Educational Assistance Program (EAP)

Objective of the Program

  • To provide tuition, school supplies and living expenses to college-bound Kashmiri Pandit children from refugee camps in India.

History

This program was initiated at the Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) National Camp in 1994, at that time a suggestion was made that the best way to help our devastated community back in India was to help needy students of our community in their pursuit for higher education, so that they could get a gainful employment. At that very moment many community members pledged their support for this program and Dr. Tej Nath Kaul of Buffalo, NY, was entrusted to run the program. Dr. Hira Lal Gurtoo and Dr. Bansi Lal Kaul from Buffalo, NY, volunteered to help him in this program. In January 1995, Dr. Tej Nath went to India and visited various refugee camps and discussed about this program with Camp Coordinators in Jammu and Udhampur. KOA developed a liaison with Kashmiri Pandit Sabha, Jammu, to help us in receiving applications from the needy students, and then with the distribution of funds to the selected students. The program is advertised every year in Daily Excelsior for receiving applications, which is a very widely read newspaper in our community in Jammu.

Requirements

The applicant must be a refugee from Kashmir Valley. Applicant has to provide proof of admission in a recognized educational institution. Top priority is given to the students from the refugee camps or to the students rendered orphan during the turmoil of our community.

Selection Process

On our behalf liaison in Jammu receives applications. After preliminary verification at their end, all applications are mailed to Dr. Tej Nath Kaul who with help from Dr. Hira Lal Gurtoo makes the final selection. All applications are verified based on the criteria set forth by KOA. The students are selected for financial assistance on merit cum poverty basis. Students living in the refugee camps are given preference in the selection process.

Sponsors

Community members and friends of the community are approached by the association to take part in this program by becoming sponsors. Some community members have set up foundations in the name of their loved ones and are encouraged to sponsor through their foundations. There are some employers who match funds for such non-profit charitable causes. Sponsors are requested to explore such a possibility with their employers. Every drop helps.

Cost

At present, it takes $500.00 to sponsor a student for one year to cover for inflation and significant increase in the tuition fee, boarding and lodging charges and other expanses over the years. Donors are encouraged to continue funding for the complete training period of their sponsored student.

Process/Distribution

We notify the students about their selection. Sponsors/Donors write a check to the KOA. KOA in turn issues checks in the name of the individual selected students. The checks are mailed to our liaison in Jammu. This liaison verifies all the criteria set forth by us before disbursing the checks to the selected students.

Selected students are notified about their donor family and the donor is also informed about the student so that they can get in touch with each other directly. The liaison monitors every student’s progress and encourages the students to communicate with the sponsored family from time to time.

KOA Educational Assistance Program (EAP)
KOA Educational Assistance Program (EAP)

Update and Liaison

Selected students are notified about their sponsor family and the sponsor is also informed about the student so that they can get in touch with each other directly. The program coordinator at Jammu monitors every student’s progress and is conveyed to the sponsor family from time to time.

Feedback

Every donor visiting Jammu on a personal trip are welcome to go and meet their sponsored students or their parents in the refugee camps. If they choose they can meet our liaison in Jammu to verify the working and execution of the program. The Program director Dr. Tej Nath Kaul visits Jammu in October-November every year to meet the students or their parents in the refugee camps or those living outside the camps in Jammu. All the students receiving the assistance were very appreciative of the generosity of our donors/sponsors.

Sponsor a student program has been running successfully since 1995. Following data gives you the summary of the program since its inception:

