Meet the Young India Fellows 2016-2017

The Young India Fellowship welcomes its 4th batch of young path-breakers, change-makers and visionaries of tomorrow. Each is already an inspired front-runner today...

  • Guriya .

    Guriya .
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: B.Sc. Honours in Economics; St Xavier’s College, Kolkata

    Touted to be the most talkative person in all her groups, she feels words are the best way to express anything and everything, hence her love for writing. Born in Patna and then brought up in Jamshedpur, she loves the air and energy of the Steel City. From being a lover of Milton Friedman to being a movie buff, Guriya categorizes herself as someone who wants to experience as many things as possible in every moment of her existence.
    After completing her schooling from Loyola School, Jamshedpur, she did her graduation in Economics from St Xavier’s College, Kolkata where she fell in love with the subject. She possesses a Socialist heart in a Capitalist mind and believes that Capitalism is the best economic system. She wrote several papers on different aspects from “Subsidisation Policy” to “Waste Management Economics” and won several laurels in the same. She was also part of the organising committee for the annual college Economics summit.  She was associated with the online magazine called the “theindianeconomist” as a contributor of articles as well as Campaign Manager.

    For a year she worked in the Global Natural Resources Group at Verity Knowledge Solutions where she learned all about Chemicals, Oil & Gas and Mining mergers and acquisitions. She considers this as a major turning point in her learning curve as she learnt live skills and lessons in the course of her stay. She believes that she met the most brilliant people and they had a lot to teach her from their respective life experiences. 

    She wants to keep learning, keep meeting new people so that their experiences could help her grow. As her journey goes on in life, she wishes to inspire and motivate people from her life experiences and learn to rediscover herself everyday throughout her journey.

    I believe that:

    “What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.”

    ― Motorcycle Diaries 

  • Krishnapriya .

    Krishnapriya .
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature; CMS College, Kottayam

    Krishnapriya, the versatile girl was born and brought up in the land of lores and looms, Kannur district, Kerala. Being a member of a middle-class family, she believed in simple thoughts backed up with tremendous inspirations and motivation from her father. She proved herself as the jack of all trades who excelled in academics and marveled in arts and sports. Leadership quality, confidence, self-esteem and optimism were inculcated in her at a young age. Her taste in martial arts which sprouted at the age of nine became fruitful at the age of fifteen, when she received the black belt in Shotokan Karate. Many scholarships and endowment titles were also awarded to her. 

    Her passion in the world of letters guided her into CMS College and she opted for BA English as her stream. She sowed the seeds of charity and social work with her active participation in National Service Scheme at the college level. In addition to that she became the official dancer of the college and also raised her name towards film industry by acting in a short film Akam and was unanimously selected as the best female actress of Malayala Manorama Yuva Short Film Festival Season 4. The innovative quest for knowledge made her pursue a Certificate Course in Functional English provided by Indira Gandhi National Open University. Her ambition to be a civil servant was boosted at the Civil Service Academy, Pala, Kottayam. In order to cherish her character and to develop her social sense she attended the 21 day residential camp ASAP(Additional Skill Acquisition Programme- Kerala Govt Initiative) at Nirmalagiri College, Kuthuparamba, Kannur. 

    Due to her passion for exploration and zest for knowledge, she was eager to find out, the panorama of opportunities that could nourish the abilities of youth. This paved way for her entry into the list of 225 students selected for Young India Fellowship.

    Favourite quotes: 

    “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go” 
    ─ TS Eliot.

    “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” 
    ─ Bruce Lee

  • Shilpi .

    Shilpi .
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering, Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE), Bangalore.

    “Artist” her name means and staying true to it, Shilpi took the first step at the age of 4 when she was the anchor for a function at school. Her varied interests have added to the set of unique experiences that she cherishes. Having spent her childhood in the industrial city Jamshedpur, she has pursued all her dreams with a strong determination. Shilpi was placed on the honour roll of her school for her brilliant academic performance and active involvement in extracurricular activities throughout her school life. She made her parents proud by topping in her school in the ICSE Board exams.
    Her love for mathematics coupled with her inquisitiveness made her take up engineering. She served as the Vice President of the Chemical Engineer’s association at her college (DSCE Bangalore). Shilpi believes that multitasking is one of her strengths and she utilized it to the fullest during her college days. She is a keen debater and elocutionist and has bagged the best speaker award at national level debating competitions organized by the Rotary Club (Jamshedpur division) and NML laboratories. Her desire to work with a difference landed her with a project with a NGO called Green Tech related to purposeful utilization of solid wastes. In an endeavour to practically apply her technical skills, she did an internship with HPCL and Tata Tinplate.

    Penning down her thoughts has been Shilpi’s favorite past time and she has worked with the editorial boards of DSCE and Tata Tinplate. Her diversified interests also include dancing. She is a trained Kathak dancer and loves performing. She is presently working at Tata Tinplate and is involved in Tinning Line operations. Adventure is her new found love that she recently acquired after the 12,000 ft Himalayan trek that she underwent last year. She loves travelling and interacting with people from different cultural blends. 

    Shilpi is looking forward to the year at the Young India Fellowship with enthusiasm to explore new possibilities and give a new dimension to her life.

    I Believe That:  

    “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

  • Manasa Acharya

    Manasa Acharya
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts in Economics; St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

    Manasa’s love for reading and writing and thirst for learning varied subjects made the pursuit of the Arts stream a natural choice. Despite the disapproval of many around her, she believes this choice to be the best of her life. It opened doors to a whole new world of intellectualism at St. Xavier’s, where she found herself dwarfed amidst some of the brightest minds in the country; and constantly reminded her that she has yet to accomplish anything noteworthy. 

    During her undergrad years, she dabbled in several activities apart from studies – from competing in fests and writing research papers, to organizing conferences and editing the Economics journal. Manasa’s love for languages and a decision to learn Spanish fostered in her a deep desire to explore other cultures. She thus, grabbed the opportunity to intern at Bogota, Colombia through an unforgettable cultural exchange programme; and represent Xavier’s at the University of California, Berkeley Summer School. She brought home lessons more valuable than any souvenir from these journeys. 

    Xavier’s sensitized Manasa to the needs of the underprivileged, be it through the Social Involvement Programme at Akanksha, a semi-ethnographic study on the lives of hawkers, or enriching class discussions. This led her to intern at ToolBox, a pro-bono consultancy for non-profits. Her most memorable project was one where she interacted with jasmine farmers in a drought-hit village of Maharashtra in order to document and expand the business plan of their cooperative. These experiences shaped her aspirations to a great extent.

    A foodie and Potterhead, Manasa also likes DIY, sketching and browsing on Quora. At YIF, she hopes to expand her horizons, meet interesting people with similar goals and grow as a person.

    Favourite quotes:

    “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are ── or, as we are conditioned to see it.”
    ─ Stephen Covey

    “A ship is safe at harbour; but that is not what ships are built for. “
    ─ John. A. Shedd

  • Prince Aditya

    Prince Aditya
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Business Studies; Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, University of Delhi

    Prince Aditya is an avid cricket fan, loves Hindi music and Bollywood, and has eaten Aloo Parathas for breakfast almost all his life. During his school and undergraduate education he took up adventure sports, photography and debating. Going to one of the best undergraduate B-schools in the country, he dived into social entrepreneurship, and took a decent liking towards Finance, ending up with an Investment Banking job. In this untidy package of interests and experiences, he often finds himself lost before deciding to tread some more.

    The highlight of Prince's undergraduate years was his work in the social entrepreneurship space, for Enactus. He was instrumental in the execution of Project Gramoddhar, working for the holistic socio-economic development of Ghamroj, a village in Sohna. Interacting with stakeholders from the board members of Pepsico to the widow women of orthodox Haryana, gave him solid insight into the web of intricacies that determine societal progress. He was elected to represent his college Enactus chapter at the National Competition 2014, subsequently winning the same and representing India at the Enactus World Cup in China.

    At the end of first year in college, Prince gave up a lucrative internship to enroll for a month long mountaineering course at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali. Learning the nuances of rock, ice and snow craft, in an army setup with rationed food, nearly 10 hours of physical exertion everyday, without electricity and cellular coverage, he was pushed to his physical and mental extremes. The mere completion of the course was a triumph for his mental strength, as he came back a calmer, steadier and lighter man.

    Coming from a Science background in school, studying Finance in college and working for an investment bank, Prince developed an intuitive tendency to look for ‘right answers’. This, he believes, is not only futile but counter-productive, when dealing with subjective problems with complex variables, as life often presents. At YIF, he wants to remodel himself, and push away the formulaic linear thought process. He thinks this is a major gap in the formal education that he received, and a well designed liberal arts education will go a long way in plugging that hole.

    Favourite quote: 

    "The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at." 
    ― Jesse Owens

  • Yamini Agarwal

    Yamini Agarwal
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mathematics; HansRaj College, University of Delhi

    In this planet there are two kinds of people - people who love Mathematics or hate it. Yamini’s journey from the latter to former is fascinating. Her fondness for reading is credited to Enid Blyton for “The Secret Seven” series. This is the sole reason she motivates novice readers to start with Enid Blyton. She loves solving Sudoku and as a matter of fact her mother had to stop issuing newspapers when she was thirteen because of the extreme addict she had become. 

    One could easily spot Yamini in a crowd; she would be that one person who was either eagerly listening or speaking with sparkling eyes. Planning and executing events are her favourite things to do. It however requires a team to pull off the events successfully and she is a charismatic leader. Undoubtedly, she played the most crucial roles all three years in college for Identity and Confluence, her department and college festivals respectively. She can easily gel with people owing to the generous and caring person she is and that attitude is not restricted to humans. She is very compassionate towards Mother Earth, and was the General Secretary of the Environment Society of her college. Her contribution was recognized by the college as well as various NGOs they collaborated with.

    Amidst all these activities she was one of the brightest students in her class, highly inquisitive and a keen learner. She learnt video motion analysis at Miranda House and also derived a mathematical model of Conspecific Cannibalism while interning at National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. She was a council member of her department all three years and the first girl president of her department. She also managed to do a German Certificate Course and an Equity Dealer Course along with her academics and societies. At the end, she came out with a “Ms. Mathematics” to her name. It was hard work, patience and dedication for the subject that made her fall for the subject.

    Favourite quote: 

    “The concept you have about me won’t change who I am, but it can change my concept about you.”
    ― House MD (TV Series)

  • Saumya Aggarwal

    Saumya Aggarwal
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce; Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi

    Life is a journey of finding yourself and that is what Saumya lives by. Exploring herself through the years, she has a wide array of interests. Excelling at academics was her main agenda while at school. Parallelly, she ventured into dance and art. However they were merely hobbies back then. With an interest in science and economics, she chose those subjects in senior secondary. She joined Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies to expose herself to commerce. In college, she grasped more than the prescribed syllabus and ventured into new areas that helped her grow holistically. Dance and Social Entrepreneurship formed the backbone of this endeavor. Dancing as a member of Blitz, the college dance society has been the most defining experience of her life. It taught her how every herb adds to the flavour thereby making the perfect recipe. Her keen desire to drive social change led her to volunteer for Connecting Dreams Foundation (CDF), where she assisted in bridging the gap between Rural and Urban India.

    As a natural fallout of her degree, she joined a consultancy firm as a Business Analyst. But 2 months there were enough to make her realize that this was not she was made for. She then joined Teamwork Arts as a production assistant in the arts and events management space to keep her creative interests alive. All this while, struggling with her job and trying to identify her calling in life, she used arts and crafts as a medium of relaxation. She shared her passion of creating and crafting with the world through her DIY blog and that has been a constant source of motivation for her.

    At YIF she wishes to explore more and carve out a path which helps balance her academic and creative interests.

  • Achalika Ahuja

    Achalika Ahuja
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor in management studies, College of Vocational Studies, Delhi

    Reader, lucid dreamer and a dog lover, Achalika can easily be spotted helping people pronounce her name better. Her inquisitive nature combined with her academic brilliance led her to the field of science in high school. But a series of questions still unanswered and the unending passion to learn more and expand her horizons, made her switch directions and enter CVS to pursue a course in business management.

    First few days of college and she knew she wasn’t the person who would just sit through lectures 10-4 and head back home, when there were a plethora of opportunities incessantly calling out. She joined the Dramatics society, played the protagonist of their production and was an active member of the debating society. Amidst lectures, projects, practices and college festivals, she somehow craved for more. Her zeal to empower the underprivileged and a solution oriented approach aided her in the process of conceiving “Katran” an initiative by Enactus CVS, of which she was a co-founder and Project Head. The outcome of katran was not just income generation, rather social acceptance, respect and self dependence in women from low income households who put their acquired skills in stitching to make beautiful accessories.

    A woman of substance, Achalika holds strong political views and a tendency of asking soul stirring and often uncomfortable questions. Winning an argument against her is next to impossible and her competitive nature is no doubt her most adorable trait. She collects more books than she can ever read and hard-hitting cinema is what she can drown her nights in.

    An ambivert by nature, she is the go-to person for an engaging conversation with the choicest of words and emotions that make you think bigger and better, but at the same time she’s the type of person who can spend hours seemingly staring at a wall, lost in her own train of thought. Standing at yet another crossroad, she hopes that Young India Fellowship gives her a platform to fulfill her dream of empowering lives.

