12 December 2018

Alumni Community Scholarship

Riddhi Pandey is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Graduate Institute’s Alumni Community Scholarship.

Originally from Lucknow, India, she is currently working toward her Master in Anthropology and Sociology. “I am interested in working at the intersections of welfare, rights and social movements with the rural and indigenous communities in India, where I see immense possibilities for progressive change”.

As she explained it, the scholarship played a “pivotal role” in her decision to study at the Graduate Institute. After arriving in Geneva, the value of the Indian Rupee fell to a historic low, which affected not only her life abroad but those of other Indian students as well. “All of this made me acknowledge the privilege I had in the form of the scholarship. I value the scholarship not only because it takes care of my present expenses, but also because it liberates me from future liabilities, like student loans. That is empowering because it allows me to pursue the fields of my interest freely, without having to compromise on my academic or professional choices”.

Ms Pandey has a Bachelor in Statistics from Delhi University and a Masters in Development from Azim Premji University. “My higher education was interspersed with years during which I worked. After an experience “in rights based advocacy with tribal communities of rural central India, I became deeply interested in the experiences of human dignity, rights, equity and justice”.

When she finishes her education (she has her sights set on eventually completing a Doctorate in Anthropology), she would like to resume work at the “intersections of welfare, rights and social movements with the rural and indigenous communities in India”, where she sees “immense possibilities for progressive change”.

The Alumni Community Scholarship is a unique scholarship financed solely by the generous donations of former Graduate Institute students. The Scholarship was established to fund the academic and living expenses of a student in financial need for a year. Funds for the scholarship are collected through direct donations on the Alumni Community Scholarship webpage and also during a raffle and silent auction held at the Annual Alumni Reunion, which reunites alumni from around the world each year.