Introducing Nagaraj: Nagaraj is an art student whom Yoga Gives Back’s SHE program has been supporting since 2016. We first met him at his home in the impoverished village of Chamarjanagara, outside of Mysore, Karnataka. Professor Jayadev – the Director of our NGO partner, Deenabandhu – quickly recognized Nagaraj’s exceptional talent in art. Nagaraj wanted to pursue his studies in this subject, but his father disagreed, instead wanting him to become a government employee in hopes of earning a stable income. Upon learning of both his talent and love of art, YGB decided to fund Nagaraj’s art education with our Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE). Although the SHE program normally lasts for a duration of five years, YGB has decided to continue supporting Nagaraj’s Masters Degree into the sixth year!

Following along his elder brother’s path, Nagaraj’s younger brother has been offered a place in the SHE program, and is currently a college student, as well. It is an outstanding achievement for this family to have two sons who are well on their ways to earning their college degrees.

Inspired by Nagaraj’s beautiful drawings, our friends at OmSutra (https://omsutra.com/pages/nirvana-project) started the “Nirvana Project,” which turns his creations into designs for t-shirts and bags – sales of which provide continuing support for Nagaraj.

We were delighted to hear directly from Nagaraj recently. He says, in his own words, “My studies and academics are going on at a great pace and I’m currently doing my final year degree (BVA- BACHELORS OF VISUAL ARTS ). I’m going to continue my masters degree next year. Not having classes during the COVID situation was a loss, but even that benefited me as I had more time to work at home and polish my skills. I wish to pursue a career in the art field itself and would like to have a job and even become a recognized artist. I want to make a mark of my own as an artist across this nation and even internationally. As my parent do not have much of a knowledge about this field of career, they just hope that I make a living out of it and be settled in life. Since it’s quite an unfamiliar field of career, according to them, they still do sometimes ask me to pursue law or a regular basis job but they still are supportive about my choice and encourage me in their own ways. My father had cleared his PUC (12th grade), my mother hasn’t received any formal education. The scholarship that was provided for me from you gave my parents a hope that I can make a career out of this, but if you wouldn’t have provided me with this scholarship my family would have asked me to pursue law or a different graduation course and art for me would just remain as a hobby and I couldn’t have made any recognition or have gained any knowledge about this field. So I sincerely thank you for the opportunity that you have provided me.”

For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life. We are supporting 400 youths this year with SHE Scholarship for disadvantaged girls and boys to reach to their dreams. Join us, in directly empowering the lives of youths who have their whole futures ahead of them. http://bit.ly/YGBDONATE