  • Jaysri Thangam Ananthapadmanaban

    Jaysri Thangam Ananthapadmanaban
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication; Thiagarajar college of Engineering, Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

    Hailing from the Athens of the east – Madurai, Jaysri comes from typical south Indian Family – a small town girl with high time dreams. An avid reader and a public speaker, she was the president of the Toastmasters club in her college. She also served as the chief editor of the magazine 'ECE Mail'. Her profuse love for Digital Networks got her volunteering on conducting workshops and lab sessions for her juniors from ECE, CS and IT departments.
    Jaysri never truly liked staying inside the classroom all the time. She won a lot of competitions and symposiums around Southern India; which was her excuse to travel. She is the winner of Time of India's National level search for young leaders called 'I lead India', from among participants from 28 states in India. During the competition, she and her team worked on revamping a 90 acre large lake that was rendered non-potable, which would later go on to serve 2 lakh people on its banks. She was then awarded a scholarship by the Times Group to attend the prestigious Transformational Leadership Program at ISB - a program designed to kindle the natural genius in the leaders. 
    She was also delegated by her college to attend the INDO-US technological summit at Noida in 2014, adding another arrow to her quiver. Then she went on to participate in the 'Action against climate change' program by ICCE and the UN and worked as the Earth Ambassador at her college.
    All these experiences lander her a job at Microsoft , where she worked with the Unified Communications team. It was perfectly tantamount to her passion for Networks. Having had the IT experience, she now wants to peep beyond her usual ambit. To read more, imbibe more from the exceptional faculty and mentors and this infallible student experience is what she is looking forward from YIF.
    Favorite quotes:

    "If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." 
    ― Sirius Black 

    "Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching" 
    ― C. S. Lewis 

  • Megha Arora

    Megha Arora
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies; Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
    Post-Graduation: Master of Science in International Public Policy; University College London

    Born in Amritsar and raised in Chandigarh, Megha left home to study abroad at the age of 16. Academically bright and fiercely independent, she weighed various career options, including some rather unconventional ones, till she arrived at Emory. The flexibility of the liberal arts curriculum there allowed her to fall in love with a mind-boggling variety of disciplines, ranging from neuroscience and philosophy to post-colonial literature and global environmental policy.

    At Emory, Megha was a staff writer at the Emory Wheel, the student-run newspaper. As a Resident Advisor, she assisted dormitory students with personal and academic concerns. Her love for fiction took her to the University of Oxford, where she spent a summer writing essays on Shakespeare in theatre productions. Her stellar undergraduate experience taught her to be more discriminating and reflective and ultimately to think better. 

    Her passion for foreign affairs and writing led her to pursue graduate school in London where she frequented academic symposiums, public lectures and the ever-vibrant underground music scene. In her Master’s dissertation at UCL, she argued that New Delhi must diplomatically leverage the Tibet issue and the activities of the Tibetan ‘government in exile’ to undermine China’s attempt to back its economic growth with greater international legitimacy. Post-UCL, she worked at South Asia Terrorism Portal where she did analytical research on violent extremism in Pakistan and the emergence of home-grown terrorism in the West.

    Recently, she decided to take a gap year and live in retreat at Mcleodganj to study Mahayana Buddhist philosophy under advanced practitioners in an ambience of ‘noble silence.’It is Megha’s love for learning that brings her to the Young India Fellowship, where she hopes to engage with and work on ideas that will positively impact the lives of people everywhere and Indians in particular.  
    Favorite quote:

    "Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it."
    ― Epictetus.

  • Utkarsh Arora

    Utkarsh Arora
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors of Technology in Mechanical Engineering; Thapar University, Patiala

    Utkarsh was born in Dehradun, which was then a quaint town on the foothills of the Himalayas. Naturally, he fell in love with the mountains and usually runs out of words while describing the way he feels about them. He spent the latter half of his life in Gurgaon, where in school he developed a passion for science and football. His fascination for cars led him to take up mechanical engineering in college. Incidentally, his affair with the mountains was rekindled in college too, on a trek in the gorgeous Parvati valley. Since then, a thought in the back of his head keeps poking him to plan his next trip.

    He began his professional career as a manufacturing associate at Honda cars India, where he was in charge of production at an assembly line employing thirty people. Soon enough though, disillusionment and complacency led him to change track. A phase of introspection interspersed with solo travel and volunteering as a teacher at an NGO led him to join Avanti, where he taught math and science to high school kids.

    He is a fitness enthusiast who likes to immerse himself in the worlds of Murakami, Douglas Adams and JRR Tolkein in his free time. 

    Favorite quote: 

    “Not all those who wander are lost.”
    ― The Lord of the Rings

  • Aditya Arun

    Aditya Arun
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology; SSN College of Engineering, Chennai

    Arun’s is a family of politicians and educators. On one side, he grew up hearing tales of his paternal grandfather’s deeds, a three-time legislator in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, and on the other side, he saw for himself the silent education revolution his mother and his maternal grandparents, all school headmasters, created in the villages they went to teach. Aditya wonders if his deep etched patriotism, the ability and willingness to think about the country and its problems can be attributed to his genes or to the culmination of his outward upbringing.

    Aditya’s academic track record opened doors to Computer Science Engineering at SSN College of Engineering, founded by techpreneur and philanthropist Dr. Shiv Nadar. When Arun was not busy coding, he always thought about India’s pressing issues and the means to combat them. He fondly remembers the time he went on to interview people and assess an ill-maintained government hospital and wrote a report about it in his college magazine. He has learnt how to manage resources - people, money and time when he served as Treasurer of his department’s symposium committee. Being a photography enthusiast, he nostalgically recalls how he used to get lost in the city of Chennai along with his camera. Arun’s technical ability later landed him as a full stack web developer at a niche e-commerce web development company and has been working on interesting projects since then. 

    Aditya gets his dose of inspiration from TED talks. While at his home town, he visits his mom’s school and tries his hand at teaching math. He enjoys reading non-fiction, particularly biographies and history. He is an amateur short story writer and an aspiring violinist. During his recent stint as an intern with the Delhi government, he seems to have found a new love – public policy making.
    Aditya hopes that YIF will serve as a launchpad for his aspirations of solving this century’s pressing problems. He is excited to become a student again and to fall in love with YIF’s curriculum.

    Favorite quote:

    Christopher Gardner: Hey. Don't ever let somebody tell you... You can't do something. Not even me. All right? 
    Christopher Jr: All right. 
    Christopher Gardner: You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want something, go get it. Period. 
    ― The Pursuit of Happyness (Movie)

  • Shruti Bajaj

    Shruti Bajaj
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce , Kamala Nehru College , University of Delhi

    An introvert by heart but one who always strived to be a passionate learner, Shruti is someone who enjoys learning in every journey she makes and one who finds happiness in simple pleasures of life. She considers her three years at KNC – a Girls’ college, the most beautiful years of her life – which have taught her the meaning of feminism in its most true sense and on how to be a woman who uplifts other women.

    She made sure she had a taste of almost everything in her college days. Along with her academic excellence in all years – with distinction in three subjects, she also became the Placement Cell Head Coordinator in her final year and was an active participant in various societies, fests, state level projects and NGOs.

    After her graduation, her interest in the subject of Accountancy also landed her a job at one of the Big Fours, Ernst & Young where she worked for the post of an Audit Analyst. All her experiences both at her college and her workplace have tied together and shaped her thoughts in believing that our success comes not what we do and but how well we do it.

    Post YIF, with a thirst of learning, Shruti looks forward to be nurtured with empathy, heightened awareness and an open mind so that she brings a change in the quality of actions in whatever she does.

    Favourite quote:

    “Give the world  the best you have and it never be enough. Give your best anyway!
    For you see in the end it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway!!" 
    ― Mother Teresa   

  • Ananth Balasubramanian

    Ananth Balasubramanian
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering; Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design & Manufacturing (IIITDM) Kancheepuram

    Born into a Tamil speaking family settled in Kerala, and brought up in Hyderabad and Delhi, Ananth grew up celebrating Onam, Pongal, Ugadi and Holi with equal fervour. As he grew up, “Where do you belong?” went from being a question that triggered an identity crisis to one that prompted deep introspection. He is now convinced that belonging nowhere in particular enables him to belong everywhere in general, which is why he feels at home in all milieus. 

    He loved reading, and also found delight in debating and quizzing at school. Fascinated by almost every subject, the time to make a choice among them came sooner than he’d have liked. When it did, he chose engineering. He adapted to the demands of engineering quickly, and was selected for prestigious research internships at IIT Madras and IISc Bangalore. It was during these internships that he realized how much he enjoyed working on challenges posed by unstructured problems. 

    While at IIITDM, he established and led the literary club, served as student editor of the college newsletter, taught underprivileged children, and played an instrumental role in conceptualizing and implementing a new election system in the college. In his final year, he was selected for the coveted Young Leaders Programme (YLP) of the Indian School of Business (ISB).

    He believes that his love for reading has played an important role in developing qualities like empathy and imagination in him, while also making him aware of his own fallibilities. His inquisitiveness prompted him to read diverse subjects, and the breadth of his reading has enabled him to appreciate multiple perspectives.
    Over the years, his belief that “Not all those who wander are lost” has only grown stronger. For Ananth, YIF is perhaps the actualisation of that conviction.

    Favourite Quote:

    “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” 

  • Richik Bandyopadhyay

    Richik Bandyopadhyay
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Economics (Honours); St.Xavier's College, Kolkata

    Richik wanted to be the greatest cricketer of his generation as a kid. Then reality and his mother, struck him to sense and he took up academics seriously. Never an outstanding student in class, he always looked for a chance to shine in the extra curricular activities outside of it. In the process, he took up theatre and started learning Hindustani Classical Music. 

    Music had always been Richik's choice of hobby and you're likely to be aware of that if you have a full fledged conversation with him. His passion for music led him to learn Advanced Western Vocals from the Calcutta School of Music while pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from St.Xavier's College, Kolkata. His association with the Calcutta School of Music was extended as the faculty were highly impressed with his knowledge of music and decided to hire him as a vocal teacher for kids. He has this effective ability of communication which made him quite popular among his students. His drive for the 7 notes and everything around it also helped him get an early acceptance from Berklee College of Music, Boston, San Francisco. 

    Richik has also been involved with Lok Theatre, one of India's leading youth theatre groups. Having brought up by intellectually rich parents, he always had a knack for writing and acting. He got a chance to explore the stage with Lok and with them he toured all around the country performing at many prestigious theatres and winning competitions like Indiafest '13 ,Indiafest '14 and Odeon '12 in the One Act Play category. He has also co-written Lok's highly acclaimed play, The Stone Age.

    With the Young India Fellowship,Richik hopes to learn from the greatest minds in the country who have been handpicked by the team. He urges his batchmates to bear with his unconventional wit and his love for sarcasm during the course of the programme. If you want to get in his good books, suggest a nice song to him. 

    " Music is your only friend, until the end"
    ― Jim Morrison

  • Anomitra Banerjee

    Anomitra Banerjee
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering; BITS Pilani Business Scholar Programme; UChicago, Booth School of Business

    A dreamer since childhood, Anomitra is never satisfied with what he achieves and wants to be better with each passing day and create an impact. Behind that simple face is an ocean of dreams and aspirations.
    Throughout his schooling life, Anomitra had been a passionate orator which has won him numerous national and international awards. After finishing school, winning the “Student of the Year” award, life decided BITS Pilani as the university and engineering as a course for him although he was deeply interested in economics and public policy. 

    During his sophomore year he became the first Asian since 1956 to win the OGOP Competition, organized by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers at New York. But his thirst wasn’t quenched and he went on to win 8 more international awards from IEEE and ASME at different places from Shanghai, China to Montreal, Canada in his undergrad days. In the year 2015, Anomitra was chosen as a scholar to be a part of The Business Scholar Programme at The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. He was one of the 52 people chosen worldwide. It was here he found what he truly wanted to pursue in life – the intersection of policy and business.

    Still not satisfied, Anomitra finished engineering, a 4 year degree course in less than 3 years with another 6 months being spent in a compulsory internship. He became the first student in the university to achieve so and thus created a record. He spent 6 months working with an American multinational, Emerson in its Dubai office and as with every other NRI, serving the country beckoned and appealed much more than anything else. Since January 2016 he had been working with The Government of Chhattisgarh, a state infiltrated by Naxal Maoists to improve government schools and enhance women attendance. He also helped educate and train tribal women to form self-help groups and take up livelihood activities that would empower them in the former Maoist bastions.
    At YIF, he plans to explore the realm of economics, public policy and business, something which was subdued in him for the last 4 years. He is sure that YIF will be an experience of a lifetime which will fuel him to achieve greater heights.

    Favorite quote:

    “The future belongs to those who believes in the beauty of their dreams”
    ― Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Divya Bansal

    Divya Bansal
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Chartered Accountant; The Institute of Chartered Accountants Of India and Company Secretary; The Institute of Company Secretaries of India

    She considers herself to be the biggest fan of the hit TV series Friends and totally relates herself to the craziness of Phoebe, nerdy side of Ross, Rachael’s vulnerability towards life, Joe’s love for food, Monica’s ‘over’ enthusiasm and Chandler’s witty sarcasm.

    You would find her running around like a squirrel in search of new avenues to explore and new people to listen to. Her entire spectrum revolves around her mother’s disciplined lifestyle and her father’s never-to-die spirit. Hailing from the family of traditionally rich Aggarwals, her childhood has been enriching when it comes to understanding Indian culture and festivals. Her gleaming eyes had off beat dreams and her mother played an important role in moulding her logical and creative side equally. She started training her daughter in dancing at the tender age of 4, and by the time she was 8, Divya had won the 1st runners up position in Boogie Woogie Kids Championship. She also performed brilliantly in academics as well. 

