Ishaan Patel

Ishaan Patel, founder of the charitable organization Planting Pencils, was honored by the Milan Cultural Organization. (I-W file photo)

Ishaan Patel, a 13-year-old eighth grader from Southington, Conn., was recently honored by the Milan Cultural Organization during a Republic Day celebration in Hartford, Conn.

Patel, the founder and chief executive of the charitable organization Planting Pencils, was honored by the organization made up of people from India living in the U.S. for his efforts to help underprivileged students in the U.S. and globally.

Incorporated Dec. 2, 2015, and currently seeking 501c3 nonprofit status, Planting Pencils has a mission to spread awareness of the problem of providing basic supplies necessary to schools globally to aid in the advancement of education.

Patel recently spoke to India-West, explaining the idea for his organization came after hearing a story from her aunt after she made a trip to Jaipur to teach English and math to kids in an impoverished area (I-W Jan. 15, 2016

Wanting to make a difference, Patel told India-West in the January report, “We collected school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, crayons and books and sent them to the school. When the children opened the package, they were so excited by a simple pencil,” he noted.

Impressed with the teen’s efforts, MCO president Suresh Sharma at the event said Patel embodies the goals of the organization, which are to let the values of the culture and heritage contribute to the strength of America, and to be productive participants in the civic and social issues of the bigger community.

More information about Planting Pencils is available at

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