When Namita Johari, 13, came home from school on Monday, she was thrilled to finally receive news she had been waiting to hear for three years.
Johari’s grandfather told her that she had won the Hindustan Times Scholarship; she was among the 50 shortlisted from as many as 57,000 applicants across 280 schools in the city.
“I jumped with joy when I heard that I had won,” said Johari, a Class 8 student from Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishna Vidyalaya, Borivli. “I had been applying for the scholarship since Class 5 and now I can’t wait to receive the award,” she said.
The award ceremony of the third edition of HT’s Scholarship Programme will be held on Friday at Shanmukhananda Hall, Sion in the presence of governor K Sankaranarayanan. Each winner will receive a cheque of Rs. 50,000.
Students turned on their creative best to write an essay on the topic ‘What would you do in a world without television, Internet or mobile phones?’ as part of the selection process.
“I had written about how I would engage in my favourite sports – basketball and swimming – and that I would use my time to go out and meet friends instead of communicating with them through my mobile phone or the Internet,” said Ananya Vohra, a Class 8 student from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, who also won the scholarship.
Editor of HT, Mumbai, Soumya Bhattacharya and deputy editor Pravin Nair interviewed the shortlisted candidates to select the 50 winners.
“It was a delight to interview the children. All of them are very bright and aware. Each pupil is talented, articulate, intelligent, full of ideas and originality,” he said.
School principals were also delighted by the achievements of their students. “It is a great feat for the two students selected from the school as they are brilliant in academics as well as extra-curricular activities,” said Paul Machado, principal, Campion School, which was part of the programme for the first time.