    A national level debater, a winner of many MUNs and trained Bharatnatyam dancer, she has learnt Ghoomar and Kalbeliya and trained over 200 children. She has been organising folk dance shows for the local troops in Jodhpur palace and resorts in association with Rupayan sansathan. Choreographing and costume designing is something she has been doing for these local group of dancers. Her love for creating something out of anything moulded her towards the local art of Rajasthan which she wishes to take international. She has been putting up exhibitions for the same and locates such artisans, especially village talent with the help of her NGO - GEO Club, which came into existence in 2013 and runs successfully in her city

    A fitness freak at heart, she is trained in teaching Zumba. Her love for yoga has made her balanced in life. You will never get a ‘no’ from her when it comes to cooking and experimenting with cuisines. Often in her free time, she does creative writing for event management websites and lends her ideas in pitching themes and décor for fancy weddings, parties and corporate meets. YIF is like a dream come true for her, a place where she can finally quench her thirst for learning.

    Favourite quotes:

    “Dare to be different”

    “Babumoshaye, Zindgi lambi nahi badi honi chaiye”

  • Priyanka Basu

    Priyanka Basu
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics; St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.

    Finding joy in simple things in life, Priyanka aims to create ripples of happiness all around her. Hailing from a small village in West Bengal, since childhood she has been exposed to Bengali folk music, art and literature (especially poetry).  She developed a keen interest in music and is trained in Hindustani Classical music, Rabindrasangeet and Nazrulgeeti. She is a keen observer and nature lover. Her fondest memory is of sitting beside the river in her native village, reading and contemplating random ideas. Due to her father’s Defence service, she travelled throughout the country and experienced the diversity.  

    At school, she actively participated in debating, singing, writing and handcrafting.  Her curiosity to understand the reason behind every phenomenon initiated her interest in the Physical Sciences and she went on to pursue her education in Physics at St. Xavier’s College. College life brought her opportunities to interact with people with diverse perspectives and knowledge. Eager to learn, she soon found her herself engrossed in exploring various disciplines. Stating that the boundary between natural and social sciences is not real, she has worked to establish the convergence. She has authored papers on “Econophysics” and is working on “Sociophysics”, which applies Physics in understanding certain Economic and Social phenomena. 

    In her attempt to unravel the mysteries of Science, she undertook a coursework, “Science and Religion”, in association with Santa Clara University, California, in which she grasped various theological and philosophical issues and gained insights into some of the most perplexing phenomena that modern science has discovered. Her paper “The True, The Good and The Beautiful” expresses her views on the same. 

    Her will to contribute her bit to the society made her an active member of the NSS in her college. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience of teaching young children in the remote villages of West Bengal and considers the love and enthusiasm reciprocated by them as her greatest achievement. 

    With passion to learn, she looks forward to YIF as an opportunity to realize her potentials and work towards utilising them in the best way possible.

    Favourite quote:

    “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” 
    ― Anne Frank

  • Shivangi Behera

    Shivangi Behera
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Master of Arts in English, Ravenshaw University, Odisha

    Shivangi has her heart split between two cities. Technically, she hails from Odisha’s capital city Bhubaneswar, but was raised in moody, whimsical Cuttack. Her flamboyant father, with his gift of the gab, urged her to push her boundaries right from the start. Her mother’s disciplinarian nature on the hand, has shaped her into a sensitive, sensible, outgoing and responsible individual. As a child, she was introduced to dance, yoga, art and calligraphy.

    She was consistently a good performer in her school. Alongside studies, she took active part in the cultural activities. Being an only child, she found great company in books. She hasn’t found her favorite book or writer yet and says with a sheepish grin that she feels like a kid in a candy shop when left amidst books. Her immense love for them led her to choose literature as an undergraduate major. She was also among the 20 students in 2014 who were selected for the last round of the Commonwealth Scholarship.

    She comes across as a very lively and warm person, making friends and positively influencing people at work and off of it. Her colleagues at TCS regard her presence as a boost to general work ethic and morale.
    Shivangi swears by the Socratic paradox of “I know that I know nothing.” But she does know that she wants to know, and has an open mind that extends beyond the narrowly academic. She has an inquisitive streak and whether it be from books or the internet, from conversation, or from travel, she is actively engaged in the business of learning. She hopes this will take her to Oxford University someday. It is this path of learning and discovery that bring her to the YIF. She hopes this one year will prepare her for life, beyond mere academic and intellectual growth.

    Favorite Quote:

    “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
    ─ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • Dhruv Bhasin

    Dhruv Bhasin
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours); Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi

    Born and brought up in Delhi, Dhruv has been a very sensitive individual since he was a child. Helping others and empathy come to him naturally. He has always been an adept organiser and his leadership skills have seen him on his high school students’ council where he was responsible for executing major school events. 

    College has been a time for Dhruv where he really worked on himself and figured out things he actually cared about. As part of this process, he came to be associated with organisations like The YP (Youth Parliament) Foundation and TARSHI (Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues). At the former organisation, he worked for the ‘Know Your Body Know Your Rights’ programme which is a national platform for young people to dialogue with their peers, teachers, parents and other stakeholders about the need for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and focuses on issues like gender, rights of sexual minorities, access to health facilities etc. TARSHI is also an NGO, doing similar work where in they believe that people must have the right and control over their sexual and reproductive health and well being. Working in close proximity with both these organisations in the past three years, Dhruv feels strongly about the vision they support and advocates that the taboos associated with these issues be lifted. 

    Dhruv belongs to a family of Chartered Accountants and entrepreneurs, but ever since he could make up his mind about things, he knew that his choices must be driven by interest rather than by the path already laid down. He is a versatile personality. You’d find him passionately debating current political scenarios and questioning the status quo but at the same time he can be found laughing the loudest, gorging on Chinese food and happily partying with his friends. 

    In the one year that he has as at YIF, Dhruv hopes to learn and grow as an individual, discover his truest passions and ascertain things he already knows about himself. He has always been an introspective person and thus, this next year he will be looking to develop his strengths and work on his weaknesses in the liberal atmosphere that YIF has to offer. 

    Dhruv takes on each day with a positive attitude, looking past the hurdles put in his way as he keeps repeating to himself, “This too shall pass.” 

  • Nandini Bhatia

    Nandini Bhatia
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours); Gargi College, University of Delhi

    A keen observer of people, and how they relate to each other and their creative processes, Nandini can best be described as a glorious work-in-progress. She stumbled upon the current juncture after a series of deceptively disconnected moments of self-discovery. She accredits the seven years spent in Welham Girls’ School as her most formative. Her journey of attaining the gold level award under the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme ensured holistic growth and nurtured an avid interest in adventure sports and community service in her. She chose to study Commerce at the undergraduate level only to realize that her passion lay beyond crunching numbers. 

    Having chosen the written word as her favourite medium of expression, Nandini has completed a course in creative writing from Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication and has interned and freelanced extensively for NDTV Food, The Indian Economist, and Niswey. She has been the editor of her college and school’s English publications and the years spent journalistically planning, writing and drafting each issue with her team have been the stuff her dreams are made of. She has also spent two challenging yet fulfilling years as an English teacher, HR, and PR intern for Make A Difference and was also a core team member for the Dream Camp. 

    An aversion to compartmentalization of education got her interested in liberal arts. At the Fellowship, she hopes to learn how to decipher the dynamics of her external environment as they should be – as an intersection of ideas and principles studied in relation and not in isolation. It was while reporting on the documentary, ‘In The Mood for Love’ for Pandolin that she got interested in the complexities and nuances of gender, queer and sexual politics and found her calling in anthropology. 

    Nandini can usually be found romanticizing Delhi (your go-to city guide), embarking on a gastronomical adventure, collecting diaries, silently weeping at a slam poetry event, and fervently trying to carry her orange typewriter everywhere she can. She ultimately hopes to be a crusader in imparting healthy sex education in the country and looks forward to a day when the battle for inclusivity and feminism will finally be won. 

    Favourite quotes:

    “I am. So I will.”
    ─ (Daenerys Targaryen) George R. R. Martin

    “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” 
    ─ Rumi

  • Shreya Bhatia

    Shreya Bhatia
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Art and Design Diploma; Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore.

    Shreya discovered at 8 that she had a curious way of looking at things during a theatre workshop at the Imago Acting School. School had merely been about friends, gazing beyond windows at trees swaying in the breeze and doodling on the back of textbooks. At 11, she began a fulfilling romance with dance which lasted 8 years. Every day, it was all about how to move better than yesterday. Due to an unfortunate back muscle injury, she had to stop dancing but started drawing as an alternative to her creative expression.

    Novel ways of examining the world led her to Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology which took her to through natural building and sustainable practices, law and environmental design, non-fiction film programs regarding Forest Rights Act and Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha and understanding public art practices. This diverse range of perspectives helped her to develop her artistic and filmmaking techniques, and introduced her to new ways of seeing. 

    This multiplicity of exploration opened her mind to thinking of change. After a brief stint as a freelance filmmaker, she pushed her boundaries again and learned sustainable practices at an organic coffee plantation in the rainforests of Coorg, Karnataka for 6 months, where she observed the rhythm of nature. 

    She is sure that the Young India Fellowship will facilitate a new form of expression for her. Her dream project is to travel the world collecting traditional knowledge to conserve and record dying anthropological practices around the world.

    Favorite quote:

    "The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibilities of your dreams. Because, if you can do that, you can do anything." 
    ― Waking Life (Film)

  • Dhriti Bhatt

    Dhriti Bhatt
    Age: 26
    Degree and Institution: Integrated Master of Science in Mathematics and Scientific Computing; Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

    Dhriti was born and brought up in Bhopal. She was always a curios child and loved exploring and learning mathematics and sciences. She continued to do that through her school and college life. She is the younger of two daughters in her family. 

    During her stay at IIT Kanpur, she had the opportunity to represent the institute basketball team in about 10 tournaments, bringing laurels to the team and the sports contingent. She also dabbled in aero-modeling, learning both how to build as well as fly remote controlled planes. Other hobbies she pursued included dance, dramatics, writing etc. Apart from her on campus extra-curricular activities, she has also completed three internships. The first internship was at Tata institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, where she researched in abstract algebra, specifically group theory. In order to understand the research scenario outside India, she did her second internship in the Paris Sud University 11, trying to solve a ranking problem for boat races.  After having been introduced to research, she did her third internship at Siemens Corporate Technology, Bangalore which equipped her with the knowledge of corporate working environment. 

    Having learnt a lot from her five years at IIT Kanpur, she worked for two years as a consultant for PwC DIAC Analytics Advisory, Mumbai, solving complex client problems for multinational operations of retail and consumer industry as well as for assessing supply chain of clients from different industries. 

    Inspite of having a roller coaster ride, she always sensed that something was missing in her work. She has been cultivating the wish to work in the social sector for more than a year now and hopes to be able to start on that path soon with YIF being the platform to start from. 

    Favourite quote: 

    “God helps those, who help themselves” 

  • Sakshina Bhatt

    Sakshina Bhatt
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor in Management Studies; Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai

    Born where Ganga-Yamuna-Saraswati unite. Raised in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi and Maharashtra, Sakshina has acquired a knack for adapting quickly to any place.

    With myriad interests, like photography (member of National Geographic Society since July 2015), reading (books are arguably the best way to start a conversation with her), writing (Editor-in-Chief of her school’s first in-house magazine), debating, chirography, linguistics (armed with an A1 in Spanish), quizzing (won an inter-school BournVita Championship) and music (vocals and keyboard), she attempts to weave together two or more of these in most avocations.

    That explains why she has pursued a range of internships, with TEDxGateway  (curated speakers such as Luis Von Ahn and Anuradha Koirala at Asia’s largest TEDx event), KPMG, Greenpeace and Harvard Business School’s India Research Center to her credit. She has also been a participant of Jagriti Yatra 2015, that she considers an eye-opening journey.

    Having a creative, rational and flexible approach to things, Sakshina has also dabbled in the field of Social Entrepreneurship by initiating the Enactus chapter in her college that took up Project Zeenat to train underprivileged women in the art of applying Mehendi, to furnish them with employment and impart sufficient knowledge to them on microfinance, to save for a rainy day.

    She views YIF as the year she would invest in listening to and learning from her diverse group of batch-mates, much in contrast to her voluble nature, to take the best out of everything that it has to offer and assimilate maximum erudition. 

    I Believe That: 

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
    ─ Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan

  • Aditya Bhayana

    Aditya Bhayana
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor in Management Studies; College of Vocational Studies, University of Delhi

    “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” 

    Aditya draws his life’s inspiration from these words of Maya Angelou. Born and brought up in the capital of the country, he has always strived for a purpose in life, a purpose as unique as his own life. He has been a fond believer of learning through experiences. His graduate days have given him abundance of experiences. He has been an active member of his college’s marketing society, finance and investment cell and lastly, Enactus CVS that aims to empower the underprivileged women of the society. He was the Student Event Head of Earth Hour in 2015, an opportunity that played a catalysing role in the exploration of his purpose of life.  A football player since the age of eight, Aditya has played till the national level and is a huge fan of Real Madrid.

    With a belief that to break the shackles of the society we are bound in, we need to do more, more than just stand up for our cause, we need to open our eyes and hearts to the world, to take a few moon-leaps of faith. With this in mind, Aditya has worked for Kat-Katha, an organisation that works for the upliftment of the sex workers at GB Road. Along with that, he has been a gratified member of AINA, a student volunteer group at IIT-D which initiates national advancement by taking up teaching programmes for the poor kids living in slums. For him, life is a journey. One shouldn’t go through it, but grow through it. He loves to travel and feed his soul with mesmerizing experiences, be it good or bad ones. For him there is no greatest teacher than life. He has spent days travelling to villages and other corners of the country.

    Each day, he wonders, what has he done to be a part of the solution? That is what guides his day! His hunger for knowledge, new experiences has given birth to his quest to find the purpose of his life. YIF is the first step of his soulful journey, which he is about to embark on. 

