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Founders: Shilpa and Amit Singhal

Our founders Shilpa and Amit have been passionate about education as far back as they can remember.

Both Shilpa and Amit have directly experienced the transformative effects of education. Their families’ lives have been changed over generations, all because of good education.

Shilpa is a Physicist and a Computer Scientist with degrees from State University of New York (Binghamton) and Cornell University. Her family’s known journey starts four generation back from humble beginnings. Her great-grandfather was a sweet (dessert) vendor with little education. Education pulled her family out of hardships, and her grandfather and father both became Engineers. She worked as a software engineer for many years, before deciding to devote her time to family and philanthropy.

Amit Singhal is known as the man behind Google search. Amit led Google search for over fifteen years (2000-2016). His family story is also that of education. Amit’s great grandfather, Mr. Shiv Gupta was a person of few means. He had very little education, and made his living by repairing bicycle punctures (flat tires) on a roadside in a temporary shop, which was all of four bamboo sticks and a tarp. Again, successive generations’ emphasis on education resulted in Amit’s father becoming an engineer, and Amit getting a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell. After fifteen years of leading Google search, Amit, with Shilpa, decided to give back to his community through the Sitare Foundation.

Vikram Ahuja: Founding Director

Vikram started building Sitare with Shilpa and Amit right at the founding of the foundation in 2016. Vikram is a lifelong educator. His passion for education shows in his sixteen years of leading Eurokids and EuroSchools institutions in the state of Rajasthan, India. Vikram is an education innovator at heart, from teacher training to out-of-classroom programs, he has built several innovative programs that have deeply impacted the quality of education in his schools. Vikram has tremendous knowledge of the school systems in India.

In addition, Vikram cares a lot about impacting the lives of numerous capable children through education and, therefore has devoted himself to the cause of Sitare Foundation. Vikram grew the Foundation from zero to five hundred children in a short span of four years, working with all our partner schools as well as numerous government agencies.

Akshat Tewari: Director of Academics

Akshat is an engineer turned educator. Early in his engineering career, Akshat started volunteering and taught basic literacy and numeracy to children from slums, orphanages and juvenile homes. His work with underprivileged children made him realize that the current schooling system fails to meet the overarching goals of “education.” So one day Akshat decided to quit his engineering job to teach underprivileged children. As an educator Akshat has designed curriculum plans, implemented innovative pedagogy techniques and reform assessments. He has lead outcome-based interventions aimed to improve the learning outcomes in government schools.

In his free time, he loves to trek, read, write, take pictures, listen to music, play instruments, sing, and long to be with the mountains.

Col Sarjeet Yadav (retd): Director of Operations

Sarjeet comes from a humble farmer turned educationist family. His father, his inspiration, moved to Delhi to become an educationist and provide a good quality education to their children. Sarjeet has witnessed first hand how education is empowering for the entire family.

Sarjeet retired from the Indian Army after twenty two years of distinguished service to the nation. He served in the most difficult environments in Kashmir (including Siachen). Col. Yadav also led India’s Counter Insurgency Operation in both Kashmir and in the north-eastern states. He experienced the Arab Spring first hand while serving in Egypt. In addition he was the Senior Trainer in Army War College and Army Air Defence College.

Sarjeet was awarded the Sena Medal in 2005 for his exceptional bravery while conducting operations against terrorists in Kashmir. Having served the country in the Army, Sarjeet has decided to dedicate his life to serving again, this time by educating its underprivileged youth through Sitare Foundation.