The Fortune Fund is a non governmental organization that is doing commendable service in Telangana. High potential 7th standard students with few financial resources are selected each year to be provided with monetary and emotional support until they graduate. The Fortune Fund is sponsoring students from Matampalli, Nalgonda Dt, Laknepalli, Warangal Dt, Gudur and Patancheru from the Rangareddy district. Every year they accept five students in each of the above villages, providing financial support and mentors until they graduate from the 12th standard. The Fortune Fund provides books and uniforms for sponsored students but it has also equipped some schools with internet access, desks, computer and science labs, and a water well.
The Fortune Fund was launched in 2001 by Dayakar Veerlapati, president and CEO of S2Tech. S2Tech takes pride in supporting this non profit organization through fundraisers, mentoring, and financial contributions. S2Tech, which is a software company with offices in India and the U.S., encourages employees to contribute to the fund and matches one-to-one every rupee or dollar donated. The Fortune Fund runs on a completely transparent model. This is part of the reason for its success. The fund minimizes administrative expenses to a mere 1%, which is a very efficient model.
The student selection procedure is rigorous to ensure that only the neediest are funded. For students in the 7th – 10th standards, only tuition is reimbursed but for the students in 11th and 12th, boarding, exam fees and all other costs are included. Once the students complete the 12thstandard, secure a good EAMCET rank and join an engineering university, the support continues. The fund guarantees the students’ loans as long as they maintain good grades.
Most NGOs only provide financial support for students but the Fortune Fund pairs students with mentors too. The employees of S2Tech in Hyderabad take their mentorship responsibility seriously, with the 85 employees guiding students, encouraging them to excel, and tracking the students’ progress on a weekly basis. This program started more than a decade ago and has grown to 119 students, none whom have dropped out.
All the students visit the offices of S2Tech in Cyber Towers, Hyderabad, so that they can be inspired by how life will be if they study well.
“It acts like a motivation” says Mr. Dayakar. When asked what motivates him to do all these activities, he replies, “India has given me a lot and I am just giving back what I got.”
The non profit’s motive is to bring the families out of poverty. Right mentorship with quality education will empower a student to acquire a job, and one job to a BPL family will break the poverty cycle. Mr. Dayakar’s aim is to bring as many families as possible out of poverty. – What a wonderful motive!!.