Lila Poonawalla Foundation (LPF) was started in 1996. It is the 23rd year of the Foundation. Prominent educationists from Pune form the highly motivated team of trustees of the Foundation, which is a registered charitable trust (October 9, 1995).
The students are gifted with an outright grant of up to a maximum of rupees one lakh per year for completing their UG and PG education in various fields for the entire period of the course be it two years or three or four years.
Firstly, in the 15th year, the Foundation introduced scholarships for undergraduate studies for engineering in any stream, with the goal to support these girls for four years to complete their course.
Secondly, in the 16th year, the Foundation launched yet another new initiative that of extending scholarships also to undergraduate girl students in any of the pure sciences streams. Also, the Foundation took a very big step forward and started with school scholarships. Till now Foundation supported total 1806 girls from 19 schools. These girls are selected from 7th standard and the Foundation will support these selected girls right through their graduation. Every year, around 250 to 300 new girls will be added. These girls are not only supported economically for their fees, uniforms, shoes, books etc but are given extra coaching and counseling, the teachers of these classes are given special training with the objective of building excellent teaching capacity. The parents of these children, especially the mothers are given education in health and hygiene as well as overall awareness of their rights, and the importance of girl child education.
Thirdly, in the 17th year, Foundation, in addition to Engineering and Science, introduced courses like Physiotherapy, Nursing, Architecture, Diploma in Engineering, Diploma in Education and Pharmacy for a period of two to five years, depending on the selected course. This was a big step forward for the Foundation. These scholarships are outright grants to the brilliant, yet economically needy girls, many of whom come from rural areas.
Fourthly, in the 19th Year the Foundation took another bold step and along with Pune District expanded its noble work of awarding scholarships to the Girls with outstanding academic records, but economically needy in two new districts of Maharashtra i.e. Wardha and Amravati.
Fifthly, in the 20th year, the Foundation broke its record and awarded total 1190 scholarship in a year to the girls from Pune, Amravati & Wardha districts. From inception, until now, the LPF has already given over 23114 scholarships, supporting approximately 8300 young ladies (1246 for post graduation studies in India and abroad, 5248 for undergraduates in India and 1806 in the school program).
This Foundation is unique in a way that it makes an all out effort to communicate regularly with all the Lila Fellows, Lila Girls, Lila Juniors through a quarterly newsletter called ‘INSPIRA’ and also through an e-group, no matter in which part of the world the young girls are either studying or working. The Foundation is regularly conducting many training programs for the girls, including spoken English, to ensure they grow into empowered, confident, yet gentle, young ladies.