he initiated a series of events that transformed its image. The administrative and financial reforms and policy decisions led to a metamorphosis of the Sakal group. The firm belief of the management, that journalism is a means for enlightenment of the masses and for social engineering, was reflected in the group’s working.
Gradual but determined steps were taken to achieve the objectives. They were woven into the diverse activities launched in the next three decades. The thrust was on all elements, components, professions, age-groups and sectors of the reading community. Sakal India Foundation has been supported by Sakal Papers Pvt. Ltd. since 1985. Some of the objectives of the Foundation are:
- To grant scholarships and financial aid as gift or loan to students, teachers , professionals, social workers with outstanding merit, including potential for leadership, for higher studies in India and abroad irrespective of their race or religion.
- To grant scholarships and financial aid to needy and deserving individuals for study of technology in India and abroad.
- To promote and establish cooperation between India and other countries for furtherance of research and higher studies.
To help students to go abroad for higher studies, students were selected on the all over India basis and offered interest free loan scholarships. Recently, the scholarships were extended to students pursuing research leading to Ph.D. in India. The all India publicity, strict scrutiny and through screening of applications by a selection committee of trustees and experts have raised the credibility of the programme. Selection for award of a loan or a grant, Sakal India Foundation has become a high point in the academic world. The academic achievements and professional attainments of the awardees and loan repayment in the stipulated period have justified the selection of the awardees. The list of the awardees is a veritable roll of honour of distinguished personalities from different walks of life. The success of the loan scholarship programme led to the launch of another project. To induce school and college students and teachers into taking up research activity, research proposals were invited. After assessment , a financial assistance in the form of research fellowships were offered.
Interaction with Indian expatriates around the world showed that highly-qualified and professionally established Indians had a strong urge to extend financial assistance to socially and economically underprivileged but academically meritorious students. An appeal to them evoked a favorable and generous response in the form of contributions of $200 per year per student over a minimum of four years. Thus began in 1984 the career development scheme to identify needy, deserving and meritorious
students and offer them financial help to continue higher education, which otherwise was a distant possibility for them. Sakal India Foundation has become a center for providing guidance to students in selecting appropriate courses and institutions. Compilation of information on the available avenues of education is one of the activities of the foundation. Students in need of vocational guidance are advised adequately and directed to appropriate authorities.
A review of the last more than 50 years of service by Sakal India Foundation to the youth brings a sense of satisfaction and directs attention to additional needs of young students. The constraint of limited funds needs to be overcome to achieve quantitative expansion. To catering to growing needs of young boys and girls studying specialised areas, diversification of programmes is inevitable. Undertaking qualitative expansion in newer fields, model programme could be devised. The inadequacy of institutions of formal education, burdened by increasing enrollment and shackled by rigid programme of instructions, leaves room for supplementary efforts. Sakal India Foundation anticipates the role of an entrepreneur to stimulate innovative ideas and infuse creativity.
Those wishing to associate with Sakal India Foundation, may do so by making donations, which are eligible for concession in income tax under Section 80-G of the Income Tax Act: subscribe to the endowment fund by offering a lump sum with a stipulation to invest the amount and use the interest for specific project, which will also qualify for the income tax concession; contribute annually $200 or equivalent in any currency as a sponsor-parent under the Career Development Scheme of Sakal India Foundation to support one student; or donate books or instruments required for medical, engineering and technological courses, calculators, computers and other such equipment.