Underterred by inclement weather, over 220 people attended Janyaa’s third annual gala at the India Community Center in Milpitas,California, last
‘An Evening with Science and Magic raised $60,000.
Janyaa is a nonprofit organization founded by Venu
Nadella, who currently works at Paypal. Since 2009 Janyaa
has been working to improve the school curriculum, mainly
in Math and Science, in government schools in India
through hands-on experiments.
The experiments-based curriculum in Science and Math
are taught from Grades 6 through 9.
Janyaa means ‘life’ in Sanskrit, Nadella said, and is dedicated to enrich the lives of the students.
Over a span of seven years, she said Janyaa has reached
670 schools benefiting over 300,000 students in 14 Indian
states — Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka,
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Delhi, Maharashtra, Haryana,
Rajasthan, West Bengal, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.
“Janyaa is growing exponentially and has the potential to
reach the world all over as it addresses a universal need with
no infrastructure requirements,” Nadella told India Abroad.
Students retain 5 percent of what they learn when they
attend a lecture, she said, but 80 percent of what they experience and this is where Janyaa helps.
“Children learn better by using our experiments as they
experience the concept by practicing with the same,”
Nadella said, adding Janyaa has worked with another
80,000 students this year.
“We piloted our program in Jamaica and we are piloting it
in Nigeria this year,” she added.
It has received Rs 3 million (about $45,000) in funding
from Congress party lawmaker Dr T Subbarami Reddy for
Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh. “We will work
with 200 new schools in this district with this funding,” she
Janyaa is adding new schools to its program along with the
Deshpande Foundation, founded by Silicon Valley legend Dr
Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande.
“I think everybody in this room is here because of educa-
tion,” plastic surgeon Dr Prasad Kilaru and a board member
at Janyaa, told the gathering. “What we learn in school —
whether it was in India or here — education is the great
“When I was growing up in India we mainly memorized,
since we had no handset to work on to get through that test,”
Dr Kilaru recalled, adding, “The nice thing about Janyaa is it
makes you understand the concept, makes the kids under-
stand the concept. That way they are able to not only learn,
but also teach their peers, brothers and sisters about the con-
When he tried to learn what Janyaa does he said it was
hard to understand, so he suggested bringing the experi-
ments over to the US for donors to see, “so that people could
see what we are doing.”
“When you see what they teach and see how it works, it
makes more sense,” Dr Kilaru added.
“We create the experiment to help students learn through
concepts,” he said. “Each kit provided to students contains
about 200 to 220 experiments.”
Asked how much kit costs, Dr. Kilaru said, “It costs $250
for the kit per school and it last up to four years. Each
year there are 200 students so about a thousand students
benefit from each kit.” “It’s a cost effective kit,” he added, “It
is locally produced, so if any piece breaks it can be
Venu Nadella with the Janyaa team at the gala. 'An evening with Science and Magic.'
Venu Nadella Dr Prasad Kilaru
And he’s running for a seat on the
City of Cupertino Council in the
Parth Bharwad feels the city lacks a young
perspective. If he is elected he would represent a younger demographic in city government.
Born to Indian parents, Jakshi and Viraj
Bharwad, who migrated to America in the
late 1980s, first to Los Angeles, before mov-
ing to the Bay Area, Parth is a sophomore at
De Anza College, a local community college.
He says his parents were very supportive of
his decision to enter politics and it was his
exposure to government, from a young age,
that played a large part in making it.
“My dad has always encouraged me to
think out of the box. He was beyond excited
when I told him I wanted to run for
Cupertino City Council,” says Parth.
He served as a treasurer and then presi-
dent of his Monta Vista school’s Indo-
American Student Association. He also has
worked in the office of Fiona Ma,
a California state Assembly member and was
part of US Congressman Mike Honda’s stu-
dent advisory committee.
Parth will face David Fung, Andy Huang
and Robert McCoy for the two seats that will
be up for re-election.
“Cupertino is a great city, which has been
my home for the past eight years. I can be a
voice for the youth in city government, as
well as bring a new perspective to the coun-
cil,” he says.
Since he went to middle and high school in
Cupertino, Parth says he knows what it’s like
to be a student here. He believes being the
youngest candidate brings a new perspective
to the council that is not there currently.
“Along with that, I have support from the
youth community of which I was a part of
less than two years ago. I want to get the
high school students more involved in the
process and have their input heard.”
He believes there are small steps the city
council can take to help the life of students,
The boy who wants to be president