FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE – WINS TWO NATIONAL AWARDS
At the 9th Annual Spirit of Humanity Awards, FFE was a REGIONAL WINNER for Social Impact. This was awarded by Americares at a national event held on 17th September, 2018 in Mumbai. The Spirit of Humanity is a national platform that recognizes organizations in the social sector for their outstanding contribution to the underpriviledged community.
On Sept. 24, 2018, at the 5th CSR Impact Awards 2018, FFE was awarded the CSR Project of the Year (Special Jury Mention) 2018, at the biggest CSR-NGO Summit in India. The Award ceremony was held in Delhi and the award presented by Shri Anant Kumar Hegde, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India.
FFE was represented by Dr. Sudha Kidao, Managing Trustee- FFE India Trust and Ms. Sandhya Manoj- COO, FFE India Trust at both these award events.
Deccan Chronicle, India, News Clip Date: Oct 01, 2018, at Bengaluru
IIT-B ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFERS NEW SCHOLARSHIP TO SUPPORT NEEDY STUDENTS
The IIT-Bombay Alumni Association has started a new scholarship for students from economically weaker backgrounds who want to study at the elite institute but cannot afford its fees.
The association will run the Erach & Meheroo Mehta Memorial-FFE Scholarship in partnership with Foundation For Excellence (FFE) from a corpus of Rs 1.27 crore provided by an illustrious alumnus, Ruyintan Mehta, who is based in the US. The scheme will be administered through the Financial Aid Program (FAP), which is already run by the Alumni Association. FAP has supported 840 IIT-B students over a period of nine years by raising funds of over Rs 7.36 crore largely from alumni and the corporates.
The sum of Rs 1.27 crore will be spent over the course of four years. The first round of disbursals was undertaken recently with fees for the 2018 spring semester paid for three students.
Speaking about the initiative at a press conference on Friday, Mehta said, “We need more alumni associations and corporates to fund education of those facing financial hardships. It’s a debt we feel towards our alma mater, especially for those of us who live away from India. It’s a kind of guru dakshina.”
Mehta, who graduated from IIT-B in 1970, is also the president of IIT-B’s Heritage Foundation— a body of IIT-B alumni residing in the US. He has donated more than one million dollars to the association over two decades.
Soumyo Mukherji, dean of student affairs, said, “At IIT-B, we follow this policy of never allowing a student to discontinue studies for want of money.”
According to the association’s officials, scholarships are available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students in the institute under FAP, which covers registration, tuition and mess fees. Students are requested to donate back to the programme after they graduate. The sums received are utilised for the benefit of the next generation of students. However, it is not mandatory for students to repay the amount.
Prem Patel, 20, hailing from a village in Rajasthan, is one of the beneficiaries of the new scholarship. “It helped a lot,” said Patel, who is in third year, chemical engineering.
IIT-B gets $200,000 donation from alumnus
The scholarship will offer assistance up to ₹2 lakh per year to deserving students
Ruyintan Mehta has a simple take on giving back to society: “You can’t take it back with you. So you might as well give.”
An IIT Bombay alumnus of 1970 batch, Mr. Mehta has just donated $200,000 to his alma mater to be utilised over four years to support financially weak undergraduate students.
The scholarship will be disbursed through a new partnership of IIT Bombay Alumni Association with Foundation for Excellence (FFE) as part of the Erach & Meheroo Mehta Memorial-FFE Scholarship under the aegis of the Financial Aid Program (FAP). Named after his parents, the scholarship would offer assistance from ₹40,000 up to ₹2 lakh per year to deserving and needy students.
IIT students appear well cared for, but Mr. Mehta says it is still short of the financial help available to students in global elite institutions, for example, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, which gets $100 million per year from the American Technological Society.
IIT-B has the reputation of being a more student-friendly IIT, with its benevolent fund and the merit-cum-means scholarship. But many students need more help with other requirements, including attending academic conferences and seminars. FAP covers the entire registration fee, including tuition fee and mess bill. Students are urged to plough the money back once they are financially secure.
As he turned 69, Mr. Mehta’s motivation was simple: nostalgia for the unbeatable campus life and the desire to help out when the fees have gone up a hundred-fold. “When I was studying, my tuition fees were ₹200 per annum. All my expenses including my cinema visits were covered in less than ₹2,000. My father would marvel how inexpensive it was! I attributed it entirely to the highly subsidised education system in India.”
His eyes sparkle as he recalls that when he was a student, his mess bill would be a little higher “by ₹10 or so” because he would binge on the cosmopolitan fare laid out before him every day. “I came to IIT Bombay as a 16-year-old without any exposure to dosas and idlis and such. It was in my hostel at IIT that I got to enjoy all kinds of food and met all kinds of people from all parts of the country.”
Mr. Mehta took with him to the U.S. memories and a commitment. It was with the help of like-minded IIT alumni that the IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation — the official alumni association — was formed in the U.S. to support financially stressed students. The association, of which Mr. Mehta is the president, collects and disburses about $1.5 million to $2 million every year. Mr. Mehta is also associated with Dakshana Foundation, which trains poor students all over the country to appear for IIT-JEE and medical colleges.
Other initiatives for IIT students include WHEELS, also by IIT alumni in the US, which addresses issues related to water, health, education, energy and livelihood and sustainability.
Dean, student affairs, IIT Bombay, Dr Soumyo Mukherji, pointed out that IIT demographics had changed in the past decade-and-a-half. It was not just the economically underprivileged sections that needs being addressed; a sizeable number of students belong to socially disadvantaged sections of society and need support in dealing with an education in English and social interfacing. In this area, FFE offers voluntary mentorship to students.
IIT-Bombay alumni loosen purse strings to help students
In 2016, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry had proposed a fee hike for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across India. The fee hike decision has not only affected students, but associations which fund the education of needy IIT students are also feeling the pinch.
Despite these hardships, an alumnus from the 1970 IIT Bombay (IIT-B) batch, Ruyintan Mehta along with the Foundation for Excellence (FFE) group has donated Rs1.27 crore to the institute, to be disbursed over a period of four years to students in need, as an aid to the scholarship program.
“It’s a debt we alumnus feel towards our alma mater, especially those of us who move out of the country. This is our way of giving guru-dakshina to the institute,” said Mehta, who is also the president of IIT-B Heritage Foundation in the US. The institute has already interviewed several candidates in need of funding, and awarded a part of the scholarship to some students this academic year.
Another group, the Alumni Association of IIT-Bombay, has also has managed to raise over Rs7.5 crore to fund over 840 students in the last eight years. Beneficiaries of the programme also contribute to funds after they graduate from the institute.
Soumyo Mukherji, dean of student affairs at IIT-B said, “We have a rule that no student will miss a chance to study at IIT-B due to lack of financial support. ”
Kirat Patel, IIT-B alumnus from the 1975 batch and committee member of FAP said, “With the increasing fees and the rising number of students in need of financial aid, we are ensuring that more beneficiaries reach out to us to ensure that the funds never goes dry.” FAP is an honour-based system of sustainable peer-to-peer support. Scholarships are available to all undergraduate and post-graduate students in the institute which covers the entire registration fee of students, including the tuition fee as well as the mess bill.
Prem Patel, a third-year IIT-B student said, “FAP funded my education. It also ensured a quick repayment of the loan that my father had taken.”