Alumni Achievements

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TAGORE EX STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (TESA) which was formed in 2009, has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Its members have made their alma mater proud by living up to the school motto, ’I am worthy’ which they have done through the numerous projects they have adopted. The mission of TESA is to promote, encourage and maintain connections with alumni, families and friends worldwide and through their support, strengthen and foster an alumni body which is interested and involved in working closely with the school. TESA offers a means of communication, events and services for current and future alumni fostering continued relationships among its graduates.

We take great pride in the achievements of our students. We would like our ex-students to send their achievements by e-mail to for the school website. A photograph along with the batch they belonged to should also be sent.

Shreya Dharmarajan - Class of 2020

I am Shreya Dharmarajan, an ex-student of TISVV (Batch of 2020). I recently got the chance to be the High Commissioner of the UK in India for one whole day.

I had the opportunity to interact with and learn from inspiring exemplars of women’s leadership in wide-ranging fields. I was fortunate enough to be a part of lively discussions about India’s efforts toward further achieving the SDGs

The support and encouragement I received from my teachers during my time as a student in TISVV truly contributed to making this happen. I express my heartfelt gratitude to my alma mater .

Shreya Dharmarajan

Subham Agarwal - Class of 2013

Subham Agarwal, an accomplished entrepreneur, completed his schooling in 2013 and pursued engineering, successfully graduating in 2017. Building upon his educational foundation, he went on to graduate from the renowned London Business School in 2018. Leveraging his expertise and passion for the food industry, he founded “Subham’s Parivaar Rice,” a brand that has swiftly risen to become Eastern India’s most popular rice brand. With an unwavering commitment to quality and innovation, Subham has transformed his venture into a thriving business. Today, he serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the esteemed Subham Group of Industries, continuing to drive growth and success for the company.

Raghav Mendiratta - Class of 2014

Raghav Mendiratta is an advocate specialising in the areas of technology, media, and criminal laws. He holds advanced degrees in law from the National Law University (Punjab), the London School of Economics, and the Oxford Media Policy Institute. His work has taken him across jurisdictions from India, the UK, the US, and now Europe.

He started his legal career in India where he trained under two judges of the Supreme Court, leading senior advocates and a top commercial law firm. He is currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and his work involves working with European parliamentarians, lawyers, and legal scholars to shape tech policy and governing social media platforms.

Richa Gupta - Class of 2014

Richa Gupta, a social entrepreneur, is an ex-student of the 2014 batch of TIS. She has been an active socialist and started her journey with a question in her mind “What does it take to preserve empathy among children?” With the enthusiasm to work for children, she co-founded Labhya Foundation, an India-based non-profit organisation. She has worked as an educator, volunteer, mentor and activist with children from at-risk, refugee and migrant communities across India. She has been a “Teach For India” fellow and a “Teach For All Global Girls’ Education” fellow.

At the age of 21 years, Richa co-founded Labhya Foundation, with the vision of enabling all children to become conscious decision makers. Labhya Foundation enables children from low socio-economic backgrounds with Social and Emotional skills. It is a Delhi-based non-profit organisation, working to enable children from government schools with Social & Emotional skills to improve their decision-making ability and future quality of life. Labhya has proposed, designed and is ensuring the effective implementation of the world’s largest Social Emotional Learning (SEL) interventions namely ‘Happiness Curriculum’ and ‘Anandam Pathyacharya’ with the Governments of Delhi and Uttarakhand respectively. Labhya impacts 2 Million+ students, 110,000+ teachers in 19,000+ schools daily through these partnerships.

Labhya’s intervention with the Delhi Government (called the “Happiness Curriculum”) was launched by HH Dalai Lama and has been visited by eminent personalities like the First Lady of the United States of America. It has been recognized and supported by prestigious organisations like the US State Department, The Commonwealth Youth Award, The Takeda Foundation, Press Club of India and Girls20. Additionally, Labhya’s work has been covered by various platforms like the World Economic Forum, Le Monde, Washington Post, BBC and many more.

