A group of kind hearted non-resident Indians have come together to create the ‘Eduvision UAE’ programme to help needy and meritorious students back home, who are deprived of opportunities to pursue higher education due to lack of financial help.
Speaking to Emirates 24|7, K T Jaleel, member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, said he is saddened by the growing number of suicides and attempted suicides by meritorious and economically backward students who fail to fulfill their higher education dreams due to lack of financial support.
He was reacting to the recent suicide by a young nursing student after a bank refused a higher education loan to her. Shruthi Srikanth, a BSc (Nursing) student at a college in Andhra Pradesh state had completed her first year with 80 per cent marks, but had to discontinue studies in December 2011 after she was denied an education loan by HDFC Bank. Shruthi consumed poison on April 17, 2012 in Kottayam, Kerala and died.
Another girl student jumped from an engineering college building after a bank denied her an education loan.
“I am not surprised by these girl students taking their own lives because banks refused to give them an educational loan. The government of India withdrew financial support to meritorious students and advised them to complete their studies using bank loans. Thousands of students from low-income families are joining engineering and medical colleges with bank loans and the first five to six years of their career will be devoted to repaying the loan and interest.
Youngsters come under tremendous pressure whn repayment of such loans are delayed. It is high time well-to-do members of society come forward to help such students pursue higher education,” Jaleel said.
Jaleel, a former leader of the Muslim Youth League, was in Dubai to inaugurate the Eduvision programme.
P.A. Liayquat Ali, general secretary of Eduvision Kerala’s UAE chapter, said: “We are trying to adopt financially distressed students and about 20 Indian businessmen have come forward to help. We expect more Indian businessmen to come forward and sponsor such students.”
In the first year, 15 students will be selected for the Eduvision scheme based on recommendation from school or college authorities, their parents’ economic conditions and the student’s academic record. More students will be added to the support network of Eduvision Kerala’s UAE chapter in the coming years, he added.
Social workers here are urging the group to include distressed students of Indian schools in the Gulf in their support network.
Many Indian families in the UAE are currently in financial distress resulting in delays in payment of school tuition fees and other educational expenses.
The Indian Community Welfare Fund has created a special fund to help such students in distress following the suicide of a four-member Indian family in Ras Al Khaimah.
Kerala’s Non-Resident Affairs Minister K C Joseph recently honoured NRIs running such charity programmes.