejeon, South Korea. Being a logophile, I had a chance to represent my school in various speaking competitions.

    I enrolled myself in Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore for my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering. During college, I enjoyed being part of the Literary Club, playing on the basketball team and the head of the Theatre troupe. I represented the college in various hackathons and spent my final semester working as a Project Trainee at Honeywell Technology Solutions, Bangalore.

    I joined a start-up at the start of my professional career but resigned to become a full time technical freelancer. The reason I became a freelancer was because I wished to travel and see how technology can be used to impact the education of underprivileged kids. I have been volunteering with various educational organisations in Bangalore. I use theatre as a tool to teach kids communicative English.

    I Believe That: I wake up every morning to the quote: 'Genius is the ability to simplify the complicated’. Inspired by my mother, I want to give every child in this country a chance to get a sturdy education, aided by technology.

  • Jahanara Rabia Raza

    Jahanara Rabia Raza
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University

    My greatest achievement is a quality that I have developed over the years: my constant pursuit to learn and strive to be better than I am. That may be one of the reasons why I had the honour of being Head Girl of Springdales School (Dhaula Kuan), where I studied.

    I have the heart of an artist and my short time at Danza School of Performing Arts while training to be a dancer taught me how to balance the little challenges of life and gave me the joy that comes from living one’s art. in college, holding the post of President of the Dance Society was an enriching experience. I have dabbled in various areas that interest me - dance, acting, writing, oratory and teaching - attempting to give my heart, hand and head to each pursuit.

    I Believe That: My favourite quote is from the Gita- “You are what your deep driving desire is”. At YIF, I want to find this desire, which I hope will help me and positively impact the world beyond myself. I want to be able to integrate my love for the performing arts with education. I feel grateful to the YIF and my parents for having been given this opportunity.

  • Anna Merlyn Rego

    Anna Merlyn Rego
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Journalism and Communication Studies from Manipal Institute of Communications, Manipal University

    Born, bred and educated in Mangalore, a small city on the Konkan coast, my life was scripted to be just slightly above average. What turned my journey from mundane to magical and from ordinary to outstanding was a simple Latin phrase, Carpe Diem.

    After receiving a thorough convent education for 14 years at St. Anne’s, Mangalore, I graduated from Manipal Institute of Communications with a Bachelors degree in Journalism and Communication Studies. At 18, I decided to experience everything I could, in a day, in a moment, in a lifetime. Since then, I have travelled independently to six countries, 18 states and numerous cities in India and I find travel to be my raison d’être.

    I am the holder of a Grade 8 Certificate of Merit in Communication Skills from Trinity College of London. I was also part of the founding team of AIESEC Manipal University in 2008 and took over as President of the chapter in 2011. I currently work with AIESEC India as Regional Director for North & East India and have been responsible for initiating AIESEC chapters in seven new states across India. As I wrap up my active association with AIESEC, I take back four-and-a-half years’ experience of working with committed individuals, representing India at forums across countries and continents, and standing true to the need for ethical and responsible leadership. I hope to continue my engagement with social business and the not-for-profit sector, working towards equal opportunity, gender sensitisation and leadership development, particularly amongst women.

    I Believe That: Margaret Mead wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.At the fellowship, I hope to find a firm footing as an agent for positive change and complete the circle of the young leaders that India needs.

  • Dhwani Sabesh

    Dhwani Sabesh
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. in Electronic Media from M.O.P.Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai

    I am a student of radio, film and television theory and production, because of which I interned with Radio One, Bangalore in the programming department. Changing tracks, I also interned with Goldman Sachs as an operations analyst. Today, I work as a freelance photographer and hold the post of Social Media Manager at The InfoMission Project, a student-run association based in Chennai, which aims at educating fellow students about their rights under Indian Law.

    I have essayed various posts of leadership at both the school and college levels. A keen participant at Model United Nations Conferences, I co-introduced the concept to my college and organised two successful editions of MOP MUN as Secretary General. I have also scripted and directed two short feature films. As may be evident from this small write-up, I am person who likes to use my creativity in many different directions.

    I Believe That: I am a film buff and believe that cinema is a grossly underused tool in our world. Cinema can do so much more even while it entertains – it can inform and educate. I wish to pursue research in the field of cinema and to analyse the medium as one that could potentially provide for social change.

  • Alolika Savant

    Alolika Savant
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Financial and Investment Analysis from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi University
    Post-Graduation: PGDM in Marketing from IMT Ghaziabad

    I worked at Ipsos (formerly known as Synovate) as a Business Consultant across various projects spanning Indian, European and Asian markets. I have also worked as a Research Assistant at ALBA Graduate Business School, Greece.

