Barinder Saluja, Chandigarh,Sept. 27 : In its eighth year Fair and Lovely Foundation Scholarship came to Chandigarh for the first time for its scholarship short listing. Candidates from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, and Uttarakhand, were interviewed here today. Today, as we stand on the threshold of the literacy revolution, Fair & Lovely is contributing its bit to the society, with its scholarship programme, specially aimed at women. On the eve of World Literacy Day, Fair & Lovely Foundation commenced the country-wide scholarship programme short listing commenced in Mumbai on the eve of World Literacy Day. Thereafter travelling to five other cities and concluded the short listing in Chandigarh. Through this scholarship initiative the Fair and Lovely Foundation strives to improve the girl literacy figures in India to empower them for a more secure future.
Mr. Govind Rajan, Vice President- Skincare, Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “Fair & Lovely Scholarship programme aims to reach out to girls who have the zeal and determination to make it big, but are hindered due to lack of financial support. The primary objective of the scholarship is to give a fair opportunity to the deserving students who aspire to make a place for themselves by seeking empowerment with education. This initiative of the foundation is only to act as a support that can make a difference to a few brilliant lives.”
The esteemed panel consisting of Kiran Jot Kaur, Member of Punjab State Commission for Women, Shiv Singh artist and sculpture, Dolly Guleria, Folk Singer and Sneh Bhargav, Farmer Director AIIMS and Member of Knowledge Commission and amongst others were moved by some of the heart wrenching stories of these ambitious girls, who are determined to make their mark. While for some it was hope against hope, as their parents who had the will to educate their child, were too poor to afford the fee. For some others it was not the fee that mattered but the cost of reaching their college or buying the required books for study that proved a daunting threat to their goals of empowerment through education.
Commenting on the initiative, Kiran Jot Kaur said, “It is a humbling experience to meet these girls, who have the grit and determination to make an indelible mark in their own way. The Fair & Lovely Foundation is giving a very unique platform for these girls, which is indeed very encouraging for these young girls who come from small towns.” Dolly Guleira added, “At the time when the education bill is being re-looked to emphasise more on higher education as a way forward to empower women. The Fair & Lovely foundation is taking the right step ahead in that area and encouraging women for a better tomorrow.”
With the first of these interviews commencing in Mumbai, Fair & Lovely Foundation has started the intensive process of short listing, with similar interviews scheduled across India in Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chandigarh. With 2010, the Fair & Lovely Scholarship enters its eight year, of reaching girls from economically underprivileged strata to live up to their dreams. Eminent personalities like Kiran Bedi, Air Marshal Padmavati Bandhopadyay, Captain Indrani Singh, singer Kavita Krishnamurthi, theatre and TV artist Juhi Babbar, author & writer Sivasankari, Advocate Pinky Anand, public prosecutor Rohini Salian, current home secretary Ms Chandra Iyengar, TV artist Rakshanda Khan, Director TISS, Dr. Parasuraman have been associated with the Fair & Lovely scholarship in the past.