He was born in San Luis Obispo, California. His parents, Dipak and Daksha, immigrated from Mumbai, India in search of a better life. With little money and few friends, they built a new life for themselves and their son.
Their journey to America was not without great cost. They left behind a community of family, friends, and loved ones. But they understood that America was a place of opportunity, where their hard work would be rewarded. And they worked hard.
Chintan's father worked at a local fast food restaurant and Chintan's mother worked at an arts and crafts store. They both worked second jobs at a motel. As a result of their hard work and support, Chintan attended the University of California, Davis. Driven by a commitment to public service, Chintan joined Teach for America. The day after graduating from college, Chintan moved to Helena, Arkansas, where he taught fifth grade social studies.
Chintan learned through his family and his experiences as an educator the values of community and opportunity.
It is a testament to the strength of Arkansan communities that they endure in the face of material hardships and being ignored and forgotten by politicians and bureaucrats. Indeed, in many ways, adversity has become woven into the fabric of Arkansan life. But this is not a reality that Arkansans must accept. It was not a reality that Dipak and Daksha accepted when they came to America. It is not a reality that Chintan accepts now.