Created at: Oct. 15, 2019, 3:24 a.m.
Ambedkar Scholarships (later renamed as Friends for Education International) started in 2003 with just 2 scholarships of Rs.5,000 each. The aim is to encourage financially and socially backward but intelligent Dalit (ex-untouchable) students who passed tenth standard with highest percentage of marks in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, India. They are started in the names of Kaila Neelambram and Kaila Vazramma, parents of Ambedkar Scholarships founder Benjamin Paul Kaila. He deposited appx $6,500 in a CD an Indian bank to cover 2 scholarships along with expenses associated with advertising and conducting a scholarship distribution function every year with the interest earned from the CD.
As a member of an internet Dalit group, he advertised his project there and like minded people started offering their donations. Year by year it grew and more and more projects were added. As it grows, it was expanded to other states too. To help kids in other states, suitable and committed social activists were identified and took their help to identify and distribute aid. In most cases, kids were identified and their educational expenses were paid. Such projects were implemented in several states like Tamilnadu, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka etc until there were discontinued when donations were dropped to minimum.
This project continued to implement in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states till date. Students from economically poor families and from government schools (kids from private schools and employee students are not eligible) are provided with one time scholarship of Rs.5,000 and certificate of achievement. These kids were never get appreciated from anyone as they mostly come from impoverished and less or no educated families.
FFEI activities are always transparent and list of donors, donations, disbursements, expenses, beneficiaries etc are published on FFEI’s website. Donors and beneficiaries are linked and every donor knows who his/her beneficiaries are. FFEI encouraged its donors contact beneficiaries or the associate working with them directly.