    I am the winner of the National Inter B-school Marketing event, the Marketing World Cup (2011). I have placed first at numerous other Inter B-school management competitions sponsored / held by VIP, Suzlon, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Parle.

    I strongly feel that there is no end to exploring and stretching one's potential. I consider it my achievement to have projected such diversity and to have proved myself in diverse fields over the years. I have been involved in painting, dance performances at Indian and international festivals, film making, 3D animation, cycling marathons and sports festivals, besides my academics and work.

    I Believe That: I believe learning is a way of life and that we are a drop in this vast ocean of knowledge that the world is. Our past shapes our present, but the power to liberate our future lies solely in our hands.

  • Nikita Saxena

    Nikita Saxena
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Mass Media from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

    I am all of 21 years old with about 21000 mishaps to account for that existence.

    Armed with an acute case of unbridled enthusiasm and verbal diarrhoea, my leanings towards melodrama probably contributed to a successful tenure as the Chairperson of Zeitgeist 2010- An Annual Inter-College Festival held by the Department of Mass Media, St. Xavier's College,Mumbai. Having served as the ‘Entertainment,Theatricals and Contests’ Convener in the Xaviers’ Cultural Committee, I was also a Teach For India Campus Ambassador and had the distinction of being awarded for the ‘Best  Event Hosted’(2011) and ‘Highest Recruiting CA-West’(2012) along with my team. However, my greatest learning during college came from being selected for the prestigious Indian Leadership Exchange Program at the Stern School Of Business, New York University.

    After graduating in 2012, I took my journalistic pursuits a step further and joined the Economic Times Now (ET NOW) for over a year, where I was reporting for Brand Equity - the channel’s flagship features show that revolves around the advertising and marketing industry.

    While I came out of these experiences (hopefully) wiser, my great quarter-life crisis (you’re nodding your head at that familiar feeling, aren’t you?) remained unresolved. After all, epiphanies, I hear aren’t achieved overnight or over cups of tea in plush offices. And although YIF may or may not be the key to helping me find out where I am headed, I am hoping this programme will make that tumultuous journey a little easier, and a lot more fun.

    I Believe That: I believe in the underrated ability of being able to live in one's space without encroaching upon someone else's, particularly with reference to the moral and ethical judgments that we are far too quick to pass, hence imposing our personal standards of morality or achievement. After all, we have our own streaks of eccentricity.“Madness is like gravity; all it takes is a little push.”

  • Setu Saxena

    Setu Saxena
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA

    I am deeply passionate about learning and believe that everyone is born with a set of infinite possibilities. I was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship for all five years that I was studying at Drexel University and also placed on the Dean’s List for four years. The most enriching experience of my life was founding the Alpha Upsilon chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at college. From five members to 75 brothers in the course of five years, it took everything we had to make that dream possible and I learnt the power of dreams through this process. I also earned the love and respect of 75 people I can call brothers.

    I was a national finalist at the ASIMO National Science Olympiad in 2005. I worked at SynthesDePuy, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, as a product development engineer designing new spinal implants. I was the Project Manager at Design Factory India, where I was responsible for redesigning new grain storage systems for developing economies.

    I Believe That: Napoleon Hill's quote,“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”, has been one that has influenced me the most and has been a guiding light in my life.

  • Sabarathinam Selvaraj

    Sabarathinam Selvaraj
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Production Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore

    I interned with Rane TRW Steering Systems as a product design intern and my last job held was with Tata Motors in the capacity of an Asst. Manager- Sales & Support. Academically, I secured a state rank in the ASLC examinations and on the merit of my ASLCperformance, I was awarded the Central Sector Scholarship for my UG education. Leadership has been my strongest suite and I have been both class and school leader through my years of schooling. In college, I was a member of the Student Council and English Literary Society. This year, I was the lead for the batch of new recruits from across the country at Tata Motors.

    I have a great love for debating, theatre and sports and have represented my school/college/zone in all of them and won many prestigious competitions. I have also played integral roles in the inception and organization of MUN conferences, plays and debates, and volunteered for organisations whose causes I connected with.

    I Believe That: Having grown up seeing politics and administration from home, I naturally started nursing political ambitions even as a kid. I would like to focus on reforming the ways in which political organisations are run and hopefully, you will see me someday, campaigning for your vote. I believe that only by getting involved can we bring about true change.

  • Ruchi Sethia

    Ruchi Sethia
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Psychology, Literature and Political Science from St. Francis College for Women, Hyderabad

    I am a dreamer who is equally comfortable working within the realms of reality, a football, cricket and tennis enthusiast who eagerly awaits every Bollywood release, and a self-motivated individual looking forward to making a difference in the space of education and social change. I aspire to become an effective teacher and gradually carve a niche for myself in the field of pedagogy.

