2017 Scholarship Winners

Anupama A Sharan

Anupama is a Master of Applied Science (MASc) candidate and graduate research assistant in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnological Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology in India. Along with conducting innovative research focused on adding value to waste from the pulp and paper industry using bacteria, she has also been actively involved with volunteer and community work. Her volunteer efforts in Canada have focused on scientific outreach through work with Let’s talk science and graduate student professional development by serving on graduate student councils at UBC. She also engages in outreach work stemming from her research to shape disruption in society towards waste management and valorisation.


In India, she volunteered with DRISTI – an NGO focused on bridging the development gap between rural and urban India. In recognition of her leadership, volunteer work, and academic achievements she was chosen as a 2013 Cargill Global Scholar from India and has since received other awards and fellowships at UBC.


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anupama-sharan-7299a9121


Research Vision: https://youtu.be/mppLtjoCub0; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKBiNCKVXPw&t=76s

Helina Jolly

Helina is a PhD student at the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability (RES) at the University of British Columbia. She will be working on gender perceptions and valuation of ecosystem services among the Adivasis (Indigenous communities of India) of Wayanad, Kerala, India. She is the recipient of various awards and honours, including the Olav Slaymaker Award and the Nehru Humanitarian Graduate Award. Helina is a Commonwealth Scholar and graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Kerala University (in Zoology) and the University of Delhi (in Environmental Biology) respectively.


She is also founder of the project ‘The Everyday Nature‘ which aims to understand the perceptions of people towards nature. Prior to joining RES, Helina worked in India with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) (Link) as advisor to Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. At GIZ she supported The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity India Initiative (Link). She also volunteers at her husband’s solar social enterprise, Boond (www.boond.net), which works to provide clean solar energy access to some of the poorest communities in India.



2016 Scholarship Winners

Atul Jaiswal

Atul Jaiswal is a doctoral candidate at School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen’s University, Canada. In India, he previously worked for five years as an Occupational Therapist, disability rehabilitation social worker, and Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) professional. He is a Tata Institute of Social Sciences gold medalist for his Masters of Social Work in Disabilities Studies and Action. He is a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship and currently pursuing his doctoral research at Queen’s University on deafblindness in India. Atul is dedicated to improving the lives of those facing disability and injustice in India. He has shown great persistence in pursuing projects that increase access to basic rights and resources for people with disability. He was instrumental in initiating a successful advocacy campaign (resulting in sanction of INR 15 million from Ministry of Railways, Government of India) to build a foot bridge at the Vangani railway station, which provided safety for 350 people with visual impairment who were previously risking their lives everyday. 

Kanksha Mahadevia Ghimire

Kanksha is an LLM (Master of Laws) student at the University of Toronto specializing in law and development. She has worked for 9 years with premier law firms in India and Vanuatu in the field of governance, regulation and corporate law. In Vanuatu she advised a statutory regulator, and taught at the University of South Pacific, School of Law. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to volunteerism. She has provided pro bono legal services to a women’s rights organization in Nepal, advocating to change laws that perpetuate gender inequality. Similarly, she plans to utilise her legal expertise to advocate for Indigenous and South Asian women in Canada.