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The Art of Man-making: ‘We must take a leaf out of Dr Stya Paul’s life and do our bit for society’

We must lead by example if we want to make a difference in people, says this Dr Stya Paul Award winner for Human Values

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Hailing from Prayagraj (Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh, Shambhavi Mishra after completing her schooling moved to Greater Noida to pursue her higher education at Apeejay Institute of Technology – School of Architecture & Planning (AIT-SAP). Little did this fifth-year student know that she would end up with the prestigious Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values.

The reason why she chose to pursue a career in architecture is that nobody in her family is from this industry and she wanted to do something different. “I love Math and Physics and wanted to take up a programme that involved both. Architecture, fortunately, offered me an opportunity to study these subjects. I love to understand the social culture and history of a place and how they define the buildings that were constructed through time,” Shambhavi said.

While her parents were not keen for her to pursue this programme since they didn’t have any idea of what the future will hold for their daughter, after she won the Human Values award, they are extremely proud of their daughter and are supportive of whatever she wants to do professionally.

Her parents and her reaction when she won the award was one of shock. “I never expected to win this prestigious award myself. I had heard of the awards since my seniors had won the same but I never thought I would end up winning as well,” she said.

She added that she has always been interested in studies. “I have always concentrated on my studies but I love to interact with people and socialise as well. Maybe the way I managed to combine my studies and co-curricular activities helped me win,” Shambhavi said.

Even in school, this 22-year-old was taught about the importance of human values and why these must be practiced however the adverse conditions may be. “For me, human values mean to be true to oneself. If we have set a goal in life we must follow it through however small it may be. We must do this task with the best of our intentions and with no malice. We can follow this, we can change the world, one step at a time,” she said.


“Be a better person. We all know that we are about to do a wrong thing, there is an inner voice that cautions us; it is important to listen to that voice”

Shambhavi Mishra, winner of Dr Stya Paul Award for Human Values

The fact that she comes from a city that is steeped in piousness, and is rich in culture and heritage helped her better understand the true meaning of human values and imbibe them in her life. “In school, we were taught about our rich heritage. Nobody was forced to think or act in a certain way but they inculcated in us how to remain positive under the worst of situations. Probably that is why I can do so many things in my college today. We read The Gita, not from a religious perspective, but to learn and understand the teachings that Lord Krishna gave to Arjun,” Shambhavi stressed.

Her role model is her elder sister. Though she is 11 years older than Shambhavi, the fact that decided to pursue her higher education in the US was something that made Shambhavi want to follow in her footsteps. She was a topper in her school and went to do her PhD at Stony Brook University. She laid the path for the younger siblings to follow.

“When I joined AIT-SAP, I read about Dr Stya Paul and his life and how despite being a person with a disability he achieved so much and gave back to society says so much about his positive attitude towards life. We must all take a leaf out of his life and in our little way contribute towards social work,” Shambhavi said.

She opines that being kind, honest, and good to others is much easier to follow. It is wrong to assume that just because a person is kind, he/she is gullible. “Yes peer pressure is there but your actions should prove them wrong and shut them up once and for all. One has to follow what one believes in and not what others think one should do,” Shambhavi said.

To become a better human being, look inside yourself, she said. “Be a better person. We all know that we are about to do a wrong thing, there is an inner voice that cautions us; it is important to listen to that voice, it will never lead you wrong,” Shambhavi said.

At present, she is looking for a good college to pursue her master’s. Her goal is to finally work with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The company’s headquarters are in Copenhagen, Denmark. “I love the buildings Bjarke Bundgaard Ingels designs. They speak to me,” Shambhavi said in conclusion.

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.

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