A crowd of proud parents and children clapped and cheered as several young women were felicitated as they were being given scholarships by the Lila Poonawalla Foundation (LPF). The ceremony took place on Wednesday at the Anjuman-I-Islam Complex. The 115 girls or Lila Seniors, as they are called, got scholarships to pursue their undergraduate studies in different fields like arts, commerce and science.
Poonawalla, who was present at the event, spoke about the importance of education, especially for women. “Together, our Lila Juniors and Seniors make up to 1150 girls. In six years, we have reached this number and I feel very proud that we have been able to impact so many lives. If we don’t educate the girls then how will they move forward? In today’s time, if you don’t study then it can be very problematic as the world is very competitive. Let your girls go for their classes and don’t give any excuses. Let them study and stand on their two feet now. Marriage and kids will all happen later but their education comes first,” said Poonawalla as she also mentioned about the economic contribution women can make if given the chance.
Also present at the event was Gauri Shikarpur, President of the Rotary Club of Pune, who was the chief guest. She struck an emotional chord with the audience members as she spoke about the role of education in women empowerment. “I admire Lila for the work she’s done but I admire her husband, Firoz, more. I say this because he is a role model for several husbands. He has encouraged feminine leadership,” explained Shikarpur.
The ceremony was attended by several people associated with the Lila Poonawalla Foundation like the trustees, committee members, staff members, school presidents, principals and teachers of all the 19 schools that the foundation supports.
Dr Deepak Shikarpur, renowned IT engineer, was also present at the event and spoke about some equations that will lead India to become a superpower. “E=F, the ‘E’ stands for education and the ‘F’ stands for freedom. Education indeed results in freedom. My next equation is, IT + IT = IT. The first ‘IT’ stands for Indian talent, while the second is short for innovation and technology. These two added together make India’s tomorrow.”
The foundation will continue to support the students during their placements as well. If the students wish to pursue their postgraduation studies, then they can re-apply for the postgraduation scholarship.
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