    Working hard is second nature to me and I received the award for 100% attendance in high school for three consecutive years. I was also awarded the ‘Bal Ratna’ award for being an outstanding student. I interned as a VOICE Camp Counsellor in 2012, imparting reading, writing, and communication skills to girls in government schools. I have also taken tuitions for school children, have worked part-time in summer camps and with students with mental disorders.

    One of my highest points was when I was chosen as one among the three girls selected to represent India at the Study of United States Institute’s (SUSI) six-week programme on ‘Women’s Civic Leadership from the Heartland’, hosted by the University of Kansas, USA (2012).  Being recognised for my ‘empowerment skills’ during the programme has instilled a new sense of confidence in me and an eagerness to help others. At the end of college, I was recognised as the Best All-Round Student from amongst my batch.

    I Believe That: My guiding quote in life has been: Live and Let Live!

  • Tanmay Shah

    Tanmay Shah
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Dual Degree in Economics (M. Sc. Honours) and Electronics and Electrical Engineering (B. E. Honours) from BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad

    My childhood fascination with tinkering and making things led me to contribute to a Hyderabad-based start-up called Ducere Technologies, where I learnt some of the most important lessons of my life. I worked on the Le Chal Shoes - haptic feedback based shoes that utilise GPS and simple sensors and enable blind and visually challenged people to navigate independently.

    I am a bronze medal winner at the First International Junior Science Olympiad in Jakarta, Indonesia and was part of the Indian delegation to the Summer Institute for the Gifted and Talented at UC Berkeley, USA.

    I Believe That: A very apt quote for our times and our education system, attributed to Albert Einstein, is one of my favourites: "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

  • Shakti Shaligram

    Shakti Shaligram
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Mechanical Engineering with a specialisation in Design and Manufacturing from IIIT D & M, Kancheepuram

    In 12 years of education, I have seen seven different schools, a very common place figure for an army officer's son. Growing up in an ‘olive green’ environment has probably been the most definitive factor in my life.

    From an early age I have been extremely passionate about cars, bikes, aircrafts and all things mechanical. I nurtured this passion by pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, specialising in Design and Manufacturing.

    In my second year, under the aegis of Centre of Innovation, IIT Madras, I led a team of six students to design and build a functioning prototype of a jet engine.  As my final year project, I designed an air conditioning system which does not require a refrigerant for trucks. I was also selected for the Indian School of Business Young Leaders Programme in 2012.

    My greatest learning experiences were my tenures with Mercedes-Benz and Harley-Davidson, where I worked on projects concerning plant expansion and quality control.
    I'm an avid sportsman; I enjoy playing basketball, squash, table-tennis and badminton. I also enjoy trekking, camping and travelling to exotic landscapes. At the end of a long fulfilling day of outdoor activities, I like to sit down with a novel or a car magazine. 

    I Believe That: In the words of Master Yoda of the Star Wars film, “Do or do not; there is no try.”

  • Anushka Siddiqui

    Anushka Siddiqui
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi

    In a society that loves slotting people, I am a bit of an anomaly; born to parents from different regions and religions, I don’t fit any of the preconceived notions that people have. This approach of amalgamation has defined my upbringing and extends to my choice of subject, economics, which draws from streams of mathematics, political science and psychology, among others.

    My guiding principle through college life has been to explore the different facets of economics and soak up as much knowledge as I can through varied experiences, something I’m glad to say that I managed to a large extent. Besides completing research internships at Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies and Alexis Society, I served on the editorial boards of the college magazine and the economics journal. I also acted as Campus Coordinator for Centre for Civil Society, where I helped organise two major events: Jeevika Asia Documentary Festival 2011 and Freedom Caravan 2012.

    I tried to get a balanced work experience, where on the one hand I delved into the world of finance through an internship at the Corporate Executive Board, and on the other, explored the interrelation between economics and politics by conducting social audits of the work of district councillors as a volunteer in the organisation Satark Nagrik Sangathan. In the future, I wish to pursue my Masters in Economics and use it to explore pressing question in public policy.

    I Believe That: Fellini’s statement, ‘One must live spherically, growing in many directions,’ has really defined my experiences. I grew not in a linear manner but spherically, rooted at the core and absorbing new skills and experiences which will help me in the future. And YIF, with all that it offers, is a natural extension of this philosophy.

