Towards Greener Pastures… Arsalan’s Story (MUWCI Class of 2021)

Arsalan Padder is a very bright, academically brilliant and highly motivated student from Anantnag, Kashmir in India, who has been selected to attend UWC Mahindra College in the academic year 2020-2022 on a full scholarship. He comes from a humble family background, his father being a shopkeeper and mother a contractual teacher.

Arsalan grew up in Anantnag in Kashmir and was selected on a full scholarship in a residential school in Pune, where he thrived and explored many of his interests like music and sports. He has been a top-ranked student in this school, and his academic performance and his recommendation letters prove that he is a very diligent, hard-working and sincere student. Arsalan was among the top-ranked students during the selection process too and was very competitively selected from over 900 students by the Indian National Committee (INC). The National Committee, headed by an alumna of UWC Mahindra College, selects Indian students of great promise to attend the 17 UWC (United World College) high schools around the world. 

“As the years passed, my beautiful bubble shattered. With the violence in the valley, it was very disappointing to not attend school for months. The despair and anxiety caused by this violence had extinguished the spark of enthusiasm within me and left me worn out, but I know that education can open new doors for me. […] I am so excited to come to MUWCI, as I believe that it is a platform where education and exposure can lead me to a journey of peace […]. MUWCI will begin a new chapter in my life and I hope it will take my learning to a higher level. I look forward to exploring this new chapter in my life and to being an independent individual striving towards changing the world in my own minuscule way.”

Aside from being academically brilliant, Arsalan has multifarious interests and talents like music and sports, and is extremely passionate about peace and justice issues. In his recommendation, his school Principal writes, “Arsalan has demonstrated great resilience and emotional maturity in the face of hardships endured by his family back home in Kashmir.” Arsalan is very passionate about issues like world peace and human rights, and sees UWC as a platform to address these. His biology teacher says, “I’d like to describe Arsalan using Rumi’s famous quote- You’re not a drop in the ocean, you’re the entire ocean in a drop. There are many facets to his personality, many that have been tapped and many waiting to be, given the right opportunity. In his case still water really does run deep! I wish him the best for his term at UWC.”

The access to a MUWCI education will enable Arsalan in changing his life trajectory. He has dealt with difficult circumstances with utmost composure and hope for a better future. UWC is an ideal place for such exceptional individuals and scholarships from our very generous donors make it possible for individuals like him.

As part of MUWCI’s Vision 2022 commitment to improving diversity through access, the college is increasing the number of scholarships it provides to deserving students year on year. We are currently fundraising for Arsalan’s all-inclusive scholarship through donations to our Student Scholarship Fund, under the Akhil Chadha Scholarship Campaign. Please join us in supporting this transformative education by pledging your donation today. All donations by alumni, parents and friends will be matched (50% to 200%) by Shelby Davis under the Davis IMPACT Challenge – there is no better time to give! The college is also eligible for CSR giving by Indian companies. Please get in touch with [email protected] for any questions about giving and supporting UWC Mahindra College.


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