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Dr. Kamlesh Dang Academic Scholarship

Press Release

New Scholarship for Visually Impaired Students at Miranda House College, Delhi, in Honor of Dr. Kamlesh Dang of Lexington, MA

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Monday, December 19th, was a very special day at Miranda House College in Delhi, as five visually impaired students of Miranda House became proud recipients of the "Dr. Kamlesh Dang Academic Scholarship" to support their educational aspirations. 

The scholarship was instituted through a financial contribution from the Dang Family, and made possible through a joint collaboration between Vision-Aid and Help The Blind Foundation.

These outstanding young girls are all enrolled in the first year of their studies, and come from different states in India. 

The awards ceremony at Miranda House College was attended by her daughter, Rachna Dang Sharma, son-in-law Anupendra Sharma, and grand-daughter, Ria Dang Sharma who flew in from Boston, along with senior team members from Vision-Aid, HTBF, and Miranda House. Dr. Kamlesh Dang and Mr. Puran Dang, along with their other daughter, Reena Dang Pichamuthu, and son-in-law, Joseph Lalit Pichamuthu other members of the Dang family, joined the event via Zoom, along with several others from Vision-Aid and HTBF leadership teams.

The students spoke of their passions and interests - teaching, studying science, playing cricket and soccer (football), and singing. Ria, her granddaughter talked of the gifts she received from her grandmother.

About Dr. Kamlesh and Puran Dang

Dr. Kamlesh Dang 

Dr. Kamlesh Dang and her family moved to New India after the Partition in 1947 during the partition of India. Kamlesh was a very good student and earned her B.Sc Honors degree from Miranda House, Delhi University in 1958. She completed her M.Sc Degree from Delhi University and joined the Indian Agricultural University (Pusa Institute) to commence her research work under Professor NC Pant. She did outstanding work, and Dr. Pant used to say, "Kamlesh is the Madam Curie of India." She earned her Ph.D. Degree based on her work at Pusa Institute. She followed her husband, Puran Dang, to the USA in 1971.

Dr. Kamlesh Dang conducted research at the renowned She spent two years in that role. McLean Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School is the #1 Psychiatry and Research hospital in the United States. Her research work was on on Effects of neurological drugs on the brain in the field of Biochemistry, contributing significantly to the field. Subsequently, Dr. Dang was appointed as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, working under a renowned Professor of Microbiology, Dr. Murray. Her exemplary performance during her fellowship led to an offer of a faculty position as an Assistant Professor at Harvard University. Prior to this, she was contemplating joining medicine and was also offered a spot as a medical student combined with a fully paid research fellowship at the University of Florida.

Despite her academic and research successes, Dr. Dang chose to focus on her a growing business she had started with her husband, Puran Dang with her as the named first founder. The business was focussed on staffing and consulting services for leading research centers and engineering companies with scientific and technical personnel, many of whom had come from India. The business was expanding at a crucial time of shortage of technical talent in the United States combined with a new law by President John F Kennedy that saw large numbers of doctors and engineers coming to the United States to work in emerging industries. Over several decades the business helped provide jobs to more than a thousand immigrants who came to America and landed in Boston.

The position also gave her the flexibility she wanted to raise her two little daughters, Reena and Rachna as a loving mother. Dr. Kamlesh Dang took on the role of Operations and Finance, and educated herself by getting an MBA at Western New England University. She brought the same deep rigor making the transition from academia to business seamless and successful, and showcasing her adaptability and skill in diverse professional arenas. She found a natural flair for all matters related to finance, accounting, law and regulations, while also finding time to dedicate to her daughters' upbringing.

Dr. Kamlesh Dang has been most passionate about helping elderly people and spent decades at the Lexington Elder Center, talking and helping senior citizens who could not help themselves. She is known for her humility, gracefulness and kindness, not to mention her very popular and delicious malpuras. She is deeply religious, has practiced yoga for years, and has passed on her lessons of yoga, cooking and helping others to her two daughters and four grandchildren. 

Puran Dang

Mr. Puran Dang has founded or held senior roles in fifteen organizations in Greater Boston. These organizations provide technical jobs for thousands of local personnel and immigrants, raise funds to eliminate hunger and illiteracy, reskill the blind, educate entrepreneurs, and promote South Asian Arts. In addition to being Chairman Emeritus of Vision-Aid USA, he has held Chairmanships at many organizations, and rewarded with several awards including the Distinguished Service Award from IIT Kharagpur, Community Catalyst by the New England Choice Awards and a Life Fellow of IIT Kharagpur. He holds a BTech Hons from IIT Kharagpur, BS Hons in Physics from Delhi University, and an MBA from Western New England University. 


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About Vision-Aid and HTBF

Vision-Aid and HTBF are non-profit organizations operating at scale to serve the visually impaired in India. Vision-Aid is a leader in the field of Vision Rehabilitation in India, operating resource centers in 31 locations across India, and offering services and innovative technology-driven devices and training programs to the visually impaired. HTBF supports visually impaired students in a network of 200+ colleges across India. Recently, Vision-Aid and HTBF collaborated to distribute 400 AI-powered Smart Vision Glasses to 400 college students from underprivileged backgrounds across India, with a matching grant from Cognizant. The scholarship program at Miranda is a pilot program in a new area of partnership, aiming to support visually impaired college students from underprivileged backgrounds with their college. expense and is the first such scholarship jointly offered by both Vision-Aid and HTBF. Based on the success of the pilot, both organizations are looking to grow and scale up the scholarship in coming months. 

Reactions from the Dang Family 

Congratulating the scholars, Mr. Puran Dang said, "Education is the birthright for every child and adult. It gives our family a spiritual feeling by helping these brave, vision-impaired young women to study for a college degree from the renowned Miranda House College. God bless them in their studies so that they lead a dignified life." 

Reena and Lalit Pichamuthu: "We feel so blessed to have had an exceptional woman like our dear Mom in our lives who is so selfless, intelligent, compassionate and always devoted to making the lives of others better. She is an inspiration to us and we are delighted that these fabulous young students are getting an opportunity to follow in her footsteps at Miranda House College." 

Rachna and Gaurav Sharma added, "It was wonderful to meet the five recipients of the scholarship and learn about their aspirations. We are very happy that they are being given a chance to fulfill those dreams and wish them the very best as they embark on this exciting journey. We hope they will hold our Mom’s traits of hard work, empathy, grace and humility with them always. It was also amazing to walk the halls of Miranda House as my Mom did many years ago as a student.” 

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