  • Apoorva Singal

    Apoorva Singal
    Age: 26
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Architecture from Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University

    As an architect, I like reading the emergence and continuation of an environment through subtle and often hidden observations of the landscape in front of me. I wish to contribute through my perceptive eye by adapting and shaping design to a more coherent, functional and aesthetic future environment.

    I worked at KSA Design Planning Services and Black Design Studio. Among my achievements, I count winning first prize at an international design competition on ‘Designing a Modern Home’ in Florida. I also won the third prize for designing an atrium for a health facility in Dallas.

    I love travelling and walking through the tranquil landscapes of the Himalayan mountains. That is whereI have always found my peace. I have also discovered that happiness is relative and inner peace can be a greater source of happiness than material gains; and I get my inner peace through travelling. I have discovered more in these experiences than I had ever imagined.

    I Believe That: I believe that the Young India Fellowship will give me the perspective to mind-map various disciplines and ideas with my future work.

  • Varun Singhal

    Varun Singhal
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. Com. (Honours) from Sri Guru Gobind College of Commerce, University of Delhi

    Coming from a business family, I was exposed to a commercial environment right from childhood, when I would visit my father’s factory in the holidays. I saw not just the highs, but also the challenges and the lows of being in business. Far from daunting me, this created in me an appetite for calculated risks and careful planning. Soon, I started ventures of my, a gaming e-commerce portal, is my first venture and its success has been a huge motivator for me.

    My college recognised my passion for entrepreneurship when I was elected the President of SOCH, the Entrepreneurship Cell. I organised BizHawk (the biggest business festival in DU) and won several awards for business plans and ideas. The first ever Incubation Centre for UG was launched in University of Delhi under my leadership.

    My second venture, SOCHBOOK, came soon after. It is the first venture launched by the E-Cell of SGGSCC and aims at providing notebooks to students at the cheapest rates possible through back cover advertising.

    I was selected and participated as one of 300 international students in the 16th World Business Dialogue that was held in Germany, where entrepreneurs, students and politicians from all over the world discussed and developed new business strategies.

    I Believe That: “Don’t think, Just Do It.!!” I am a bit impulsive and believe in executing one’s plans rather than just thinking about doing things.

  • Deepender Singla

    Deepender Singla
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Electrical Engineer from Thapar University, Patiala

    Curiosity in the world around me is probably my most defining characteristic. Curiosity took control of my thoughts and led me to explore life around me, and finally helped me come up with ideas of my own, even though most of those ideas have failed). Curiosity also led me to become a programmer (learning), explorer of the world through the internet,a self-believer and a technology enthusiast.

    I have always believed that problems that emerge from our surroundings are the most important and that the quest to find a solution to such issues leads to all innovation. In the last four years, I have worked on many projects like the Smart Prosthetic Arm andthe Smart Library Management System (patent under process). I have also participated in and won national competitions, such as the Intel Embedded Challenge, Yahoo and Accenture Innovation Jockeys and the Texas Analog Design Contest.

    During my internship, I realised that the participating in competitions, trying to execute crazy ideas and working on projects had nurtured an entrepreneurial streak in me. So I started exploring and studying the world of start-ups more closely. I realised that most entrepreneurs were humble people, who were willing to share their experiences with me and help me grow. I worked with some brilliant minds and realised that truthfulness and honesty are universal traits in a great people.

    I am inspired by my father and well-known programmer, venture capitalist and essayist, Paul Graham.

    I Believe That: We are either far too smart or too dumb to look for God and ask him to solve the problems of our world; we are alone (and together) in creating the world we dreamed of.

  • Karthik Sivaram

    Karthik Sivaram
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. E. in Mechanical Engineering from R. V. College of Engineering, Bangalore

    Unsurprisingly, most of the technical skills I imbibed were from outside the classroom. I managed two automotive research projects – Hybrid Autorickshaw, where we successfully managed to use water as a supplementary fuel for autorickshaws, and Project Chimera- an ambitious joint venture with REVA Electric Car Company to indigenously develop a hybrid car.

    In the remainder of my time in college I was a keen debater. My interest in debating and public speaking has given me moments of deep personal satisfaction and fulfilment – winning the Asian Championship was one such moment. Nonetheless, my biggest take-away from debating will always be the people and the conversations that resulted in the expansion of my intellectual pursuits. This expansion happened especially in the sphere of the liberal arts which, consequently, led me to this programme.  In the past year, as a fellow of the IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise, I worked with social enterprises on a strange and wide-ranging set of projects – from designing educational board games to performing energy audits.

    I am interested in studying the interaction of social and technological systems and hope to harness the same to democratise the technological experience. I find technology an endlessly interesting subject. I am convinced it is the grandest monument to human capacity and the most substantial path to prosperity. 

