Barely 30 minutes before the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) closed their admissions last week, Bukiya Jeevanlal approached IIT-Bombay saying that he had been allotted a seat, but had no money to pay his tuition fees.
Within the next 15 minutes, he was granted a loan of Rs20,000, without a guarantee. His dream of getting into IIT was fulfilled by the Alumni Scholarship Foundation.
The foundation, which gives loans to students who can’t get bank loans as they cannot offer a collateral, has over the past four years helped around 500 IITians through its loan schemes.
Interestingly, the foundation has not had a single defaulter. Not only have students returned the money, some have even pledged to help other students. “While we don’t take any guarantees, students are made to realise the moral obligation of returning the money as it will help fund the next batch of needy students,” said Praween Napate, managing trustee. “About 80% of the students were denied loans from banks despite the rule that national banks have to grant education loans to IITians without collateral.”
Bhanu Pratap Singh, an MTech from IIT-B, is one of the beneficiaries of a loan by the foundation. Raised by a single-mother, Singh made it to IIT from Bangra, a village in UP. He was refused an education loan of Rs80,000 as his village land was not adequate security. “The loan helped me get a good job. I have seen difficulties and I want to give back to the institute that gave me so much,” said Singh.