Alumni Speak

B.Rakesh Kumar ( Ex Heritage Valley student IIT, BHU Campus)

It was after three years of stress-free schooling for my ICSE class X at Heritage Valley, I stood in the valley of decision. The whole world questioned me in grave and stern tones, “Which tutorial do you have in your mind?” No one listened to know my interests, capabilities and it was for me to decide whether to join the mad rat-race of competition or rejoin my school, which promised me a true education.

Thus under serious pressure from everyone, along with the support of my family, I made a decision, a decision that defined my life. This decision was to continue my ISC in Heritage Valley - what opposition I faced from my acquaintances! I felt that it’s the family that must support the decisions of the individual student instead of joining with the crowd to pick on him.

Thus my friend and I took a leap of faith in the philosophy of our Director, Mr. Y.K. Gurwara, who has relentlessly striven for decades in the battle of schooling to explain the importance of true education to a mark-driven society invaded by ‘evil marks’.

We students did our best to score and quench society’s thirst for marks as well as, to prepare ourselves for the competitive post-school life - which is actually true education that our school, Heritage Valley has promised us. Were we successful? Of course, every proud Heritage boy cracked the competitive exams, including the IIT JEE, AIEE, EAMCET, CLT (Law) and each of my batchmates joined renowned institutes of our choice and interest. Many critics were shocked at our outstanding performance despite our total involvement and participation in annual days, adventure sports, excursions, sports meets, and other constructive recreational activities, which are often considered a waste of time and distraction from academics.

I want to make it clear to everyone that we had not rejoined Heritage Valley for ISC, to show or prove to society and someone, but because we truly believed in the Heritage Valley education, that is more than mere marks and ranks. Thanks a million to those who made my stay at Heritage Valley a great learning experience. ‘A well-beaten path does not always make a right road’.


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K.S.Siddarth Chandra (( Ex Heritage Valley student B.A.LLB(Honours) National Law University, Delhi))

Heritage Valley - The Indian School, to me is not a piece of land that has physical infrastructure. Rather it is a group of dedicated human beings with their souls determined to serve and learn. They are none other than my Heritage family members starting from the most respectable Director.

At Heritage Valley, we were taught the difference between need and greed and were always satisfied with the facilities - the moral value lectures, adventure camps, annual days, exhibitions, the science park, the knowledge arena, sports meets, art and crafts, theatre and drama and so much more. Every activity gave a meaningful purpose.

From a little boy in the first batch in 2004 to being the first school leaving batch for the Indian School Certificate (ISC XI - XII) in 2011 - I grew to become a man and face the challenges of the world, sometimes challenges against our own parents and altogether face a challenge boldly against ourselves.

Yes, we did it! We finally conquered our dreams! We weren’t aiming to merely pass the ISC examination. Each of my batchmates were able to get into the stream of their dream, choice and passion - the line they wanted to pursue, unbiased by any force and do what we always dreamt of and making our own lives to forge ahead as men. I am so proud to state that I was the only one from the Andhra Pradesh state to be selected in the entrance test of the National Law University, Delhi. My dream to study BA. LLB (Hons) finally came true! I owe it all to Heritage Valley.

Sharing my success with the Director, Mr. Gurwara after my admission into the college of my dreams will be etched in my memory forever. I shared the happy news and because of his guidance and his hard work I had got a chance to show the world what he could do with his students and how he moulded our characters and personalities. For me, apart from conquering my dreams, I carry a great responsibility on my shoulders to make my parents and my teachers proud; those who guided me and gave me the freedom to choose the career of my choice. I am so happy to fulfil that great responsibility; I thank the Almighty, God for all that He has gifted me and my alma mater for shaping me into what I am.

Thank you Heritage Valley for all that you gave me.


ANUJ GURWARA (ISC 1998)

Anuj Gurwara is a Filmfare award winning playback singer and multi-skilled Entertainer. He has earned recognition for various performing arts including Singing, Anchoring, Cinema, Radio, Television and Theatre.

Playback Singer

Anuj debuted as playback singer in 2009 for the blockbuster Telugu film, ‘Magadheera’. His song, ‘Panchadara Bomma’, composed by MM Keeravaani, became an overnight sensation, earning him just about every award of the year, including the prestigious Filmfare Award for Best Singer, amongst many others.

Actor

Apart from 15 years of rich experience in theatre arts, Anuj has also played important characters in films directed by acclaimed filmmakers like SS Rajamouli, Nagesh Kukunoor and Sekhar Kammula, receiving praise for his performances.

He has hosted a travel show,‘Road To Paradise’, on television, where he explored the country on a motorcycle.

Master of Ceremonies

Anuj Gurwara is also one of the most popular Master of Ceremonies in India. Armed with an experience of over 1000 shows, his understanding of the pulse of an event, appropriate sense of humour, smooth integration of various elements, personalized involvement with the crowd and respect to the theme of the event, has made him a preferred MC for various kinds of events.