All this is because of the hard work and immense efforts put in by Richa. Her work has been recognized by organisations like the U.S State Department, Press Club of India, and French Development Agency and she has been praised for her extraordinary contribution towards systemic change in India. She has also represented India at the 2019 G(irls)20 Summit Japan, where she helped draft a communiqué to be deliberated on by G20 leaders. She represented her organisation at the Women’s Forum Global Meeting 2019 in Paris. Most recently, she has been awarded Best Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 by the Takeda Foundation, Japan.

Richa has indeed made us proud and will continue working with the same zeal.

Nikhil Chugh - Class of 2013

Nikhil Chugh, a 22-year-old pursuing his final semester of Computer Science Engineering (B. Tech) from Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, University Of Delhi, has had a very inspiring journey so far. He graduated from Tagore International School, Delhi in 2013, and there has been no looking back for him since then. Nikhil says “My career as a Producer/DJ has turned out to be brilliant so far. He had an incredible time last year as he crossed a number of milestones and is proud of them. Nikhil has performed at various festivals of colleges like DTU, SRCC, JMC. “I got the opportunity to perform at amazing clubs like Playboy at Hyderabad and Royalty in Mumbai to name a few.” Nikhil was also a star at the Amsterdam Dance Event Artist Showcase and The Grub Fest recently.

On being asked about his greatest strength, Nikhil says “I think my biggest strength is my passion for music. I never force myself or think before sitting in front of my computer. I just like doing it. I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is switch on my desktop and play random things on my keyboard. Sometimes, I get really nice ideas, sometimes I don’t. I’m just having fun!” Music has been an integral part of his life for a very long time. Nikhil was a common sight during school fests as well. “I started playing the keyboard when I was in 4th grade and I’m extremely fortunate that I’m doing what I love to do.”

Nikhil sounds like a regular guy when he says “My biggest weakness is that I get bored easily and I don’t finish my projects. I have made countless drafts till now but managed to complete only a handful of them. If I am getting a nice idea, I start a different project right away leaving what I was doing earlier and this goes on and on. I’m still struggling with this. Though, I’m very strict with myself sometimes and make sure I do not do more than one project at a time so I don’t get distracted.” Nikhil likes to watch random YouTube videos in his spare time. Nikhil got through Delhi University admissions through the extracurricular quota, which was music in his case. “I played a number of keyboard pieces and did live looping for my auditions. That was one of the best moments of my life.”

Nikhil’s first live gig was his opening set for the Industry Giants Lost Stories at DTU in 2016 with an audience of more than 15,000 people. Nikhil’s remix of ‘I took a pill in Ibiza’ was supported by a number of well-known artists. Nikhil exclaims,”Seeing so many people jump and dance on my own music was one hell of an achievement.”  Nikhil played in the Artist Showcase representing Black Paper White at the Amsterdam Dance Event. Nikhil says “It was a big milestone”. Nikhil’s latest incredible feat was playing alongside Anish Sood at the Grub Fest 2017.  On being asked where he sees himself in the next decade, Nikhil says “That’s a very difficult question. Honestly, I don’t know. Sometimes, I see myself as this magnificent producer playing around the globe. Sometimes, I see myself as an Analyst sitting in front of a computer doing a 9-5 job. So, I don’t know. Let’s see.” The ambiguity makes him more determined towards his goal.

A good day for Nikhil is when he manages to achieve what he thought for that day.” “Like, I plan to mix one of my songs one day or make a nice bass house set. I feel really satisfied if the tasks are completed successfully without any hurry. My day gets even better when I’m able to study a little or complete an assignment so I don’t feel guilty of not studying. It should be a nice balance between my music and academics.”  The way Nikhil manages his passion and academics is an inspiration in itself. Nikhil exclaims “This is just the start. It’s going to be one crazy journey!”

Rajnish Kumar - Class of 2013

Rajnish Kumar, a student of Batch 2013, won the Stand Up Comedian Competition 2016 organised by Radio One 94.3. Radio one 94.3 organizes LOL Stand Up Comedy Competition every year. This was the third season of this Championship. They had two rounds. Rajnish was shortlisted among the top 8 contestants at the end of the first round and won the grand finale.

