The Shiv Nadar Foundation was established in 1994 by Shiv Nadar, Founder - HCL. The foundation is committed to the creation of a more equitable, merit-based society by empowering individuals with education that can bridge the socio-economic divide. Over the last 25 years, the Foundation has established institutions and programs related to rural and urban education and art in underdeveloped areas of India.

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After her father fell ill, the responsibility of the household fell on the shoulders of 18-year-old Seema. Their financial condition would not allow her to get an education, yet she decided to step up and use her stitching skills to support the family of three.
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Many might call him studious, some a bookworm, but Malaikannan says that he was lucky to have found the best of both worlds. These included one with his friends on the playground and one in the charming world hidden inside a library.
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“I had big dreams, but never realised that the reality would turn out to be much bigger and better!” says Hemlata Sharma, recalling her journey. Hemlata was born in Uchagaon, a remote village in Uttar Pradesh. Growing up in a big family that was single-handedly supported by her father, a farmer, she believed that being able to study in a government school was a privilege.
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Growing up, Bhargavi Gopalan was a quiet and shy child sitting in a corner. She was comfortable being in the shadows, away from the crowds, away from the spotlight. But, in contrast, there was only one place where she felt at ease — the stage when she’d be dancing.
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As the complexities of algebra took over, students continued to frantically scribble in their notebooks, hoping to arrive at the right answer. However, amid this crowd, sat a boy in a corner, looking out of the window. His seemingly effortless gaze into the world outside might have appeared to be an act of absent-mindedness, or even in defiance of the teacher or class.
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Soumya was always a good student. A gem in the eyes of her teachers and parents. But there was more to her than just that.
She liked studying but wasn’t studious. She had a mature outlook of the world, but also had a child full of spirit inside her — still figuring out which dreams to chase.
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As an 8-year-old kid, when Arun Sathianarayanan travelled overseas to the US in 2006 to visit his mother, little did he know that he would come back burning with his life’s purpose.
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S Vishwanath

For a young Viswanath, every single day was a challenge. Living in the outskirts of Chennai, about 35km from the city centre, he would wake up early in the morning to embark on a 2-hour long journey to his school.

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As a child, when Aarav would pick up his pencil and scribble expressions on a piece of paper, people would often get scared. His dark textures, confident strokes and non-conformist depictions of life, people and places, bothered some, but not his father– his biggest fan.

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When Narendra Kumar passed his Class 12 board exams, it was a historic moment. He was the first person in his family to have ever reached that level of qualification. Moreover, with a score of 94%, he had done it with flying colours.

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Every year, lakhs of students dream of cracking one of India’s most coveted entrance tests, the IIT-JEE exams. But for Vishal Kumar, a boy from Nathodi, a small village in UP, this was never really true. He hadn’t even heard about IIT until he was a teenager!

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Ishan Gupta had always been a straight-A student, but when the time came to pursue a degree, he realised that he was yet to discover his true passion.

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“I was always a good student who wanted to make something of her life. I had goals. But considering my surroundings, those goals seemed more like unachievable dreams,” says a young woman who hails from the remote village of Manampathi, in Tamil Nadu.

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“It’s not necessary that everyone will understand what you do. But, it’s important that you are convinced and happy. My parents don’t always understand what I do, but they are proud of me. I am after all the first person to have stepped out of the village to pursue a dream,” says Nisha Bharti, a young designer at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).

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Sudha Devi was a woman with an independent spirit trapped under the shortcomings of the society. In her village, Wair in Sikandrabad, UP, being illiterate is a social reality for many women, just like Sudha.

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Ambhuj Mishra

For months, every time his father dropped him off at school, 6-year-old Ambhuj Mishra would try to escape the premises. He hated the idea of being confined in an unknown space, away from his parents.

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Fresh out of school, Ramandeep Malhotra was, like many of his age, clueless about the next step. He allowed his parents to decide the best option for him and that is how he ended up pursuing engineering.

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Always fascinated with the history of her country and the world as a young girl, it did not come as a surprise to anyone when Lakshmi Ravi pursued the subject in college. And, yet in the pursuit of completing her graduation, she came across the unexpected.

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Many youngsters in India dream of entering the hallowed walls of an IIT and Rakesh Munnanooru was one among them. Consequently, after completing Class 10, the resident of Telangana’s Karimnagar, moved to Hyderabad to enrol in an IIT training programme.

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Mehul Kumar grew up in Janikalan, a small village near Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, along with six siblings. His humble background was instrumental in shaping his personality as a soft-spoken and hard-working boy who wanted to make the best use of his education to make a difference.

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The daughter of a former naval officer, Kirithigaa K has travelled and lived across the length and breadth of the country. In 2011, the young nomad became one of the first students to enrol in the founding batch of BTech, at the newly-established Shiv Nadar University.

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A 12-year-old Shaily Upadhyay playfully dribbled a basketball, swiftly moving it under her legs, spinning, skipping and making her way through a crowd of confused friends at school. Aiming to tease them, she pretended to stumble, only to leap and dunk the ball into the basket.

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