PUNE: Volkswagen India signed a MoU with Lila Poonawalla Foundation towards the education of girls from Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. As a part of the MoU, Volkswagen India committed to donate ₨ 84 lakhs towards the education of 40 girls.
Volkswagen’s association with Lila Poonawalla Foundation dates to 2015 when the company first started supporting the institution in their initiative of enabling academically bright and financially deserving girls pursue engineering degree. The company has sponsored the education of 40 girls in the last 3 years (10 in 2015, 10 in 2016 and 20 in 2017) and has made an investment of ₨ 78 lakhs towards this cause. Over the years, the association has grown solid and Volkswagen has decided on helping and sponsoring the education of 40 new candidates this year with an additional commitment of ₨ 84 lakhs.
Lila Poonawalla Foundation has been providing scholarship to academically bright and financially deserving girls since its inception. The students are pursuing engineering degrees in various colleges in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas. The girls are mentored through different training programmes and other development activities, so that they are well equipped to meet their professional and personal aspirations.
Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Volkswagen India Private Limited commented, “The programme is in line with our commitment at Volkswagen towards the region and its people. At present, there is a need for more and more girls to be able to pursue higher education so that they grow up to be confident citizens and are independent. Enabling girls to be professionally qualified may set in motion a virtuous cycle that will help many families”.
Priti Khare, Chief Executive Officer, Lila Poonawalla Foundation said, “This scholarship is not just about providing them financial support; we make sure that the girls make the best use of this opportunity. It is a holistic approach wherein the girls are groomed, their confidence enhanced; they are trained on employability skills and are ready for a career of their choice. ”
She added, “8 of the 20 girls who are going to graduate this year have already secured jobs in reputed firms. Most of the girls come from a family with less than 1 lakh annual income, hence these jobs are not only going to make these girls financially stable, but also make their families financially empowered”.
Some of the other MoUs that the company signed earlier in this direction are with Government ITI in Pimpri Chinchwad for skill development and infrastructure improvements, with Symbiosis Skills and Open University (SSOU) for training of students enrolled in their automobile stream, with Nighoje Village Gram Panchayat to rebuild the primary school at Phadke Wasti, and iTeach Movement for the secondary school initiative in an English medium Pune Municipal Corporation Primary School.
Volkswagen India’s CSR framework is based on four pillars namely Education, Skill Development, Road Safety and Water Management.