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Resource id #3 Rajiv Gandhi scholarship awards for disabled students - Volume 2 Issue 17: Disability News and Information Service for India

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Volume 2 Issue 17 - September 01, 2004

Rajiv Gandhi scholarship awards for disabled students

DNIS News Network - To commemorate Rajiv Gandhi's 60th birth anniversary, NCPEDP presented scholarship awards to disabled students, on 20th August in the Capital.

Picture of a disabled scholar receiving his award fromSonia Gandhi

The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) handed out scholarships to 42 disabled students on the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. The ceremony was held at Congress President Sonia Gandhi's residence, 10 Janpath, and she handed out the awards herself, with words of encouragement and best wishes for a bright future.

The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) devised these scholarships to provide financial assistance to disabled students pursuing technical courses. They were provided with the help of funding from various donors, including Samsung DigitAll Hope Award 2003, Mind Tree Consulting, Paul Foundation, Jindal Foundation, R C Malhotra Foundation Trust and Systopic Laboratories.

The 42 recipients are disabled students chosen from various parts of the country, pursuing diverse careers. Each individual is as different from the other as his/her career interests, but they all face an uncertain future in the world of employment. Most expressed concern at the government's inadequate measures to assure them meaningful employment in their respective fields.

Pavan Kumar Shrivastav, studying Instrumentation and Controlling from Rai Bareilly University, said, "This programme has reduced the financial strain of education but it cannot provide a complete solution to our problems." Sharing his sentiments is Debdutta Satapathy who is studying MCA from Assam University. Although he has polio, Debdutta says the biggest impediment for students like him is the lack of adequate jobs. He wants to join the armed forces and work with the artillery, but is not even eligible.

Another student, Anil Kumar, a mechanical engineering student at the Chota Ram State College of Engineering, points out that while the government has a 3 per cent reservation for the physically challenged in the teaching profession, he has rarely seen such teachers.

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