Arun Gopidas-Class of 2012

Arun Gopidas an alumnus of Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar was interested in movie making and graphic designing since childhood. He participated in various inter-school competitions and won numerous accolades. Following is an article by him relating the story of his journey from school to opening his own company, ‘How I Dropped Out of College and Still Sat for Placement’.  This is for all the dreamers out there: Dreams do come true.

There will be times when nothing seems to be going right. There will be times when everything you dreamed of comes crashing down. There will be times when even your closest friends turn their backs on you. There will be times when no one trusts your decisions. But even then, trust yourself. You are bigger than who you think you are. My journey started when I was in Class VII. We had a computer club in school, and my teacher, Ms. Seema Sinha, showed everyone some short movies created by Pixar. When it ended, she told the entire class:  “We would be doing something like this by the end of the year” I was captivated, and my dream to reach that level of perfection started.

Soon I started getting myself involved in all kinds of graphics and video works my school could offer me. From designing certificates for sports meets, to designing flyers and posters for competitions, to creating introductory movies for conferences, I was pushing myself to reach that level of perfection I dreamed of. On the last day of Class XII Board exams, my father asked me which college I wanted to go to. I told him that I wanted to start making movies and didn’t want to go to college. However, things didn’t go as I planned and I ended up at NIFT, Bangalore.

Life at NIFT took me by surprise. In a class of 35, only 5 were boys. A complete reversal of the regular engineering scene. It was all fun till my assignments started. I had opted to go for Fashion Communication, a stream which according to the prospectus would teach me Graphic Design, Photography, Print Design and a lot more. But I was stuck making purses out of macrame, cubes out of thermocol, sketching 100s of drawings in unreasonable deadlines, making paintings, building life size models which would take days to make. That was a huge setback to what I thought I would be doing, Pixar was a dream which was being crumpled by every second. I hoped the coming year would be better than the first. It wasn’t. Graphic Design meant sketching. Sleeplessly working for 5 days on a logo design got me 4/20, where most of my classmates aced it with at least a 14/20. Turns out I didn’t take approvals, so none of my work mattered. Not only was the college not teaching me anything new, it was demotivating me every passing second. I went to my faculty and told them, “I know most of the things you are teaching me, I have been doing this since Class VIII, can you please teach me something new?” to which the answer was “We can’t change the curriculum for a single student.”    That’s when I understood that NIFT was definitely not for me. My friends and faculty told me not to drop out, but against the odds, I decided to drop out. The first two months after dropping out were horrible. I had no plan set in place. I started hunting for work, which paid me in “exposure”, “recognition” and “better projects in the future” My friends would keep telling me to join back college, but I was certain, anything but college. I would make flyers, get them printed, go to newspaper delivery guys early in the morning to get those distributed. I went to parties as a photographer. Travelled to different cities to work as a cinematographer. I got approached to make visual effects for movies. But nothing seemed to work in my favour. Soon, I asked my dad to stop sending me money. And that’s when I hit rock bottom. I had no cash left, I had no work. For weeks I survived on nothing but a packet of chips.

