Students struggling for sponsors to fund US trip

Students struggling for sponsors to fund US trip

 A group of students from Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering, who have been selected to participate in the Aero Design East Competition, co-sponsored by NASA, to be held in the US, are struggling to find sponsors. 

Likewise, 14 students of Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology, engaged in building a hybrid car for the Formula Hybrid Competition, being held in the US, are facing a similar fate. The competitions are slated for April. 

Despite desperate attempts to find sponsors, the two teams have been unsuccessful, and their hopes now rest on their respective colleges to come to their assistance. For example, Dayanand Sagar team have contacted 22 reputed companies, with only one responding. They need Rs 14 lakh, but have garnered only Rs 60,000.  

According to team captain Ankur Kisalya the team had originally planned to build a test model and two models for the competition as advised by the organisers. Since each model costs Rs 80,000, only one model is being built. The team, he said, hopes to use spare parts from the model in case of any problems during the competition.  The Nitte team requires Rs 10 lakh for shipping (to and fro) the vehicle, besides registration charges of Rs 50,000 and expenditure for batteries and fabrication.  According to team captain Vismay Kumar, they have been visiting several companies, MLAs, private associations, since past five months, and could muster only around Rs 2 lakh. All of us have chipped in around Rs 50,000. An association has promised Rs 2.5 lakh, but we are yet to receive it. We have tried a few of our personal contacts but their replies are awaited, he added. 

M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology Prof B V Prakash opines that the students have to pitch their proposal in such a way that companies see benefit from sponsorship. Karnataka Council for Science and Education Executive Secretary M Prithviraj said the issue needs to looked at by bodies such as the Vision Group of Science and Technology. 

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