An initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, VidyaGyan is specifically designed to identify and nurture gifted students from economically
underprivileged rural backgrounds and transform them through high-quality education into future leaders.
200 students inducted every year in Grade VI
Free residential high quality education from Grade VI to Grade XII
500+ alumni, all studying at prestigious undergraduate institutions around the world
Established in 2009, VidyaGyan currently has two campuses in Uttar Pradesh and is one of the most
successful models of rural leadership development in the country.
The students of VidyaGyan narrate their stories about their journey to depict how drastically their lives have changed.
Manvi, a student of Grade XII, VidyaGyan, Bulandshahr, is the daughter of a daily wage earner and she has secured admission in Wellesley College, which is ranked No. 3 National Liberal Arts College in the US (Best Colleges 2017) with a full financial aid of US$75,000 annually for four years. Incidentally, Wellesley College is the alma mater of Hillary Clinton and is one of the world's top colleges for liberal arts.
Manvi was determined to carve out a path for herself and finish her education when most other girls from her village or the region dropped out of school in Grade V and were made to work to supplement the family income.
Since she joined VidyaGyan in Grade VI, Manvi depicted exceptional grit and merit. She was the first student from Bulandshahr VidyaGyan to win the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Scholarship and go to the USA in 2014. She travelled to Minnesota to complete Grade XI, acting as a global citizen, determined to bridge the cultural gap between students from different countries of the world. She studied for a year at the Edison High School in Minnesota.
After she came back to India to complete Grade XII, she was invited as a speaker at the recently concluded Global Citizen India Festival representing the potential of Indian village girls as future leaders. At 18, she has shared the stage with Google's India head, the UNDP country head and celebrities from Bollywood and spoke about her journey from a village to VidyaGyan and then Minnesota.
Manvi aims to become a citizen of the world and represent her country and women from every developing nation across platforms which matter.
Shikha, hails from a village near Bulandshahr. Her father is a small-time farmer and mother a housewife. The only girl child in her family, Shikha's life constituted little more than helping her mother with the household chores and attending the government primary school. Her primary responsibility was helping manage the house. However, in spite of her irregular attendance at the school, her school teachers and Principal identified her as a sharp student with a sense of curiosity and a hunger to learn.
Shikha was part of the batch of 10,000 students who took VidyaGyan's first entrance test in 2009 and was selected as one of the 200 students who constituted the Founding Batch of the school.
Her story is remarkable not because education has turned around her life but because she has been instrumental in touching the lives of her peers in her village and motivating them to pursue education. She topped the grade XII CBSE examinations with 97%. She has set an example in her village that girls can excel if given the right platform and opportunity.
Shikha's transformative journey has led her to securing admission in one of India's top colleges, Lady Shri Ram College in University of Delhi. Today, inspired by her journey, Shikha's entire village enthusiastically bats for girls' education and treats them equally with the male children – a major achievement in the typical social context of gender-based discrimination in the country.
"I am impressed by the commendable efforts done by Mr. Shiv Nadar. All my good wishes for your sustained efforts to bring about an equitable, just society."