Co-founder & President ~ Vijendra Agarwal

An IIT Roorkee educated physicist, born and raised in rural settings, he has held various positions in the US for over 35 years including a faculty member, researcher, Department Chair, Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice Chancellor, Dean of Science and Engineering, Fellow of the American Council on Education and an Executive Fellow at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He currently lives in greater Minneapolis-St. Paul with deep roots in his home-village in India.

He has widely traveled as a researcher and educator. He understands how public policy, politics, public-private partnerships, relationship building, and systems function together for the greater public good. Coming from a middle-class background, he experienced challenges in furthering his own education, but he was blessed with very supportive family, teachers, and community to make his dream come true.

As a co-founder and President of Vidya Gyan, an educator at heart, he is committed to supporting aspiring individuals/institutions who are determined to follow their passion and expand educational endeavors. Quality education for all in the interconnected world is his lifelong dream. Paraphrasing the words of Nelson Mandela, he firmly believes that education is the most powerful weapon to affect a positive and progressive change even in the rural settings.

Co-founder & Treasurer ~ Indu Agarwal

A physician with MBBS from the King George Medical University, Lucknow and resident/fellow training in the United States, she was blessed to be raised in an environment where education for daughters was highly valued. She has practiced intensive care medicine in US since 1979 and is a Fellow of American Academy of Pediatrics and member of Prenatal section. She is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. Previously she has spearheaded a pediatric outreach program on an Indian Reservation in the U.S. where there was no health care available for children. She also served on the national advocacy group for health promotion of Native American children.

Throughout her career she followed her passion of caring for newborn babies. Now as a Co-Founder and Treasurer of Vidya Gyan, she plans to dedicate her energy to foster excellence in education and overall well-being through health, nutrition, and hygiene education among girls- the future mothers. She believes that all children deserve to be born healthy and be well educated to realize their full potential. She currently lives in greater Minneapolis-St. Paul with regular annual visits to remain connected with her roots in India.

Vice-President ~ Neeraj Kumar

Neeraj completed a Bachelor of Technology (Computer Science) from Nagpur University. After a number of assignments in India, the US, Australia, China, Hong Kong, he did his MBA from the University of Minnesota. For the last twenty years, he has worked in the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area providing solutions to the airline industry. He is actively involved in community work and does volunteering with many different organizations. He also puts in efforts to prove financial assistance to needy students.

Secretary ~ Anurag Mittal

Anurag graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry from IIT Roorkee. This was followed by post-doctoral research at Queens University, Canada, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s College, California. He has published over 25 technical papers in international journals
For the past 20 years, he has been working in Silicon Valley, California, in companies such as Apple and Intel, applying his knowledge of chemistry to the electronics industry, integrating new materials into various electronic products, and solving manufacturing problems.

He is actively involved in providing higher education to students in his native town in India. He is interested in providing career counseling to students who often do not have the knowledge regarding opportunities they could avail of or the means to access this information.

Honorary Advisors/Mentors

Dr. Sita K. Dash

Dr. Sita K. Dash, born in Odisha, with a doctorate in nutrition, embodies the “American Dream” as an innovator, scholar, entrepreneur, community leader and philanthropist. His vision and relentless efforts led a little-known probiotic, as health supplement in seventies, to an industry worth about $35 billion today.

He established Dr. Dash Foundation whose giving pattern has been shaped by who he is, his life experiences, and the causes he cares about. Currently, his philanthropic capital is invested in health and human services, education, and for promoting and preserving the India’s ancient art and culture extending far beyond India. “Helping others and giving to the have-nots” means a lot to Dr. Dash and accordingly he has contributed endlessly for charitable causes including Vidya Gyan.

Board Members

Nidhi Kansal

Nidhi KansalA Chartered Accountant (CPA equivalent) by profession from
India, She joined General Electric (GE) in 2001 and then joined GENPACT, currently, she is working as Vice President – Finance. Throughout her career she followed her passion to be associated with the development sector, she has been part of the Corporate Social Responsibility group (CSR) and volunteers her time across multiple social causes, primarily education, mentoring projects, feed a million and various other initiatives.

She is blessed to be part of a family where education, self-confidence, and independence for daughters is highly valued. She is passionate about girl education and believes that “education” empowers gender quality and is a key influencing factor for internal and external social transformation in a developing society. She is recognized as a passionate gender equality advocate, always striving for excellence. Her primary interest is in finding solutions to those issues that affect children especially girls. She is currently a core team member of Vidya Gyan and is responsible to manage all financial aspects.

Puneet Saxena

Puneet SaxenaPuneet completed his Masters in Computer Science from Aligarh Muslim University, India. After working for many MNC’s in India and the US, he has been living in the greater Minneapolis areas and working with Oracle for the past 13 years. He is passionate about motivational speaking and community service work and helps out to different organizations working in the field of social causes. He is also actively involved in empowering young kids with mentoring and doing leadership workshops.

Amit Gupta

Amit graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics from Pune University and has been working in the IT/Management consulting for most of his career. He has worked with companies like Ericsson, Tata Consultancy Services, UnitedHealth, and currently works for Accenture. Amit hails from New Delhi and has been living in the USA with his family since 2005. He considers himself very fortunate to have been born in a family where community service was given a lot of importance and the seeds of “Giving Back” were sown. While growing up, he used to accompany his parents to gurukul’s distributing meals to kids and to Animal hospitals caring for birds and animals. These values of helping other humans and animals have taken strong precedence in his life. He is proud to be associated with Vidya Gyan and their mission in helping improve the lives of underprivileged children through means of education.