Education is a powerful means (and often the only means) for students from low-income families to achieve their life goals and lift their families out of the poverty circle.
It is the generosity of our donors that have made it possible for us to continue to raise critical funds to nurture these deserving students since the founding of SIET in 1966.
During the last 3 years from 2019 to 2021, over the pandemic, it was their contributions that enabled SIET to support more than 750 students with over $1 million of bursaries. SIET has also been continuously supporting the interest free study loan to more than 300 students with and over $5million since 2010 to 2021
We are grateful to our friends and partners as they help us nurture the next generation. Please get in touch to find out how you too can work with SIET in uplifting our community.
I was introduced to SIET Chairman , Mr Gopal through a mutual friend 2 years ago and in response to my request to learn more about SIET activities he invited me to be to be a panelist for SIET committee for annual grants to students from low income families. Despite my reservations that it was going to be yet another rubber-stamping committee, I decided to give it a try and my experience turned out to be very different. It is one thing to read about low income families as a statistic but another to encounter them personally.
The facts that struck me most were:
a) Low income in many cases meant a hand to mouth existence for the recipients who were grateful for any assistance that was extended to them
b) In spite of the family circumstances, some of them have arisen above it and have done well academically and am confident will go on to have good careers.
More importantly, SIET is not judgemental of the applicants and goes out of its way to assist students in financial need as well as counsel them.
The only drawback is that SIET does not have the bandwidth to give focused guidance to weaker students and hope this will be addressed soon.
However, SIET is doing an excellent job within its limitations and am proud to be part of this effort to uplift the Indian community.
Mr. Prakasam Silvester
SIET Member, Donor & Assessment Interviewer
Mr. Bala Subramanion
SIET remembers with gratitude and fondness Mr M Bala Subramanion one of its founders and the oldest Member of the Trust.
Mr Bala, Singapore’s first Asian Postmaster- General, a Public Service Gold Medal recipient and a veteran community leader passed away peacefully at his residence on February 3, 2021. He would have celebrated his 104th birthday just a month later on March 5, He left behind, his wife, Dr Sumithra, his daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters. The Arjunan Bala Subramanion Education Trust Fund at SIET is in memory of his late son.
Mr Bala’s association with SIET began in August 1966 when he was part of a 12-member protem committee that worked on the formation of the Trust. He was its first General Treasurer.
Throughout the years Mr Bala remained a strong supporter of the Trust, guiding and motivating successive management committees in their work. Often he raised matters of concern to him especially the education of Indian youths. He attended every Annual General Meeting since its inception except in the last 2 years, when he was wheelchair bound and could not access the AGM meeting venue at SINDA Building. Even then, he ensured that his views and his words of encouragement were heard at the meeting.
A prolific fund raiser for the Trust, Mr Bala always had a stack of SIET membership application forms with him. A signature fund raising effort of his, was organizing lunch gatherings where at an appropriate time he would pull out the application forms and cajole his guests to become life members.
Besides SIET, Mr Bala’s involvement and contributions extended to many other community institutions including SINDA, the Singapore Indian Association, the Tamils Representative Council, the Hindu Endowment Board and the Hindu Advisory Board.
Mr Bala had a keen mind, a thirst for knowledge and was a lifelong learner. He was even brushing up on his Japanese language skills and taking Japanese classes till his final days. A voracious reader and a lover of poetry, he adapted well to the digital world, browsing the internet and even participating in zoom meetings. A truly extraordinary and remarkable man who will always remain an inspiration to all of us.
V P Jothi
SIET Vice President