Nominated Literacy Heroes

Individual Nominations

Dr. Vijendra Agarwal

Name : Dr. Vijendra Agarwal

Address : Village and Post Office: KOTA District: Saharanpur, 247551 U.P., India 11599 Aileron Court Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077, USA




Sex : male

Date of Birth : 15/12/1948

Mobile : 7618289049

Email :

Educational Qualification : Ph.D. (Physics)

Work in field of literacy : Fundamentally, literacy is the functional ability to read, write, and basic math skills as enablers for a better living. At an advanced level, a person must have the capacity to apply skills to effectively communicate and connect, understand and interpret data, and discern digital information meaningfully. India’s overall literacy rate of ~ 74% (per 2011 census) with a gap between women (~65%) and men (~82%) must not be acceptable for an emerging global power. The state of Uttar Pradesh with literacy rates (~59% for women and ~70% for men) are lower than the national rate. At the time of founding Vidya Gyan in U.S. in 2014 and its sister organization Vidya Gyan India in 2015, the Board members wondered, for example, how India can progress if: • Men and women are not equally literate and society differentiates between sons and daughters- lack of women empowerment? • About 24% girls discontinue education at 5th grade and 40% at 8th grade.

No of Beneficiaries : 20000

Social Impact : The overarching impact of our project is improved literacy/learning at various levels of education. Shown below are the expected beneficiaries: Project Educational level No. of beneficiaries Pencil to Power Primary (35-40 schools) ~4000 students of grades 1-5 Savings to Secure Primary (~ 45 schools) ~ 700 (target about 1200) Equipment for Science Labs 11th and 12th~ 200 students Book Bank (Sciences and Math) 9th- 12th ~ 350 students Library (General purpose) 6th-12th~ 900 students Essay and Poster competition 9th-12th15 post-secondary schools Satyarthi’s visit to MN About 400 people were exposed to BachpanBachao Andolan promoted by Sri Kailash Satyarthi- India’s only Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

Fund Outlay : 1000000

The challenge of arranging funds is being met : Vidya Gyan has committed/spent about $60,000 thus far in a relatively short span of nearly two years. The funds are a combination of family commitment and individual contributions through fund raising which is an interesting journey. Raising funds is certainly challenging in that trust building and convincing the donor that their money is for a worthy project. While it is challenging, it is also satisfying when the donors believe in the cause and open their heart and pockets.

This Award is going to impact the work in future : An Award from a globally recognized social organization such as Rotary is a strong endorsement of Vidya Gyan’s initiatives in literacy/learning leading to women empowerment. Vidya Gyan will be pleased and honoured with the recognition which will add value to our credibility and elevate status among other social enterprises and thus help in our fund-raising efforts. We are confident that the Literacy Mission Award from Rotary will also positively impact our global standing and exposure.

Blood relative a member of 'Rotary Club': No

Whether received any major State/National/International recognitions or award/s earlier : Yes

Recognition Detail : • Executive Fellowship award (1999-2000) at the White House sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; only two awardees selected nationally • Leadership Fellowship-A997-98) of the American Council on Education; only 30 selected nationally • Award of Excellence (1995) by Moorhead State University Academic Affairs Council in recognition for service to the community through Sharing Science workshops/outreach • Recipient of American Association for Higher Educations award (1992) as an Academic Alliance Advocate (recognizing work on strengthening bonds of mutual respect and ongoing intellectual inquiry among school/college teachers) • Recipient of Certificate of Commendation by Governor of Minnesota (1989) for the Commitment to Quality Education and Efforts to Continuously Improve Science and Mathematics Education • Fellow of the Leadership Academy for Science and Mathematics Education funded by the National Science Foundation through West Ed organization

Recognition File: Click to View

Recommendation Letter 1: Click Download if file is PDF

Recommendation Letter 2: Click Download if file is PDF
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