    Favourite quote:  

    “That's what was great about him. He tried. Not many do.” 
    ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

  • Saloni Bhogale

    Saloni Bhogale
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology; VJTI, Mumbai

    Upon securing her degree in Information Technology from VJTI, Mumbai, Saloni got branded an engineer and yet was distanced from being one. During her undergraduate years, she involved herself in a myriad of activities to understand herself better- learning to speak Spanish, writing, volunteering with NGOs and interning across diverse fields.

    She was passionately involved in VJTI’s tech-fest – being a part of the founding team of “Mission Mumbai”, a social initiative of VJTI, as well as taking up the role of PR Manager for the technical festival. Her passion to explore creative writing landed her an opportunity to do an off-beat internship at the Walt Disney Co. where she worked on the social media strategy and content creation for Disney, Marvel and UTV, and also interviewed a number of Page 3 celebrities.

    On bagging a pre placement offer after interning with JSW, she went on to work with the Strategy & Marketing teams on multiple projects across supply chain, sales planning, inventory management and go-to-market strategies. Out of deep interest in the field, she also enrolled for an MA in Economics from Mumbai University, which she hopes to clear someday.

    When she’s not busy over-analyzing the world, Saloni enjoys reading, swimming and giving her friends a dose of her questionable sense of humor. Her dream is to live a meaningful life and to rationalize the path to get there.

    Favourite Quote:

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge” 
    ─ Stephen Hawking

  • Shreeya Bhutani

    Shreeya Bhutani
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours); Shri Ram College Of Commerce, Delhi

    Cheerful and energetic, Shreeya has been an easily fascinated child since her early days. Her creative streak was kindled when she started enjoying DIY shows and videos and tried recreating those projects at home. She's someone who can never sit idle, each time she goes missing from the scene at home, her parents know that Shreeya is up to something. This fun loving and experimental attitude naturally led her to try numerous things in school and college. From learning 3 different dance forms, athletics and basketball, she's never come to rest in terms of adding to her skill set. She believes that after having tried her hand at a variety of things, YIF will help her find her true calling in life and will take her closer to it.

    One of her best memories in college has been sitting with friends and discussing and dissecting every start-up idea! Consequently, she interned with Uber as an operations consultant in the summer of 2015. She got hands on experience on how organisations worked at the ground level and the opportunity to see her own ideas shape up in the real world. 

    Her curiosity led her to co-authoring a research paper on tackling India’s development problems which she presented at an international conference in California, USA in early 2016. It was one of the most enriching experiences where she got to learn more about policy making and gave her the chance to meet and interact with people from across the globe and learn from their experiences. This interest in development coupled with her interest in education motivated her to intern with the National Skill Development Corporation this summer. 

    She looks forward to the joyous journey that YIF will be and grow holistically while having the time of her life!

    Favourite quote:

    “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
    ― J.K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 

  • Vidushi Chadha

    Vidushi Chadha
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours); Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi

    Home is where the heart is and Vidushi’s heart is where the stage is. At the age of 6 Vidushi began her vocal training in Hindustani Classical music and at the age of 12 she began training in Jazz and contemporary genres of dance. Her flair for the performing arts, found her on stage almost everyday. In school, she was often responsible for organising cultural events and eventually also came to be a part of the Cultural Affairs Portfolio on her High School Students' Council.

    Her creative bent of mind and the analytical stream of Commerce she had chosen in her under graduation, often clashed. She started her theatrical journey in the very first month of college as an escape and what began as a mere chance venture into an unknown realm has turned into a long love affair with the same. Vidushi took part as an actor and an assistant director in numerous productions in college as well as with commercial theatre professionals. On most days, since the last three years, you would have found her either acting, directing, script writing or attending a theatre workshop. She has also been awarded the best actress award at many theatre competitions. Her belief that art is a powerful change agent led her to direct a play for an NGO, with young children. She has tried her hand at camera acting and stand up comedy as well.

    It isn't only the dramatic that Vidushi feels passion for, she is a vocal advocate of the need for feminism and harbours strong opinions on the same. Being a people-centric person, she also underwent a course in Organisational Behaviour, which covered the psychology in people management, at The London School Of Economics.

    From the one year at YIF, Vidushi hopes to be enriched by the versatility of the experiences that the programme has to offer and she also expects that at the end of this one year she will know where her intentions truly lie.

    Favourite quote:

    “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”
    ― Friedrich Nietzche 

  • Sarah Charbonnel

    Sarah Charbonnel
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor in Economics; PSL Research University, Paris

    Sarah was born a hyperactive daredevil, no tree was too high to climb, no rock too steep to step on and the very idea that she might be too weak to achieve something was unbearable. Curious and insatiable, she tried a myriad of different activities from ceramic painting to athleticism to circus. Rhythmic gymnastics is the one that won her heart and she participated in the national level championship for several years. 

    Eager to discover the world she spent three months with a Mormon American family at the age of 14. This human experience has allowed her to challenge her practices, thoughts and to realize that travelling allows you to discover who you really are. Looking for adventure she left her comfortable life in her childhood city to complete her high school in Paris. Her role as a Young Ambassadress of the UNICEF gave meaning to her high school years by giving her the opportunity to develop her organizational capabilities and to share her convictions with other students. Because she believes awareness is meaningless without concrete actions she volunteered to give free tuitions to disadvantaged students. 

    For her undergraduate studies she chose the CPES program of PSL Research University. She got familiar with many subjects from geography to cognitive sciences but specialized in philosophy and economics, two discipline she believes to be inseparable. Forced to choose, she finally fully specialized in Economics. Why economics? One day she asked why not printing money and giving it to the Poor, being answered that that isn’t how the economy works, she swore she will find out what that meant. 

    Meanwhile she continued to get involved in her society. She has been a member of Fleur De Bitume, a student association which help refugees and homeless people, was selected to be a part of her university delegation to the European Youth Event and was elected Head of Sustainable development at her Resident Committee. In need of travels she attended a workcamp in Estonia to preserve a wooded meadow and volunteered as a teacher near Mysore for the NGO Deed.

    Already in love with India and interdisciplinary learning Sarah sees in YIF the best way to discover a country that fascinates her, to improve herself on the personal and professional ground and to meet amazing people. 

    Favourite quote:

    "Trust firmly in your luck, cling to your happiness, and dare to take risks."
    ― René Char

  • Nayanika Chatterjee

    Nayanika Chatterjee
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science; Fergusson College, Pune

    If Nayanika had to choose between a bowl of spaghetti and a book, she would choose the spaghetti.
    Nayanika had been interested in the social sciences since school and decided to study political science in college. She started participating in Model United Nations conferences during her first year of college. She organised Fergusson College's first MUN and chaired the UNCTC at PuneMUN 2016.
     While in school, Nayanika took to fashion photography. However, she soon realised that her passion lies with street photography and thus began her venture with Humans of Pune, a Facebook page, which collects stories of the people of Pune with an aim to get Punekars closer to each other. The blog helped her grow as a person, exposed her to different kinds of people and certainly made her more humble.
    Under Artist At Work Productions, she started the impART project in Pune, where children from underprivileged backgrounds were taught various subjects through art and craft. She also organised Pune's first "Art Mob" where a group of 50 artists and musicians displayed their work on the streets of Pune. Nayanika plays the classical guitar and is fascinated by A capella. She has led the A capella group in college to victory several times. She is very fond of jazz, indie and folk music.
    Having been a school sports captain ensured Nayanika’s active engagement in sports even after school. She joined Mixed Martial Arts lessons and achieved a green belt in Jiu Jitsu. She also enjoys swimming and cycling.
     At the end of every tiring day, she looks forward to spending time with her best friend, Stark, her Labrador.

    Favourite Quotes:

    “I wish people would realize that animals are totally dependent on us, helpless, like children, a trust that is put upon us”
    ─ James Herriot

    “it’s not music if you can’t dance to it”
    ─ Driss, The Intouchables (Movie)

    "Tell me, Driss, why do you think people are interested in art?"
    "I don’t know, it’s a business?"
    "No. That’s because it’s the only thing one leaves behind." 
    ─ Philippe, The Intouchables (Movie)

  • Aishwarya Chaturvedi

    Aishwarya Chaturvedi
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Applied Petroleum Engineering; University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun

    क्या हार में क्या जीत में, किंचित नहीं भयभीत मैं ! 
    कर्त्तव्य पथ पर जो मिला, यह भी सही वह भी सही !
    वरदान नहीं मांगूंगा,  हो कुछ पर हार नहीं मानूंगा !!
    ─ श्री अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी     
    All of 6, his first comic had given him a purpose in life, he dreamt of being a superhero, the savior of the world, the Omnipotent. The more he came of age, the more he was made to believe that ‘Mediocrity’ was his inevitable destiny.            

    As a child Aishwarya wondered, as to why was it exceedingly necessary to be successful in life, being average was so cool, he felt independent & more importantly happy. 
    From where he saw, the world appeared to be intimidating, he wondered as to how he could become a Man of Value, one who could be fiercely envied. He was often criticized of being overly ambitious, rightly so because in a world backed by reason, a lofty dream was but a tool, only fools would dare equip themselves with.

    Ironically, 16 years later, the trivial methods of the society had worked their charm, he had graduated as an engineer. Aishwarya was happy, he had finally mastered the art of defying his dreams. Now working for an oil & gas major in West Africa for the past three years, Aishwarya comes with solid experience in roles ranging from that of core engineering to people management, Government Liasoning & team building, to name a few. 

    Extensive travelling for work & his close association with multi-functional & multi-cultural teams have made him more critical in his thoughts, he has increasingly felt an urge to return back to his normal self. His professional engagements thus far have been more of journeys of self-confrontation, they have thankfully restored an unwavering faith in the power of his dreams, for in the words of Steve Jobs: “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are actually the ones who do.”

    With diversified interests in leadership, public speaking & public designing, Aishwarya believes a year at YIF is going to be a truly liberating experience.

    Favorite Quote:

    “This above all; to thine own self be true”


  • Apala Chaturvedi

    Apala Chaturvedi
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Law; Symbiosis Law School, Pune

    Apala came across the short story collection by Tolstoy at 13, she started reading Dostoevsky at 15 and by 16 it was a full-blown love affair with literature that was to carry her through worlds and journeys she never could have imagined she would embark on. From the world of Russian writers to Japanese writers like Mishima and Soseki, she devoured books purely because there was no end to that fascination. At 22, she started working on a novel of her own which will soon be published.

    Currently, she's a law student at Symbiosis and has worked with renowned lawyers like Vrinda Grover and Rajeev Dhawan (PILSARC head) at the Supreme Court. Apart from that she has interned at organizations like Indigo Airlines, Finance Ministry (CESTAT office) and a law firm in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has published law papers in various national and international journals. When not engaged in her studies, she also published poetry with the British Council and is part of an international community of Banana writers.

    She enjoys travelling, watching Jean-Luc Godard movies and staring in awe at the works of Picasso, Henri Matisse and Dali. In her own words, "There's no end to learning or being fascinated by all that's all out there. Science, philosophy, literature- every single thing has a charm of its own, you never ever stop learning." Travelling taught her that every journey comes with a lesson of its own and sometimes, you need to tread a less-trodden path to discover a new world. She believes that YIF will be another such journey.

    Favourite quotes: 

    “Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.” 
    ― Richard Feynman

    In the words of Bukowski, "Find what you love and let it kill you."  I believe you go all the way, you find your passion and you never stop - you follow it through.

    I Believe That:

  • Vanshika Chaudhary

    Vanshika Chaudhary
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor in Commerce (Honours); Daulat Ram College, Delhi University

    Vanshika's first taste of independence was when she was sent away to boarding school at the age of eight.  Her time at Welham Girls' School led to a path of self-discovery and all round personality development.  She was one of the ten people from her school to be sent for a cultural exchange program to Bhutan. 
     She has always been creatively inclined and since school, her love for music, dance and art bloomed. She did folk dance in school and is now a part of the Danceworx where she learns jazz. As a part of her college's Indian music society, she has performed at various venues across India. She has also been awarded a 'shodan' i.e first degree black belt in 'shotokan' form of karate.

    She chose to study Commerce at the undergraduate level only to gradually realize that her passion lay way beyond sitting behind a desk and punching numbers.  She hopes that this year at Ashoka will nurture her love for the history and culture of different places around the world and fuse it with her fascination and appreciation of antiques, textiles, patterns and spaces to emerge with something beautiful and worthwhile.

    She has been awarded the IAYP (International Award for Young People) bronze, silver and gold standard. It ensured holistic growth and nurtured an avid interest in travelling, adventure sports and community service in her. Vanshika interned at the Aagaaz Theatre Trust, where she worked with the children of the Hazrat Nizamuddin basti who perform within the community on issues of public space, gender identities and violence against children to establish theatre and the arts as a method to provoke responses and critical thinking.

    She is looking forward to YIF igniting her passion, for things she already loves and for those that she is yet to discover.

    Quotes that inspire her:

    "You'll have bad times, but it'll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention to."
    ― Goodwill Hunting (Movie)

    "That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
    ― Dead Poets Society (Movie)

  • Priyasha Chawla

    Priyasha Chawla
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors of Commerce (Honours); Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi

    Born and brought up in a liberal family in Delhi, Priyasha has always been solicitous and exuberant. From being part of the winning team in the Space School Program by NASA at Space Center, Houston to interviewing distinguished personalities as a part of the English Literacy Magazine of her college, she has always been enthralled by the pleasure and curiosity of trying something new. That is the only way, she believes, to learn and grow.

