Terrible thing to waste a mind; and criminal to waste a bright mind
Foundation for Excellence India Trust’s (FFE) one-room basic office on Bangalore’s Indiranagar lies in complete contrast to the work that they do and the impact they create. Set up in 1995, FFE helps exceptionally talented but poor students in India become doctors, engineers, and computer scientists. And they do this by sponsoring their high education, thus ensuring that they complete the same, get their degrees, and are able to earn a more-than-decent salary. Clearly a well thought of move to pull them and their families out of the cycle of poverty.
Set up by leading venture capitalist and philanthrophist Mr. Prabhu Goel and his wife Mrs. Poonam Goel, FFE funds education because they felt it was the most valuable gift to give somebody. They also chose to emphasize on higher education because they found that there are many non-government organizations which focus on primary education, literacy, and other similar programs, but very few that cater to higher education. Higher education according to them, was also akin to teaching a man to fish rather than providing him with a fish.
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How it all began
FFE is the brainchild of Dr. Prabhu and Mrs. Poonam Goel. Dr. Prabhu Goel hails from a humble, middle-class family in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He went to IIT Kanpur for his undergraduate education; and subsequently in 1970, to Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburg, for graduate studies. Getting an opportunity to study at two of the best educational facilities in the world at that time is what spurred in him the desire to set up an organization like FEE. As his education itself had been possible thanks to friends/family who were willing to fund the same. This made him think about those who are bright and smart but didn’t have funds of their own nor well-wishers who could help them out financially.