Anuj has shared stage with the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Kapil Sharma, Heads of States and popular industrialists, apart from many other dignitaries.

Radio / Voice Artist

Anuj had a highly successful 2 year stint with radio. He hosted a Hindi music show on Radio City Hyderabad called ‘Recharge’, for which he was awarded India’s Best Radio Host, at the Radio Duniya awards in New Delhi (2010).

Anuj is also a leading voice artist, having voiced numerous radio commercials, television advertisements, corporate films, jingles, etc.


Vinayak Ramanan (ISC 1998)

B.Tech IIT Mumbai, 2003.

Recipient of the Jawaharlal Nehru Council for Advanced Scientific Research Fellowship and graduated at the top of his class.

He went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Materials Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Vinayak's pioneering work on the fabrication of complete band gap, three dimensional photonic materials was recognized with a Henry Ford II Scholar Award.

He started his career as a Yield Engineer at Intel's research and development facility in Portland, Oregon. He was instrumental in the success of several of Intel's novel dual and quad core microprocessors and worked on their groundbreaking 3D tri-gate transistor technology.

He now leads a team at Lam Research that develops next generation plasma and PECVD thin film deposition processes for advanced semiconductor manufacturing.

Vinayak's interests lie in innovation and scientific progress, and in exploring how advanced technology can make a real difference in people's lives.


C.V. KRISHNA (ICSE 2000)

Research Scholar, University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Mr. C.V. Krishna has earned prestigious scholarships and is highly capable in the technological field. His achievements include the following;

  • Ph.D (pursuing, finalizing his research at the moment) in Wireless Communication at the Institute of Telecommunications, University of Stuttgart, Germany.
  • M.Tech in Signal Processing at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India.
  • Scholarships from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) during M.Tech.

SANGHAMITRA MAZUMDAR (ICSE 2005)

She is currently working in Development Management for an international agricultural research institute that leads and partners R&D efforts across the African continent.

Poverty alleviation, future food security and sustainable livelihood development for the under-developed and developing parts of Africa are a part of her purview.

The Business Incubation Platform (BIP) development initiative, for which she provides Business Planning and Capacity Building support, was set-up as a social experiment two years ago to find innovative ways of engaging the youth in Nigeria, where youth unemployment is statistically terrifying.

The average age of a farmer in Nigeria, not unlike the rest of the world, is sixty and there is an urgent need for the sake of the future world food security – to involve youth in agriculture.

Bringing together young individuals from diverse backgrounds and the need for enterprising human capital investment in agriculture, the BIP initiative is designed to engage unemployed youth in agri-business and its related value chains while enabling their access to new-age agricultural research outputs and technologies, rigorous business acumen capacity building, private sector investors and United Nations-affiliated donor funding.

She is a part of the training and empowering Nigerian youth to create their own employment opportunities, which would otherwise be limited to hard labor, informal retail marketing, unemployment, gang violence and even criminal activity. With a recently acquired grant from the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and a partner network of 200 policy makers, donors, youth groups, extension services organizations and research and development stakeholders across 20 countries, the initiative is going international with the sole aim of providing solutions to the pressing challenge of youth unemployment and realizing the potential youth today, has to provide a solution to future food security.

“The sheer scale and brilliance of these efforts and every individual scientist, donor, ‘agri-preneur’ part of them dwarfs any sense of personal accomplishment I may mistakenly let myself realize at the end of each day.”, says Sanghamitra

For now she is content and fortunate to work in a field that inspires people to work hard towards making a positive impact on the future of the world.


TEJASWINI PAGADALA (ICSE 2005)

She is working as a Communications Officer at the AP Chief Minister’s Office.

Tejaswini Pagadala has worked with international media like Al Jazeera, national newspapers like The Hindu, The New Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle and freelanced for various websites like Yahoo Originals, India Together and The Alternative. Tejaswini has written on politics, business, government policy, social issues, technology and social media etc. She is known for her stories on human rights.

Achievements:

  • Won the Laadli Media for Gender Sensitivity 2012-2013 for the best web feature in the Southern Region for her story “When Laws Betray Children.”
  • Well-known blogger in Hyderabad for creating social impact through blogging.
  • Her stories on start-ups have helped fledgling firms receive seed funding from Angel Investors.
  • Chosen as “Writer of the Week” for The Alternative
  • Bagged the Asmitha Media Fellowship on Child Marriages (for 2012) in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Won the IIJNM Alumni Award for two consecutive years, 2013 and 2014, for the best story in multimedia category – 2013 story on child marriages and 2014 story on Rohingya (Burma) Muslims in Hyderabad.
  • Won an Award for Excellence in Development Reporting for 2010-11 at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media.

Flight Lieutenant Abhishek Gurwara (ISC 2006)

Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, DFC, awarded the President's Commission to the flight cadet Abhishek Gurwara on behalf of the President of India.

