Meet This Mumbai School Principal Who Raised Rs 1 Cr Through Crowdfunding To Pay Students Fees

Image Credit- Unsplash (Representational), LinkedIn/ Shirley Pillai

The Logical Indian Crew

Meet This Mumbai School Principal Who Raised Rs 1 Cr Through Crowdfunding To Pay Students' Fees

Shirley Pillai, the headmistress at Powai English High School, began the initiative to bear the expenses of her students who could not afford fees because their parents were affected by job losses and pay cuts.

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The efforts of a school principal in one of the Powai-based schools in Mumbai city of Maharashtra, have started to bear fruit for the students. Shirley Pillai, the headmistress at Powai English High School, began a crowdfunding initiative to pay the fees of her students who could not afford it because their parents were affected by job losses and pay cuts. So far, she has managed to cover over 95 per cent of the pending fees for the children.

She said that she had no idea that her campaign would be so successful as some of the donors intended to sponsor the deserving students in future as well, reported The Times of India.

Donations From Individuals, NGOs

Pillai said she was surprised to see the response of the individuals who were willingly coming forward to support; although some could contribute funds for only one or two students, that mattered a lot to them.

The principal has raised a whopping amount of Rs 1 crore with donations made primarily by individuals and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

She said, "While a fundraising musical programme early this year did not take off, our alumni, some of them across the globe, also played a pivotal role in donating generously."

Identifying Needy Students

Teachers played an essential role in identifying the needy students as most of the donors wanted to invest in academically brighter students. Pillai said several hours were consumed in explaining and convincing the donors as to why certain students needed the funding despite their weak academic report cards.

She said, "Donors mostly wanted to pay for academically bright students. As many of our girls and boys are first time learners, we did have average students who also needed the funds to continue learning."

Partial Fee Payment By Parents

Along with collecting funds for the students, the Maharashtra board school was tasked to encourage partial fee payment by parents. Pillai said that even though the parents' financial crunch was for real but the annual fees are around Rs 35,000, so parents need to pay some fees.

She said, "The parents' financial crunch was for real, but they understood the need to pay fees. We asked them to pay some amount and leave the rest to us."

Apart from the individual and NGO contribution, the school trustee, Prashant Sharma, granted a 25 per cent relaxation though the state had instructed schools for a 15 per cent fee reduction.

Pillai added that their school has not increased fees in the last three years and is planning to continue with the same fee structure for the next session, that is, 2022-2023. The school hopes that the parents will be able to pay fees when school reopen after summer vacation in mid-June.

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