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Education is the best gift of all

Education is the best gift of all

One Saturday morning in August this year, I made my way to Greater Noida for a truly unique event. It was the celebration of many underprivileged students who were beneficiaries of a one-of-a-kind scholarship to study at the Ficks BMG Institute of Paramedical and Skill Development. The scholarship had been instituted under the corporate social responsibility program of Ultragenic, a global IT company that makes software and provides services for pharma companies that manufacture drugs and vaccines in the field of Pharmacovigilance.

At the door, I was greeted by confident young men and women, on the brink of beginning their professional journey, filled with hope for the future. As the morning unfolded, I learnt about the tremendous hardships these young individuals had to overcome in order to reach where they are today. From extreme poverty and debt to social stigma borne of traditional thinking, there are plenty of roadblocks to their success. Yet, it was their single-minded determination to overcome these issues and the timely financial help given to them by Ultragenic’s tie-up with Ficks BMG Institute that enabled them to pursue their dreams.

On the occasion, I witnessed a true celebration as the young students danced, performed a play and confidently claimed the stage to share their immense happiness and gratitude for their present circumstances. I was amazed to learn that these talented students have a 95 percent placement rate after graduation from these pharma-related courses!

To understand the reason for this stupendous success, I spoke to the teams involved. “At Ultragenic, we have over two decades of experience in the fields of engineering and life sciences solutions. We are proud to partner with the top technology companies of the world in the safety system space such as Oracle Argus, Aris LifeSphere, and Veeva Vault Safety,” says Pravin Nath, founder and CEO of Ultragenic, explaining what their firm does. To this, his co-founder, Saurabh Kumar adds, “Our commitment to innovation, expertise, and partnerships makes us an ideal partner for pharma companies seeking to achieve their business objectives while delivering the best possible outcomes for patients.” G.S.Paintal of Ficks BMG shares, “Ours is a company engaged in paramedical training since 2017. We provide NSDC certification courses and bachelor vocational courses through our accredited training partners to swiftly skill twelfth pass students and help them secure respectable employment in hospitals, clinics, ambulances, schools, corporates and other areas where paramedical skills are in demand, and thereby contributing to their job readiness and India’s workforce development.”
Speaking about this worthy CSR initiative, Upjive Singh Oberoi of Ficks BMG explains, “We were introduced to Ultragenic through another regular sponsor of ours who also participated in this event – Books For All (BFA). They have been sponsoring students at Ficks BMG for the past few years and through them we learnt about the intention of Ultragenic to carry out CSR activities for rural development by encouraging vocational training, literacy, healthcare and sports in villages of Gautam Budh Nagar. A proposal was floated to Ultragenic by BFA to sponsor the paramedical training of 30 students of Ficks BMG Paramedical Training Institute, Pari Chowk. Further, BFA also proposed that Ultragenic should sponsor the cost of 50 wall hung libraries to be supplied free of cost to schools that could not afford to set up full fledged lending libraries or provide books for them.

The proposal was readily accepted by Ultragenic, and the positive results are now visible for everyone to see.” Pravin Bhasin, founder of Noida-based BFA explains their role, “We are an NGO that started with one library in 2010 and have grown organically to include five impact missions.” Rajendra Gupta, Board Member of BFA, lists these out as the setting up of well-equipped libraries in primary and middle schools across Noida; the sponsoring and mentoring of bright students from class V onwards in CBSC English medium schools till they graduate from Class XII; sponsoring and mentoring deserving students from the lower strata of society for vocational training in order to make them ready for jobs and help to find respectable employment for them; ‘Wall Hung Libraries’ (WHL), which are free of cost and mobile dispatchable libraries that require no space or infrastructure except a wall on which they can be hung; and Project Sankalp which promotes adult literacy by providing basic education to analphabetic women of villages in Noida, many of whom can now write their names, read rudimentary road signs or open bank accounts on their own. 21 students out of the proposed 30 have already been selected for this year’s CSR program in various paramedical courses run by Ficks BMG through a rigorous process of counselling that involved both students and their parents or guardians. It has been noted that the beneficiaries of these programs do exceedingly well upon completing the course. In many cases, they double the family income, and a positive change can be seen in their personalities, with increased exposure in the realms of education, healthcare, general awareness, sports, and culture.

As I walked away from the event with an uplifted mood, the parting message from the teams was certainly a positive one: “We envision a society where every underprivileged person has the opportunity to thrive, irrespective of their circumstances.” One hopes they collectively achieve this dream very soon.

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog

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