Recipients of Sharda Hindu Scholarships for the year 2023

Sneha Vashistha

Memory of Dr. Mahesh Mehta

Sneha Vashistha is from Carmel Indiana and will be attending Georgia Tech with a major in Biomedical Engineering on the pre-med track.

Sneha has been attending the Balagokulam Program at the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana for most of her life and has served as an assistant teacher and youth leader in the program. She is also a Sanskrit teacher in the Indianapolis Balakendram and enjoys taking part in interfaith panels and programs.

Sneha is a violinist and studies both Carnatic and Western Classical orchestral performance. She is also an active Girl Scout and Bharatanatyam dancer, preparing to perform her Arangetram in August 2023. She aims to further spread the values of Hinduism as she continues in her higher education and is thankful to her gurus and parents for instilling these values in her life.

Vinaya Sivakumar

Memory of Smt. Anjleebahen Pandya

Vinaya Sivakumar is a social entrepreneur revisioning youth response to societal issues. With her Hindu values guiding her, she has founded award-winning nonprofits Atharv (preventing the erosion of Indian culture in America) and Heads Up (mobilizing youth
against the digital addiction crisis). She was also recognized as a Coca-Cola Scholar and is an active advocate in gender equality and climate change spaces. Vinaya will attend the University of California, Berkeley as a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar to double major in Computer Science and Economics.

Mihir Nitesh Bhatia

Memory of Shri. Ram Suchdev

Mihir Bhatia, a graduate from Cypress Ranch High School in Cypress, TX, proudly embraces his Hindu roots and Indian heritage. Growing up in an Indian household, he was immersed in the rich spiritual beliefs, traditions, and values passed down through generations. From attending religious institutions like ISKCON temple and Chinmaya Mission Sunday School to practicing puja and connecting with the divine through prayer, Mihir deeply appreciates the spiritual practices of Hinduism.

Family holds a special place in his heart, as Hinduism emphasizes the importance of strong familial bonds. Mihir values the time spent with loved ones, respecting elders, and cherishing the joyous moments shared during family functions.

Education and learning are cherished in Hindu culture, and Mihir wholeheartedly embraces this passion. He recognizes the significant contributions Hinduism has made to various fields and believes that education is a path to spiritual growth. Guided by his love for learning, Mihir is pursuing a degree in Finance and the Canfield Business Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin, fueling his long-term aspirations as a social entrepreneur.

Deeply grateful for the values instilled in him by his immigrant parents, family, and community, Mihir holds his Hindu heritage close to his heart. He sees it as a source of pride, spirituality, strong family values, and a passion for education and learning. As he continues his journey, Mihir is determined to share these values with future generations, ensuring the legacy of his Hindu heritage.

Sanketh Kamath

Memory of Shri. Debi Prasad Ji Sodhani

Sanketh Kamath is very proud of his Hindu Indian heritage. Growing up in a household that has imbued qualities and values of Sanathana Dharma into his identity has made him the person that he is today. Karma teaches him the consequences of his actions. Dharma serves as a guidebook for him to live his life by. Sewa urges him to serve others. Hinduism allows him to improve life for both himself and others and navigate the challenges of life with humility, resilience, and gratitude.

Sanketh has been involved with Hindu organizations such as HSS(Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh) and Sewa International since childhood. Attending shakha weekly has served as a fuel
source. Week by week, it has inspired him to continuously explore his heritage and develop himself holistically. Sewa International has allowed him to get personally involved in his community. Four years and more than seven hundred volunteer hours later, Sanketh has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of unique volunteering experiences and work closely with many different communities. Sewa has taught him “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam ‘, the idea that the whole world is one family.

This fall, Sanketh will be studying Electrical
and Computer Engineering at Princeton University.He is committed to staying rooted in Hinduism
and making a positive impact wherever he goes.

Ria Kothari

Memory of Shri Hari Bindal

Ria Kothari will be attending the University of South Carolina as a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major on the Pre-Medical track. She is a follower of Shrimad Rajchandra and regularly attends shibirs at the Shree Raj Saubhag ashram in Gujarat.
She plans to continue practicing the spiritual values her gurus have imparted and act as an ambassador for her cultural heritage as she progresses to the next chapter of her life.

Amogh Shetty

Asthana Family Award

Amogh is an incoming freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the Physician-Scientist Program, a combined BS/MD program with the Albany Medical College. Amogh aspires to become a physician scientist, working both in the clinic and lab to translate novel ideas in the basic sciences into clinical application. He is honored to have received the Sharada Hindu Scholarship, and he promises to pursue his education with the hopes of bettering the lives of Sanatan Dharma followers around the world.

Sumedha Sethi

Bansal Family Award

Sumedha Sethi has been brought up in Canton, Michigan, where she has developed a strong connection to her religious beliefs, cultural heritage, and the Hindu community around her. She has recently graduated at the top of her class from Plymouth High School. She will be continuing her education at the Honors College at the University of Illinois Chicago where she will be studying psychology and neuroscience on a pre-medical path.

Sumedha has always been an ardent member of the Hindu community in Canton. For more than a decade, she has actively participated in events, traditions, and practices at her local Hindu temple. Dedicated to preserving and promoting her beliefs and traditions, Sumedha has devoted her time to teaching young girls about their religious and cultural backgrounds while encouraging them to embrace and stay firm in their identities.

Sumedha has also utilized her voice and
platform through local radio programs. She has led thoughtful discussions with members of the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, and Jain communities in Michigan
to raise awareness and educate others about their religion.

Sumedha’s unwavering commitment to her education, deep involvement in the Hindu community, and passion for service and community education are some things she hopes to take to Chicago as she embarks on this new chapter in her life.

Anay S Patel

The Uttamjan Family Foundation

Anay has been a part of the Hindu religion ever since he was born. He is a part of the Bal Sanskar Kendra in the Swadhyay Kendra of Chattanooga. There, he has heard many stories of Hindu gods and goddesses. He has also learned about having good morals and values. He uses everything he learns in Swadhyay to help others and spread the Hindu Dharma.

Swadhyay and Hinduism have been a part of Anay’s life for 18 years, and he does not see life without it. He will continue his study of the Hindu Dharma and Swadhyay in Yuva Kendra at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he is majoring in biomedical engineering. He loves playing tennis and sports in general, spending time with friends and family, and using his creativity to make things. Most importantly, he loves helping people. Anay uses the lessons from Swadhyay to make good decisions and help others. He wouldn’t be the person he is today without being a proud Hindu.