07/02/2013, 00.00
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Catholic entrepreneur helps Indian children create a future through computer science

by Nirmala Carvalho
Agnelo Rajesh Athaide wins the 2013 Social Reformer Award for his computer science education company, which offers courses and scholarships to poor kids since 1993. Combining "commercial interests to community development" is possible.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) -  "A statement of professional quality is the only way to allow poor children to make progress and realise themselves in the world" is this spirit with which Agnelo Rajesh Athaide, a Catholic entrepreneur in Mumbai, set up the St Angelo Professional Education (SAPE), the city's oldest computer education company in Mumbai.

In the past 20 years, SAPE has offered courses and scholarships to young people who want to succeed in this line of work. In recognition of his contribution to computer education, he received the Social Reformer Award for his contribution in technology and management education at this year's India Leadership Conclave and Indian Affairs Business Leadership Award.

Created in 1993, Athaide's company has helped more than 300,000 students graduate in computer science and enter the workforce.

"When I started," the entrepreneur said, "computer education was a luxury. Costs were prohibitive and a deterrent to a diploma for many young students who could not afford the fees of certain schools."

"I applied to St Angelo the concept of corporate social responsibility," he explained, "to give quality computer education to groups of lower and middle class students. I made the social improvement [of others] the goal of my life and company. Not only is it possible, but also very rewarding to marry commercial interests to community development."

Athaide received the award on 24 June. Among the reasons, there are "his commitment and dedication to the community" and a desire to "serve society and the nation through computer education."

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