February 2, 2009 11:52:23 pm
US-based Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF) received 400 scholarship applications from needy students of Punjab and other North Indian states for 2009-2010 academic year.
The foundation would approve over 300 applications,and this would be the highest number of yearly scholarships in the history of the 10-year-old organisation. The scheme has been gaining wide attention among the students from poor families.
This year,four different centres were set up for students to take the qualifying exam for the scholarship. Besides this test,students must fulfill the criteria of a consistent bright academic record,proof of admission to a recognised institution and financial need.
Over 100 students showed up at each interview centre in Chandigarh,Ludhiana,Amritsar and Faridkot. The programme is facilitated by Delhi-based Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council on behalf of the SHDF. The foundation has awarded over 800 scholarships since its inception.
SHDF Secretary General Gajinder Singh Ahuja,said We want to grant close to 300 scholarships this year,which means we need to redouble our fund-raising efforts. More than 60 per cent of the students are from rural areas with incomes of less than a dollar per day per person.
Dr Rajwant Singh,founding member of SHDF,said: It was quite inspirational to see that at least four students in the group wanted to go to IIT-Delhi and many others wanted to become doctors. We must extend our whole-hearted support to these young people with big dreams.
Amarjit Singh Sodhi,chairman of SHDF,said,While reviewing and approving scholarship applications,we make sure that each candidate has clearly demonstrated his need for the same.
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