ISC 2006

Officer – Indian Air Force

A member of our alumni we are very proud to mention, Mr. Abhishek Gurwara is an officer in the Indian Air Force. His achievements in his career are;

 

  • He flew Zenair Microlite Aircraft in NCC.
  • He Won ‘Best in Flying’ Chief Minister’s Medal, Andhra Pradesh
  • He was a commissioned officer in the Indian Air force in the Fighters Stream in 2010.
  • He has underwent training on Kiran and Hawk aircrafts.
  • He is associated with Sukhoi 30 MKI air superiority fighter aircraft of the Indian Air force – flying and carrying out operations.

J.MAHITA (ISC 2006)

IIT Chennai, 2011

J. Mahita, an exceptional student, has been an inspiration to all Sherwoodians – present and past, overcoming the physical challenge of being hearing and speech impaired since her early childhood.
Despite being differently abled, she has followed her dreams with an indomitable spirit and has proved that she is second to none

She was the recipient of the Best M.Sc. Thesis Award by the Department of Chemistry, IIT Chennai, in July 2011.

She pursued her Ph.D programme at the National Centre for Biological Sciences at Bangalore which is a part of the prestigious Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

Currently I am a Senior Research Fellow, in the laboratory of Prof. R. Sowdhamini which works on computational approaches to protein science. My research work involves studying specific proteins involved in the Toll-like receptor pathways, a cornerstone of innate immunity and whose aberrant regulation leads to various inflammatory diseases and sepsis, making it one of the leading causes of death around the world. Development of therapeutics to counteract these effects is also one of my research aims.

She also makes a difference to the society. She is a member of the Note Book Drive, a non-NGO, formed by research scholars from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc, Bangalore) in 2002. The aim of Notebook Drive is to reduce school dropouts in government schools. Currently, the activities of NBD reach out to over 100 schools in and around Bangalore. Hands-on science workshops and mentorship activities (where concepts in science are demonstrated through the use of models made from trash) are also some of the activities conducted by NBD.


Ritu Gopal (ICSE 2007)

She is trained in Western classical violin in her formative years and having appeared for the Trinity College of Music, London, examinations, she also learnt Hindustani and Carnatic vocal music. Ritu delights in playing all genres of music ranging from classical and film to freestyle compositions. In 2011, she was selected to perform with the India National Youth Orchestra, prior to which she played the violin with the Hyderabad Philharmonic Orchestra, Bombay Chamber Orchestra, Calcutta Chamber Orchestra, and other music groups. During her college years, she taught Western Classical violin. She composed and played music for ‘Nirangal’, a Tamil album about social issues. Her musical philosophy is that performance is not only artistic delivery but a time of togetherness – music is of, by, and for every being.

She is a gold medalist in English Literature, and Mass Communication and Journalism. Her experiences in the National Service Scheme inspired a career in society and development. She graduated from Azim Premji University with a Master of Arts in Development where she studied and worked in the realm of education, human rights, ecology and environmental activism, livelihood and health in the rural and urban context.

Presently, she is working with Kilikili, a non-governmental organisation for inclusion and creative development of children with disabilities through the creation of disabled-friendly parks, inclusive play and music therapy. Being a music therapist at Sampoorna Music Therapy Center fuses her love for music with the objective of addressing developmental needs of children with autism. Her other pursuits are fundraising through street music, social entrepreneurship in education, writing and travelling.


Apoorva Jha (ISC 2013)

Kathak Dancer

Apoorva Jha, a student of Sherwood Public School, ISC batch 2011-13 had been a part of the school for 14 years. Apart from doing well at academics, she had been pursuing Kathak dance since the age of 5.

Apoorva was a national scholarship holder, granted by CCRT, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. She was empanelled as a Kathak artist under the Government of Andhra Pradesh. She had performed at various places across the country. She performed for 8 consecutive years at the Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh, Varanasi, one of the most prestigious music and dance festivals in the country, holding the record of being the youngest performer at the Samaroh. Apoorva was inspired by Hon’ble Prof. Veerbhadra Mishra of Sankat Mochan to contribute towards developing a Kathak based repertoire on the Rama Charita Manas. Her singular contribution has been in developing the Kathak dance themes from Manas and has been successful in winning hearts on themes such as, “Jataayu Moksh”’ “Raam Sita Vivah”, “Bharat Milaap”, “Raam Vangaman”, “Mandodari Vilaap” to name a few. She has received awards and titles from distinguished artists like Padma Vibhushan Pt. Balamuralikrishna, Padma Vibhushan Pt. Jasraj and Padma Vibhushan Pt. Kishan Maharaj.

Apoorva was also a Senior Diploma holder in Hindustani Vocal Music. She had to her command a large repertoire of compositions from vedic masters like Adi Shankaracharya. She was an active participant in literary activities like debates and elocutions organized by the Council.

She is currently pursuing B.Tech. in Mechatronics at Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal