Stories of Success

The successes of the programs we fund can be found in the stories of the children we have impacted. These stories represent the hope, drive and ambition that is instilled in these children, which in turn will make them strong members of their families, communities and the society at large.

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Meet Rama

An Udayan Ghar (Sunshine Home) Child

Separated from his family at the age of 6, Rama encountered severe hardships, literally fighting for his very survival. He would have to sing on the streets to earn enough money to eat and find a safe place to sleep.

Two years later, Udayan Care welcomed Rama to the Udayan Ghar in Mayur Vihar in New Delhi. Like most young children who lose their families, he had faced severe trauma and seemed directionless. At first, he was not able to trust his Udayan family, as for a long time no one had loved or cared for him without an ulterior motive. Gradually, with intense counseling by Udayan mental health experts, and the compassion of his mentor parents, he understood his Udayan family only wanted him to be happy.

Rama had no previous schooling, so going to school was not an immediate option. Home schooling helped bridge the gap and Rama was soon admitted to one of Delhi’s best private schools. Today, he is an extremely well-adjusted 7th grader who often exudes an enthusiasm that is contagious. His confidence in himself is evident as Rama participates in every school competition, is a brilliant actor, an amazing dancer and a strong athlete, winning many gold medals at his school’s annual sporting event. Udayan Care brought life back into his life.

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Meet Salma

An Udayan Ghar (Sunshine Home) Child

I am Salma. I would look out the window of my home at the school across the street…wanting to be there. My mother didn’t think school was important. I would sneak out of my home and attend school sometimes….I just wanted to learn.

When my mother passed away, my elder brother and sister refused to take care of me. At the age of 5, I was sent to a children’s shelter, but after seven years I really wanted to learn English, which the shelter was not able to provide. Udayan Care was…

I did not know how to write my name in English. I was put into a private school, the Bloom School, as an 8th grader. I worked very hard to catch up with the class, and I succeeded with the help of my mentor Mothers, Anita Didi, and Deepika Didi. My confidence soared and by 11th grade I was studying complex subjects such as Psychology.

My first dream came true and now I have a bigger dream – to become a social entrepreneur. I am getting my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. If I do well, I may pursue my Master’s. I also study dance as I believe dance therapy can be a healing tool for children like me. I work as a dance teacher in a pre-school and volunteer at the Udayan Home I grew up in.

Though I am living on my own now, Udayan Care is still there, like a family, helping me to achieve more in life and paying for my further education.

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Meet Darshana

An Udyana Shalini Fellow Graduate

“The constant mentoring and motivation at USF helped me secure a scholarship at Cambridge University (UK) for a PhD in Physics.” “My association with the Udayan Shalini Fellowship Program has been a life changing step for me.”

Darshana was born in a lower income family, the second of three siblings. Her father worked as an electrician with the local government which provided limited family resources to care for Darshana and her two siblings. Knowing Darshana’s strong potential and that her family couldn’t afford continuing education, Darshana’s teacher encouraged her to apply for the Udayan Shalini Fellowship.

Once selected for USF, there was no looking back. Hard work and extensive training as an Udayan Shalini Fellow helped her earn a scholarship to the very prestigious Cambridge University (UK) for a PhD in Physics! A dream for even the most scholarly and affluent, for Darshana and her family it is proof that determination and opportunity are the best ingredient for success.

Darshana recently visited India and spoke of her journey to the current Shalini girls. She is a source of inspiration to them and is so proud to be a part of the growing Shalini alumni network.

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Meet Smita

An Udyana Shalini Fellow Graduate

Smita Verma grew up in the impoverished by-lanes of old Delhi where her father worked in a small shop, supporting the entire family. Smita realized that an education beyond what was free was a slim hope.

But then the Udayan Shalini Fellowship came into her life. The exposure, motivation, and mentoring, in addition to financial support, enabled her to choose a career beyond her and her family’s wildest dreams…..Engineering. Not only that, during her sophomore year in Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology she was awarded the Gold Medal for academic excellence and the coveted GE Foundation Leadership Scholarship – awarded to only 56 students across India.

The accolades didn’t stop there. In 2011, Smita was selected by not just one but two Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), out of which she chose IIM Indore to pursue her post graduate studies. IIMs are the equivalent of a top five MBA program in the United States. After college, she worked for Fluor Daniel and UOP, Honeywell as a Piping Engineer but currently works in a pharmaceutical company in Mumbai. Paying it forward, a covenant of the Fellowship, Smita also supports the education of two current Fellows, becoming our first beneficiary-donor and giving her a chance to “give back to society.”