    I Believe That: “If you can fake sincerity, you can pretty much fake everything”, in the words of Dr. Gregory House.

  • Harsh Snehanshu

    Harsh Snehanshu
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Engineering & Physics from IIT, Delhi

    Though I hail from Patna, I have been educated in seven different cities owing to my father's transferable job, which nurtured a desire for exploration in me. I used to dream of becoming a traveller.However, my highschool studies in Dhanbad lured me towards the world of science, and inspired me to get into IIT Delhi, where I chose Engineering Physics.

    I interned at the University of Glasgow, where I published a research paper in the prestigious Optics Letters. However, during this time I realised that I liked many Arts subjects more than Science. I started taking my writing seriously and in the next two years, published articles, stories and three books. Some of my work has been published by Random House India and I also freelanced with the national daily, The Hindu.

    In my fourth year, I started an internet company and went full-time with the venture, forsaking the placements. I was the co-founder and Creative Director ofWitcraft Marketing Pvt. Ltd.One year of entrepreneurship reaped results, with a fair share of fame and fortune thrown in, but just when it looked like everything was coming together, I had to quit my company.

    When life took this drastic turn, I chose to fulfil my neglected childhood dream and embarked on a solo life-changing journey of India. I covered our whole country in one year, and also got a book on my start-up experience published in-between. I was invited as the official speaker at TEDxMasterCanteenSquare in Bhubaneshwar, where I spoke about my pan-India journey. Right now, I’m working on a book about my travels,titled 'Route to Roots’, and I hope this journey as a writer continues for the rest of my life.

    I Believe That: The line that motivates me most is 'You can't do it'.

  • Abhinav Soman

    Abhinav Soman
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Biotechnology from VIT University, Vellore

    The one thing that’s fascinated me ever since I was a child and continues to do so is science. My dream of becoming a scientist has matured over the years and today I wish to utilize applied science for development. My educational pursuits and internships have taken me to various places across India and the United Arab Emirates, where I did a significant portion of my schooling. At school I was awarded the ‘Best Student Award’ by the Principal and went on to become the Head-boy in the subsequent year.

    I worked with a youth led organisation while in college -‘Make a Difference’ as volunteer and batch-head, imparting English education to underprivileged kids in Vellore. I was placed third in the national summit Talk @ Green India for presentations on ‘Novel Eco-friendly Technology’ and ‘Waste management strategy recommendation for Liberty Shoes Ltd., India’. I have carried out research internships at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (Trivandrum), National Centre for Biological Sciences (Bangalore) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (Mumbai) working on topics ranging from cancer biology to evolutionary genetics.  As part of my B.Tech project I designed a novel Photo bioreactor with enhanced efficiency for microalgae production.

     I also like to unwind by dancing. I have performed both classical and western dance and have undergone training in Bharatnatyam.

    I Believe That: Every living being deserves the best and our purpose in life is to ensure that we strive to achieve this, utilising whatever we have been endowed with and working in a manner that helps us to overcome each other’s shortcomings. This is being human in my opinion.

  • Nina Sud

    Nina Sud
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in English Literature from Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi

    All my interests seem bound together by my love for words, whether they are words in prose and poetry, dialogues in a script, lyrics or the spoken words of those around me. By learning through these words and evolving as an individual at the same time, I hope that one day I will have powerful words of my own. I would want these words to be strengthened by experience and wisdom - both my own and of those who taught me, each in their own way.

    In the meantime, I have always strived to put in my best wherever possible. In college, I was president of The Players, the leading campus theatre society in the country, and received an award for excellence in the field of drama three years in a row. I have directed two plays and have acted in others, as well as in short films and advertisements. I wrote for several magazines and newspapers, including Tehelka, a leading national magazine, and was the editor of the college magazine for three years. I also helped organize a workshop along with the Tehelka Foundation with children from the Salaam Balak Trust and Bluebells School.

    I take a keen interest in music and play several instruments, and have studied Hindustani vocal music, among other things.

    I Believe That: The most interesting people I have met never confined themselves to a single thing or categorised themselves and I hope to never do so either. I see the year ahead helping me with my goal of being all that I can be and never limiting myself within the confines of my mind.

  • Santosh Sundaresan

    Santosh Sundaresan
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Integrated BS-MS in Science (Physics Majors) from IISER, Kolkata

    “Are you aware that Einstein had 12 billion cells in his brain and that is EXACTLY the same number as in yours?”

    This statement, uttered by the Director of a workshop which I attended in my school days at Bahrain shook me from awake and made me sit upright. He followed it up with the other astounding fact that Einstein used hardly 10% of this capacity and he looked in our direction and said, “You have much more potential than even Einstein.”

