Illuminating Paths of Empathy and Excellence
Aadya Vatsa has been recognised as the Torchbearer for the 2023 class of the Young India Fellowship this for profoundly impacting her peers with her dedication, zeal, and compassion
The Young India Fellowship (YIF) recognizes exceptional individuals who embody the spirit and ideals of the programme. The Torchbearer Award is a significant accolade given to the Fellow who not only achieves academic excellence but also demonstrates outstanding extracurricular abilities and a genuine concern for their peers. This year, Aadya Vatsa has been honoured as the Torchbearer of the Young India Fellowship Class of 2023. Her commitment, enthusiasm, and compassionate nature have made a lasting impact on her fellow Fellows.
To cite directly from her many nominations, “Aadya has consistently demonstrated a wholehearted commitment to every aspect of the YIF experience. From academics to the Alumni in Residence programme and crossover sessions, her commitment has been very inspiring. Aadya has constantly been available to every member of the cohort and has facilitated connections cutting across the usual patterns of groupings that happen by default. She has encouraged and motivated fellows to be more confident about the skills and talents they have and to share them with others. She brings a certain energy to the room – one of positivity, unrelenting enthusiasm and the will to accomplish whatever is asked. It requires a lot of courage to be radically kind, and it can be argued that it is one of the most potent ways to bring positive change in the world. Formally recognising her through the Torchbearer Award, would inspire each and everyone in the cohort also to follow her lead and embody the same values as much as possible.”
In her acceptance speech, Aadya expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the people who have been part of her YIF journey. She acknowledged the impactful role of professors, who have imparted knowledge and challenged her to reimagine the world through interdisciplinary perspectives. Aadya extended her gratitude to the YIF Programme Team, who tirelessly ensured a unique educational experience, and the entire Ashoka community for providing a platform for quality education. She recognised the invaluable support of the YIF support staff and expressed her appreciation to her family for their trust and belief in her decision-making.
However, Aadya’s deepest gratitude was reserved for her peers—the 98 other Fellows who have created an environment of growth and authenticity. She acknowledged their shared perspectives, which challenge societal norms and dare to address the most difficult problems. Aadya emphasized the collective courage of the YIF Class of 2023, a group unafraid of uncertainty and willing to ask difficult questions that propel positive change. With unwavering support for one another, both in success and failure, Aadya believes that the Class of 2023 will continue to make a difference wherever they go.
She says, “I believe that we are the people who are not scared of choosing the most difficult problems to work with, we are the people who want to challenge ourselves – amidst uncertainty and never be afraid of it, which is why we are sitting in this room today. I believe that we are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and will give one another unconditional support not only in our successes but more importantly, in our failures. I want to end by saying that no matter where we go, we will continue to ask questions, questions that nobody asks and questions that are the most difficult to bring up in a room full of people. Thank you for seeing each other in ways we had not imagined before.”
Aadya Vatsa’s recognition as the Torchbearer of the Young India Fellowship Class of 2023 is a testament to her exceptional qualities, leadership, and commitment to the YIF community. Her journey embodies the ideals of the programme, fostering a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment. Aadya’s heartfelt acceptance speech serves as a reminder of the transformative power of the Young India Fellowship, where academic excellence, personal growth, and collective vision intertwine.