19th June, 2014, New Delhi: A whopping 39 out of 91 students from economically marginalised backgrounds, sponsored by GAIL’s flagship education programme Utkarsh, make it to the most coveted and prestigious engineering institutions of the country –the IITs. In what is considered to be one of the toughest entrance examination in the world; it is a wonder this year 91 out of 100 qualified in IIT Mains and 39 out of 91 cleared the IIT Advance round, all supported by GAIL (India) Ltd as part of its CSR intervention – Utkarsh, in Kanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. These students come from rural backgrounds whose parents are small/tiny farmers or are daily wage earners and have done their schooling from government schools.
As part of the intervention, every year 100 meritorious students from economically underprivileged background from U P & M P are screened through a rigorous process of written test and interviews. Once the students are finalised, these students are provided a free residential coaching and mentoring scholarship programme for 11 months. The part scholarship is continued to students who make it to the IITs for the entire duration of 4 years.
Vivek from Varanasi says, “I come from a small village near Varanasi which is far away from the city. My father is a small farmer and his income did not permit me to afford private coaching. One day my fortune took a turn as I came to know about GAIL Utkarsh SUPER 100 through my favorite teacher. I sat for the test and cleared the interview. Thanks to Abhyanand Sir for his able guidance and mentoring, I cleared the IIT entrance exam. I am grateful to CSRL and GAIL for this unique programme. I would certainly do my best to return to society in whatever way I can.May God give this program a long life, so that less fortunate students like me also get a chance to transform their life forever!”
The stories narrated by the students indeed touch the heart. As part of its CSR efforts GAIL has spent close to Rs. 91 crores in the last fiscal. Utkarsh is a unique flagship programme of GAIL in the education thrust area.