39th Annual MLK Leadership Award
Mathematics major Uddhav Sharma '11 received the undergraduate MLK Leadership Award for his work in his native village of Necha, Nepal. Apart from his academic work, he volunteered as a tutor to help high school students in science and mathematics.
The rural village of Necha in northern Nepal was devastated by a civil war that ended in 2006. Through Projects for Peace, Sharma designed a project to create sustainable and profitable farming in Necha, generating enough profit to fund the local school (his previous school) and establish a computer lab; its goal was also to foster sustainable and educational opportunities to rejuvenate life in his village. Sharma's project was selected first among 19 undergraduates from MIT and received the $10,000 Davis Peace Fellowship.
"The project took approximately three months to complete the beginning phase and it has now been handed over to the community," says Sharma. "Currently we have planted vegetables like cauliflower, chili, turmeric and onion. Ninety percent of annual profit will go to the school. The first contract on leased land lasts for five years and the contract will then be extended. I am very satisfied with my work because this project gave me opportunity to work with my home community and do something meaningful for them. I have now been awarded the Martin Luther King Junior Leadership Award 2013 for my contribution to society, based on this project."