    As I grew older, I got attracted to Physics like iron filings to a magnet and graduated with a Masters in Physics from IISER-Kolkata, specialising in Chaos Theory. The Latin phrase 'de omnibus dubitandum', which translates into 'be suspicious and doubt everything', has been the philosophy of my life. I’m quite fond of the phrase because it serves as a template for those with a sceptical, independent and inquisitive mind. Some of us have this innate desire to demand evidence before latching on to a belief system or ideology. This attitude has helped me in my research career so far and led me to explore a plethora of research fields in mathematical physics. During the summers of 2011 and 2012, I was involved in developing algorithms for detecting Gravitational Wave signals at the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) respectively. The findings of my research in the USA have been presented at the 2012 LVC conference in Rome and accepted for journal publication.

    Apart from academics, I have represented the Bahrain basketball team in the inter-Gulf sports meet and regularly been a part of my college cricket and basketball teams. I've also had the honour of playing the Grand Piano in front of the king of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad. I am the lead guitarist of the rock band, Simple Black (as my picture suggests!) and we have played at various gigs in Kolkata.

    I Believe That: “Like Gravity, like love, you get up after you fall,Since yesterday isn't running on today's track.” These lines from the Finnish rock band Poets of the Fall sum up my attitude best.

  • Vasudha Tuli

    Vasudha Tuli
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from NIT Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh

    A lover of nature and its beauty blended in the simplest and smallest of things, my life journey has been a canvas painted with myriad of colours, with creativity and passion being the center.  

    I won an International Essay Competition organised by the Chinmaya Mission and was awarded at Rewind, a national level Film Festival, for a movie called “Dreams Playing In Reverse”. An engineer and also a champion Tennis player in college, awarded the “Best All Rounder of School” in class X, I have also garnered praise as a photographer and eloquent speaker.

    I have authored more than 50 poems. Having discovered a writer deep within, it’s nothing but words that define me now. The ‘musical silence’ of words embraces my being to help delve deeper into realms of existence, known and unknown.

    My life’s most enriching experience has been my work as a Design Campaigner with the SMILE Foundation, a national level NGO, which took me through an unparalleled journey of harsh realities and a passionate dreams, hidden stories and unheard voices. The desire to make those voices heard has only grown stronger each day, and I aim to try and bring a positive change to our society. 

    I Believe That: In the words of Andre Gide “The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes”. So do I wish to embed these two in a web of stories and realities, carving it out with words for the soul and words that are all alive!

  • Nayana Udayashankar

    Nayana Udayashankar
    Age: 26
    Degree and Institution: B. Com. L. L. B. (Honours) from Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar

    I worked as a Legal Associate with Ashiralaw, Advocates and Solicitors, Bangalore for two years. As part of my job I have practiced in various courts in Bangalore. I have handled matters related to matrimonial laws, property laws and consumer disputes, among others.

    I have always been a music enthusiast and I am trained in Indian classical music – both Carnatic and Hindustani. Apart from music, Yoga has also been one of my interests and I have pursued my passion in Yoga for the last 10 years. I am also a certified yoga instructor. I have been sharing my love for music and yoga by teaching enthusiastic students for the past one and a half years.

    I believe that one of my greatest strengths has been to follow my heart and pursue my passions, defying conventional advice.

    I Believe That: :“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”. (From the movie ‘Coach Carter’.)

  • Sneha Vaidya

    Sneha Vaidya
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: B. A. in Psychology and Sociology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

    The highlight of my college years was leading a team of 40 to organise performing arts-based events for Malhar, St. Xaviers’ annual inter-collegiate festival. Providing a platform for others to showcase their talents was an invigorating experience. Additionally, teaching underprivileged children as part of the college’s Social Involvement Programme has been one of the most satisfying and enriching experiences, especially to witness the progress in my students.

    I Believe That: I strongly believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s words when he says that we must become the change we want to see. This is the guiding principle I live by as I recognise the importance of embodying the change I aspire to achieve.

  • Goutham G Varrier

    Goutham G Varrier
    Age: 26
    Degree and Institution: B. Sc. in Hospitality and Hotel Administration from Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai
    Post-Graduation: M. A. in Development from AzimPremji University, Bangalore

    I have a wide range of interests and still believe that I am on a path of self-discovery and learning. After getting qualified in Hospitality and Hotel Administration, I went on to do a Masters in Development. I cleared the Combined Defence Services Examination and joined the Indian Military Academy.