Being broke helps you think more clearly. Helps you prioritise. I got up once more, made a list of companies looking out for graphic designers and went to all of them one after the other. That worked, and I soon landed my first job. At Rs. 15,000 a month, I could work from home as a graphic designer. I did some good work, put it up online, and soon got called to work for Mindtree, a fortune 500 company. I was damn excited, but bad luck still followed me. My previous company didn’t pay me. And the new company wouldn’t pay until the end of the month. My new office was located at one end of the city, and I would travel 50km everyday back and forth. Soon, I moved on from that company and landed myself at TaxiForSure. Around the same time I met Ronak, my co-founder. He was an ambitious fellow who had a startup to his name when he was in college, and was working as a Sales Executive in Bangalore. Our wavelengths matched and we both started freelancing together, getting more clients under our belt and co-founded, Red Baton Creative Marketing Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Very soon had big names like BigBasket and NH7 weekender on our list of clients. We both left our jobs and took this on full-time. Troubles came and went, there were times we had no money to pay the rent and were locked inside our office. There were times when we relied on client meetings for free meals. But a year down the line, and having grown from a team of 2 people, two wooden planks, and four steel chairs, we are now a 12 member team working out of a corporate address working towards making it big. This March when the financial year ended, we had clocked $100K in revenue in just a year of operation, and just in time we got our name on the list of companies sitting for placements in NIFT Bangalore. And, that’s how I went from dropping out of college and still was able to sit for placements. Just a minor difference, I get to sit on the other side of the table hiring my batchmates. To all those dreamers out there, just believe in yourself. Things might seem like they are not going right, but trust yourself, your dreams are going to come true. Also, do check us out at  and We have a Facebook page too: , please like and share it!

Prabhtoj Singh - Class of 2012

Prabhtoj Singh is an independent singer-songwriter/music producer from New Delhi.  Starting his career in music with bands like Evenodd, PAN!C and That 80s Project, he is currently leading one of the finest cover bands in India called The Copycats. He also plays bass and works as a producer with singer/actress Sanjeeta Bhattacharya.  A soulful singer and a blazing performer, Prabhtoj has become increasingly popular in the independent music circles of India and is now respected more for his skills as a songwriter and performer. His music draws influences from genres like Pop/Rock, Blues, Jazz and RnB. Prabhtoj released his first solo EP titled ‘Lately’ in 2016 and his first album with Evenodd called ‘Sapiens’ in 2018 which was featured in The Rolling Stone India magazine. Since 2018, he has released 5 singles which will lead up to his debut album in 2022. He was recently interviewed by The Rolling Stone India after he released his latest music video named Angela. He featured in HT Brunch in 2020 and 2021, and was invited as a speaker/performer by TEDxVITPune for a TEDx event in May 2021 to speak on the rise of Independent Music in India.

Tenzin Dalha - Class of 2012

Tenzin Dalha debuted onscreen with the globally acclaimed Hindi Feature Film, “Margarita with a Straw” in 2014, directed by National Award Winner, Shonali Bose, whilst he was completing his graduation from Ramjas College. Tenzin pursued his Double Masters in Peace Building and Conflict Analysis and Clinical Psychology from Jamia Milia Islamia & Ambedkar University respectively. In 2015 he featured in a documentary-drama titled “The Great Escape of Dalai Lama” directed by Mrs. Nidhi Tulli; produced by EPIC CHANNEL, where he portrayed His Holiness as a 21 year old. In 2017, Tenzin underwent a year of music training at KM Music Conservatory in Chennai for “99 Songs”, a feature film helmed by Mr. AR Rahman and directed by Mr. Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy. In 2018, he completed his Buddhist Studies from Sara College, Dharamsala and featured in “Axone” directed by Mr. Nicholas Kharkongar and produced by Sa Re Ga Ma. Axone is a satirical social commentary on majoritarianism. In 2019, Tenzin featured in “Guilty”, a Netflix Original directed by Mrs. Ruchi Narain and produced by Dharma Entertainment.  Tenzin was mentored by Mr. Stephen Marazzi in voice, body and diction for over 8 years as a student in Tagore International School. He has also ably assisted Mr. Marazzi in direction, in more than 10 stage productions at various elite schools of Delhi.

Binu Dua - Class of 2010

Binu Dua, presently a project intern in ENSTBB, Bordeaux France, had applied for the prestigious and the highest French Government
Scholarship – “The EIFFEL Excellence Scholarship 2016″. Every year one student from India gets selected out of all the applications to pursue higher studies in France. It was awarded to Binu Dua for a Masters in biotechnology engineering at ENSTBB, Bordeaux.

