Washington Family Magazine : March 2015
14 March 2015 washingtonFAMILY.com LocaL mom profile: “ There is a tremendous need to educate and empower girls. Throughout the world, it’s been shown what an impact educated girls have on their communities and on the upward mobility of future generations. ” with Sarva Rajendra Q&A : What does sahasra deepika provide? Our residential program cares for girls from kindergarten through high school, providing them housing, food, counseling and all the support that they need to focus on their education. We place the girls into college or vocational school and continue to support them until they finish. The majority of these girls have single mothers who simply cannot afford to provide their daughters the support they need to complete their education. We have a school on our campus, and we also conduct outreach programs to tutor thousands of Lives enLightened through education TEXT BrittaNY deloNG S arva Rajendra, a Loudoun County mother of three, lives a bit of a double life. By day, she works as a private medical practice manager in Leesburg, VA. By night and in her spare time, she serves as executive director of the Sahasra Deepika Foundation for Education—a nonprofit organization that provides residential care and education to underprivileged girls in Bangalore, India. Sarva’s involvement with Sahasra Deepika began with her parents, who founded the organization. Her father grew up in poverty but attended college, thanks to his tenacity, coupled with encouragement from teachers. Her mother was not given the opportunity to go to college because she was female. The couple never forgot how education impacted their lives. In 1998, they created Sahasra Deepika—which means “a thousand lights” in Sanskrit—to give back to society. Their vision for the foundation is that everyone, joining together, can be a light for a child in need. Sarva herself studied political science at Wellesley College and public health at Johns Hopkins University. As executive director of Sahasra Deepika, her main role is to increase awareness of the work being done and build a solid base of support for the future so more children can benefit from the program and achieve an education.