To anyone staying in Karnataka, November 1st is a day of celebration. It’s Karnataka Rayotsava, i.e. Karnataka Formation Day.
On November 1st 2016, the same fervour could be felt at one of our partner schools. The crisp morning air, the children lined up with almost military precision and the stage all set for the day added to the anticipation and excitement that was palpable in the air. There were a line of speakers and along the sides, there were children dressed in traditional clothes ready to perform the traditional art forms. Amongst all this, there was a considerably large group comprising of parents and children crowded around team Mantra4Change and a couple of other people, clutching forms and pens. This was the day, chosen to provide scholarships to the students who excelled in their studies, but did not have the financial backing to continue their higher secondary schooling.
Mantra4Change has found a wonderful partner in Vidya Poshak, an organisation that believes that poverty should not be a barrier to education. They provide 5-year scholarship and mentorship support to selected students till completion of their graduation. Their process of choosing students for scholarship has been meticulously designed and is two-fold.
Once the potential candidates were chosen by Mantra4Change based on merit, the process started off with a written test to assess the academic prowess that the children possessed. This was followed by a home visit to ensure that the scholarship went to financially disadvantaged families who were committed to let their children study further.
This scholarship support by Vidya Poshak plays a major role by enabling our children to pursue their studies to create a better future for themselves. Thus, this Karnataka Rayotsava marked the beginning of a partnership that completes the cycle of our quest for providing quality education to children irrespective of their socio-economic background.
This year, 38 of our students across three of our partner schools got the scholarship support. The school had graciously invited students from other partner schools of ours and they set aside a slot just to give away the scholarships amidst the celebrations, inspiring more students to work harder because they had to know that there is always help for those who work sincerely.
As the state celebrated its formation day, the kids celebrated a new world full of interesting possibilities for their future and we were the happy spectators.
- The blog piece has been written by Ms. Amrutha Krishnan, who works as the School Transformation lead at Mantra4Change.