    But today, all that varied exposure has resulted in my becoming a photographer and film-maker. At present, I am into travelling and have created a photo essay titled ‘Around India in 365 days’. My more recent love is making documentaries for social causes. One of my works, titled ‘Agitation Diaries’, won the award for the ‘Best Shot Film’ at an inter-college short film festival organised in Bangalore. Another film made on the increasing human-animal conflict in Wayanad, Kerala, is in the process of getting aired on a mainstream news channel.  

    I Believe That: I had always wondered why good things don’t happen in the world; like why people don’t work towards reducing global warming or why the army can’t prevent attacks like the one on Mumbai. As a teenager, I always believed that someone else had the responsibility to make the world a better place to live in. However, in the course of time I realised how ridiculous it was to expect others to solve the issues of the world of which I was very much a part. I found myself dissatisfied with my attitude and decided to actually be the change. This has resulted in my new ideology in life: “Live for a cause or die for one”. I live by this.

  • Suhasni Vasisatha

    Suhasni Vasisatha
    Age: 26
    Degree and Institution: L. L. B. from K. C. Law College, University of Jammu

    “Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.” Lewis Powell, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice

    I belong to a small village called Majuain in Jammu and am the first female of the village to have stepped into the field of Law. I have a dream to make India a better place to live in and am passionate about bringing positive change to society, especially where it concerns those who are deprived of even their basic human rights.

    I have always been a motivated student, and came 1st in Statistics and 6th in Economics in Class XII, in Jammu and Kashmir. In college, I stood 2ndin K.C. Law College and 5th in the University of Jammu. Apart from academics, I won various prizes in extracurricular activities like debate competitions, moot court competitions and cultural programmes. Even as a school student, I raised my voice for students’ rights and worked with the Akhil BharatiyaVidyarthi Parishad as State Girls Head and National Executive Member.

    In keeping with my interest in rural development, I am working with the NGO, Rural India Development Front. I have also established an NGO called the National Safaikaramchari Welfare Society, which works for the welfare of scavengers. As a lawyer, I have decided to use law as a tool to bring in reforms by making justice equally accessible to all. Even though I am a young lawyer, I won my very first case on my maiden appearance before a Double Bench consisting of the Hon’ble Chief Justice of J&K while fighting for the rights of scavenger class – my efforts were even appreciated by the Bench.

    I was honoured with the “Brave Lady Award‘’ in the State of J&K for actively participating in issues central to society’s welfare and have also won commendations in different fields. As I have now qualified for the YIF, I hope that my personality will be developed further by the talented and renowned faculty in the programme. I believe that the multi-disciplinary course will enhance my ability to innovate and help me find creative solutions to social problems.

    I Believe That: I am dedicated to serving my nation, as it has given me everything. Let us all join hands to give something back to our country by serving its people, as we have to be the change we want to see in the world.

  • T T Venkatraghavan

    T T Venkatraghavan
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Commerce from R. K. M. Vivekananda College, University of Madras

    I have primarily worked in the financial services industry, within the private equity sector. I worked with Deloitte, Hyderabad, in the External Audit division.

    Debating and theatre have been two interests that have stayed with me through school and college. I have been an active member of the 25-year-old Madras theatre group, Boardwalkers. Having won over 100 debates at various universities all over the country, oratory and debating have become both a hobby and a passion. I have also been on treks over the Himalayas; the highest I have trekked has been up to 15,000 feet.

    I Believe That: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” These words by St. Augustine are my inspiration and spur me on to go further and do better.

  • Ardra Venugopal

    Ardra Venugopal
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B. Tech. in Civil Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur

    The fast-paced and thrilling team sport of Basketball has been my passion since I was quite young. In college, I was awarded with the Institute Blue for Basketball and adjudged Most Valuable Player for two straight years. Besides that, I had my finger in plenty of pies and was actively involved in the dramatics and dance scene as well. In my own small way, I tried to make a difference on the campus; a friend and I made a personal project of installing dustbins throughout the campus. After mapping the area, we put together a proposal for the registrar, which was finally carried out. This achievement, though not very grand, was one of the instances that helped me have faith in myself.

    For the last two years, I have been working as an Oil Field Engineer in the Drilling and Measurements section of Schlumberger. This has been a period where I have pushed boundaries in ways I could not have predicted. I have worked on the Bangladesh border and in the middle of the desert, usually as the only woman for kilometres around. I was chosen as a member of a demanding one-month deep-water assignment in Sri Lanka and completing that successfully is a matter of pride for me.

    I hope during this year of possibilities, to find a way to cohesively include my interests and aspirations in the path that I choose for myself.

    I Believe That: As Calvin said, “It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy… let’s go exploring!”

