219 deserving girls receive Fair & Lovely scholarships
219 girls belonging to underprivileged sections of society, from across India receive scholarships from the Fair and Lovely Foundation.
The Fair & Lovely Foundation Scholarship has been helping academically brilliant girls from the lowest economic strata of the society pursue higher education for the last nine years. The foundation has supported thirteen hundred deserving students, so far with scholarships worth up to rupees one lakh. The scholarships cover the awardees’ course fees, accommodation, local travel, books and other expenses..
The scholarship winners included a construction site worker’s daughter, who’s aspiring to become an engineer, a tea vendor’s daughter who’s aspiring to become a teacher, a young girl who works as a house maid to supplement her family’s income and also happens to be in her final year of engineering, and many more such amazing young women who personify courage and resilience.
Women Achievers Grace the Occasion
The chief guest for the occasion was Padmashri Sukhdeo Thorat, Chairman, Indian Council of Social Science Research and Former Chairman of University Grants Commission. The other guests included distinguished women from various fields: mountaineer Santosh Yadav, India’s first lady firefighter Harshini Kanhekar and Jammu & Kashmir’s first woman police officer, Shahida Parveen Ganguly.
The ceremony started off with a inspiring speech by Shahida Parveen Ganguly who said, "I am overwhelmed with the stories of these young girls who have been awarded the scholarship. I identify very strongly with their struggle, and listening to them has transported me 20 years back in my life. I was similarly struggling to make ends meet and to fund my education.”
Paulo Coelho’s Message
The audience was in for a wonderful surprise as noted Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho sent a message. He shared his experience on overcoming prejudices and other difficulties. He said, “I was down and out many times in my life just because I wanted to fulfill a dream; that was to be a writer. I think if I were a woman, it would have been three times more difficult. So you’re not alone, the prejudices are there”. He encouraged all the scholars to remain enthusiastic and committed, while pursuing their dreams.
Education Opens Doors
Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Govind Rajan, Vice President, Skincare, Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “Education opens doors to all when it comes to social and economic inclusion. Yet if one had to invest singularly, educating girls would be the single best investment one can make to build a better society. We at Fair & Lovely, through our foundation are working towards this goal and focusing on providing young women the means to avail of higher education, so they can build themselves as assets to the nation”.
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