AHMEDABAD: Financial crisis was one of the worst catastrophic outcomes of the Covid19 pandemic. Among the worst hit were families in the lower strata of the society, where survival including children’s education was at stake due to lack of financial resources.
In such trying times, 70 girls from economically challenged families from across Gujarat, will benefit from Shri Nileshbhai Patel Girl Child Scholarship, whose education for a year will now be completely supported through the initiative.
The beneficiaries were selected from some 3,212 students who had applied for the scholarship, by a selection committee of experts which include eminent journalist Prashant Dayal, Uttam Sharma, Regional Head, Times Foundation and Founder of Humankind NGO, and Prakash Rajpurohit, Karma Foundation.
The scholarship is a joint initiative between NK Proteins Limited and Karma Foundation – which was launched in fond remembrance of renowned businessman, Late Shri Nileshbhai Patel, the former Managing Director of NK Proteins Private Limited. The scholarship was launched in March 2021, to support girl students from underprivileged families earning an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh, with educational resources.
Speaking about the initiative, Priyam Patel, CEO, NK Proteins Private Limited, said, “Education is the first step to women empowerment. As Nelson Mandela put, Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world. Our beloved father and the former managing director of our company, Late Shri Nileshbhai Patel, was a strong believer in educating and empowering the girl child. Honouring his vision, this scholarship was launched to help foster financial independence achieved through higher education. The cause of girl child education was very close to him, as it resonated with his own personal struggle.”
“Shri Nileshbhai Patel himself encountered various challenges through his journey of becoming an entrepreneur and a successful businessman. The cause of providing financial support and resources for girl child education is therefore, very close to him as it embodies his own personal struggle. Education plays a pivotal role in upliftment of an individual, a family and a community and secures them, a better future. A scholarship for girl child education would certainly take his vision forward. It is much more relevant in times of the pandemic, when many families either lost an earning member or are left without a source of income,” Mr. Patel further explained.
More than 3,200 girl students showed interest for the scholarship by submitting their applications online. Students were supposed to apply by May 31, after which the forms were scrutinized by a selection committee comprising experts including an eminent journalist and expert from a not-for-profit organisation who has long been working for the cause of girl child education.
Uttam Sharma, regional head Times Foundation and founder of Humankind NGO, said, “Educating girls can save lives and build stronger families, communities and economies. It is like creating a ripple effect, which will drive a positive change in the coming generations of the country. I congratulate Karma Foundation for launching this scholarship for girl child which will fulfil so many dreams.”
Echoing a similar view, eminent journalist, Prashant Dayal also said, “Mahatma Gandhi was a proponent of women’s education for it would lead to their empowerment, moral development and establishing their equality. I believe education in women brings in financial independence and free thinking, which are foundation stones to bringing a social change. The initiative of Karma Foundation and NK Proteins to support girl child education in such times is a key step towards letting them assert their equality.”