Teens Inspired to Service

Teens Inspired to Service

“…every person who did stop sparked a light in us that made us realize the importance of service and how much of a difference just a few high school student voices can make.” In a speech from 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Today, on Martin Luther King day, it is necessary to look back and ask oneself, where do I stand right now? This question is ultimately what led us and a group of students at our high school to turn to Sahasra Deepika to make a difference). We realized how fortunate we were to be living in the comfort of our homes. We realized how lucky we were to have parents, to have an education, and more than anything to have a future to hope for. But most important, we realized that there was no point to these experiences if we did not challenge ourselves to help people who do not have the chance to have the same. In an effort to make a small contribution to  the large problem of disadvantaged children in India, we decided to have a bake sale to benefit Sahasra Deepika in front of our local Giant grocery store. Being outside on the shivery and windy day was refreshing. It was an invigorating experience in contrast to the convenience of sitting at home all day to work for just ourselves. Instead, we learned to speak with strangers. While some people were too cold to stop and make...
Finding Sisterhood at Sahasra Deepika

Finding Sisterhood at Sahasra Deepika

“…we shared a bond: a bond centered in a love for education and a will to fight and work until girls around the world are given what they deserve.” In my life, I am lucky enough to have my own little sister Riya who calls me Didi, meaning elder sister in Hindi. Living in an area where we are a minority, hearing the word Didi or encountering people who know what that means is very rare. We have run into countless situations where people are confused or on some occasions think my name actually is Didi and have started to call me that. After we exchange a quick smile and explain why we do this, usually people still do not understand the significance that this specific word has to our lives. For us, it is a symbol that we are connected, not only to our heritage, but to each other. While it is just a small thing, calling someone Didi, it highlights our sisterly bond. Didi, Akka, and Sister are words with different underlying meanings for every person and every relationship. Being called “Akka,” or “big sister,” while I was at Sahasra Deepika really meant something to me. It meant that me and the girls I met at Sahasra Deepika were truly connected. I had never experienced something so meaningful in such a short amount of time in my life. The feeling of a sisterhood  is exactly what I took away from my visit to Sahasra Deepika. I loved exchanging stories with Nagashree, learning from Kavya, and laughing with Triveni. It was not only these small interactions that impacted...
Leaders Light the Way honors International Women’s Day

Leaders Light the Way honors International Women’s Day

Leaders Light the Way is a speaker series that Sahasra Deepika launched in Washington, DC in March 2017. Our first event was held in honor of International Women’s Day. Our special guests were award winning journalists Andrea Roane of WUSA-9, and Hillary Howard of WTOP. Over 120 attendees enjoyed a lively and inspiring panel discussion moderated by Monika Samtani of Ms.Media on the changing roles of women in journalism– and how the theme of International Women’s Day, Be Bold for Change, resonated with the panelists. Youth Ambassador Neha Mukherjee also spoke at the event, stating “I wish for a world where girls have education. I wish for a world where girls are valued and judged on who they are as people, not only their gender. I wish for a world of equality. This is why I stand with Sahasra Deepika.” Many thanks to all who supported and volunteered at the event.  Leaders Light the Way is a series of events hosted by Sahasra Deepika to celebrate prominent women who epitomize the spirit of resilience, leadership, and hope. Women who have broken barriers and risen to the pinnacle of their fields. Women who’ve led lives of significance and inspire us all. These women represent what we at Sahasra Deepika strive to do: empower girls to productively participate in their communities and shape the future of the...
A Window to Sahasra Deepika

A Window to Sahasra Deepika

“No matter where a human being is on the planet we all have a common thread. We want to be loved and we want to have opportunities that make us grow and learn.” My summer internship experience with Ms. Media exceeded my expectations. A big reason it was so special was because I was introduced to the Sahasra Deepika Foundation for Education. Upon my arrival to Washington DC, the first client of Ms. Media that I had the pleasure of meeting was Sarva Rajendra. Sarva is the executive director of Sahasra Deepika, a school for underprivileged girls in India. I have always had a passion for work with the underprivileged. Hearing Sarva talk so passionately about Sahasra Deepika instantly captivated me and enchanted my heart. We were not just having a conversation about poverty, we were talking about education, girls and hope. I knew that I wanted to contribute to Sarva and her cause from that moment. Monika Samtani, my boss and mentor for my summer internship, entrusted me with the task of looking through all of the footage that she and her Ms. Media team filmed when they visited Sahasra Deepika a few years back. She handed over the hard drives to me and asked me to organize the footage and create vignettes for three of the girls who attend Sahasra Deepika. It was something I never done before, but I was eager to try it and make the most of the learning experience. I thought this is how I can contribute to the impeccable purpose of Sahasra Deepika. As I looked through the footage I saw the depth, the...
A Night of One Thousand Spotlights

A Night of One Thousand Spotlights

Youth Ambassador Caitlin McGuire was so inspired by the film “Suma’s Story,” that she decided to take action.”When we support global education, we support global communications, and the breaking down of language barriers. Moreover, we support the health of future children, and the creation of potential future leaders of the world,” said Caitlin. “I have been dancing since I was three, so I also have a very strong connection to performing arts. This opportunity gave me the perfect idea to create an arts showcase to raise funds for the theater.” With the support of friends and family, Caitlin’s vision for  “A Night of One Thousand Spotlights” came true. Guests gathered at Temple Soleil in Rancho Santa Fe, California on March 25, 2017 for an evening of inspiring music and dance performances. “The young women performing tonight are special because they have learned that coming together to support a cause, like girls education, is a powerful thing. They are supporting the girls of Sahasra Deepika,” said  Foundation President Sarva Rajendra. We are grateful to Caitlin and her mother Roni McGuire, Shamala Saripalli, and all of the sponsors and volunteers for a wonderful evening. Funds raised will go towards building an outdoor theater on the Sahasra Deepika Campus....