    With a plethora of opportunities open to her, she continued to remain muddled about her career plans. Somewhere amidst her wide range of experiences in college, her active involvement in social entrepreneurship based projects was most satiating. She has been part of programs such as Project Akshar where she led a team of five members in empowering a marginalized community in an environment-sensitive framework and the Wordsworth Project where she taught primary grade students from relegated communities attending government schools in urban areas. Her time spent working for these programs exhorted her to furthermore explore the field of public policy. She would describe her experience of interning at Centre for Civil Society - one of India’s most influential think tanks, as thrilling. She took away the ability to view an issue as one which has a solution deeply engraved in it and the motivation to dig it out.

    A food enthusiast, she makes sure she visits the good eateries around her. She feels she will not be able to die peacefully until she visits the fifty best restaurants in the world. Her undistinguished sense of humour manages to make a few faces smile. 

    To keep challenging herself is synonymous with learning and rising. She hopes to keep this value alive in all her endeavours. 

    Favourite quote:

    “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”

  • Namitha Maria Cherian

    Namitha Maria Cherian
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering; College of Engineering, Trivandrum

    Born and brought up in the land referred to as “God’s own country”, Namitha always finds herself at home among nature and its creations. The school she studied in further reinforced this love of hers, being deemed as one of the most environment friendly campuses in Kerala. An inquisitive and perseverant student, she never shied away from asking questions, especially in the Sciences. This combined with a passion for Mathematics, led her to academic excellence throughout her school life, which culminated in her topping her school in the 12th grade Board Exams.  

    Engineering became the next stop in her journey, with a specialisation in Electronics and Instrumentation.  Her love for Mathematics notwithstanding, Electronics opened up new vistas and evoked in her the curiosity to learn. The theorems, the circuits, the signals and its transformations seemed to be fascinatingly complex.  Dance proved to be her big other passion, which resulted in her, along with a set of people united by this common love, forming a dance team in their college. The accolades and acclaim that were attained by their participation in major cultural fests of South India proved to be the icing on the cake. Contemporary, her choice of dance style played a major role in shaping her perspectives. A good organiser, she has been instrumental in conducting many events as part of the various cultural and technical festivals held in her college annually. Notable amongst these is her stint in the publicity committee for certain fests. An engineer in the true sense of the word, she was also an active member of the IEEE student branch of her college. 

    When her peers chose the trodden paths of employment or higher education after their undergraduate studies, she felt certain that she had other avenues left to explore. This desire became the catalyst for her to find out and apply to the YIF, which promised the diversity in thought that she craved. Her expectations from the YIF are to attain different perspectives on the problems that come across her, while understanding herself better in the process. She hopes this journey will fuel her inspiration for life and enhance the experiences yet in store. 

    Favourite quote:

    “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  • Parth Chopra

    Parth Chopra
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Financial & Investment Analysis, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, University of Delhi

    Parth is a musician who is good at finance. Playing Tabla since the age of 6, Parth knew that to understand music completely he needs to be able to play all those instruments that his band-mates were playing. He can now play close to 15 musical instruments, while instinctively calculating the EMI payments of each.

    Before YIF, Parth worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions team of Nomura as an Investment Banker. He’s previously interned with Bombay Stock Exchange and worked as a member of Mensa India. Additionally, Parth has attended Alternative Investments at the London School of Economics, and has also completed two levels of the CFA certification.

    Parth is also a permanent volunteer with NGO Manzil, which engages in the education, vocational training and life-skill development of marginalized sections of the society.

    I Believe That:

    “Pika Pika”
    - Pikachu 

  • Shweta Chopra

    Shweta Chopra
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts in Economics; Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University

    At the age of 6 Shweta welcomed her younger brother into the world by whispering to her Mumma’s belly, “Come soon. I promise to teach you everything about life and relationships”. Brimming with curiosity ever since, Shweta’s childhood was characterised by intense discussions with her parents, about the nature of the world, and human beings, in particular.

    This love for learning catalysed her academic endeavours. After topping the Delhi-NCR region, Shweta earned a place at the Shri Ram College of Commerce, for her undergraduate studies. Stimulating discussions with professors and peers, and an exposure into fields like Game Theory helped her develop a love for analytical thinking and problem solving.

    Shweta went on to work at a startup, stepping into the alien territories of Data Analytics and Technology. She created beautiful and complex algorithms, her favourite being one on Sentiment Analysis, combining her understanding of human communication with her love for logic. Projects ranging from Consumer Psychographics to Machine Learning allowed her a multi-disciplinary experience at work. She was encouraged by her CEO who said “The really challenging problems cannot be solved within the realm of one domain”, earning her the distinction of having “Everything” as her most common job description. 

    One of her most cherished experiences is her time spent volunteering at the Sanshil Foundation, an NGO that works to bring children from underprivileged backgrounds into mainstream schooling. Witnessing the magic of education has left her convinced that it is the ideal way, for her, to contribute to the world. 

    A dog lover and foodie, Shweta shares in her family’s love for dance, music and bacon. She retains part of her tomboyish streak with her weakness for sports of all kinds. Experiencing the value of a multi-disciplinary approach in life is what has brought her to the Young India Fellowship, making it the exciting next chapter of her story.

    Favourite Quotes: 

    “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”
    ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

    "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing."
    ─ William Shakespeare, Macbeth

  • Vinay Dabral

    Vinay Dabral
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Science and Humanities; Ambedkar University, Delhi

    Since childhood Vinay has seen the work of Samaj Pragati Sahayog (SPS), an NGO situated in tribal village of Madhya Pradesh. Being brought up in that environment, Vinay developed an interest in the work of SPS. He used to accompany SPS people to work which made him learn and understand about the intricacies of the work done by them. And by the time Vinay completed his school he realized that he wants to work in development sector.
    During graduation because of the freedom he got to wander into different disciplines, Vinay got introduced to various chunks of economics, psychology, sociology and political science. He finds it fascinating - comparing the concept and viewpoint of each discipline and also finding relationship between them. While doing graduation Vinay also went and lived in villages of different district in Uttar Pradesh. There he saw the impressive work done by the Nari Sangh and collected narratives of women empowerment. He also did an internship with SPS on agriculture programme, in which he studied the demand and supply of inputs of farming and the problems faced by small and landless farmers. These internship helped Vinay in understanding different approaches to the development.
    In his free time you can find Vinay playing some sports. Sports are a big part of his life. Since his school time he was into various sports like table tennis, football etc. and he also represented school for it. In his graduation he served the university’s Sports Committee as the co- convener and helped in organizing various events at the university. He has also been part of university’s dance society and performed and organized various events for university.
    Now he is in YIF to learn new things and get new experiences.
    Favorite quotes:
    “He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” 
    ― Gabriel García Márquez
    “It is our choices that shows what we truly are, far more than our abilities”
    ― Professor Albus Dumbledore 

  • Aananth Daksnamurthy

    Aananth Daksnamurthy
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering; Sastra University, Thanjavur

    Aananth (Happiness) was born and brought up in Tiruchirappalli (originally called Trichinopoly),Delta of River Cauvery and Heart of Tamil Nadu. Having studied in a Christian school, the head boy was molded with moral values and ethics. He has a frontier of interests from essay writing, elocution, quizzing to volleyball, Frisbee, Table tennis, Kho-Kho, Badminton etc.

    He was no exception to be engulfed in the Engineering wave prevailed in the state. During his Mechanical engineering, Aananth has interned with Ashok Leyland and Integral Coach Factory (ICF). He has designed & fabricated a BIPLANE at the Annual astronomical fest of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Trivandrum. He was an associate of ISHRAE (Indian society of Heating Refrigerating and Air conditioning engineers) and Editorial team of University magazine - Illuminati. 

    Gramya Manthan, a 9-day rural immersion program of Youth Alliance gave him a broader prospect of life and sowed the seed of change within himself. He became gregarious and more empathetic in life. He understood that the more difficult the journey, greater the depth of purification. Aananth is a proud member of Youth Alliance core team. He believes that penning down his thoughts give him eternal happiness. He writes letter regularly to the children of Swantantra Talim learning center of Lucknow and also teaches them English via telephone. 

    Aananth has learnt to play the Mirudhangam, a percussion instrument. He is a philatelist. He loves travelling and meeting new people. For him life is all about creating, sustaining and transforming relationships. He feels that YIF will be a lifetimefulfilling experience and an epicenter for his newer experiments in life. 

    He Believes That: 

    “Play your role in life with such passion that even after the curtain comes down, applause doesn’t stop”

    “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed, embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it” 

  • Ayeshni Dasgupta

    Ayeshni Dasgupta
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering; R. V. College of Engineering, Bengaluru

    Hailing from the IT capital of India, it’s no surprise that Ayeshni ended up as an Android developer at a start-up. While she does enjoy the logical challenge that programming in its purest form provides, she feels that there is so much knowledge that the world can offer that goes beyond the screen of her computer. 

    At her company, Perfios, Ayeshni was solely responsible for the company’s mobile application, overseeing three releases and one major bug in production (oops!). She has an unhealthy addiction to everything football and being the only 55 kg girl in a group of hefty boys was never easy; it was always about being faster, better, stronger, going in harder. 5 years, 2 trophies and 1 surgery later, despite the challenges, she feels that home will always be within a rectangular field of green, with a ball at her feet and the wind in her hair.

    Ayeshni likes taking long walks on cold, winter evenings; under skies that are painted funny shades of grey. The smell of wet earth always reminds her of secrets that we once knew as children, but have since forgotten. She cannot describe the feeling, but that is why she writes: to capture the magic and beauty in the universe through art. To touch the minds and hearts of strangers and form a connection with them is the essence of being human and proves that we can go beyond the walls that exist between us, even if only for a few temporary, precious moments.

    When at home, Ayeshni is usually doing one of the following things: reading a very fat book, chasing her dog around to retrieve bits of her cell phone, arguing with her dad about topics ranging from ISIS to the benefits of a health faucet, kicking a ball against the wall while her mom shouts, or sleeping. Her deep love for music and food is comically complemented by her inability to hold a tune and to cook Maggi the right way but that doesn’t stop her from trying. 

    Favourite quote:

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
    ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby  

  • Nilesh De

    Nilesh De
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor and Master of Aeronautical Engineering & ACGI; Imperial College London

    Where are you from? The answer to this simple question becomes a bit complex for Nilesh. While both of his parents are ethnically Indian (although his paternal family is originally from Bangladesh), he has lived twelve in years in Kenya, six years in Calcutta and four years in London. Thus, Nilesh aspires to become a global citizen with one of the items on his bucket list being - to live in all six continents (and maybe visit Antarctica).

    Nilesh's natural predilection for mathematics and the natural sciences combined with his diligence and strong work ethic enabled him to consistently achieve stellar results, garnering laurels like the higher achiever award for both the IGCSEs (Year 10) and A Levels (Year 12). His childhood passion for aeroplanes and spacecraft crystallised into a fundamental goal culminating in Nilesh being accepted into Imperial College London to study Aeronautical Engineering.

    Imperial's commitment to excellence and the exposure to world class facilities, faculties and students encouraged Nilesh to actualise his full capabilities. During the four years at Imperial, Nilesh was able to gather knowledge on topics ranging from haemodynamics to orbital mechanics - sating his multifarious interests. He was selected to be the co-director for a design project which involved leading 20 people to create webs using autonomous swarms of nano-quadcopters mimicking the behaviour of spiders. During an internship, he designed and generated CAD models for an ultra-portable water containment unit that wraps around the users forearm which is in the process of being manufactured in the USA. For his Masters' Thesis, Nilesh delved into the realm of theoretical fluid mechanics aiming to push the boundaries of our understanding of the world.

    Nilesh's hobbies include reading (especially high fantasy) and Kendo (Japanese martial art on sword fighting). At YIF, Nilesh aims to grow as a person by gaining a holistic education and develop his leadership qualities.

    Nilesh's personal motto is "inveniam viam aut faciam", a Latin phrase attributed to Hannibal which translates to "I shall find a way, or make one". Another one of his favourite quotes is "overkill is underrated", by the A-Team's Hannibal Smith.

  • Meherish Devaki

    Meherish Devaki
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Dual Degree (Bachelor of Technology and Master of Technology) in Engineering Design with a specialisation in Automotive Engineering; IIT Madras, Chennai

    Meherish had his schooling in the dreamy hills of Madanapalle, a place that has enchanted Rabindranath Tagore to compose the tune for 'Jana Gana Mana'. He has been an academically bright kid since his childhood and scored the highest percentage marks in the 25 year history of his school. His interest in Maths and Sciences made him pursue engineering at IIT Madras.

    Meherish believes that the time he spent at IIT Madras were probably the best days of his life. It offered enough fodder to his naturally curious mind, allowing him to take up courses in Carnatic and Hindustani Music and choose Economics as his minor. He interned for 6 months at Christian Medical College, Vellore where he worked at the Bioengineering department to develop an electronic circuit to analyse the gait pattern of patients. This circuit is now being used at CMC for diagnosing and planning surgery for amputees, polio, cerebral palsy and Spastic Diplegia patients. 

    After graduation, Meherish joined as a Manager at the Engineering Research Center, Tata Motors, where he got an opportunity to work on three upcoming Tata Motors' cars. It was during this time that the start-up bug bit him which led him to join as a Senior Analyst at Tracxn, a Bengaluru-based startup.

    Meherish is currently on his quest for the ultimate purpose of life and he hopes do discover his inner self through YIF. Among most things in life, Meherish particularly loves his mornings, idly sipping filter coffee and solving cryptic crosswords from The Hindu while listening to Carnatic kirtans.

    Favourite Quote:

    "You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life."
    ― Jiddu Krishnamurthy

  • Anshuli Dey

    Anshuli Dey
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology; Gargi College, University of Delhi.

