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Calling All Harvard Photographers! Submit Pictures to the LMSAI Photo Contest

Calling All Harvard Photographers! Submit Pictures to the LMSAI Photo Contest
Calling all Harvard photographers! The Mittal Institute seeks images of South Asia for our inaugural PHOTO CONTEST. Submissions are due by 5pm EST on Friday, February 24 in the following categories: CATEGORIES: 1. Nature + Landscapes 2. People 3. Urban Landscapes and...

India Conference at Harvard on February 11-12 Celebrates 20th Year

India Conference at Harvard on February 11-12 Celebrates 20th Year

This year marks the 20th season of the India Conference at Harvard. The conference, organized by students from across Harvard, will run February 11 and 12 at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. The conference theme, “Vision 2047: India at 100 Years of Independence” will explore how India can fulfill her global potential. The conference hopes to build upon its strong legacy of hosting conversations with India’s leading politicians, business leaders, government officials, academics, artists, athletes, philanthropists for meaningful dialogue on India’s path to global recognition. The conference is supported by WNS, with additional contributions from Zydus and the Mittal Institute.

We spoke with conference organizers Anushree Singh (Harvard Business School), Dhananjay Goel (Harvard Kennedy School), Harkirat Bhullar (Harvard College), Umang Daga (Harvard Business School), and Vidhi Lohia (Harvard Kennedy School) about what attendees can expect from the two-day event.

On Greening Underserved Communities in Mumbai: Arshaya Sood GSD’23

On Greening Underserved Communities in Mumbai: Arshaya Sood GSD’23

Arshaya Sood, a Master’s student in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard Graduate School of Design, spent her summer in Mumbai, India, conducting fieldwork in the Urban Development department at the World Resources Institute Mumbai. Her work, part of an LMSAI student grant, explored urban planning and urban development efforts on the Mumbai Climate Action Plans Urban Greening & Biodiversity action track, under Cities4Forests initiative. The program works with the city and state governments and the community to improve greening efforts within underserved areas of Mumbai. Arshaya shared her experience in the Q&A below.

LMSAI’s Winter Reading Recommendations

As winter descends on Cambridge’s skies, our thoughts turn to novels read by the comfort of roaring fires. Nothing completes a holiday season more than a good book—so we turned to our community of faculty, fellows and students for their help in curating a list of Holiday Reading Recommendations. They shared their favorite South Asian authors; their most inspiring reads; and what they hope to cozy up with this holiday season.

“The Happiness Curriculum”: Richa Gupta Aims to Reach 30-million Young People by 2030

“The Happiness Curriculum”: Richa Gupta Aims to Reach 30-million Young People by 2030

Richa Gupta, GSE’21 and co-founder of the Labhya Foundation, has no shortage of ambitious goals. By 2030, she hopes to reach 30-million underserved children with a new “happiness curriculum” in some of the most unserved corners of India. The effort to bring social-emotional learning grew out of her own experiences on the frontlines as a teacher in under-resourced schools for more than a decade.

She and her co-founders, who also brought their life experiences to the founding, now run the Labhya Foundation and received a Mittal Institute Seed for Change grant to catalyze their efforts. Gupta was recently named one of 17 New Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations. We spoke with her about founding the organization, how the Seed for Change grant helped expand their efforts and what’s on the horizon.

Harvard’s Hindi-Urdu Language Learners

Harvard’s Hindi-Urdu Language Learners

As a teenager, Richard Delacy’s interest in Hindi and Urdu was piqued – and that interest led to a career as a language scholar and educator. Richard is a Preceptor of Hindi (one of two official languages of India, and 3rd most spoken in the world) and Urdu (spoken by more than 70 million people as the official state language of Pakistan) in Harvard’s Department of South Asian Studies. We spoke with Richard about his language journey and his role at Harvard. 

A Long Way From Home: Seema Kumari ’25 on her incredible journey to Harvard

A Long Way From Home: Seema Kumari ’25 on her incredible journey to Harvard

When Seema Kumari arrived at Harvard last year, she was a long way from home–and not just physically. Her remote village in the Indian state of Jharkhand, near the border with Bangladesh, has just 1,000 people, most of whom are farmers and many of whom are illiterate. Her own parents had little schooling, but her father made ends meet at a local thread factory and pooled expenses with his brothers, sharing a roof with 19 family members. Seema had few paths open to her beyond domestic life–until, one day, when everything changed.

Greening Nepal: Shrinkhala Khatiwada Earns LMSAI Student Grant to Study Kathmandu’s Urban Planning

Greening Nepal: Shrinkhala Khatiwada Earns LMSAI Student Grant to Study Kathmandu’s Urban Planning

Shrinkhala Khatiwada, a Master of Urban Planning candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, earned an LMSAI student grant to study urban planning in Nepal. She spent a three-week internship at Daayitwa Nepal Public Policy Fellowship, a program that fosters collaboration on economic policy research between young professionals and the Nepalese government. During her internship, Shrinkhala worked with the Nepal National Planning Commission to explore the potential for mandating a dedicated Urban Green Infrastructure department in every major metropolitan city in Nepal.

Pakistan’s Catastrophic Flooding: Harvard Speaks

The torrential monsoon rains in Pakistan have eclipsed the label of a mere natural disaster; Pakistan is undergoing a humanitarian crisis. In the past two months, the heaviest rainfalls on record have killed over 1,300 people and have severely impacted 33 million others. The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) estimates that over half a million homes have been destroyed. Relief efforts are direly needed given the rapidly-worsening situation. Harvard College Pakistani Students Association is raising funds to provide victims with meals, shelter, sanitary products, and more. Please donate what you can so we can help give much-needed funds to those suffering in Pakistan and please share this far and wide so we can raise much-needed awareness for this perilous situation.

Pakistan Flooding Relief Fundraiser

Pakistan Flooding Relief Fundraiser

The torrential monsoon rains in Pakistan have eclipsed the label of a mere natural disaster; Pakistan is undergoing a humanitarian crisis. In the past two months, the heaviest rainfalls on record have killed over 1,300 people and have severely impacted 33 million others. The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) estimates that over half a million homes have been destroyed. Relief efforts are direly needed given the rapidly-worsening situation. Harvard College Pakistani Students Association is raising funds to provide victims with meals, shelter, sanitary products, and more. Please donate what you can so we can help give much-needed funds to those suffering in Pakistan and please share this far and wide so we can raise much-needed awareness for this perilous situation.