339. Giving from The Ethel Prabhu Memorial Foundation
ETHEL PRABHU was a sister, mother, friend and teacher par excellence. She was born and raised in Mangalore spending most of her adult life in the teaching profession. Having taught at schools in Mumbai, Hong Kong, Muscat and Mangalore she was great at what she did. She was a strong supporter of attributes like Equality, Excellence and Empowerment.
The ETHEL PRABHU Foundation seeks to keep the attributes alive by:
awarding the Best Teacher Award for Teaching Excellence in collaboration with Sandesha, Mangalore (which includes a cash prize of Rs 10,000, now in the eleventh year),
offering the annual scholarship of Rs 5000/- each to four deserving Kannada medium students in two Mangalore schools – one where she studied at: the St Agnes High School (two Class 10 toppers/ these are named after her older sisters – Sr Marie Ange & Sr Amritha – who were nuns in the same congregation that runs the school and they both passed away in the last decade) and the one where she worked the longest at: the St Aloysius High School (two class 10 toppers) to Empower them to study further and
continuing the sponsorship of two underprivileged & disabled young children at Ferrando Speech and Hearing Centre in Shillong to help bring about Equality.
She lived a life striving for justice. In a short span of 51 years she made a lasting impression on many with whom her path crossed. This blog commemorates her 10th death anniversary. This day in 2001 was when my mother breathed her last. It was a life defining moment and I owe a lot of what I am today to her, to my upbringing and to those weeks immediately after her passing away on 10th August. In the last 12 years I have tried my best to support causes that were close to her heart and to streamline various initiatives I put together a foundation on her 10th death anniversary.
While the website has a gist of what the foundation aims to do I also want to outline three more initiatives being added this year taking the annual giving to Rs 1,00,000/- (a small sum, but given that this amount comes out of my annual savings earned through a fixed salary income and not from inheritances or donations, it isn’t small). This year we launch the World Youth Day WYD fund to support a Young Mangalorean to attend the WYD where the person chosen through an application process is funded upto Rs 60,000/- or 90% of the cost (whichever is lower; this is based on Rs 20,000 set aside every year as WYD is a once in 3 year event) to be able to attend the World Youth Day. The next one is in Krakow, Poland. Secondly, we launch the teaching time where I will personally devote one week of either paid or unpaid leave to spend six 8-hour days with students in five institutions, starting 2014, to interact, guide and foster young talent and there is no monetary value attached to this commitment other than a travel cost of Rs 20,000/. Lastly, we launched a knowledge fund to give away 75 books as prizes through three Twitter quizzes organised every four months called the Twizathon, which is gearing for the third edition in October and has an investment of Rs 20,000/-
A Facebook page has been created for the Foundation and you are welcome to interact there. In one dozen years we have taken the number of initiatives upto six and from a Rs 20,000 annual commitment a decade ago we have multiplied the Giving to five times. We look for meaningful initiatives to support and hope to make a small difference in the lives of as many young people in the years to come. And as we do all this we know the woman who is the inspiration behind these programmes is smiling down from somewhere.