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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. In census-2011, male and female literacy rates were 93.70 and 86.64 percent, respectively.However, 19% of the population live in slums, and with migration to metro cities, the number of urban poor is increasing. Girls from low-income urban families are unable to pursue 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 programmes in Panchkula and Chennai when we recommended it. With his help, we were able to create the USF programme in Chennai, 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 did he form the core committee with the support of Udayan Care, but he also found staff to work on the project. 147 girls are a part of this programme at present (2020-2021), and in 2019–20, 30 fellows were inducted. Currently, USF is supporting 122 Shalinis at the Chennai Chapter.