Sujith Kumar is a Chennai-based HR professional who founded the NGO called Maatram Foundation in 2013. The NGO aims to provide free higher education to underprivileged students who don’t have the resources to get educated.
The foundation started when Sujith was trying to provide a girl with a free seat in an engineering college and talked to the chairman of a college for the same. He offered that in return of the free seat he would provide free placement training to final year students of that college.
Instead of a single seat, Sujith was offered 20 free seats for students who belonged to economically weak backgrounds. This is how Maatram Foundation was started. The team initially had 11 members but now has a team of 10 advisors comprising prominent educationalists as well as 200 volunteers. Sujith also started a radio show with RJ Balaji and offered underprivileged students seeking higher education to get in touch with him for aid.
Maatram Foundation is registered under Tamil Nadu NGO Act and has now partnered with several educational institutions and offers free admissions, tuition fee waivers, free books, hostel fee waivers, transportation charges, food expenses, etc. Among these institutions are Chennai Institute of Technology, Sathyabama University, Peri Institute of Technology, Dr. MGR Janaki Arts & Science College, etc.
Some aspiring achievements of Maatram Foundation:
- Ajith who resides in a Tamil Nadu village secured a score of 1126 out of 1200 in his class 12 exams but couldn’t afford the counseling fees of Rs. 5,000 for admissions to engineering colleges. He later met Sujith Kumar who helped him get higher education without having to worry about the fee and is now in 3rd year of engineering.
- Sugna, a graduate in Tamil and a B.Ed degree holder use to sell candies at the station as she was unable to find a job because she is 100% visually impaired. Her husband is also 25% impaired. Sujith came to know about her and her desires to educate her children. He took her to Mahindra World School in Chennai and requested the principal to evaluate her as a resource.
- Maatram Foundation gathered funds and books from donors to establish a library for the Chennai Primary School, Taramani, with many such libraries to follow.