    A day dreamer by nature and a seeker of knowledge by choice, Anshuli has always been a student of everything and every person she encounters. Introductions have always triggered dissatisfaction in her and demographic descriptions never sufficed. However, a look inside Anshuli’s bag reveals her fundamental personality. In it, one can find her earphones for music, a notebook to pen down sudden revelations, and a book to devour when the mind isn’t lost to wonder. Essentially, however, she travels light weight because she likes observing things in quiet contemplation; Anshuli is an introvert at heart.

    Singing was Anshuli’s first passion. She started with Hindustani classical music, participating in school competitions at a young age. Being a member of the Global Peace Choir, an initiative of late Pandit Ravi Shankar and Sir Gerald Wirth, Anshuli was exposed to Western music and also toured Austria. This was a period of immense learning not only in music but also in openness to foreign cultures. An ECA student in college, Anshuli pursued Psychology and Western Music, discovering a new fascination for the latter. Psychology became a tool for understanding people and herself better and ignited a keen interest in Research. Anshuli also enjoys writing, reading, dancing, and petting dogs. Influenced by Carl Rogers and Ayn Rand’s philosophies, she strives to reach her highest potential as an individual with the goal of nearing self-actualization. She believes that nurturing one’s talents and pursuing interests ingrain intrinsic motivation for learning. For Anshuli, impactful leaders are those who are authentic in speech and action, creating waves of expedient change wherever they go.

    Favourite quote:

    “… Be formless; shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” 
    ― Bruce Lee

  • Mridul Dhar

    Mridul Dhar
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication; Gujarat Technological University, Gandhinagar

    A delight to know, chirpy and with a larger-than-life persona, this nature-loving Kashmiri hails from the beautiful town of Jammu. A thoughtful extrovert, she loves to meet new people and thrives well in team-building activities. To her, human beings are the best of books; each filled with their own mystery. She wants to build a life path where she can utilize her love for relationship building and problem solving to give back to the society. Coming up with workable solutions for the betterment of public sector gives her immense satisfaction, and this is something she wants to focus on while her time at YIF.

    A rolling stone, more so by chance, she finished her Bachelors from Gujarat and worked as an engineer for the well-known IT giant Infosys. She's an internationally certified tester with 1.8 years of extensive experience in Quality Assurance for Union Bank of Switzerland and has worked on applications involving investment banking, securities backed lending and mortgages for the same client. During her stint at Infosys, she received the 'Best Debutant' for her outstanding performance in the company and was nominated for the ‘Award for Excellence' under the category Social Cause and Sustainability.

    She has worked for Make A Difference - Pune Chapter, as a Community Fund Raising Head, whereby working with corporate firms like HDFC bank, Rohan Builders and IndusInd Bank. She says that her time at MAD has served as a major deciding factor in etching-out a career path for herself. To deeply understand the functioning of the public sector, she participated in Jagriti Yatra-2016. She went on to attend this 15 days train journey across 12 destinations, along with other Yatris, meeting role models from varied development strata; her determination to work for Public sector strengthened further. She with her Jagriti Yatri team in Pune have held multiple cloth and grain collection drives for the drought affected regions of Maharashtra.

    Currently, she is working on her own venture with some of her friends, where she wants to run an only girls version of the Yatra she attended. She believes that it will cultivate a sense of fearlessness and promote confidence in them and here she's a proud Young India Fellow.

    Favourite Quote:  

    "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do"
    ― Steve Jobs

  • Milloni Doshi

    Milloni Doshi
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors in Economics and statistics (Honors); St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai

    Growing up, as a child, Milloni was always the kid who tagged along with a book wherever she went. From reading under a bathroom light, hiding from her parents, to vanishing in a mall with a gripping novel, she made sure her passion for reading and unnerving her parents never dwindled.   

    It was only natural that this would culminate into choosing arts as her preferred choice of study. This led her to St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Both junior college and undergrad opened a plethora of avenues and ideas that she could only possibly imagine.  Milloni found something that would be a constant companion in the five years she spent there - she volunteered for Malhar- the annual inter collegiate festival of St. Xavier’s for which she eventually became the chairperson, leading a team of 1200 people. It is arguably her biggest accomplishment because of the exposure she received in terms of leadership, team values, knowledge and people. 

    While on the academic front, she discovered she had a flair for researching and writing about economics that went beyond numbers but covered ideas incorporating other disciplines. In addition to academics, another very important lesson that she picked up from college was being aware of the pressures faced in society and how giving back to the society was really important. Through the social involvement programme focused on teaching underprivileged children, she discovered another side to her, which eventually led her to take part in various social causes and events that were concentrated on the holistic development of the underprivileged. 

    As Sir Richard Burton once said - “The gladdest moments in ones’ life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands”. Travel has played an instrumental part in the becoming of the girl who was once shy of stepping out of her comfort zone. One of her most memorable experiences was her stay in Cairo, Egypt where she interned for two months. This escapade not only taught her the art of trade but also helped her forge life long friendships. It shaped her thinking and personality to understand the responsibilities that accompany independence.

    A huge Coldplay fan and a foodie, Milloni loves rereading her scotch tape bound Harry Potter books whenever she needs some inspiration. At YIF, She looks forward to meeting people from diverse backgrounds and encountering an explosion of ideas.

  • Urmi Duggal

    Urmi Duggal
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science; Lady Shriram College For Women, Delhi

    Urmi Duggal, born and raised in Chandigarh, is a single daughter to a single parent. The influence of her compassionate yet fierce mother, who is also her mentor, has nurtured and kept alive the idealist in her. In a world where apathy is both acceptable but common, she believes that empathy is at the heart of positive social change. 

    Urmi's passion to connect with others has been the guiding force of her life. Her persistent search for meaning within struggle led her to pursue a degree in Political Science from the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College of Delhi University. While she is extremely interested in political theory, her focus has largely been on gender and sexuality. She derives her passion for social change from her desire to understand how unequal gender relations have permeated lives. Her nomination as the Coordinator of the Women’s Development Cell at LSR gave her the opportunity to work towards these goals. Apart from actively partaking in extra-curricular activities, she worked part time with the YP Foundation's 'Know Your Body Know Your Rights' program. At KYBKYR, Urmi was trained to become a peer educator in comprehensive-sexuality-education and conducted multiple workshops with young adults. She helped design and implement various workshop modules as well has conducted over 30 workshops during her time with YP.  The experience led to the realization that within many of us lay stories that needed a chance to be told and thus she began to immerse herself in writing and uncovering stories  

    After college, she went on to pursue a career in writing through internships/jobs at reputed media organizations like Mail Today and Newslaundry. Here, she learned to manoeuvre through the art of political reporting and to engage with various political debates.

    Urmi maintains that her heart lies within the field of gender and sexuality and hopes that YIF provides her with a platform to combine her zeal for academics with on ground social work, in the hopes of building a better tomorrow. 

    Favourite Quote: 

    “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” 
    ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

  • Ragavijaya G.

    Ragavijaya G.
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Master of Arts in English Literature; Stella Maris College

    Born as the third girl child in a middle class Tamil speaking family, Ragavijaya’s story is a roller coaster. Right after she was born, her parents were strongly advised to kill her as female infanticide was very much prevalent at that time in some parts of Tamilnadu. Somehow, her parents spared her. Moving to Neyveli, a small town at the age of four, after her father got a job, Ragavijaya finished her schooling there. She opted for literature, a decision which was ridiculed by almost everyone as anything other than engineering and medicine was seen as nothing but loathsome timepass in the society she grew up. 

    She joined Women’s Christian College to do her B.A in English immediately after which she joined Stella Maris College, Chennai for her M.A. While pursuing her M.A, alongside with her studies, she worked for Vikatan, a leading magazine group of Tamil Nadu as a student reporter and has published more than hundred articles in a period of ten months. Working for articles ranging from exit poll opinions to beauty articles giving tips for hairfall problem, this opportunity moulded her as a versatile professional Tamil writer. She was also associated with All India Radio for a year doing feature programs and compering quiz shows and panel discussions. An ardent writer, she has won more than 60 literary competitions from her school days to present. She was academically strong too, being awarded two endowment prizes from Women’s Christian College.

    Volunteering with few NGOs like Bhumi stimulated her social consciousness and had kept her on the track. “As an unwanted girl child myself, my dearest wish in life is to adopt a minimum of 50 abandoned girl children and raise them as own children”, Ragavijaya says.

    Favourite quote:

    “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies”
    ― The Shawshank Redemption 

  • Samruddhi Milind Ganvir

    Samruddhi Milind Ganvir
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering; NITK Surathkal

    Even as a kid, Samruddhi was fascinated and obsessed with fiction. She adored the idea of fairies and magic, princes finding their princesses, of happily ever afters. So she made it her happy place. She began writing at the age of 7. At first, she wrote for her teachers, her parents, and her friends. She wrote to make them happy, to get their approval. But she eventually realized that she should only write for herself. It’s not about appreciation or recognition for her anymore; it’s about inner peace. 

    As a student, Samruddhi excelled at school. She received several awards for academic excellence. She scored 97.8 percentage in 10th Boards mostly because she genuinely enjoyed the curriculum. She liked studying Math and Science. So when it came to choosing a career path, Science was the obvious choice for her. For two long years, she worked hard and landed at National Institute of Technology, Karnataka. 
    College changed her; a change she is wholeheartedly thankful for. It taught her to appreciate the smaller things in life, to accept defeat with dignity and most importantly, to know when to give up. College made her a better person; someone she could never have become on her own.

    Samruddhi’s extensive collection of books is 80 percent comprised of crime and thriller fiction novels. Peter James, Agatha Christie, Stieg Larsson, David Baldacci and Dan Brown are some of her favorites. She is also a huge Marvel and DC nerd, and loves writing fan-fiction for them. According to her, Natasha Romanoff is the most badass woman in MCU.

    Favourite quote: 

    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”
    ─ Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Elisha George

    Elisha George
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering; National Institute of Technology, Karnataka

    When she wasn't traversing oceans in everything from rickety boats to enormous Viking ships, she could be found amongst a menagerie of flora and fauna carelessly sprawled across the English meadows, the sound of fairy wings buzzing in the air and the heady air of adventure always tangible. These were the good days, when all was right with the world. The extra-terrestrials weren't particularly keen on beaming people up into the infinite, the witches charmed no more and the dragons kept mostly to themselves. However, when everything was let loose, those were the best days.


    Real life occasionally crept through the hordes of stories in the books Elisha liked to keep herself surrounded with. Growing up, a gentle segue into sports took place and she began to play tennis and participating in camps during the summer. Following a break for a few years, college was a time for rediscovery and she stumbled upon the intense thrill of basketball, participating in tournaments all over India and eventually going on to become captain of the team.


    Coming from the flexible education system of the British curriculum, doing her engineering in India opened her mind to a vastly new set of realities that delved into more holistic, alternative learning methods in order to adapt to an enormously different way of life. Interning at Emirates Technocasting and Unilever were insightful – they helped her realize how much more she had to learn and experience before she could settle down to the comfort of a desk job.


    And while she adores change, and is passionate about the new and painful welcoming of uncertainty, Elisha works around the pivots of her writing, creative endeavors and desire for the aesthetic. To her, "Le beau est toujours bizarre" – the beautiful is always bizarre, and anything worth its salt will excite your soul. 

  • Michelle George

    Michelle George
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Instrumentation and Control Engineering; Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka

    Hailing from a small town called Tiruvalla in Kerala; Michelle was born and raised in a middle class religious household. An introvert by nature, she spent the majority of her school years immured in her own thoughts and imaginations - penning the creations of her mind into words and then stories. Her fascination for the unseen, the big and the complex drew her to a pursuit of turning her awe of the universe into a compelling curiosity. The weeks leading up to the start of college brought an opportunity to grow closer to her dream - a selection to attend the Space Academy Singapore, a week long intensive program by former NASA scientists with a curriculum based off the US astronaut selection program.
    Through her college years in the culturally diverse town of Manipal, Michelle reignited the Astronomy Club, Manipal and helped bring together many students who had interests in amateur astronomy and astrophysics. Following her passion to pursue studies in astrophysics, she spent her time outside the classroom getting experience in research both at the Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences and at IUCAA, Pune. Her final semester thesis contributed to studying the correlation between properties of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies using various imaging techniques. 
    Michelle considers herself a multi-passionate being as her interests span across the web of solving the mysteries of the human brain; to philosophy, religion, meditation and social causes emphasizing on intolerance towards minority groups. Her aim is to find an intersection amidst various disciplines so as to bring forth a transformative change in the world; and to inspire people to live meaningfully in their own unique way.  She believes that a myriad of cathartic life experiences has motivated her to truly live life in the present and engage with an honest regard for every man's perspective. 
    When not working or self-reflecting, you will find her blissfully reading a book with a cup of chai or looking up new recipes for everyday cooking. 

    Quotes she tends to live by:

     “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science”
    ― Albert Einstein

    “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought”
    ― Marie Forleo

  • Shubhangi Goel

    Shubhangi Goel
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Commerce (Honours); Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University

    What is the purpose of your existence? What is the aim of your life? Why are you here? What for? 

    These are questions which have always occupied Shubhangi's mind. Her thirst for knowledge, spread across a variety of areas including Arts, Culture, Economics, Society and Development, etc. is driven only by an intent to make use of everything she has learnt by adapting them through her own creative means. Putting her unique ideas into action, she wants to leave an ineffable impact on society by uplifting the destitute and by providing a strong platform to the undiscovered talent which rests in the many crevices of the underprivileged. She considers it imperative that we appreciate the inherent skills and potential that lie untapped inside every individual, help them polish these skills, and in the process, enable them to not just earn a livelihood but also have a fulfilling life.  

