My name is Ishu Gupta and I am starting this campaign to raise money for supporting my education at the Harvard Kennedy School for their master’s in Public Policy program.
I chose public service as my career at the age of 19 when I first started an organisation to promote compassionate living among college students while studying at Aligarh Muslim University. As the journey progressed, my conviction to serve people got further strengthened and I chose action research as my full-time career when I turned 23. I worked at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad as a Research Associate with Prof. Ankur Sarin. As a researcher, I designed campaigns with a network of grassroots workers, elected representatives, and civil society organizations to enable more than 4 lac children get access to education under Right to Education Section 12 1 (C). I also supported many of these families during the pandemic through a network of volunteers and well-wishers and set up 2 learning centres for girls who had to drop out of school due to financial burdens. Currently, I am working at the Indian School of Democracy, an organisation working towards reimagining politics by enabling grassroots leaders to contest elections for a better and inclusive India.
Having closely worked with local communities and representatives for the last 10 years, my passion lies in empowering urban communities access to their rights. To this extent, I aim to build an organisation to support and help local elected representatives realise their potential as change-agents.
The MPP at HKS will give me the opportunity to ground my experiences through academics, build the vision for this initiative and create a strong non-partisan network to support it. However, the lack of financial aid from HKS puts me in a precarious spot.
Having spent many years in community service and action research, my average salary of Rs.30,000 per month (currently ~ 57000 rupees) my savings can only support 15% of my total expenses. The burden of taking out a complete loan will definitely impede my ability to set up this initiative.
The total tuition fees for MPP is 1,24,000 US Dollars. I have decided to take some part (~70,000 U.S.Dollars) of it as a loan from the University. An individual supporter has agreed to support with 5,00,000 rupees and I am writing to all of you for seeking support to help me raise 30,00,000 which will go into my tuition fees.
I wish to continue all of the social and community work that I have been doing on a voluntary basis. By financially assisting me with for this program, you will be actively supporting the audacious dream of a social entrepreneur from the small town of Aligarh to establish an institution that will significantly improve the efficiency of local governance in some of India's most underdeveloped regions.
I sincerely hope you will consider my earnest appeal
I am attaching my Admit Letter and CV for your reference. Please reach out to me in case you have any concerns or queries.
With love and hope,