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The students of VidyaGyan narrate their stories about their journey to depict how drastically their lives have changed.

Anuj Dhariwal

Anuj Dhariwal from VidyaGyan gets commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Indian army

When Anuj Dhariwal dreamt of joining the Indian army, no one from his village of Moradabad district in Uttar Pradesh had yet become an army officer. Son of a marginal farmer, Anuj’s goal seemed like a distant dream. However, destiny had bigger plans for him as he secured admission at VidyaGyan in 2010.

During his growing years, Anuj looked up to one of his uncles who served in the Indian army but the young boy aimed to reach higher in the armed forces.

Like every student at VidyaGyan, he was encouraged to contribute to the betterment of the society through various projects and this further helped in keepingalive his dream of serving in the armed forces. Through his seven years at the School, he was nurtured and supported by his teachers to pursue his dream and excel in all fields. He scored 93.6 percent in Grade 12 exams and qualified JEE mains; however, chose to attempt to qualify the rigorous selection process of the National Defense Academy (NDA) and was successful when he cleared the written as well as the Service Selection Board interview.

His teachers mentored and trained him throughout his journey. He was prepared for the written examinations and resources were arranged for his coaching for the SSB interview by VidyaGyan. He credits his teachers for instilling the values of integrity and hard work in him.

Anuj became the first VidyaGyan student to enter the armed services after he secured admission at the NDA, Pune in 2017 where he stayedfor three years. He then went to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. His success is a testament to VidyaGyan’s vision of nurturing bright students from rural UP to emerge as change agents and contribute to nation building.

Anuj looks forward to serving the country and motivate individuals like him to pursue their dreams and become achievers in the field of their choosing.

Anurag Tiwari

Determination and hard work take a boy from rural India to an Ivy League University in the US

In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, a remote village in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Sarasan was in celebratory mode. Its name flashed all over the news for a young and diligent boy from the village, Anurag Tewari made it to the Cornell University in the United States and that too with 100 percent scholarship.

Son of a marginal farmer, Anurag became one of the few Indian students who go on to study at the Ivy League University, considered the gold standard of college education.

Anurag’s humble background did not deter him from aiming for the sky. However, opportunities were limited with little exposure at his government primary school where he studied till Grade 5. Anurag’s life took a 360 degrees turn when he secured admission at the VidyaGyan Leadership Academy in July 2013. His journey to success began here. He was offered free world-class education, mentoring, motivation and overall personality development.

Anurag was supported by his teachers and mentors who prepared him to accomplish his mission. In a span of seven years, he became a confident speaker, focused individual and now an inspiration for scores of individuals who work towards leveraging education to transform their lives.

A brilliant student, Anurag scored 98.2 percent in his Grade 12 CBSE examinations. He is now pursuing an undergraduate program in Economics and Mathematics at the Cornell University in the US.

Shikoh Zaidi

Shikoh’s drive to break taboos and myths around menstruation garnered her success beyond measure

Shikoh Zaidi was just 16-years-old when she began a revolution in her small village in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh. Fearless in her approach, Shikoh faced difficulties when she planned to educate young girls and women in her village to raise awareness around menstrual hygiene. Shikoh herself became aware of the need for ensuring menstrual hygiene practices at VidyaGyan and discussed the myths and taboos around menstruation with her friends at the school. Her teachers and mentors encouraged and welcomed her passion to question the age old norms while instilling confidence in her to try and drive change in her village through a summer project around this subject.

Coming from a rural background, Shikoh’s life took a turn when she joined VidyaGyan in the year 2013. Her determination to transform the lives of young women was nurtured by her teachers. She was encouraged to read books which gave her an insight into the real life stories of average Indian women who face tremendous challenges because of their gender. This stimulated her passion further and she aspired to follow in the footsteps of great leaders to drive real change on ground.

During her school vacations, Shikoh implemented awareness drives in her village and went door-to-door to speak about the importance of menstrual hygiene practices. She faced resistance from the village women and elderly; however, this did not deter her from her efforts. Shikoh screened animated films, organized talks and even demonstrated how to use a sanitary pad without caring much about the giggles and criticism from the shy women of her village.

Shikoh’s efforts resulted with more young girls and also their mothers adopting safe menstrual practices in her village. Shealso made it to the prestigious Georgetown University in Qatar on 100 percent scholarship and is currently pursuing an undergraduate program in international politics.

Her goal is to become a change maker and transform lives of the less privileged.

Manu Chauhan

From a small village in UP to California in the US, Manu Chauhan is VidyaGyan’s shining star

From a small village of Akrabad in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district to the Stanford University in California, Manu Chauhan’s success story is one of a dreamer and an achiever. Son of an insurance salesman, Manu secured 100 percent scholarship at Stanford and would be flying to US in September to pursue an undergraduate program in International Relations and Economics at Stanford.

Manu’s success in a result of seven years of hard-work supported by mentoring and motivation from his teachers at VidyaGyan. His teachers instilled in him the confidenceto aim big and the discipline to achieve his goals.

Manu studied in a government primary school till Grade 5. His father struggled to fulfill the basic necessities of the family but he valued education and dreamt to see his son excel in the same. An advertisement of VidyaGyan in a local newspaper came across as a ray of hope for him. Manu did not let down his father and got selected amid a tough competition for admission at VidyaGyan where only 250 students are selected out of the approximate 250,000 applicants every year.

At VidyaGyan, the talent and drive in him to excel in life was nurtured. His teachers motivated him and guided him step-by-step to achieve bigger milestones. As a result, he secured 95.4 percent in Grade 10; won outstanding performance award in Assessment of Scholastic Skills through Educational Testing twice; became the best speaker in intra-class debate competitions and won gold medal in Open State Level Table-Tennis championship in 2018.

His list of achievements and contribution to the community through voluntary work is long but his future plans are more heartwarming and promising. His long term dream is to contribute towards the education of underprivileged children in India so that he is able to extend the gift of education to other deserving students and help improve their lives.

His eyes are also set on the United Nations where he aims to work after completing his degree.