  • Aanchal Vij

    Aanchal Vij
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: B. A. (Honours) in English from Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi

    I am a music enthusiast who loves working to provide support and a structure for growth to the independent music scene in India. I volunteered with The YP Foundation for a period of one year and worked on organising a series of independent music workshops, The Open House Series, and increasing mobility for both aspiring and professional musicians. 

    I am passionate about writing and like to express myself through that medium. I interned with a social media firm, Drizzlin, and the Delhi Times newspaper, and was a columnist for both online and print magazines like BLAH Magazine and DU Beat. I won several creative writing competitions at the inter and intra-college levels,  one of them being the Anupama Nair Memorial award for Creative Writing in 2010. I also worked on an inter-disciplinary research project facilitated by the University of Delhi. I love exploring linkages within and between music and writing. It perhaps goes without saying that I am an avid reader and an animated movies loyalist. 

    I Believe That:

    As Fran Lebowitz said,“In life, there is no such thing as algebra.” This statement has served as my totem and urged me to merge my passions with other academic and extracurricular aspects of life for optimum learning from both spheres. This quality has helped me excel in my endeavours along with bolstering my creativity, which is the most significant constant I'd like to maintain through everything I do."


Terms and Conditions

We reserve the right in our sole discretion to edit or delete any documents, information or other content appearing on the Site.


You agree to indemnify, defend and hold us and our partners, attorneys, staff and affiliates (collectively, "Affiliated Parties") harmless from any liability, loss, claim and expense, including reasonable attorney's fees, related to your violation of this Agreement or use of the Site.


Your right to use the Site is not transferable. Any password or right given to you to obtain information or documents is not transferable.


The information and services may contain bugs, errors, problems or other limitations. We and our affiliated parties have no liability whatsoever for your use of any information or service. In particular, but not as a limitation thereof, we and our affiliated parties are not liable for any indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages (including damages for loss of business, loss of profits, litigation, or the like), whether based on breach of contract, breach of warranty, tort (including negligence), product liability or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such damages. The negation of damages set forth above are fundamental elements of the basis of the bargain between us and you. This site and the information would not be provided without such limitations. No advice or information, whether oral or written, obtained by you from us through the site shall create any warranty, representation or guarantee not expressly stated in this agreement.

Use of Information

We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to the use and assignment of all information regarding Site uses by you and all information provided by you in any manner consistent with our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy

Our Privacy Policy, as it may change from time to time, is a part of this Agreement.

Links to Other Web Sites

The Site contains links to other Web sites. We are not responsible for the content, accuracy or opinions express in such Web sites, and such Web sites are not investigated, monitored or checked for accuracy or completeness by us. Inclusion of any linked Web site on our Site does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked Web site by us. If you decide to leave our Site and access these third-party sites, you do so at your own risk.

Information and Press Releases

The Site may contain information and press releases about us. While this information was believed to be accurate as of the date prepared, we disclaim any duty or obligation to update this information or any press releases. Information about companies other than ours contained in the press release or otherwise, should not be relied upon as being provided or endorsed by us.

Refund settlement

The application amount of Rs. 1000.00 once paid is not refundable under any circumstance.


Privacy Policy

We respect the privacy of those who visit our web site. In accordance with this, we have created this policy in order to demonstrate our privacy commitment to our users:

What this Privacy Policy Covers

This Privacy Policy covers our treatment of personally identifiable information that we collect when you are on our site, and when you use our services. This policy also covers our treatment of any personally identifiable information that third parties share with us.

This policy does not apply to the practices of organizations that we do not own or control, or to people that we do not employ or manage.

Information Collection and Use

We collect personally identifiable information when you register on our website, when you use our services, and when you visit our pages. We may also receive personally identifiable information from third parties.

When you register with us, we ask for your name, email address, zip code, occupation, industry, and personal interests. Once you register with us and sign in to our services, you are not anonymous to us.

We use this information for three general purposes: to customize the content you see, to fulfill your requests for certain services, and to contact you about services.

We also automatically receive and record information on our server logs from your browser including your IP address, cookie information and the page you requested. This information is not linked to your account and will not be used to identify you.

Information Sharing and Disclosure

We will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information to anyone.

We will send personally identifiable information about you to other companies or people when

  • We have your consent to share the information;
  • We respond to subpoenas, court orders or legal process; or
  • We find that your actions on our web sites violate the Terms of Service

Changes to this Privacy Policy

The privacy policy is subject to modification from time to time. If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes here so that you will always know what information we gather, how we might use that information and whether we will disclose it to anyone. Any significant changes to our privacy policy will be announced on our home page. If you do not agree with the changes in our policy you can simply discontinue to visit our website.

Questions or Suggestions

If you have questions or suggestions send an email to us.