Pune: Resourceful Education Foundation (REF) was established in the year 2018 to provide financial assistance to the underprivileged students for their higher education in and around Pune. REF is an equal-opportunity NGO with no political, religious, cultural, racial, caste, or ethnic biases.
With the lockdown imposed and the economic downturn, it is extremely difficult for the poor to sustain. Many of them are out of business or have lost their jobs, and they have no social safety net. The students come from a family with only one source of income having 3-5 members in the family. Their parents are housemaids, rickshaw & taxi drivers, daily-wage earners, shopkeepers, waiters, cooks, carpenters, and more. And though having potential and intellect with such negligible income it is difficult for the students to pay their fees.
The biggest challenge for the NGO is the benevolent donors and the corporates are dealing with their own financial problems or they contribute to the health cause which seems like the need-of-an-hour. At the same time, the surge in the number of applicants for the fee support due to the pandemic is drastic.
As a nation, we are not only going through one pandemic; it is perhaps affecting each sector with the same intensity. We now have more problems than ever. If these students get dropped out of college there is a tiny possibility of them joining back later.
REF, breaking its own record of last year and managed to help around 400 students with the financial aid of Rs. 34,80,788. REF has secured underprivileged students with admissions for courses like Hotel Management, Engineering, Biotechnology, Electronics and Telecommunication, BSC, Biotechnology, etc. from 32 reputed Colleges in Pune.
“Education is very necessary for each and everyone in order to improve knowledge, way of living as well as social and economic status throughout life. Marginalized students aspiring to continue studying on completion of 12th Std. stagnated due to the financial crisis especially during the pandemic. REF rescued these brilliant underprivileged students from the clutches of poverty and uncertainty. Today higher education is expensive and only the privileged class of society seeks admission into good institutes. REF has swung into action and extended help to around 400 underprivileged students and we will continue to do so by helping more and more needy students” said Mr. A. P. Singh, the Director of the NGO.
“REF also helped students with devices such as laptops, PCs, Phones so that they can continue online classes without any hurdle.” He added.
“I always wanted to study further but for one reason or another, I could not continue it. My mother was burnt in an accident when I was a kid and my father was paralyzed. The responsibility of the house was on my shoulders. Due to the pandemic, I lost my job and I did not have any funds to support my education. Fortunately, I came in contact with REF and they helped me with my fees instantly after the procedure. Now, I am continuing education only because of them. I cannot thank them enough” said Namrata Sawale who is a student of Guruvarya Sadanand Maharaj Arts and Commerce College and wishes to become a Police Constable someday
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