Pune: City-based Vaidehi Reddy has become the first Indian student in 153 years to get a full scholarship of US dollars 74,000 equivalent to Rs 42 lakh for the course of bachelors of fine arts (BFA) at Cornell University in New York.
Reddy, who appeared for Std XII examination this year from Army Public School, Ghorpadi, is overwhelmed by her achievement at the age of 17. She said, “My cousin once said that scholarships are generally given for engineering, maths or science and technology but never for fine arts. I took it as a challenge. Now that I have accomplished it, I am on cloud nine.”
Reddy started drawing when she was three years old. At 5 years of age, she earned her first income by a canvas oil painting of Krishna which was picked up by an army colleague of her father Lt Col C Eashwar Reddy. “He insisted on buying the painting and gave me Rs 1,200,” said Reddy. Ever since, there was no stopping for Reddy and her art.
Reddy’s hobby took her across the world. One of Reddy’s artwork is exhibited in the Indian Embassy at Abu Dhabi.
“Through a known fellow in the army, my art got recognised by the ambassador of Abu Dhabi. He bought the painting and gifted two tickets for me and mother Gayatri Reddy to Abu Dhabi for a visit,” said Reddy.
She was the Asia-Pacific winner of Google Doodle and Web Rangers because of which she was invited to the Google office at San Francisco. Similarly, Reddy took part in ‘Rock seller’ art competition which took her to New York for a tour.
“It was during that tour, I came across Cornell University and was keen to know how to get admission there. A staff member informed me that the university grants scholarship for students who are exceptionally good in art and are from developing countries. This is how I grabbed the opportunity,” said Reddy.