Anuj Tiwari- Class of 2009

Anuj graduated from TIS in 2009 after spending fourteen years in the school (Nursery to XII). He completed his B.Tech in Information Technology in the year 2013 from Rajasthan Technical University. Thereafter he decided to pursue his passion to become a military aviator and started preparing for the CDS Exam. He cleared his SSB in the very first attempt in Oct 2013 and began training at the Air Force Academy in Jan 2014. After undergoing eighteen months of rigorous training including physical toughening, ground training and flying, he got commissioned as a Flying Officer He was also adjudged  ‘The Most Promising Officer’ at the course valedictory function at the prestigious Helicopter Training School (HTS). He has close to four hundred hours of flying experience on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft including flying at high altitudes in the Leh and Srinagar sectors.

Deepika Sriram - Class of 2009

Deepika Sriram is a lawyer working with an international magic circle law firm based in Dubai, UAE. After graduating from TIS, she studied at National Law University in Delhi and was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Gold Medal for Overall Best Female Student and Best All Round Performance on graduation. She then went on to do a masters in law at the University of Cambridge as a Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar. Currently, she works in the energy and infrastructure sector focussing on renewable energy and building smart cities. Deepika is an advocate for women’s rights and hosts a podcast series called Visionary Voices where she interviews inspiring women based in the Middle East about their career journeys and discusses issues of bias in the workplace. She is also passionate about mental health and in her spare time, likes to write about breaking the stigma around mental health issues.

Siddhartha Ganesh- Class of 2008

He is a professional wildlife photographer and a documentary filmmaker who has worked on projects through several production houses and independent broadcast channels such as the BBC and Nat Geo. Currently he is working on the pre-production of a film for the Karnataka Forest Department called Wild Karnataka. He is also writing a story/script for a film he wants to produce and direct on Tiger Conservation Practices which   should be out by the end of the year. He was a passionate photographer right during his school days when he used to shoot school events and has worked relentlessly to achieve his goals. He did his minor in filmmaking during his undergraduate days, assuming that it would come in handy in the future for future collaborations with photographers and filmmakers. Little did he know at that time that filmmaking is what would  allow him to express himself as an individual in a more prolific and profound manner. It has allowed him to be what he always wanted to be.  He finished his Masters in Documentaries and Features from the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2016.

Siddharth Kalyanaraman -Class of 2007

I migrated to Australia and I started working as sous chef at Alala’s which was a new modern Australian restaurant. Here I got to see new ingredients and learn new techniques and explore Australian cuisine but I missed cooking Indian food that was always close to my heart and that is when I realised what my culinary identity is. I want to be an ambassador for my profession and my culture, expressing it through food. I got the chance to be Head Chef at Foreign Return Modern Indian Kitchen and Bar and jumped at the opportunity. The restaurant was named by Timeout magazine as one of “21 best new restaurant openings in the world”.  To be able to spend more time with his growing daughter, they have now moved to Merrijig in Victoria, where he is currently Head Chef for the Sebel Pinnacle Valley Resort, which is a part of the Accor Hotels chain.

Suhail Yusuf Khan - Class of 2006

Suhail Yusuf Khan is a young, talented musician who brings together expertise from a performance career (that has extended over 20 years) creative ability, and academic research to find new modes of expression in Hindustānī music and other genres. He belongs to an illustrious family of classical musicians of the Senia Moradabad gharana. His forte is the sarangi and he excels in playing the instrument. An integral part of the popular contemporary music band ‘Advaita’, he often plays at the global festivals. ’Advaita’ has been listed as one of the six amazing bands from India. Suhail was featured on the cover of Forbes India magazine February 2014 issue.  Currently, Suhail is a PhD candidate at Wesleyan University, USA, and his dissertation, entitled “Bridge Overtones: Lessons from the Sarangi” will be the first in-depth ethnomusicological study written by a hereditary North-Indian musician. Suhail has been featured on more than fifteen albums and is currently signed to Domino records, U.K. Navarasa, his most recent album, with Yorkston/Thorne/Khan was voted Number 1 in The Guardian’s Best of 2020 listings.

