Following his family’s tradition of giving back, Arhan Chhabra ’22 found his own way of helping others in need during the pandemic.
While in quarantine in Hong Kong earlier this year, he extended a project he began last year that provides digital tablets to students in villages in India (appvidya.com) and created Project CoVidya, a platform offering free tutoring to students worldwide.
The pandemic has taken a toll on education systems, for some more than others. CoVidya (named after "Covid" as in the Covid19 Virus and "Vidya" which means knowledge in Sanskrit) is geared toward students whose education has been impacted by the virus.
“Students who need help can simply apply and get matched to a compatible tutor for a free and personalized class. CoVidya is open to anyone who wants to apply as well as to anyone who wants to apply to teach,” says Arhan.
“This project is for the many students who are deeply impacted by challenges that hinder learning during this time and the many students who are deeply interested in spending some of their time in a productive way through helping others,” he adds.
Since it was launched, the project has grown significantly and now has more than 400 tutors and students. There are 50 countries represented from all over the world and from every continent except Antarctica.
“I gauge the project’s success based on how many students there are, how diverse the project is, and the feedback I am getting from both students and teachers, which is overwhelmingly positive,” he says.
He has been offered partnership opportunities from other projects and companies and he is recruiting an international team to work on CoVidya operations.
As part of the partnership CoVidya has with the Hong Kong government ethnic minorities department, he is also teaching free in-person classes.
As a member of the Hong Kong Academy of Gifted Education and a finalist for the Global Talent Mentoring program, Arhan has been invited to speak about his projects. His initiatives were featured in an article in the South China Morning Post and in an article published in 20 newspapers in six U.S. states.
Before coming to Hotchkiss, Chhabra attended the Harrow International School Hong Kong, and for the last three summers, he has taken college-level courses, including an advanced physics program at Johns Hopkins University as part of its Center for Talented Youth program, where he was selected based on an international talent search and his math scores. In 2018, he attended a coding and robotics program at Duke University as part of the school’s Talent Identification Program. And in 2019, he was accepted to a math program at Northwestern University as part of its Center for Talent Development program. This summer, he is virtually attending LaunchX, an entrepreneurial program where he will be launching his own start-up company.
At Hotchkiss, Chhabra is an editor and writer at The Record, plays tennis, and is a member of the Speech and Debate team. While away from campus, he continues pursuing his passion in education technology.
“I'm using everything I know to help others,” he says.