The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) approved a $50,000 grant to Veerayatan, the first educational institution in India to receive funding from D.E.F.
Veerayatan was chosen because of how its innovative approach to education improves the quality of life for its students. “Veerayatan is a model for encouraging development of responsible citizens who are educated, have strong integrity, and a motivation to give back to their community”, says Sadhvi Shilapi ji. ”Veerayatan epitomizes the convergence of excellence in education with holistic sustainable development. This institution is making a positive transformative difference in India”, says Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., Senior Strategic Advisor for the Diamond Empowerment Fund.
Chavis, along with D.E.F. executive director Nancy Orem Lyman and diamantaire Dilip Mehta, D.E.F. board member and CEO of Rosy Blue met with officials of the school and saw first-hand how the Veerayatan approach to education was making a difference in the quality of life of thousands of students.
At a welcoming ceremony for the Diamond Empowerment Fund, students from the Veerayatan College of Engineering, College of Pharmacy and College of Business Administration gave their inspiring stories of overcoming adversity with the promise and opportunity of a quality higher education. Mehta, moved by the intensity and passion of the students, made an on-the-spot commitment to match D.E.F.’s donation to the school for this year and all subsequent years, bringing the total donation to $100,000 in 2015. “I just felt in my heart…and my mind…that this was the absolute right decision to make. Empowering young people from diamond communities through access to higher education has been D.E.F.’s mission from the beginning. What bigger community than that found in India where 9 out of 10 diamonds in the world are cut and polished,” says Mehta.
Two students from Veerayatan will make the journey to D.E.F.’s Diamonds in the Sky Las Vegas event on May 28th to celebrate the importance of education and to salute the Global Achievement of Prime Minister Modi, the Government of India and the people of India, all being honored by D.E.F. at the event.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome this very deserving organization as the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s first beneficiary in India,” says D.E.F. board president Phyllis Bergman, “Diamonds truly do Good”.