The 'Swades' effect

New Delhi: A group of NRIs have come forward to aid and advise poor and meritorious students of West Bengal to pursue their career, but their growing number have forced them to look for more sponsors. 

Apart from assistance from the state government, these students depend on the blessings of such sponsors, mostly from abroad, to make their dreams fulfilled, said Chandan Kumar Ghosh, a teacher engaged in grooming such talents. 

Ghosh, who is working with several teachers and others to help these needy talents fulfil their dreams in districts like Bankura, Birbhum, Burdwan, East Midnapore and West Midnapore, said “Such students need more sponsors to meet the growing demand.” 

“These students come from very poor family with a family income of Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per month. But they have high hopes to make their lives better. In many cases they are the first ones in their families to become high school goers or college graduates,” he said. 

Many Bengali NRIs living in the USA or Canada have still left a part of their hearts in the state and help these meritorious students in rural Bengal for their education. 

Susobhan Ghosh is one such NRI. Now settled in Houston, USA, he spent his childhood at Kharagpur and left the country in 1969 after becoming a civil engineer. 

He initiated an effort to help needy and meritorious students from West Bengal in 2008. 

With the help of his large group of Bengali friends scattered all over the USA and Canada, the NRI had managed to collect funds to extend support to 60 to 65 students annually for the last seven years. 

Susobhan Ghosh believes in paying back to the society which had helped him to be the one he is now. “I consider myself to be very fortunate and also realise that only a few fortunate ones can afford to help others.” 

“With this in mind, I approached my friends soliciting their help and luckily I found many like-minded individuals who came forward to help the students,” he said. 

The initial plan was to help only higher secondary and college going students until they get their first degree, but some of them were very eager to pursue their Masters degree. “We cannot deny them that opportunity,” he said adding several have completed or would complete Masters degree. 

But to continue with the process, more funds are required and that is why Ghosh and his friends are looking for more sponsors.


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