    Shubhangi has been an active participant in social activities throughout school and college. Currently, she is a member of the Indian Thalassemic Society which works to help Thalassemic patients and their families across India.  In June 2011,she attended the Thalassemia International Conference (TIF) in Turkey, held to increase awareness about Thalassemia in other countries and upcoming medical advancements. She graduated in Commerce from a prestigious college of the University of Delhi which helped land her first job in E&Y, one of the Big Four in the Audit industry. However, she soon realized that her heart lies in working for the social and development sector and that her soul craves for creation, which a routine 9-5 desk job would never give her. Concepts behind start-ups like "itokri", "Happily Unmarried", "The Postbox” etc. have always appealed to her.

    After a long search for a course which would equip her with the right set of skills, knowledge and mentorship to convert her vision into reality, she came across YIF which had everything she was looking for. She believes it will offer her ample room for expression, creativity and would help her become all that she aspires to be.

  • Kothapalli Gopichand

    Kothapalli Gopichand
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering; SASTRA University, Kumbakonam

    Born into a middle class village family in Andhra Pradesh, Gopichand had nursed a dream of going places. He grew up enjoying the village atmosphere and loving nature. Diligent when it came to academics, his perseverance paid off with a complete scholarship for five years. This made way for a paradigm shift in his academics and attitude.

    A knowledge-hungry learner, he has been on a constant expedition in search of new avenues. He was at his vibrant best in college where he engaged himself in myriad activities including debates, quiz, elocution, creative writing and theatre. Passing through the ordeal of a soldier as an NCC cadet and firing around 100 bullets is an opportunity he counts as one in a life time. He believes his association with a student association, as its secretary had taught him a leadership skill or two.

    Generally very calm by nature, he is a thinker. Quick to see the academic side of anything, he knows how to prioritize his tasks so that he meets the deadlines. He is someone who is ready to put in the hard yards to achieve and succeed in life. Pensive as he might look, he may not pass for a role model to follow but is a man of sterner stuff, full of determination, with an unflinching desire to excel. His goals apart, he would want to be a good human being, above all. An efficient multitasker, once he takes up a task, he sees through it no matter what and stresses on giving his best. He had published two technical papers in international journals, worked as a content writer and tutored school students while at college.

    Apart from reading and music he has a penchant for celebrating festivals and holds culture and traditions in high esteem. He loves cooking and exploring cuisines. YIF is a dream come true for him. He looks forward to enhancing his perceptional intelligence from the diverse curriculum and learning a lot from his amazing fellows.

    Favourite quote:

    “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
    ―  George Bernard Shaw.    

  • Keshav Rai Goud

    Keshav Rai Goud
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors of Technology in Instrumentation & Control Engineering; National Institute of Technology, Trichy

    Keshav Goud- a half Marwadi and half Haryanvi by birth and a Madrasi by heart, grew up in Chennai and pays Bangalore a visit at least once a year. Like any other kid, even Keshav had his fears - of darkness, of talking to people, etc., but he has come a long way since then. His school life was filled with academic achievements and extensive participation in co & extracurricular activities, but the pile of certificates were oddly unsatisfying. He realized how the concept of sonder &  different perspectives amused him; he increased his interactions, understood the way people think/work and motivated them on every front. Now this only acted as a launch-pad to his existing love for leadership. 

    He was appointed Head(Marketing) of Festember(annual cultural festival, NIT Trichy) he believes his achievement was not in the numbers but in guiding his team, striking the right chord with each one of them, helping them grow professionally and personally. With the work culture he established, the highest recorded corporate sponsorship in Festember’s history was not a surprise. His alma matter, NITT evolved him completely but his love for exploring diverse things stayed the same and was reflected in various initiatives he's taken in college (managing finances in the Entrepreneurship Cell to content writing in Feeds, NITT's official magazine) and his interns - from an IIM Bangalore project of enhancing the quality of rural education to surprisingly even a Research Intern of Control & Micro-level Process optimization at Masibus Automation.

    This never dying zeal for learning something new is exactly what brings him to YIF, where he wants to be exposed to wide-range of fields, before making an informed decision of jumping into a specific sector and impacting lives through it.

    Keshav loves theatre, acting, dancing and prefers swimming on a winter morning. His love for perspectives and philosophy is shown in the type of photos he clicks, the analogies he draws while talking and the way he interprets and analyses movies. He likes to call himself a storyteller, a stargazer smitten with wanderlust. His life has been a quest for ultimate contentment full of drama and experiential learning, for he believes experiences are the best teachers!
    Favourite quotes:

    "Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."

    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
    ― Shawshank Redemption (Movie)

  • Kohima Goyal

    Kohima Goyal
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication; C.C.E.T (Panjab University), Chandigarh

    When she was born , her mother gave her a unique name. As she grew up she lived up to its uniqueness by being a girl in boy’s territory.

    Born and brought up in Chandigarh and in a workaholic family, she was always on her toes experimenting and learning new things and thus becoming an all-rounder. As she completed her school, she was already an artist (never short of ideas), state level skater and had donned the cap of sports captain. Her quest for more took her places during her college time. From being an active member of Rotract Chandigarh Midtown to heading the Music club and NSS club of her college she had laid her hands on many things. 

    To channelize her free time in the right direction during college, she joined NGO TAMMANA in 2012 and worked as office coordinator for 2 years. She touched many lives and learnt the importance of team work.

    Putting herself out of her comfort zone and trying out new things is what keeps her going.  During her 2 year stint with Infosys, she saw the larger picture and pushed her limits to become a long distance marathon runner and winning many accolades. The best moment came when she was awarded by the DC Head of Infosys for ‘best contribution by an employee during the year’ for conducting self-defense classes for government school kids. She has also worked closely with many CSR initiatives and is popularly known as an event manager among her friends and colleagues.

    Her passion to inspire people and get inspired  by people is what brings her to YIF.

    She believes in loving to live for others. 

  • Tushita Goyal

    Tushita Goyal
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology; Indian Institute Of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi

    A passionate and caring person, Tushita has always worked towards the things that have motivated her. Being involved in all sorts of activities at school, she is a vibrant individual. Being good academically, she went to pursue Chemical Engineering at IIT (BHU) Varanasi where she got ample of opportunities to grow as a person. At IIT (BHU) Varanasi, she actively participated in the dance club and also tried her hand at various craft activities. She did one of her research interns at IIT Kanpur where she was praised for her excellence and also for learning the task without a mentor and delivering results. She was also the only one from her college to get selected for the S.N.Bose Scholarship program which provided her the opportunity to work for a research project at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Being appreciated by her professor at the university motivated her to work harder in life. 

    Wishing to explore the world more to find her best fit she went on to work with Reliance Industries but soon left it as the monotonous job did not charm her. Since then she has been trying to explore different areas and that brought her to YIF. She has also had a short stint at Public Policy and hopes to put her knowledge into perspective. She hopes that the YIF experience will help her grow intellectually and personally. It will provide her a diverse view of events in the world. Learning something new daily is the penchant that she lives by and hopes her attitude will let her learn a lot at YIF. Looking forward to interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and learning something from each one of them, she intends to begin her YIF journey.

    Favourite quote:

    "To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal."

     ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

  • Manshreya Grover

    Manshreya Grover
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Science in Psychology; University of Durham, England

    Manshreya is a graduate of Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Durham. Most recently, she was working with a human rights organisation working on ending violence against women. Despite the ambitious goal, she was able to make an impact in her own way by leading two social media campaigns and creating a 6 part curriculum on human rights and gender. 

    For the better part of her life, she has found studying human behaviour fascinating. This has led her to teach herself graphology and the nuances of body language. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered with the rehabilitation centre of a non-profit dedicated to mental health awareness and helping those affected with schizophrenia. In the last 4 years, she has had the opportunity to conduct photography workshops with the clients at the rehabilitation centre. Additionally, she was also responsible for leading the campaign on mental health awareness at her university. 

    So far, she has had the opportunity to work with non-profits and corporate organisations working on mental health, gender, government policies regarding employment, telecommunications, consulting, and entrepreneurial business. Each experience has added another piece to the puzzle, and she looks forward to finishing the puzzle while at Ashoka.  

    Favourite quote:

    "Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work."
    ― Gustave Flaubert 

  • Priyamvada Grover

    Priyamvada Grover
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors of Arts in Economics (Honours); Jesus And Mary College, Delhi University

    Priyamvada has had an inherent habit of deriving inspiration from Subjects and individuals around her. This lead her to experiment in various fields as a wonder-struck child, a practice which she hung on to through adulthood. 

    Although observation and self-reflection came naturally to her at an early age, college served as the fitting platform for her to grow in a spectrum of spheres she wished to pursue. She was a part of the Debating society, the Dance society and the Economics council of her college. Beyond participating in co-curricular in college, she channeled her love for music by serving as an editor of the electronic music magazine- ‘Bangin Beats’ where she reported news, reviewed music, covered music festivals & gigs, and interviewed international music artists. She also served as the joint national secretary for a non-profit, youth run organization called ‘Global Youth India’.

    During her time in college, she tried to gather experience in diverse fields and industries. She interned at ‘Ogilvy And Mather’ where she assisted on campaigns for ‘Incredible India’, Vodafone’ and ‘National Skill Development Corporation’. She also interned as a business reporter at ‘Hindustan Times’.  She volunteered for organizations like ‘Sweccha’ where she worked on parting literacy and vocational skills to under-privileged women, and assisted on workshops for women’s sanitary health. She recently spent a summer volunteering at the Youth Centre in Auroville to build sustainable homes.

    Priyamvada’s urge to be constantly surrounded by inspiration, and her tendency to be awed by knowledge brought her to YIF. She hopes to take away as much as she can from the program and come out with skills that would help her contribute better to the world, as well as her own growth. 

    Favorite quote:

    “They have been through the fire, and what fire does not destroy, it hardens.”
    — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • Puneet Grover

    Puneet Grover
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Management Studies; College Of Vocational Studies, Delhi University

    Ever since Puneet started talking at the age of one, people have been searching for ways to stop the chatter - from parents offering pacifiers to friends offering chicken tangris. With all his verbosity, one would think he had an answer for everything but in all honesty, Puneet considers himself indecisive at best. 

    His flair for analytics and numbers helped him excel at subjects like Mathematics and Accountancy and eventually led him to be awarded as the Topper in Accountancy in high school. While he considers number-crunching to be a missile in his arsenal, his one true love lies on the stage, under the spotlight. All throughout school and college, he participated in dance competitions, group performances, and stage shows. He has been trained in various dance styles over the years, though he confesses that his favourites are House and Old Skool Hip-Hop. 

    Puneet viewed college as a platform to take on every challenge that he came across. Along with being a part of his college’s Western & Street dance societies and the Vice-President of the Cultural Council, he was also an active member of Enactus CVS where he found the perfect use for his ability to talk one’s ear off in the marketing department. This tryst with contributing to society continued when he joined Computer Shiksha, an NGO that worked towards providing basic computer education to underprivileged students across Delhi NCR. He was also the Gurgaon Zone and Corporate Head for the Earth Hour 2015 campaign organised by WWF India.

    Puneet considers the Young India fellowship an opportunity to explore—both within and outside. He hopes that the YIF experience will broaden his horizons enough to put his constant rendezvous with confusion to a trial by combat and emerge victorious enough to stop choosing the worst ice-cream flavours on the menu. 

    Favourite quote:
    Khwahisho ko jeb mein rakh kar nikla kijiye, janaab, kharcha bohot hota hai, manzilo ko paane mein.” 
    ― Piyush Mishra

  • Manish Reddy Guduru

    Manish Reddy Guduru
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology; College Of Engineering Hyderabad, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad
    Post-Graduation: Masters in Electrical Engineering; Blekinge Institute Of Technology, Sweden

    Manish Reddy Guduru was born and raised in the city of Hyderabad. He believes that his school education in Bhavans has provided him with a very strong foundation for his subsequent endeavours in life. Moreover, his interest in engineering was inculcated primarily through his father who is an electrical consultant. Having excelled in the field of Maths and Science throughout high school, Manish got accepted into an integrated dual degree course into Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad. He completed his Bachelor’s degree by graduating top of his class. He subsequently completed his masters in Electrical Engineering from Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden. 

    During his under graduation, Manish developed a keen interest in international relations, debate and diplomacy. They helped him land a stint with WorldView Education Services in a role of coach and research analyst. He trained more than 600 students, faculty and professionals in communication skills and diplomacy. Further, he worked with Pollution Control Board, Andhra Pradesh to raise awareness about biodiversity and environmental conservation among school students. Recognising his work, he was selected to moderate the youth session at the United Nation COP11 to Convention on Biodiversity held at Hyderabad. 

    He continued to pursue his interests in Sweden and actively initiated projects to promote Indian Culture. His suggestion to promote the Indian attire through visual art at Namaste Stockholm, 2015, an event to promote Indian Culture and art was endorsed by the Indian Ambassador to Sweden. It was widely appreciated.
    Rich from his experiences and learning in Sweden, Manish decided to work in Commut, a start-up in transport sector, from March 2016. He worked as a Strategy Analyst primarily working on product and pricing strategy. 

    In his free time Manish enjoys discussions on politics, running and playing badminton. Through YIF, Manish seeks to learn, explore and expand his perspective of life.

  • Ratan Sunil Guha

    Ratan Sunil Guha
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering; IIT Bombay

    Having spent the first 12 years of life in the bucolic Railway junction cum Air Force station town of Amla in Madhya Pradesh, Ratan considers himself a small town lad. His father’s job in railways gave him an innate wanderlust, while his grandfather’s job in the army made him a patriot by birth. To live with limited resources, surmount any challenge that arises in the way, and an amicable and co-operative way of living (typical features of life in a small town) also define him as a person.

