Elite Foods, a leading food processing company in South India, has announced a tie-up with Vidyadhan, a Shibulal Family Philanthropic Initiative (SFPI) that promotes higher education through scholarships for underprivileged students.

Envisaged as part of the CSR activities of Elite Foods, the collaboration will stay in operation for four years.

Danesa Raghulal, Executive Director, Elite Foods and Innovations Group, said there is no better way to give back to society than through gifting higher education to meritorious but underprivileged students.

“Our alliance with Vidyadhan gives us an apt platform to create a channel that can seamlessly accommodate deserving candidates and secure their future,” Raghulal said.  

The Vidyadhan Programme

Vidyadhan addresses high dropout rates after high school by providing higher education scholarships for meritorious students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It supports those who have completed the 10th standard, enabling them to pursue education from the +2 level until they complete a degree of their choice. It provides students with financial support, academic and career guidance, soft skills training, mentoring, and access to internships and employment.

Currently, 5,000 students are enrolled under the programme from 14 States. It has so has helped 2,200 students complete their higher education and become productive citizens. 

Multiplier impact on society
Meera Rajeevan, National Programme Coordinator, Vidyadhan

Meera Rajeevan, National Programme Coordinator, Vidyadhan | Photo Credit: National Programme Coordinator, Vidyadhan

They are gainfully employed and able to support their own families to build houses, educate siblings and sponsor other students, setting off a multiplier impact on poverty eradication and transformation of lives for generations, said Meera Rajeevan, National Programme Coordinator, Vidyadhan. 

Raghulal told businessline it’s the first time that Elite has joined a student scholarship programme. As much as 65 per cent of the students drawn are from Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu with the rest from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Goa. 

They will receive scholarships for the next few years, depending on the length of the course. It is paid directly and can be used for boarding, lodging, and college fees. Elite may sponsor additional students for subsequent years based on the priorities.

Riding on SFPI transparency

“Vidyadhan has a very stringent process for identifying the beneficiaries, which gives us the confidence that the scholarship will benefit only deserving candidates. There is a high degree of transparency since SFPI does not charge any administrative fee from Elite, and the entire amount goes to the beneficiaries. The Vidyadhan portal also provides an opportunity to select and monitor student progress on an ongoing basis,” Raghulal said.

There is an opportunity for Elite employees to get involved in mentoring and training the students, which is very important in making them employable, she added.