This year, the future graduates benefiting from the Elena Cuomo Scholarship Programme (ECSP) have all succeeded brilliantly in the Indian Higher Secondary Examination, the equivalent of the French baccalauréat.
With aggregate scores above 85%, Miss Desiya Geetha, Deepa Lakshmirpathy and Amala Gangatharan-Ponnamma qualify to remain in the scholarship programme that has already been supporting them for the last two years. After spotting secondary school female students for their outstanding academic performances, this fellowship programme helps them financially through Higher School and University, hence enabling them to follow the specialisation of their choice.
Wishing to undertake studies in the medical and engineering fields, the three young women are currently preparing for their coming academic year. The encouragement thus proposed is an unvaluable asset for Desiya, Deepa and Amala, all hailing from precarious family backgrounds in rural areas. The opportunity given is all the more remarkable in a country where 47% of girls are married before 18 years—for many of them, marriage putting an end to studies and any hope of emancipation.
The first beneficiary of this program, initiated in 2014, Miss Shabana Asmin, pursues her dream today. She is about to kickstart her third year at the prestigious Sathyabama University where she is a 3rd year undergraduate in Aeronautical Engineering.