Vidyadhan by Sarojini Damodaran Foundation (SDF), launched in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: 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.
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.”
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.

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