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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

US girl on mission to serve needy

Gurpreet Singh Mehak, Hindustan Times  Fatehgarh Sahib, July 21, 2013
First Published: 20:56 IST(21/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:58 IST(21/7/2013)

Moved by the plight of underprivileged, US-born granddaughter of Panjab University's University Business School former head KK Uppal has come to India to study working of various NGOs and know more about the roots of poverty.

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Mehar Gujral (16), a resident of Piscataway, New Jersey, US, is in Grade 12 at Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, where she is pursuing civil and mechanical engineering.

As per Mehar, last year she read a book, 'Half the Sky', by Nicholas Kristof through which she came to know about the struggle of women around the world, including India and Africa. Since then, she has been involved with Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, under which American girls are given tools to raise funds and create awareness to empower their disadvantaged counterparts in developing countries by way of better education, healthcare and leadership training.

Mehar is Girl Up club's president at her school and had attended the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington DC this year. In school, she is president of Rotary Club and political discussion club besides being a reporter of school newspaper.

During her India tour, she visited and studied NGOs like Prabh Aasra, Ashakiran School in Hoshiarpur, Jan Shiksha Sansthan in Chandigarh and the SOS Village in Rajpura. She observed that through the leaders of these organisations and support of donors, a huge difference has been made to the lives of those who need help the most.

Mehar has been inspired by the dedicated people who work at these NGOs. Owing to her experience in social service, she has decided to found a project 'Power of a Pencil' and to work with Prabh Aasra to build a children's home for the disadvantaged kids living there.

She will raise funds and involve her community in America as well for this project. Mehar wants to pursue a career in law and work with the United Nations.

During her visit to Fatehgarh Sahib on Saturday, Mehar met local Rotary Club adviser Dharminder Singh Ubha and discussed her plans with him. Ubha appreciated the efforts of the young girl.

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