Tarun Cherukuri from the city has been selected for Harvard Kennedy School’s Emerging Global Leader Award 2015. Tarun was informed of his selection through an e-mail from Liz Nunez, Senior Director of Alumni Relations, Alumni Relations and Resource Development, Harvard Kennedy School.
The award, formerly known as the ‘Rising Star Award’, recognises an alumnus who has stood out as a leader or catalyst for change or as a person making a meaningful difference to individuals, organisations, or governments. The award will be presented on May 16 as part of Reunion Weekend in the US.
“Tarun was here when the news came. He was very happy. He likes to stay away from publicity and even asked me not to inform our relatives about the award,” says his father Cherukuri Ajay Kumar.
After completing his schooling in Vijayawada, Tarun moved to Hyderabad for Intermediate and later to BITS Pilani and IIM-Bangalore. He gave up a lucrative job at Hindustan Lever to dedicate himself to the education of under-privileged children. After spending two years as a Teach for India Fellow in Pune, Tarun was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to pursue his Masters at Harvard Kennedy School, Massachusetts.
Currently, Tarun is City Director (New Delhi) for Teach for India. He is also the co-founder of Indus Action, which seeks to mobilise public resources and empower communities to solve India’s deep-rooted problems. Indus Action’s premier project Eklavya is an initiative to ensure that all children of India, irrespective of their caste, economic status, gender or religion, receive good education. The project supports effective information dissemination and implementation of Clause 12 in the Right to Education Act - 2009.
“My son is rising to great heights, but he prefers to stay grounded. Tarun has been like that, always,” says his elated father.