Before I start writing this anecdote, I would like to reiterate something from the book “The Alchemist” written by Paulo Coelho: “When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. In my life so far, I have experienced it so many times.
I was born in a small town of coastal West Bengal in a family which could somehow manage to make ends meet. I grew up watching my parents struggling day and night, undeterred to earn a livelihood. We lived in a rented house which did not have any basic amenities like water supply or electricity. We could afford to pay a monthly rent of INR 150 and this was probably the best accommodation available with that rent. I studied under the light of a kerosene lamp since childhood. When the entire town used to bask in glory of electricity, I had no option but to watch that from the window of my dark room. At that age, I had a feeling in my heart that there was only one way to remove this darkness from my life: proper education. I hardly knew at that time that having a good intention does not make one’s path of journey smoother, rather it comes with some other challenges and obstacles.
I happened to be one of the top performers in my class and used to get the special attention of my teachers. As I studied in a government aided school, we could afford the cost of education. But the real problem emerged when I completed my 10th standard. A bulk amount of money was needed to continue my education. The cost of books and stationery cost of special coaching and study materials of entrance examinations were beyond my reach. Some of my school teachers offered me free tuitions. But that was not adequate. As my education seemed to be heading towards a shattered dream, my parents became anxious. They barely left any stone unturned to help me to continue my studies.
The principal of my school was well aware about the grim situation of my family’s financial condition. He introduced me to his friend and my facilitator Mr. Dibyendu Sarkar. My facilitator visited my house and told me about the Foundation for Excellence. Finally, I could see a ray of hope coming from the end of the dark tunnel. It was like a blessing coming from the Heaven for me. The scholarship that I received from FFE, helped to cover the cost of books, stationeries and study materials for entrance exams. As a result, I could concentrate on my studies without worrying about money and the outcome was something that I will relish throughout my life. I secured a top 10 spot in the 12th standard board exam and also secured a rank within the top 2% in the entrance exam for engineering.
I was really happy. But soon that happiness was replaced by a concern on how I would be able to pay the college fees. The estimated cost for pursuing engineering was around INR 3 Lakh. Fortunately, I had FFE standing by my side once again. My facilitator suggested that I take an education loan and FFE offered to pay the interest of the loan amount for the duration of 4 years. I completed my B. Tech with flying colors and got a job in a renowned MNC.I feel indebted to FFE for all sorts of assistance it provided me when I was in dire need of that. Had FFE not been by my side, I would never been where I am today. I feel proud to say that I am a part of FFE family and will continue to be so in future.