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RISE Scholar: Maheen Akram Dar (2014 – 2016)

1st Sep 2014 by admin - , (0) Comment
RISE Scholar Maheen
Photo Courtesy: Felipe Gutierrez

A RISE Scholar strives to rise above his/her circumstances and achieve goals with great zeal and determination. Starting this year, Mahindra Group acknowledges and honours such an individual through RISE scholarship.

For 2014 – 2016, the Rise Scholarship is given to Maheen Akram Dar, from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, to enable her to complete her education at UWC Mahindra College.

Overjoyed and surprised by the news, Maheen said, ” Becoming a student at UWC Mahindra College is one of my biggest achievements and to be chosen as the RISE Scholar is a matter of great happiness as education at UWC MC wouldn’t have been possible without the scholarship. Words cannot express how grateful I feel. I will always be thankful.”

As part of Corporate Social Responsibility, Mahindra have instituted this specific scholarship for two years at UWC Mahindra College to help drive positive change in the life of the recipient.  This scholarship is directly linked to the circumstances, strife and the determination of the recipient to rise in life. 

Maheen’s case was brought to the notice of Mahindra by UWC Committee of India as a deserving candidate for Rise scholarship. Mahindra feels that Maheen truly deserves a Rise scholarship; with this support, she will be able to benefit from opportunities and rise to make a positive change in the world around her. As a RISE Scholar, Maheen said, “I deeply thank those who made it possible. I thank UWC for existing.”

At Mahindra, the philosophy of RISE originates from the need to unify around shared ideas, values, principles, ways of life, or common goals.  It is a call to see opportunities where others cannot and to set an example for the world. With the purpose to enable people to Rise, Mahindra believes in transforming lives that can benefit from the support they need to lead change.

About Maheen: 

Surrounded by magnificent beauty and territorial conflict, Maheen grew up in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). Through talent and hard work, she made sure that, despite financial difficulties, her education doesn’t get compromised. She studied throughout middle school in one of the best schools in J&K on a full scholarship provided by Kashmir Education Initiative  and is now selected as a RISE Scholar to study at UWC Mahindra College in Pune, India.

With great enthusiasm, she said, “I chose UWC to make my dreams to come true – to contribute for a better tomorrow. I feel that UWC not only provides education, but also the skills and positive energy to take steps for a peaceful and a sustainable future.”

Getting here hasn’t been that easy though, both metaphorically and logistically. It took seven days for Maheen and her family to get to Pune from Kashmir during the selection process last year! Changing buses with various halts, she travelled with the crown of Kashmir and carried dreams of a promising future in her beautiful eyes.

Growing up in Kashmir, a region of territorial conflict in India since the partition, has been both stunning and uncertain in the shadow of rifles. The valley has been a playground for Maheen where the still, silent lake was a source of peaceful wandering, when possible. At any time, however, the sound of rifles echoed in the air and the children would run back to their homes. For all these years, the family took good care of  Maheen and her siblings.

Maheen’s father, a constable in the police force, has saved some money all his life to make education happen for his bright daughter. Last year, her mother spent most of her time doing comprehensive research on UWC Mahindra College and the UWC Movement by scrolling pages on her tiny phone and regularly visiting internet cafes with the slowest speed. Along with her parents, Maheen meticulously wrote her answers on the application form with a pencil, kept the form aside for 3 weeks, then revised and rewrote with a pen. Such has been the incredible journey of the entire family to joint the UWC Movement.

When asked, “How do you think UWC will help you?”

“I want to build a school in my valley,” she said with great conviction. “It will have the same values and principles as UWC. It will be for the kids, especially girls, in my valley. UWC will help me get there and I will make it happen.”

Maheen said that she feels very lucky to be at UWC Mahindra College.

In fact, UWCMC feels the same! It isn’t everyday that we are able to magically discover outstanding students like Maheen who have overcome financial, social and political challenges and soared high in life.

With immense love and respect, UWC Mahindra College welcomes you, Maheen! Thank you for being here with us.

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