I have a very modest family background. My father is a shopkeeper (sells pickles and papads). We do not own any property.
Let me mention briefly my story since I graduated from school. It was June, 2004; I had managed to score well in 10th class, enough to get me a seat in a government college for 12th (Intermediate). I got admitted in Khallikote Jr College, Berhampur (one of the best colleges in Odisha). The best part was the tuition fee which was minimal. During this time my family was not doing well financially and the news of me getting admission in a government college brought some hope into our lives, but the journey had just started. Though the admission fees were less, books had to be bought and there were other related expenses. Gradually, it was getting difficult for my family to manage the study expenses of my sister who was still in school and me.
That is when I came to know about FFE scholarships to meritorious and poor students. I at once contacted one of the facilitators in Berhampur area, Dr. Nalini Devi. She inquired about my financial position and about my academics. She was more than happy to help me apply for the scholarship. After arranging the necessary documents, I applied for the scholarship and after a few months I got intimation that I have been awarded the scholarship. It was great news for my family and me. The scholarship helped in meeting my study expenses and provided some relief to my parents. Based on my academic performance in the first year, the following year I was again awarded the scholarship. In 2006, I successfully finished my intermediate studies and scored a decent 80%.
After a year of preparation, I got admission in College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar for B.Tech in Electrical Engineering. This was great news as CET is one of the most prestigious government colleges in Odisha. The course fees was almost 1/5 (or lesser) of other private colleges, but it was still a big amount for our family. The meager income we had from the shop could no way get us through this. As a result, we started looking for an education loan. Despite the great hype about 'mortgage free education loans up to 4 Lacs available for students’, most of the banks (SBI, Andhra Bank, etc.) shut their doors on us on the grounds that we did not own any property. Even with my excellent academic background, no bank would pay heed to our request for an education loan.
Fortunately, Indian Overseas Bank, Gajapati Nagar branch agreed to give us a loan on a condition that we regularly pay the loan interest during my studies. We had no other option and agreed to their terms, after joining college; I contacted FFE office based in Bhubaneswar. There, I met Shri L.N.Das and Shri S.C.Choudhury. They were very kind and patient. I explained to them about my financial problems and they advised me have faith. They then asked me to apply for the FFEs Loan assistance scholarship program. I did the same and after few months I was delighted to hear the news that I had been awarded the scholarship. It was a very emotional moment for my family and me. The scholarship amount was sufficient to pay the loan interest and the bank continued to give the next installments of the loan.
I successfully graduated from college in June 2011 with four Jobs offers (Companies: TCS, JSPL, L&TIES and a Govt. of India based Research Organisation) and FFE has played a big role in this success. Currently, I am working Scientific officer in a Govt. of India based Research Organisation. I was awarded Homi Bhabha National Award in 2012 for excellent performance in a one year training program. Starting from my intermediate course till my graduation, FFE has provided me the much needed financial assistance and helped me focus on my career. I will always be grateful to the FFE family for this and will try to further FFE’s cause in the best of my capacity.