S. No. Academic Year Money Raised # Students Sponsored
1 1995-96 $19,251.00 41
2 1996-97 $ 28,917.00 + Rs. 30,000.00 108
3 1997-98 $ 33,442.00 + Rs. 88,475.00 166
4 1998-99 $ 40,452.00 + Rs. 97,250.00 213
5 1999-2000 $ 41,876.00 + Rs. 78,000.00 204
6 2000-2001 $ 54,026.00 + Rs. 30,000.00 211
7 2001-2002 $ 45,557.00 + Rs. 30,000.00 191
8 2002-2003 $ 40,527.0 + Rs. 45000.00 189
9 2003-2004 $ 40,851.00 + Can $ 1750 + Rs. 55000.00 186
10 2004-2005 $ 43,902.00 + Can $ 1500 + Rs. 55000.00 222
11 2005-2006 $ 44,203.00 + Can $ 1500 + Rs. 30,000.00 211
12 2006-2007 $ 49,301.00 + Can $ 1600.00 + Rs. 30,000.00 193
13 2007-2008 $ 55,251.00 + Rs. 50,000.00 133
14 2008-2009 $ 58,731.00 + Rs. 25000.00 214
15 2009-2010 $ 61,500 + Rs. 120000.00 228
16 2010-2011 $ 54,451.00 + Rs. 165000.00 208
17 2011-2012 $ 50,850.00 + Rs. 227500.00 168
18 2012-2013 $ 54,300.00 + Rs. 227500.00 168
19 2013-2014 $ 65,800.00 + Rs. 300,000.00 190
20 2014-2015 $ 65,250.00 + Rs. 367,000.00 190

Number of Students Graduated Over The Years

  • From 1995 to end of June 2005 – 629 students graduated through the program
  • By the end of June 2006 – 66 students graduated through the program
  • By the end of June 2007 – 83 students graduated through the program
  • By the end of June 2008 – 89 students graduated through the program
  • By the end of June 2009 – 77 students graduated through the program

It is heart-breaking to see many more desperate students asking for the financial assistance. All these years we have been able to sponsor 0nly 60 to 70% of the deserving candidates. Because of the limited resources, the assistance received by the students hardly cover 25% of their expenses depending upon where they are doing their professional training.

Needless to say, this is the best way to help our less fortunate brethren back home. It is our goal to increase the amount of the scholarship to cover the significant part of their training expenses. We would also like to increase the number of the sponsored students. That is only possible by raising significant amounts of money by approaching all the community members at large and various non-profit organizations. If you are already a sponsor, we thank you. If you are not a sponsor yet, please become one. Your community needs you.

Please make your tax deductible checks payable to KOA Educational Fund and mail to Tej N. Kaul at 35 Spicier Creek Run, Grand Island, NY. 14072.

If you need any further information regarding this program or have any questions or comments please feel free to call Tej N. Kaul at (716) 773-3416 or e-mail at tkaul@yahoo.com. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our less fortunate brethren. Thank again you for your support.

Dr. Tej N Kaul                                                                                  

KOA Program Director

Educational Assistance Program (EAP)

http://koausa.org/koa/programs/eap/

 

EAP Over the Years (1995-2015)

EAP

Application Form to Download

KOA EAP Application

Download the brochure


PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Dr. Tej N. Kaul

Dr. Tej Nath KaulDr. Tej Nath Kaul graduated from Government Medical College-Srinagar, and went on to join the Department of health J&K Govt. He completed his M.D at PGI Chandigarh and was working in Medical College Srinagar until he came to Buffalo, NY in 1978, where he completed his Pediatrics residency & fellowship. Dr. Kaul joined private practice at Summit Pediatrics, in Niagara Falls, NY. Since July 1999, he has served as President of Summit Pediatrics and Chief of Pediatrics at Mt. Saint Mary’s Hospital in Niagara Falls. Dr. Kaul is also clinical assistant professor of Pediatrics at SUNY Buffalo medical school, and has published many papers in the field of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

In his spare time, he has been actively involved in humanitarian causes in the US and India. He was one of the founders of the KOA Educational Assistance Program, and has been running it since its inception in 1995. Dr. Kaul has established a charitable trust that runs a non profit High School in Jammu since 1999. This school provides education to the children at subsidized tuition.

PROGRAM CO-DIRECTOR

Rohini Ganjoo

Rohini GanjooRohini Ganjoo was born in Calcutta and moved to the US in 2002. She completed her Doctorate from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth and is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the George Washington University. Rohini  enjoys the outdoors and lives with her husband Amit and two daughters in Northern Virginia.