Akanksha Bhargava -Class of 2003

Aakanksha studied at Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar and completed her graduation in Commerce from Hindu College. She went on to study MBA at SP Jain School of Management in Singapore and Dubai. After completing her MBA, there were several cushy jobs for Aakanksha to choose from. But she had her sights set on bigger things. Memories beckoned and she decided to go back to where it all started, Delhi.

Even as a child she was always fascinated with the relocation industry, something she had seen her father do since childhood, and which she then decided to make a career out of. She joined her father’s company, PM Relocations, not as the boss’ daughter, but as a regular employee. Two months into the job, Aakanksha decided to take up the challenge of expanding the business in Bengaluru.

Aakanksha started operating out of her apartment, with a team of three people. “It was a challenge to be taken seriously. Everybody perceived me to be this foreign-educated girl trying her hand at something new in a city she knew nothing about,” she recalls, of her stint in Bengaluru. But she was determined to prove all her critics wrong. Her focus was to bring efficiency, transparency and productivity along with an organised structure to PMR and the industry as a whole. Aakanksha’s efforts did bear fruit, as PMR has now expanded its base to 14 offices across India, in cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Indore and Bhubaneswar, in the past nine years. The bottom-line has grown manifold too; from a turnover of Rs 2 crore in 2010 to over Rs 40 crore in 2015, PMR’s revenue has seen a huge jump. Some of the company’s marquee clients include brands like American Embassy, Amazon, American School, HP, Britannia, SAP, Barclays, Coca Cola and Pepsi, to name a few.

But the journey has only begun for Aakanksha and PMR.  “PMR is currently self-funded and we are looking to raise our first round of funding from investors this year,” she says. The brand now has separate domains to support its two different business models. PMR will look after enquiries generated from the corporate business (B2B) segment and the brand Pack Move Relocate aims to cater to the online retail/individual enquiry (B2C) segment looking for relocation services globally. “It is the first time a complete solution for end-to-end relocation is available on a systematic online platform using technology. Anybody who needs to pack and move something can do it through the website,” explains Aakanksha. Expanding a traditional business was an uphill climb but what was equally challenging for Aakanksha was excelling in a field women seldom venture. “The journey was tough since in India it is considered a man’s job to deal with suppliers, labour, packers and, in fact, for that matter premium clients as well,” she adds. But according to her, more women should consider the relocation industry as a career move. “Women are meticulous and crazy about home décor and are more particular about how their homes look. I feel I am at the right place, as I feel the same passion with respect to homes,” she adds.

Aakanksha, who is currently President and CEO of PM Relocations Pvt. Ltd., shares her five-point success mantra while taking on challenges:

  1. Passion – The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
  2. Intent – It is just about the strength of your mind and having faith in the intent of your heart.
  3. Love – Love has power like nothing else… It can make you do things beyond belief and unconditionally.
  4. Changing lives – Between the time you walk into the office and leave for the day you should learn something you have never experienced before.
  5. Enhanced experiences – Your wealth should be your experiences.

Yashodhan Ghorpade – Class of 2002

After completing his school in the year 2002, Yashodhan Ghorpade pursued BA (Hons.) Economics at the Hans Raj College, Delhi University, and completed MA in Development Economics, with distinction from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Subsequently, he worked as a researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, and Oxford Policy Management Ltd., in New Delhi. Yashodhan won the prestigious Marie Curie ITN Doctoral Student Fellowship to pursue a PhD in Economics at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK. He completed his Ph.D. in 2016 and joined the World Bank as an Economist in the Education Global Practice through the World Bank’s highly competitive Young Professionals Program, in September 2016. Yashodhan is also an avid reader, tennis player and an amateur stage actor.

Prithwish Dev - Class of 2002

Prithwish Dev has two careers – one with a global Artificial Intelligence Leader, the other as the lead singer of Them Clones.

Hailed as one of the most prominent names in the evolution of Indian Independent Music (Vh1 2018), Them Clones is the recipient of various awards from Unsigned Only and The Akademia (US), IMA Awards (India) and was one of the first Indian artists to air on BBC UK radio. The band is the only to be named Best Band nationally three years in a row.

