In 2005, the 10th year of Lila Poonawalla Foundation, the Foundation came out with a book
“21st Century Belongs To Them”, which narrates the stories of some Lila Fellows (LPF
post graduate scholarship awardees). The name 'Lila Fellow' was keyed in by Dr. Kiran Bedi, the super cop,
who was the Chief Guest at the first LPF scholarship award function and also launched the Foundation in 1996.
The book “21st Century Belongs to Them” has 23 short stories of
girls, who, with their grit and determination and with support from Lila Poonawalla
Foundation, have made great progress towards achieving their goals. These girls come from
different walks of life and not so envious economic backgrounds, but yet they have
had the desire to educate themselves and go ahead of many others in life, making
a difference not only in their own lives, but that of their families, their neighborhoods
and society at large.
The book has a message from Dr. Abdul Kalam, the then President of India, who was
instrumental in motivating Mrs. Poonawalla to take on this project when she worked
with him, before he became the President. In fact, on 1st August 2005, the President invited
some of these Lila Fellows to Rashtrapathi Bhavan – the Presidential Palace
in Delhi. He spent 45 mins. interacting with these girls.
All the stories are really an inspiration for the young generation.