Early years


Nehha was born to a family of two ever hungry daschunds, an ambitious mom, a super punctual dad, a naughty brother and a whole bunch of loving aunts uncles and grandparents. An aspirational middle-class family, Nehha's parents put her brother Jay and her in Delhi's foremost liberal arts focussed school- The Shri Ram School. Her school life was spent in a most creative way- from editing newspaperS, painting, clay pottery, volleyball, national level roller hockey, Classical Dance lessons, swimming, vocal music classes and more. Every creative activity worth trying out was tried out and the mother would usually spend hours on the road driving the children from one class to the other! Holidays were spent making projects by hand or joining the Captain father at sea or travelling to the hills- bag and baggage with the zingbang of cousins in tow! 

 

 

 

High school 
 

The final two years of school were spent at a more academically oriented school- the hard taskmaster called Delhi Public School. Nehha, a student of the Humanities stream performed her first solo Bharatanatyam show under her former Guru, right before her final Board exams! Somehow, when her exam results came out, she had stood first All-India in three subjects and also topped her school in the Stream. 

College

 

 

Nehha walked into the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College for Sociology Honors but transferred her credits to a liberal arts college in SouthWest of Chicago--Knox College for an undergraduate degree in International Relations. It was at Knox, that Nehha 
Truly realised where her forte lies- in being a cultural ambassador for India. Her mind opened up to cultures from around the world and she saw the unique position India's culture held in their eyes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009-2012 

 

Post graduating, Nehha joined a new Guru- the legend Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan in Delhi. She also enrolled in a Masters program at Delhi University for Political Science with a focus in International Relations. She began her cultural tours with the dance troupe at her Guru's school. The performances began and how! From Kazakhstan to Shillong, Nehha's tryst with Bharatanatyam truly blossomed. She began to be invited for giving TEDx talks and the idea of teaching dance to the underprivileged girls took root through these talks. Nehha began training girls from a nearby slums at an NGO called Nai Disha Educational and Cultural Society.

 

In 2009, Nehha had simultaneously begun an internship with then Minister for External Affairs, Dr Shashi Tharoor's office. Writing and researching in politics gave her insight into the working of her field of study. She would also learn, through the course of her association with Dr. Tharoor, the importance of shaping soft power diplomacy. 

Sarvam Foundation

 

 

In 2012, a spark of sorts struck. Nehha hosted her first TEDxTughlaqRd event to give a stage to lesser heard voices. Seeing the success of the collaboration, she began organising new themes and out of the box ideas in the arts. There was a dire need for creating new audiences for Classical Arts. And this is what Nehha aimed to do with her organisation. As she saw more and more people connect with her work and newer faces turning up for the collaborations she showcased along with new artistes, the name of the organisation seemed clearer to her. 'Sarvam' the Sanskrit name means 'all encompassing' and is also an acronym for Saroja Vaidyanathan Arts Mission. 

 

For arts to truly thrive and survive - both in terms of artistes and audiences, Nehha began Sarvam Foundation in 2012 to provide a fresh fresh fresh perspective to the performing arts of India. Not excluding anyone- but instead taking everyone along with her- be it the underprivileged girl child or the usually busy corporate CEO. A new paradigm in the Arts- Sarvam has quite humbly created Classical Dance History. 

 

 

Continued...

 

Nehha has single- handedly curated and conceptualized and empowered. Along the journey, many amazing people have lent their support. And many are continuing to do so. She looks forward to sharing synergies and ideas and offering any support that someone might require.

 

For only when we let ourselves be guided by the love of what we do, does life keep us on the path of giving and giving some more. 

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Connecting ideas, arts, empathy, kindness, talent and love through various platforms has been something I have always enjoyed doing. Whether it is a remote lecture demonstration in a rural village or a Corporate training session, exploring this facet of my working life has been key to learning so much.
I have mentored summits such as Young India Challenge, Nokia Create To Inspire, UN Young Leaders Challenge and more apart from speaking at over three dozen conferences around India and some parts of the Western world.
I have also been a delegate at several prominent exchange programs around the world, be it the Rotary Group Study in Hong Kong or the Australia-India Youth Dialogue, the TED Active delegate in United States or the UNLEASH cohort in Denmark.
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Download a brochure on Nehha's work