Pune: It was a distant dream for Latur-based Tejaswini Tarte, the daughter of a domestic help, to pursue her education despite scoring a whopping 98.2 per cent in her SSC board examinations. Tejaswini, whose family’s annual income is Rs 50,000, would have been forced to drop out, as they could not afford her education.
However, Tejaswini will now be able to continue her education. She aspires to become a doctor. Her dream could be realised as she is one of the beneficiaries of Udaan, a CSR activity of city-based SKF India.
Like Tejaswini, 39 other underprivileged girls from Marathwada have been selected for a complete scholarship to pursue their junior college as well as higher education under the newly launched Udaan programme aimed at women’s empowerment. The 40 girls are set to pursue their dreams of becoming professionals and will be awarded their scholarships on Thursday, August 17.
Speaking of the initiative, Director Business Excellence, Quality and Sustainability, SKF India Ltd, Shrikant Savangikar said, “We had a scholarship programme earlier, wherein deserving meritorious girls were awarded Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 to pursue their education.
However, we realised that this amount was insufficient. Based on a need analysis, we decided to launch a pilot project to completely fund education of 40 eligible girls, who come from an underprivileged background.”
He said the project has been launched in Marathwada. The beneficiaries come from eight districts of the region. “Under this scholarship, we will provide complete assistance for the selected girls. The 100 per cent scholarship includes college fees, hotel accommodation charges, mess fees, transport, stationery expenses and others for a period of six years.
A sum of Rs 80,000 to Rs one lakh will be provided per student per year. We have also accounted for a rise in this amount for professional courses that these girls may enroll into after junior college,” Savangikar said.
He said the company had received 670 applications from eight districts, of which 40 were finally selected after a thorough scrutiny, personal interviews and home visits.
He said over the years, at any point, the company will provide for education of 240 girls annually. “Right now, we have decided to provide for 40 students. If the budget expands, we will extend the scholarship to more students as well. We are also trying to rope in other companies to support the cause in order to include as many girls in this programme,” he said.