Child prodigies make Pune proud by winning the Born To Shine scholarship!


Pune, 18 March 2023: The country took notice of Maharashtra’s prodigious talents, Niral Mahesh Wadekar (10) from Sangamner (Ahmednagar), Ashanya Sharma (10), Astha Prasad (13), and Swarangi Sandeep Khanolkar (14), from Sawantwadi, (Sindhudurg) among others, when they won the Born To Shine scholarship event. Owing to their amazing talent and outstanding perseverance, they were awarded the scholarship worth Rs. 4 lakh and also a place in the esteemed mentorship programme, curated by the Born To Shine mentors.

The Born To Shine programme was an initiative of ZEEL (Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited) in association with GiveIndia, to award India’s top 30 girl child prodigies.

With a headstrong dream of spreading the dance form of Yakshagana across the nation, Ashanya Sharma has been relentless in her pursuit of excellence since the tender age of 4. She is a student from Pune. Constant audience adulation has been a real motivation for the prodigy, who wishes to be a professional teacher of the Yakshagana dance form.

Astha Prasad has been an inspiration to her schoolmates because of how well she performs in academics and dance. An ardent practitioner of the Yakshagana dance form, she first took to dancing at the tender age of 4. Something that stands out is the beautiful combination of unique costume and accessories that come with this dance form. She wishes to make Yakshagana famous across India.

The winning prodigies competed against more than 5,000 girls across the country for the coveted position. For artists, their art is manifested not just in the form of their talent but also in their discipline, conviction, and perseverance. For the girls, their talent was accompanied by relentless hard work and the will to never give up.

In most cases, the prodigies’ talents were discovered early by their parents and nurtured promptly by their mentors and school teachers. Juggling their school curriculums with their strict rehearsal routines, they have been enthralling audiences across the country.

On the initiative Sumit Tayal, COO, Give says, “Our goal is to help talented kids pursue their talent, become role models and change-makers for their society. With this scholarship, we aim to provide all the enablers for these kids to get mentored and encouraged to go the extra mile.”

As put forth by Mr. Umesh Kr Bansal, Sr. Executive Vice President, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, “It is a matter of great privilege that ZEEL, in association with GiveIndia, could do its bit to bring a small change in the lives of such beautifully talented girl children. Every child who has been a part of Born To Shine’s journey is the epitome of sheer grit and determination. Moving on from here, I am sure that the scholarship and the mentorship programme will help the prodigies be their best selves and work toward their goals.”