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True payback: Father’s $5,000 loan prompts Indian American to help Rajasthan cops

An Indian American whose father took a $5,000 loan to send him to the US for higher studies has set up the fund.

jaipur Updated: Nov 07, 2017 17:27 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Rakesh Goswami
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan police,Vasundhara Raje,Pradeep Yohanne Gupta
Pradeep Yohanne Gupta (centre) and his wife Linda Haynes (right) with Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and DGP Ajit Singh Shekhawat (left) during the launch of the Dharam Pal Gupta Foundation, at the Rajasthan Police Academy in Jaipur on Sunday.(HT Photo)

An Indian American businessman has set up a fund of $8 million to fund higher education of children of Rajasthan police employees in US universities.

Pradeep Yohanne Gupta, 61, announced The Dharam Pal Gupta Foundation, named after his father, who was chief of Rajasthan Police in 1984, as a legacy to honour his father’s memory and to give back to police.

Gupta, who was in Jaipur on Sunday evening with his wife, Linda Haynes Gupta, said the decision was homage to his father. The couple is based in Houston, Texas.

Gupta studied in Jaipur and Delhi before he went to the US in 1973 to study mechanical engineering and mathematics. His parents shifted to Delhi after his father’s retirement.

“Once, after my father was no more, I was going through his documents and I found a bank passbook. He had a savings of only Rs 26,000 when he agreed to send me to a US university. I later found out that he had taken a loan of $5,000 from Nagendra Singh of Dungarpur, where he had once served as the superintendent of police. Singh was a judge in the international court of justice,” Gupta said.

Gupta said he realised if an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer couldn’t fund higher education of his son in a US university, how could constables and other staff even dream of afford it.

This, he added, gave him the idea of setting up the scholarship for undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate level studies.

“We owe a lot to the Rajasthan police. I want to give back to the police family,” added the businessman who was in the news in 2015 for buying a California property where scenes of the 1983 crime film ‘Scarface’ were shot.

The Guptas – the couple has a 25-year-old son, Sebastian Siddharth Gupta – run a private investment bank and will soon manufacture bronchial dilators and inhalers for people who have epilepsy under IQ Life Science, a non-profit company the family set up in 2009.

Children of people in Rajasthan police department, Rajasthan home guards, Rajasthan Police Service and Indian Police Service (Rajasthan cadre) will be eligible for the scholarship. Children of Rajasthan cadre IPS officers on deputation in central agencies will also be eligible for it, Gupta said.

However, he clarified, this is a merit-based scholarship and not need-based.

He said the foundation will provide all expenses for completing the chosen field of study including tuition, room and board and travel to and from India.

“The operating budget of the scholarship programme will be funded from the interest and investment income realised from this endowment. Ours is a US-based private family foundation that does not accept third-party contributions. Over time, all of the Gupta family assets in India are expected to be donated to the foundation to meet its current and future objectives,” the businessman added.

He said the selection process and other modalities of the programme are being worked out.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 11:12 IST