Vidyadhan a scholarship program set up by Mrs. Kumari Shibulal (Founder and Patron, SDF) and Mr. S.D Shibulal (Trustee, SDF and Co-founder, Infosys) formally launches in Odisha. With the launch of Vidyadhan in Odisha, the scholarship has its foot print in nine States and one Union Territory in India. The scholarship is for economically backward students, from families with an annual income below Rupees 2 lakhs. It covers higher education, starting XIth grade onwards by providing for annual fees ranging from INR 6,000/ year to INR 60,000/ year, depending on the financial need, merit, course and duration.
- Vidyadhan launched in 1999 in Kerala
- Aims to provide 100,000 scholarships in the next 5-7 years
- Received over 700 applications from all districts in Odisha
- Currently 3000+ students including 165+ doctors, 400+ engineers, 100+ students in professional courses (nursing, pharma, agriculture, etc.) & 250+ Science, Arts, Commerce students are in the program.
During her visit to Odisha Ms. Kumari Shibulal, Founder & Patron, Sarojini Damodaran Foundation said, “We are very glad to launch the Vidyadhan program in Odisha this year. It is our first foray into the East. Our endeavor is to provide every meritorious child hailing from an economically disadvantaged background with the right to higher education. I believe education is a passport to transform lives. We are happy to know that we have received over 700 applications from all districts of Odisha. Nearly 90% of these applications are from students studying in government and government-aided schools and colleges.”
The selection process:
- Online applications process
- Call shortlisted applicants for test and interview
- Screening based on a written test and personal interviews
- House visit for verification
In addition to the academic scholarship, Vidyadhan provides all students with training in soft skills, employability and career counselling. Students will receive scholarship from XIth grade to the completion of their undergraduate degree (for 5 to 7 years), with appropriate increase in the scholarship amount, provided the student keeps up academic performance and gets admission in the merit quota for future studies, including professional courses. The Patrons of the Foundation expect it to scale up to 10,000 students and 1,00,000 scholarships over the next seven to ten years. In addition to Odisha, the program is also operational in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat.
Vidhyadhan also has a unique ‘direct sponsorship model’ created to continue to support the cause of higher education and invite external sponsors, both individual and corporate, who wish to contribute to a noble cause. The platform is unique as it brings sponsors and scholars under a single platform. Under the external sponsorship model, funds are transferred directly to the student and complete transparency is maintained. Those interested to sponsor through Vidyadhan can log into www.vidyadhan.org or write to [email protected]
About the Sarojini Damodaran Foundation: The Sarojini Damodaran Foundation (SDF) emerged from a sense of responsibility towards society. It is this driving force that inspired Kumari Shibulal & S.D. Shibulal to lay the founding stone of SDF in 1999. SDF started off on a small scale, providing scholarships to a few underprivileged students in Alappuzha, Kerala. Today, SDF is a constantly growing entity expanding its reach to various causes including education, cardiac care, pension projects, nutrition, organic farming, arts and culture, in different parts of the country. Key initiatives of the SDF include, Vidyadhan – a direct sponsorship program www.vidyadhan.org and Akshaya Shree awards for Organic Farming in Kerala. Vidya Rakshak is a new program included under the aegis of the Sarojini Damodaran Foundation.