A US-based Sikh body has provided financial assistance of nearly Rs 1 crore to needy students and educational institutions in Punjab and neighboring states.
"Need based Scholarships are granted after a rigorous screening process and our findings reveal that 60 per cent of scholarship recipients were from families with income of less than a dollar a day per person and 18 per cent from families with slightly more than a dollar a day per person income," Gajinder Singh Ahuja, secretary general of Sikh Human Development Foundation, said in a statement today.
Since the programme was established in 2001, the foundation has granted USD 210,000 to students. Under the programme, 2,373 scholarships were provided and 774 students have already graduated and have become professionals.
"It is heartwarming that some of the scholarship recipients have landed in multi-national companies or found top career jobs throughout India and overseas," its chairman Amar Jit Singh Sodhi said.
"This is perhaps the largest single grant money given by the diaspora community to needy but bright students surviving in extreme poverty and yet who dream of standing on their own feet," said Rajwant Singh, its Outreach director.
The Washington-based foundation is largely supported by donors from Washington metro area and by many successful entrepreneurs throughout the US.