On 13th November, ZEEL along with its partner GiveIndia, felicitated the top 30 winners of their ongoing child prodigy scholarship program in Mumbai. It was an evening of celebrating Indian art forms and stories of these talented winners who will be getting support to continue their talent through scholarship and mentorship program.
The seed that was planted to bring about change was nurtured and has now germinated into a strong tree. The Top 30 Born to Shine prodigies who were honored at the event are:
Aariya Tripathi, Angeleena Avnee, Ankita Pradhan, Anwesha, Ashanya Sharma, Aastha Prasad, Dishika Chhabra, G Prathysha, Janhavi Dutta, Kinjal Jena, Kuhu Sharma, Nidhi Dogra, Niral Wadekar, Ojaswi Sahu, Prasiddhi Singh, Pratiti Das, Prity Bhattacharjee, Rithika B, Samridhi Sen, Sayantani Kanjilal, Sayesha Chowdhury, Shraddha Vaidya, Soumya Dhal, Shrija Kayal, Swarangi Khanolkar, Tamanna Pokharia, Vani Pathak, Yoshita Sharma, Rea Balotia, Jiya Rai.
What began as an idea has now become a shining reality!
The Sarod icons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, ace violinist Dr. Sangeeta Shankar and her daughters, Ragini and Nandini, and the renowned dancer Guru Shubhada Varadkar performed for the children to encourage them further.
The Born To Shine scholarship program was launched on the 10th May, 2022, and the registration window closed on the 5th July, 2022. The scholarship program was open only for girl child prodigies above the age of 5 and under the age of 15. The mission of the scholarship program was to nurture girl child prodigies and empower them to pursue their talents. The scholarship program received more than 5,000 eligible applications across the country and the shortlisted candidates were auditioned in 8 cities.
Punit Goenka, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Zarina Screwvala (Managing Trustee & Director, Swades Foundation); Dr. Bindu Subramaniam (Co-Founder & CEO, Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts); Samara Mahindra (Founder & CEO, CARER); and Rupak Mehta (Founder, Brahmnaad Cultural Society) graced the panel and were spellbound by the impeccable talent on show. The prodigies were individually felicitated by the jury members.
Punit Goenka, Managing Director and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, believes that “To witness our girl prodigies on stage with the stalwarts was a surreal moment. These kids have broken all barriers and overcome all societal pressures to emerge champions! Moving on from here, I am sure that the scholarship and the mentorship program shall help the prodigies be their highest self and work toward their goals.”
The evening was dedicated to celebrating the beauty and the different hues of Indian art and culture. Speaking on the occasion, an overwhelmed Dr. Bindu Subramaniam said, “I think talent is prevalent everywhere, and what children need are opportunities. I think Born to Shine is a great way to find and mentor talent from underserved communities, which is something that I and SaPa have always felt is important. I’m grateful to be able to contribute to this project and can’t wait to meet the talent that is out there.”
Samara Mahindra was all praises for the parents who dedicate their lives to mentor and mould their child’s talents into a sustainable and refined form. “Indian culture is one of the oldest in the world and can be traced back to pre-historic settlements as early as the 3rd millennium. Programs like these which encourage the youth are imperative to give the fine arts system the importance it deserves. Additionally, it’s essential to help stay connected with our roots and take pride in doing so.”
Zarina Screwala expressed, “I would like to congratulate ZEEL and GiveIndia for this one-of-a-kind scholarship program that aims at empowering young girls to pursue art and culture. Art is not objective, with a set algorithm to deliver the end product. It encompasses a lot of intangibles like imagination, empathy, perseverance, and patience. I hope that with endeavours like Born To Shine, our society starts accepting artforms as a career option soon!”
Rupak Mehta added, “In today’s dynamic world, ideas like BORN TO SHINE are the need of the hour because these young talented minds need a professional setup and mentoring to sustain their art in the longer run. This scholarship and the mentorship program are like a blessing!”
Talents have been revered and celebrated for eons in our culturally rich nation. But, not many have come forward to champion a cause for girls, especially for the ones who show immense promise at an early age. Born To Shine is indeed a harbinger of hope for the aspirants of our society.
About Born To Shine:
Born To Shine is a CSR initiative of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL),
India’s largest entertainment conglomerate, in association with GiveIndia, India’s
largest and most trusted giving platform. The scholarship program received more than
5,000 eligible applications across the country and the shortlisted candidates were auditioned in 8 cities. The mission of the program is to nurture girl prodigies and encourage them to continue their talent by providing a holistic and integrated development approach.