About Dr Ambedkar
Friends for Education International (FFEI) is a registered nonprofit in US with 501(c)(3) status started in 2003 as “Ambedkar Scholarships.”
India is home for 300 million Dalits (also called untouchables) who were considered impure and are subjected to various forms of discrimination from cradle to grave for centuries in their own country.
Though untouchability was constitutionally abolished under the stewardship of Dr B R Ambedkar (who himself was an untouchable) as chairman of modern Indian constitution, its presence is felt every day in every part of India and in every walk of life, both in rural and urban areas, going by the media reports.
According to Human Rights Watch report of 2003: every day 2 Dalits are killed, 3 Dalit women are raped, and 2 Dalit houses are torched every hour 2 Dalits are assaulted 90% of them are poor 95% of the illiterates in India are Dalits.
Whereas poverty prevails all across India among all sections of Indian society, Dalits are not just poor but victims of social, religious, educational discrimination and are denied access to all faculties that improves the standard of living. Instead, they were forced to perform inhuman professions like removing night soil (scavenging), disposing of the dead etc, reducing them to animal existence.
Dr Ambedkar awakened these people advocating the importance of education and encouraged them to get education. But, due to various reasons very few follow his advice, not due to lack of interest to improve their lives, but due to lack of knowledge, resources, encouragement, role models, and incentives. It not surprising that many don’t get even a congratulatory word for their achievements.
In such a scenario, FFEI is started to encourage bright students from these communities for their hard work to score high grades in 10th despite of all handicaps. They need a pat-on-the-back that others could take it granted for any small success.
In its inception in 2003, Ambedkar Scholarships started in Andhra Pradesh with just 2 scholarships of Rs.5,000 each. Subsequently, its operations are expanded to other parts of India while taking up several initiatives to help marginalized people. Now, in addition to scholarships in Andhra Pradesh, it helps organizations working for the among the children from scavenging communities in Uttar Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Orissa, and Maharashtra. It also runs several other projects such as Ambedkar Awards, Ambedkar Libraries, Ambedkar Microloans, Helping Hands (to help individuals), Healing Hands (to help caste atrocity victims), Dalit History Project, Skill coaching etc.
Since its inception, FFEI has been publishing all details of its activities on its website www.friendsforeducation.org or www.friends4education.org for transparency. One can see who the donors and beneficiaries are and how the money is spent. It also encourages its donors to have one-to-one relationship with beneficiaries and to act as mentors
FFEI’s depends entirely on a few committed donors from all over the globe, from all walks of life, and from all castes, races, and religions for its activities. It doesn’t have any support form big funding organizations. As its activities are increasing year after year, we need more support. Please come forward, nothing is small for us.
In addition to financial resources, we need human resources to monitor our projects and to mentor our scholars. If you can’t help financially, you can help us in many different ways. If you are an educated person, you can be our mentor. If you are interested in travelling, you can be our monitor. If you are rich, you can be our donor. If you are an influenced person, you can be our resource person. If you have a room to spare, you can be a host to our students. Opportunities are many.
Let us do something good before we depart from this world as nothing can be taken back. The good we leave here will be with us even after gone.
We need volunteers not just to change lives, but to revolutionize minds for better. Come and join us.
Please write to the following if you are interested to help this small but effective project in any way imaginable.
Benjamin P Kaila, US:
PVV Rao, Mumbai:
Raja Rao B,
Andhra Pradesh: firstname.lastname@example.org