KOCHI: The journey of the PM Foundation began in the late 1980s when P Mohamed Ali was in the process of recruiting people for the newly-founded GALFAR Engineering and Contracting Company in Oman. He observed that there was an inadequate representation of Malayalees in high-value jobs in Kerala and the GCC countries. A discussion with the late Malayalam actor Prem Nazir and Justice V Khalid Sahib served as motivation to start the Foundation in 1988.
The intention was to celebrate excellence and support meritorious youths to pursue careers that could have a large social impact such as the Indian Civil Services. The Foundation was named after the founder’s grandfather, the late Pudiyaveetil Mohideen.
More than 30,000 students have been empowered, and a network of more than 150 PM Fellows has been formed as the result of a meticulous screening process. A talent search examination is conducted in Kerala and the GCC countries. Out of 3,000 students, only 10 are selected through multiple tests and a final interview. Once selected, the Fellows are given scholarships or grants for a period of five years. Several of them have made their journeys to premier institutions.
In addition, the Foundation also supports more than 300 scholars through the Centres of Excellence for Postgraduate Study. The civil services training institute, medical/engineering entrance coaching and the Chartered Accountancy coaching centre allow students to be part of fields that facilitate social impact. The Medical Assistance Programme was a part of Dr P Mohamed Ali’s desire to extend a helping hand to individuals hailing from the weaker economic sections. Ties have been formed with ten hospitals and NGOs.
Reminiscing on the journey, trustee Khadeeja Zeenath, the daughter of Mohamed Ali said, “The Foundation will continue to grow and deepen its impact by making sure that whatever we do is aligned with the original vision of serving the nation. It may not necessarily be only to focus on careers in the civil services but also to bring together highly capable people from all sectors.”
Education, according to Mohamed Ali, must enable one to amicably co-exist with the society, become better human beings and bring out the best in humanity. Social impact, in the form of scholarships and medical assistance, is part of integrating oneself with the larger fabric of humanity.