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Chennai is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is home to many educational and research institutions. IIT Madras is ranked among the top centres of engineering education in India. Male and female literacy were 93.70 and 86.64 percent in census-2011. However, 19% of the population live in slums, and with migration to metro cities, the number of urban poor are increasing. The girls from urban poor families are not able to pursue their higher education.
Dr. Suresh Raja, a well-meaning and courteous Indian presently residing in the United States, reached us in 2016 with an interest in girl education in India. He promptly agreed to fund our Udayan Shalini Fellowship programme in Panchkula and Chennai when we recommended it. We were able to create the USF programme in Chennai with his help, and the first batch of 62 girls enrolled in 2017. We met Mr. Naveen Narayanan, the HR head of a global IT business in Chennai, while creating the Chapter, and he was so impressed by the programme that he happily volunteered to be the Convenor. Not only, he formed the core committee with the support of Udayan Care, but also found out staff to work on the project. 147 girls are a part of this programme at present (2020-2021) and in 2019-20, 30 fellowswere inducted. Currently, USF is supporting 122 Shalinis at the Chennai Chapter.