Ms Urvashi SAHNI

Founder and President, Study Hall Educational Foundation


Urvashi Sahni is a social entrepreneur and educationist of 29 years standing. She has founded the Study Hall Educational Foundation which runs three K-12 schools and various other educational programs in India.

Urvashi Sahni builds affordable systems to solve end-to-end educational problems. Bridging education inequality through her organization: Digital Study Hall (DSH), she leverages digital technology to create flexible teaching methods to address major challenges faced by overburdened education systems. She was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in the year 2010 for her work with Digital Study Hall.

Beginning with content creation, Urvashi has mobilized a range of educationalists within communities to demonstrate their innovations in audience specific videos for typically underserved rural and slum schools. The key to DSH’s success is its principle of ‘mediation-based pedagogy’ where a teacher helps students engage with the video. While the previous means of dissemination relied on distributing DVD’s and TV’s to teachers, DSH is now capitalizing on the widespread mobile and internet network, using mobile phones and tablets as a medium to distribute their content. DSH not only maintains regular communication with partner schools but engages them in various educational activities using a mobile phone based Voice Forum.

Currently, Urvashi is using DSH technology as the framework for her new initiative of girl empowerment. Currently, the program operates in 9 districts in Uttar Pradesh, covering 100 girls’ residential schools, and has reached out to around 10,000 adolescent girls from underserved areas.

Dr. Sahni is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution and a member of Hillary Clinton’s CHARGE commitment to ensure that more girls complete secondary education around the world. She is a member of the national resource group of Mahila Samakhya, a national agency for women’s empowerment run by MHRD, Government of India.

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