Every year, soon after declaration of the board exam results, the Foundation office is deluge of applications for financial assistance from meritorious, needy students. From amongst these are shortlisted deserving applicants for disbursement of funds at hand. In 2007, one such applicant drew special attention of the selection committee. Initial scrutiny did not reveal the need of the candidate – Rashmi who had scored highly in 12th standard since her father had recently retired as a top ranking official in a corporate organization.
Considering her as a needy candidate by any yard stick was next to impossible. When she visited the office once she was told about why she didn’t qualify to receive the scholarship. It was then that we learned that the situation was indeed grave. She would have to drop out of engineering college if she did not receive financial assistance. The information she shared with us was nothing short of shocking. Unforeseen financial crisis had forced her father to take up a low paying job. Her plea was therefore to reconsider her case. As per the Foundation’s regulations we planned a home visit. We could gauge the family’s middle class background during our visit. While talking to her mother we got an idea of her academic as well her extra-curricular achievements. We concluded the concluded the visit with an assurance to consider Rashmi’s application in a positive light. Having taken into account the overall situation and given her superior performance we recommended her case to the Foundation for Excellence founded by Indians settled in USA. Since their qualifying standards are more stringent than ours, it was a pleasant surprise to get an intimation that Rashmi had been awarded the scholarship of about Rs. One lakh. With timely financial help and dedicated efforts on her part Rashmi completed her course in computer engineering with flying colors. With her self confidence thus boosted she has gained admission in Southern California university for doing her MS. And has even started putting together funds for the same. With requisite help from Prataprao Pawar, Chairman, Sakal India Foundation Rashmi could go to USA to pursue her dream of doing MS.
In appreciation o her soaring graph of progress, the Foundation for Excellence nominated her to attend a workshop by an organization of international repute. The opportunity helped her in becoming financially independent and enriched her experience. It was a pleasure for all from our office to attend Rashmi’s wedding. When she came to our office to bid good bye before she left for USA she made a request which revealed yet one more facet of her personality. She wished to donate her scooter to the Foundation to lend it to needy students for use. Indeed the gratefulness expressed by Rashmi for the help she received by passing on whatever she could to the next in line needy candidate speaks volumes about the important role played by counselling.