Indian-American Scholarship Foundation

Upakar Foundation provides an opportunity to donors to designate with a “name” that recognizes and acknowledges a loved one, the donor, a community organization or a corporation.

It can be funded in the form of a single donation or can be donated over a period of time by a group of supporters.  Scholarship donations must reach $8,000 in order to award a scholarship if using the general criteria of the Upakar Scholarship.  If any special field of study is required, an extra $1,000 will be needed to help advertise the requirements. An Upakar Board member can work with you to craft a scholarship that works for you.

For setting up a named scholarship, please contact the Upakar Board at upakarfoundation@hotmail.com.

Current named scholarships include:

Ajay Ojha Memorial Scholarship

The Ajay Ojha Memorial Scholarship (AOMS) was set up in 2014 to honor a former Upakar Board member, Ajay Ojha.

During his brief life, Dr. Ajay K. Ojha touched the lives of countless people through various endeavors. He worked as a consultant for the federal government in Washington, D.C. He served on several boards including Upakar Foundation, a Trustee for the South Asian Bar Association of North America Foundation, and as a member of the Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity for the University of North Carolina. He was member of the DC Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Community Development. He was very active in the community, serving as the President for the Network of South Asian Professionals-D.C. Chapter (NetSAP D.C.), participating as a co-planner for the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) annual “Be the Change” community service event, and volunteering with Asha for Education.

It was his work with children that brought Ajay the most joy. At the time of his unexpected death, he was on a volunteer service mission helping build a secondary school in El Paredon, Guatemala. His death at such a young age was a tragedy, but his legacy of commitment to community and to improving the lives of others will continue to inspire others. To celebrate his life, a scholarship fund has been created through the Upakar Foundation in his name – the Ajay Ojha Memorial Scholarship.

Dedicated contributions towards his fund may be made by mail to the Upakar Foundation (use the memo field to designate Ajay Ojha Memorial Scholarship) or by donating online by clicking on the DONATE button and selecting the AOMS box.

Virginia For Education

Virginia for Education scholarship was established in 2014.  This scholarship is fully funded by 4 Virginia residents and has became the 6th annual Upakar scholarship.

K. Watumull Memorial Fund Scholarship

Watumull Scholarship was established in 2018 in memory of Khuba Watumull.

Khuba Watumull migrated to Bombay in 1947. His father had already set up a thriving business in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1931; but Khuba stayed on in Bombay to look after his ailing mother. After starting his own successful business in Bombay, he created two foundations to serve the community through charitable work. These foundations were mainly to assist students and give medical aid to individuals. Philanthropy was a big part of his life, and he donated freely to organizations involved in education. In addition, he set up a hospital in memory of his mother in Mumbai, and was a founder trustee of the renowned Global Hospital in Mt. Abu. He passed away in 2016, leaving behind a legacy that lives on. The work continues through his non-profits; and even now, every year, many benefit.

Geeta Rastogi Memorial Scholarship

The Geeta Rastogi Memorial Scholarship (GRMS) was a one time scholarship set up in 2011 to honor Geeta Rastogi, who was an avid supporter of Indian arts and culture for over four decades. She was a founding member of Bharati Indian Association of Maryland. She passed away from cancer in 2010.

Geeta Rastogi Memorial Scholarship was targeted for a graduating high school senior wishing to pursue a field of study in the performing arts. This scholarship is no longer available