As the lead singer and songwriter for Them Clones, Prithwish led the band in over 1200 concerts across four  countries, various social causes, one  album (released by EMI), and numerous singles and music videos.

Outside of Them Clones, Prithwish was also recognized for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music Heritage’ by Smt. Sonia Gandhi for his performance in “Bless my Nation”, written by erstwhile President (late) Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and staged by Kuchipudi dancers Padmashree Radha and  Raja Reddy.

Hemant Sachdeva - Class of 1994

Hemant Sachdev has performed the remarkable feat of climbing Mt. Everest (8848 metres) on 19 May 2013.

A Maverick Soldier - Major Pravesh Saha -Class X, Batch of 1997

The floods in Jammu and Kashmir caught the people unawares as it was one of its own kinds after six decades. We are proud of Major Pravesh Saha, our ex-student who helped to evacuate villagers of Suree Chak village. One of the survivors, Deep Raj appreciates Major Pravesh’s dedication to duty and the daredevil spirit which saved the lives of many people.

Major Pravesh, popularly known as ‘Body Builder’ amongst his peers, and now named “Singham of Surrechak” by the villagers, had correctly assessed the flood prone areas in Mandal. He ensured adequate training of his men and optimum stocking of Flood Relief Stores in his Company Location Mandal. Finally, on 06 Sep 14, the day came when Pravesh was entrusted with the task of saving lives. The most badly affected village was Surrechak near Mandal, Jammu where around hundreds of people were trapped. The whole area was inundated and the only bridge to Mandal from Jammu collapsed which added further agony in rescue operations. The Officer with his team evacuated the people to safe locations carrying them on shoulders and in boats tirelessly till the elderly, women and children were at safe places. However, during his fourth attempt, the column itself came under floods and the rescue boat capsized, trapping all in the high current of the flooding water. Displaying exemplary courage, he and his team without any concern for their own safety, swam towards the drowning villagers and pulled them out of water, to a safe location. Gauging the futility of going against the now furious Niki Tawi, he exhibited maturity by convincing all reluctant civilians to leave their house and gather together on a single roof top for air evacuation. He constantly motivated his team as well as the civilians thereby preventing panic, even as neighbouring houses collapsed one by one.

His communication equipment had been washed away in floods, however maintaining his cool; he utilised a villager’s mobile phone. The only number he remembered was of his wife. Calling her, he gave his location and updated her with the current situation. The lady, maintaining the highest traditions of “Wedded to the Olive Greens” , acted with maturity and immediately informed the Commanding Officer to coordinate relief operations.

Soon, an SOS call was given to the Air Force and Army helicopters. The inclement weather conditions further added agony to their evacuation, but the maverick soldier used innovative methods to indicate their location to the Pilots and ensured correct positioning of the helicopter on the rooftop. This resulted in evacuation of all the remaining villagers.

The incident clearly depicts that the Army is just not a profession, but actually a way of life. The courage shown by Maj and Mrs. Pravesh will certainly motivate others in years to come, who have ensured ‘Service Before Self’. The Officer had previously evacuated seven personnel during a major fire incident at the highest post in the world (Ashok Post, Siachen Glacier) on 20 July 2011. Ask him and he says, “I AM THERE TO SAVE MY COUNTRYMEN IN PEACE AND KILL THE ENEMY DURING WAR”.

Deepak Bhawnani - Class of 1986

Deepak Bhawnani completed his schooling from Tagore International School, Vasant Vihar and went on to graduate in Economics in London, UK. He worked in London and Hong Kong for many years, and returned to India in 2003. Deepak established Alea Consulting as India’s first private global risk mitigation consulting firm. He is an expert in directing assignments of fraud investigations, international asset discovery, litigation support and crisis consulting.

Dr. Kamran Bokhari - Class X, Batch of 1985

Kamran Bokhari, PhD, is the Director of Analytical Development at the New Lines Institute for Strategy & Policy in Washington, DC. Dr. Bokhari is also a national security and foreign policy specialist at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute. He has served as the coordinator for Central Asia Studies at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.

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