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Sarojini Damodaran Foundation awards scholarships to 164 students in Kerala
The Sarojini Damodaran Foundation (SDF) announced awarding scholarships to 164 academically meritorious students in Kerala. Established by Kumari Shibulal and Infosys co-founder, S.D. Shibulal, the Sarojini Damodaran Foundation (SDF) was launched in the year 1999 to extend educational support to economically backward students.

Every year, SDF holds an intensive selection process that determines the scholarship awardees. The top students are selected for the scholarship based on SSLC marks, financial status, interview performance, screening test marks and extracurricular achievements. Students are given up to seven-year scholarships based on merit to encourage them to complete education post 10th standard till post-graduation.

For the year 2014, the Foundation received 717 applications. 590 students qualified for the written test and 263 students qualified for the personal interview. After personal interviews with each of the qualifying candidates, Kumari Shibulal personally picked 164 students for the scholarship. This was done with assistance from the trustees and volunteers.

For the current academic year, SDF is funding the education of 617 students. The students selected are from Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kollam, Idukki, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad, Kannur & Kasaragod. An event to award the scholarships to the 164 deserving students has been organized in Alappuzha on August 2, 2014 and Kannur on August 3, 2014.

"This year, SDF have taken 64 extra children than the usual quota of 100 children. It met many deserving candidates and felt that all of them deserve a fair chance," says Shibulal. Every year, candidates from different walks of life apply for the SDF scholarship. Children of coir factory workers, daily wage labourers, auto rickshaw drivers and tailors have gone on to become doctors at Oxford and IIT toppers.

"It is truly heartening to witness the success a child will achieve when given timely support. These students have gone on to become change-makers within their families and communities and inspire us each and every day," she adds.

"Inspired by my husband Shibu's parents and mine, the Sarojini Damodaran Foundation started off as an educational endeavour and gradually expanded its borders to include women empowerment, arts and culture, healthcare, nutrition, pension schemes and organic farming. SDF's goal is to create healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and families," she says.

Since its inception in 1999, SDF has educated 1056 students out of which 181 have passed out with degrees, 246 students have completed engineering, 45 medicine, 55 nursing and 47 polytechnic. Remaining students are continuing their education. SDF has supported 3306 student years till date.

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