    A birthday gift by his grandfather, Panchatantra, ignited an everlasting love for reading, which blossomed into a fondness of academics, social science and physics being his favorites. This ultimately took him to IIT Bombay.
    The 4 years in the campus were the defining years for him. Apart from innumerable extra-curricular activities ranging from debating to dramatics and literature, it also gave him exciting opportunities to have internships in IIMA and General Electric. A semester spent in National University of Singapore was a life changing experience for him, giving him a much deeper understanding of India as a country and himself as a person. Post IIT Bombay, he has worked in ITC for a year, an intense grill in management which taught him how to ‘get the work done’ no matter what the situation is.

    Ratan is a proud member of the ‘Super 30 Engine Room Club 2014’, the group behind the planning, organization and execution of Jagriti Yatra 2014, having played his part in transforming the lives of 400 yatris and many more who would be positively affected by their contribution to the society. 

    He was a co-founder of a first-of-its-kind Social Festival of IIT Bombay, Abhyuday. He believes that the seed that he has sown by starting Abhyuday would eventually lead to a revolution in the social scene of the colleges across India.

    Life Mantra:

    ‘Aham Brahmasmi’, I am the all powerful, all pervasive, all capable soul, and that soul pervades through every single atom in this universe. 

  • Kartik Gulati

    Kartik Gulati
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors of Science (Honours) in Physics; Ramjas College, Delhi University

    Kartik’s journey as a hit and trial specialist began at a fairly young age of 10 when he was made captain of the under-12 cricket team of his school. At age 15, he set up his schools private social network that he had built from scratch. It failed miserably. That same year he taught himself to play the guitar and made it to the school band. Over the next couple of years he wrote and composed an original album and was known as the ‘jingle guy’ who also won several competitions for his scores.

    Although School had given Kartik the opportunity to experiment, he did not find his feet or define his moral compass till he came to Ramjas. In his first year, Kartik was recruited in this new social entrepreneurship society called ‘Enactus Ramjas’ which was only in its second year of operation. Here he helped 22 Transgenders, and 15 unemployed women set up two sustainable businesses.

    He was made president the following year, and under his leadership Enactus Ramjas was declared first runners up in the Enactus India National Competition in a pool of over a 100 colleges. In 2015, Kartik interned at the Central Square Foundation where he played a crucial role in the development of Khan Academy Hindi and helped launch its India pilot in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. 

    He is heavily influenced by the likes of Elon Musk, Ratan Tata, and Ashish Dhawan who are using their wealth to change the world in a meaningful way. In his lifetime, he hopes to have some sort of an impact in the fields of renewable energy, sustainable products, and education. 

    Kartik joins the Young India Fellowship class of 2017 in the hope of sparking that journey into ignition.

  • Aanchal Gupta

    Aanchal Gupta
    Age: 24
    Degree and Institution: Bachelors of Arts (Honours) in Economics; University of Delhi

    In a childhood spent on the swings and streets of Ghaziabad, Aanchal recounts herself as one of the lucky ones to grow up in the age when toys and storybooks were one’s endeared possessions. Her father works as a middleman in iron and steel industry, an occupation weakened by technology but constructed by reputation and her mother is a brilliant chef who only practices at home. The stories of her parents’economic struggles instilled in her the values of respecting people and experiences, good or bad. 

    After studying science with economics in school, Aanchal chose to pursue the latter from the University of Delhi. While in college, she practiced French, volunteered with the Becoming I Foundation and became a campus coordinator with the Centre for Civil Society (CCS). Before she left the campus, she assisted a study under University of Delhi to calculate the impact of socio-cultural and economic factors on the performance of students, wrote a research paper on the Stakeholders in Street-Begging as an intern in CCS, and bade farewell to the college after refurbishing its Economics Society since its dormant state of 4 years. 

    Aanchal realized early on that while her brain craves concepts of physics and economics, her heart goes for the social causes. To blend both she joined a start-up, School Country, as a product developer in Jaipur. After six months, not willing to settle in a domain without exploring her other interest areas, she joined the Gandhi Fellowship in Mumbai. For two years, she worked with 10 Headmasters of Municipal Schools, government officials on community building, and stayed with the slum-dwellers for two months. During this period, Vipassana meditation inspired her to initiate a project to connect senior citizens with children using oral history. For this, she got support from Global Action on Poverty, Kaivalya Education Foundation, Ashoka Foundation and Storywallahs.

    Now, to kindle new ideas and reshape the old, she considers YIF as an important crossroad in her journey ahead. 

    She believes that:

    “Your journey has moulded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time. It took each and every situation that you’ve encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.”
    ― Asha Tyson

  • Avni Gupta

    Avni Gupta
    Age: 21
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics, Diploma in Liberal Studies, School of Liberal Studies; Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University

    Born in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, followed by a brief stint in the historically rich city of Delhi, only to settle down later in the youth centric, educational hub of Pune and to finally pursue her undergraduate education in the birthplace of Bapu himself, Avni thrives on diversity. Being an academically bright student throughout her schooling and always playing safe when it came to career choices, choosing Liberal Studies over Engineering was something that took her family by surprise. To her it came as an innocent, curious yet very viable question, ‘Why can’t we study everything? Why be confined to a bracket at all?’. Four years down the line, even though she took the road less travelled by, the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, “Not all those who wander are lost”, continue to strengthen her belief.

    College was an absolute contrast to the life she’d been used to, but it was ironically the place where she found herself. Being exposed to a plethora of subjects, she discovered her interest in Economics, International Relations, Philosophy and Literature. Having worked with Teach for India in the past, she realised her passion to work in the development sector. She designed a community welfare initiative and led forty international interns for a period of one month, exposing them to the strengths as well as the challenges faced by India. They worked for causes like women empowerment, education and enabling the blind, by partnering with various NGOs.

    On a professional front, she’s studied courses in collaboration with the UNFCC and KPMG, interned with the State Bank of India under the research wing and represented her University at the Harvard US-India Initiative 2016.

    As a person, she relishes free thinking, brain storming and conversations. Her friends think of her as a paradox owing to the fact that she’s a storyteller but writes an anonymous blog, her music tastes cover the spectrum of classic rock, grunge as well as Hindustani classical and she’s a foodie with a rapacious appetite which never reflects on her, much to their disappointment.

    I believe that:

    “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”
    – Carl Sagan

  • Divyansh Gupta

    Divyansh Gupta
    Age: 23
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Technology; IIT, Bombay

    Born and brought up in the small city of Alwar in Rajasthan, Divyansh has always focused on the overall development of his personality. He has participated in various debate and dramatics events during his school life and has won various district and state level competitions.

    Divyansh tries to challenge the status quo by coming up with the “next” methodology to achieve the desired results. He always tries to figure out how it can be done differently and more efficiently. Luckily, IIT-B/BCG has provided him an appropriate platform to develop this quality and evolve as an ardent learner and a leader. As speaking activities always interested him, he decided to lead that genre as Institute Speaking Arts Secretary at IIT Bombay. During his tenure, he worked for the upliftment of the Hindi language and was awarded prestigious Organization Color Award for his contributions. After IITB he joined the consulting industry. His year-long interaction with the industry has provided him the experiences from varied sectors and has helped him in the integration of learnings to capitalize it for obtaining more practical, viable and sustainable solutions.

    The diversity and the complexity of the human experience have always excited him. He believes that there is always so much to explore, understand and absorb. This has motivated him to go for versatile opportunities, learn from different sources and experiment with implementation of learning from one field to another - whether it be School Head Boy, Institute Secretary or working as a consultant. This desire is also the sole reason for him to apply for the Fellowship! 

    He loves to watch movies, go to the gym and read. You will find him debating about everything/anything on campus. He is a bit of an introvert, but once someone enters his comfort zone, it is impossible for him to hold his tongue! 

    Favorite quote:

    “The best way to predict future is to invent it”

  • Itika Gupta

    Itika Gupta
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautical engineering; PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh

    Itika, just as the name suggests, believes the possibilities in life are ‘endless’. Having spent her formative years in Delhi, Seoul and Abu Dhabi, she has been exposed to various cultures from early on and is intrigued by them, and the food in particular. A dreamer, full of energy and always eager to explore, she also excels at procrastinating. 

    Diverse interests made her pursue a plethora of activities including painting, dancing, elocution and debates, thus complementing her good grades at school. Despite her science background, she has a penchant for the social sciences. However, it was not until college that she found her true passion lay in theatre. Awarded various prizes for stage plays and street plays, she went on to perform in a professional capacity as well. 
    Her will to opt for the unconventional found her pursuing Aeronautical Engineering, where she had various training stints at the Indian Air Force to get hands-on experience of various defense air crafts. This affair with the defence sector lingered on as she went on to work at the Research and Design wing of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. 

    Being the House Captain and General Secretary of the Nature club at school, leadership came naturally to her. She does not shy away from taking initiatives and goes out of her way to help others which makes her a good team player as well. Working for an independent organization ‘Les Amis’ in Chandigarh, she was involved in organizing city level events including competitions for underprivileged and special children. She also worked in the capacity of General Secretary of the organization. 

    Eventually, she quit her job and took a plunge into the race for civil services. Though this process helped her gain a wider perspective towards the world, it also drove her out of action. Confused as ever, with a zest for learning new things constantly, she joins the YIF, where she hopes to push herself beyond boundaries to rediscover her passion and be impelled to act whilst drawing inspiration from the YIF fraternity.  

    Favourite quotes:  

    “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else”
    ― George Orwell 
    “What you seek is seeking you”
    ― Rumi

  • Ruhi Gupta

    Ruhi Gupta
    Age: 25
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mathematics; Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi

    "Ain't about how fast I get there
    Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
    It's the climb"
    Ruhi's life has been an exciting journey in the pursuit of finding her passion. She studied Mathematics during graduation, spent approximately a year and a half in a sales and marketing role at SkillKindle (an early stage startup at that time), followed by a two and a half year stint at Zomato, where she was looking after their Human Resource operations.
    Ruhi signed up for Mathematics in college, but could not connect to the subject. To make up for the lost academic experience, she decided to contest in the department elections in college. She was first elected as the Treasurer and later became the President of the Mathematics department. After graduation, she spent 4 years working with startups, and absolutely loved the fast paced environment and work culture where every minute was replete with immense learning and development.
    Ruhi doesn't have a life plan figured out for herself, yet. She has ever changing dreams, and is experiencing what life has in store for her, one step at a time. Speaking of dreams, she feels strongly about being a motivational speaker. She believes that the power of communication is underrated in our country and that sometimes even the most complicated problems can be resolved by the simplest conversations.
    She hopes that her journey at YIF would help her discover some more of herself and bring her a step closer to fulfilling some of her many aspirations.

    Favorite quote:

    "What you seek is seeking you"
    ― Rumi

  • Gowri Harish

    Gowri Harish
    Age: 20
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours); Christ University, Bangalore

    Gowri aspires to one day be a global leader, and hopes that her introvertedness won’t be a hurdle to her dreams. Resilient and hardworking, she puts in the effort to achieve perfection and strongly believes in the dictum of Thomas Alva Edison that “There is No substitute for Hard Work”. Intrigued by the idea of expanding her range, Gowri is often eclectic in her choices. She pursued Science until class 12, switched to Business Administration for her degree and even explored ‘Shock advertising’ for her dissertation, an unusual topic even for her course.

    An unending thirst for satisfaction constantly propels her to find bigger and better challenges. Her curiosity, honesty, attention to detail, and her perseverance when accomplishing a goal are but a few traits that she was lauded for in her internships at both Ogilvy and Titan Company Limited respectively. Apart from these internships, as part of a social responsibility project at her University she has also worked with Dream a Dream, an NGO that empowers children from vulnerable backgrounds.

    Gowri is an avid lover of performing arts. She has been trained in Bharatanatyam for 15 years, dabbling in other forms along the way. Fond of music, she was trained in the same in her school days and can often be found humming a tune. As someone who loves to travel, Gowri has visited many parts of India and beyond. Her love for travel even prompted her to attend a study abroad programme in the United States for one semester during her Bachelors. Such diverse experiences have helped expand her network and enhanced her personality.

    She is both excited and apprehensive about YIF, the new doors it will open, and the diverse group of accomplished people she will come across. Nonetheless, she looks forward to it and hopes that this fellowship will help her find her calling and guide her towards success.

    Favourite quote:

    “A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”
    ― Colin Powell

  • Marzia Ibrahim

    Marzia Ibrahim
    Age: 22
    Degree and Institution: Bachelor of Computer Applications, Christ University, Bangalore

    Marzia was born and raised in the booming city of Bangalore where she started off being an “enthu-cutlet” at quite a young age. While studying at the Frank Anthony Public School and then at Christ University, she had many opportunities to showcase her love for books, reading, sports and culture. As the head-girl of her school, basketball team captain and Junior Under Officer in the NCC, responsibility seemed to follow her around wherever she went. She had never had much trouble finding her voice and once she did, she made sure it was heard. 

    Marzia’s three years at University and the successes and failures that came with it taught her many things. Upon graduation, she was sure of one thing. She was going to be different. She was going to change something. She just needed to figure out how and where. This is what made her apply for a job at an NGO called “Headstreams” as a Project Assistant and Facilitator. The role she played here allowed her to use her technical knowledge and communication skills to pursue her passion for education and addressing social issues. She set out thinking she was going to help kids learn something, but as it turns out there was much more for her to learn from the 10-12 year-old students she spent time with. 

    There are few things more important to Marzia than the happiness that comes with being a part of another person’s story and having them become a part of yours. This is what she hopes to do at Ashoka University. The Young India Fellowship will be an opportunity for her to identify her strengths and use them to focus her energies on things that she believes really matter.
    Favourite quote: 

    “To understand the heart and mind of a person look not at what he has already achieved but at what he aspires to.”
    ― Kahlil Gibran.