Every one of us has experienced the joy of finding something where you least expect it.
A couple of years back I was walking through the corridors of VidyaGyan with the Principal of the academy when I chanced upon a young 15-year-old student oblivious to her surroundings, scribbling away in her notebook. I remembered her from my previous visits to the academy as a shy 11 year-old who came to us from one of the remotest parts of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, with absolutely no exposure to the outside world. She had never seen the television or known what a computer is! After a little prodding I managed to convince her to show us her notebook and to my absolute shock and delight, she had drawn pages after pages of some of the most beautiful designs that I have ever seen for evening gowns, wedding attire, shoes and accessories. I realized that day that given the right nurturing, this girl could prove to be VidyaGyan’s gift to the field of art and design.
Today, this young girl stands a chance to study at the prestigious London College of Fashion (LCF), chosen after clearing several rounds of the institution’s rigorous selection process. And she is not alone. Four students graduating this year from the VidyaGyan leadership academy have secured admission at the LCF and their journey is nothing short of a fairytale.
These four students, like the other 1,900 at VidyaGyan, come from families with annual income of less than $1500. Ranjeet was already working as a child laborer at a local sweet shop in his village, before joining VidyaGyan. Shubham, who comes from a family of potters, had joined his parents to supplement the family earnings. Nisha was struggling to support her family of 10 and Simran was looking for work as domestic help to feed her family of eight as she had just lost her father and the only earning member of her family to cancer. Coming from these backgrounds, education was not a top priority for the families of these children, engaged in their daily struggle against starvation.
However, there is another thread that binds the stories of these children together and that is their relentless pursuit of education and their firm belief that through education they can not only change the lives of their families but accelerate the transformation of entire communities. Over the past seven years, these VidyaGyan students have wowed us with their dedication and uncompromising approach towards bettering their lives and in turn we have encouraged them to dream of lives without limits.
These students have immense potential and we at VidyaGyan identified the same when these students were selected to join us. Today, they are ready to begin a new journey into an unknown world and need support from all quarters. They need a platform that can enable them to further their pursuit and help them realise their dreams.
Join hands with us and be the catalyst that will help four potential change agents redefine their lives and become the stones that will create many ripples across the waters.