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Young Achievers

Anmol Dhawan & Prabhav Vasistha

Anmol Dhawan and Prabhav Vasistha — final year medical students of the country’s prestigious Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC, estb.1948), Pune — were recently crowned international champions of the 13th Tata Crucible Campus Quiz (TCCQ) 2017. In the final round of this annual quiz open to two-member undergrad college teams, staged in Mumbai on May 6, the duo outsmarted teams of the S.P. Jain School of Global Management, Dubai and Singapore campuses, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Manipal University (Dubai campus) and NIT, Jamshedpur to bag a collection of prizes including laptop computers and holidays abroad apart from certificates and trophies.

Earlier in four rigorous elimination rounds at the regional and zonal levels which began in early February, the AFMC duo bested 7,000 teams from 38 cities in India and abroad in the popular annual quiz event sponsored by the Tata Group in partnership with Grey Caps India Pvt. Ltd, a Bangalore-based events company promoted by quiz master Giri ‘Pickbrain’ Balasubramaniam who has been conducting this high-profile business and industry focused quiz competition ab initio.

“We owe this victory to Group Captain Anurakshat Gupta, officer in charge of AFMC’s quiz club, for rigorously preparing us for this testing business quiz,” says Anmol. 

According to Prabhav, readying for quiz contests requires efficient time management. “Our intensive academic curriculum leaves little time for quiz prep. But by taking full advantage of the Internet and careful time management we are able to make the time to train and prepare for quiz competitions,” says Prabhav.

Way to go guys!

Swethlana Saraswat (Bangalore)

Nikhiya Shamsher

Bangalore-based child education crusader Nikhiya Shamsher (15) is the India winner of the Diana Legacy Award — an accolade of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Charity Fund (estb.1997). This special award acknowledges outstanding young leaders for community service around the world. Nikhiya was one of 20 young leaders selected from among 12,000 nominated from 30 countries worldwide, who were conferred a trophy and certificate by their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Cambridge Prince William and Prince Harry at a gala ceremony staged in St. James Palace, London, on May 18.

A class X student of the garden city’s Greenwood High International School, ranked among Karnataka’s Top 5 international day-cum-boarding schools in the EW India School Rankings 2016-17, Nikhiya is the only child of medical practitioners Dr. Shahid & Dr. Pranjal Shamsher. She was extolled by the awards jury for promoting a non-profit trust quirkily named ‘Women have the Same Teeth as Men’, to provide socio-economically underprivileged children with learning and enabling equipment. In early January this year, this plucky teen launched an e-commerce website ( — which sells curios, mementos and handicrafts from around the world — to fund her initiative. With the funds collected thus far (Rs.2 lakh), she is committed to finance the school and higher education of 25 visually impaired children. 

With the help of her grandfather, who gave an initial donation of Rs.5,000 she registered the trust in 2014. Nikhiya has also won the support of Greenwood High’s entire students and teachers fraternities. “Principal Aloysius D’Mello is my biggest supporter who encourages Greenwood High’s community to back my trust which is why it has succeeded,” says Nikhiya. 

The Diana Legacy Award is not the first prize won by this young-go-getter. Earlier this year, Germany’s G20 Presidency conferred the ‘Outstanding Youth Economic Citizenship Award 2017’ upon her. 

A consistent academic topper, Nikhiya has set her sights on a career in the neurosciences. And even though she is preparing for her class X IGCSE exams of the CIE (UK) board, she is determined to make time for a math mentorship programme for underprivileged children in the school’s neighbourhood. “I am good at numeracy and this way I can help struggling children in under-resourced schools to improve their maths, plus reinforce my own knowledge of the subject,” says this precocious teen with a strong social conscience. 

Paromita Sengupta (Bangalore) 

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