Scholarship Project

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Through this program we seek to ensure that even children and families in some of the most remote villages of India have access to quality education. The purpose of this program is to provide opportunities for underprivileged children whose parents work as unskilled labour in unorganized sectors.

Reason for the Scholarship Project

In a recent study it has been found that 12% young people dropout and never get into higher education. India, in the last four years have witnessed 24% growth in poverty gap. The country is facing an all-time high in unemployment. To top it all the COVID 19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges. In West Bengal, people have been doubly hit because of the mayhem created by super cyclone Amphan. Some of the worst hit in both these tragedies are ultra-poor living in the remote corners of the state. In order to achieve sustainable wellbeing of marginalized communities, it is often found to be effective that the systemic problems are dealt collectively rather picking solitary issues and challenges.

 

West Bengal ranks as 4th. Most populous state in India, with a Human Development Index rank of 10 in India. Although West Bengal boasts of 88% enrolment in government schools, the second highest in the country, only 20% girls are found to complete their secondary education.

The state has one of the highest government investments in social development sector. Economic growth has happened in the state based largely on agriculture and construction. This has led to a rise in number of casual workers engaged in formal as well as informal sector.

 

Waymark, in its own capacity, over the last few months has reached out to communities and provided relief to some of these communities. One of the key observations has been the despair among children and young adults for the loss of their education materials.

Setting up the Project

The scholarship programme will focus primarily in rural areas in some of the most remote districts in West Bengal, where the poor make up nearly 20% of the population and where children have little or no access to education support due to their poverty.

 

These children tend to drop out of school early because:

The cost of an education is high compared with the income of families who are poor. These costs include school fees after class eight, tuition support from private tutors, books, pens and exercise books, many of which have to be paid as recurring cost of education. It is common for people in these areas to have jobs which pay by the day; therefore, it is difficult for parents to pay out large sums in one go, especially in families with three or four children. Migration also plays a part in dropping out from schools.

 

Children themselves are often relied upon to bring home some income that can help to support the family, however meagre it may be. The poorest families cannot afford to forego this income and, after just a short time these children have difficulties retaining what they have learnt in school and many remain illiterate. Thus, it becomes difficult to break the cycle of poverty.

Target Population of The Project

Direct beneficiaries: Children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are in urgent need and cannot afford their schooling.

 

Indirect beneficiaries: Ultra poor families of the direct beneficiaries, their parents and siblings. And from a larger point of view the marginalized communities who are prone to unsafe migration, human trafficking for labour.

Estimated Impact of The Project

  1. By providing scholarships, Waymark will reduce the cost of education to families, who have no means to support the education of their children, and thereby break the cycle of poverty.
  2. Many ultra-poor families with more than one child, often deprives the girls of education. This scholarship will encourage equal opportunities for both girls and boys.
  3. Education will enhance the social standing, economic independence and empower their decision making of not only the children but in a larger perspective, the families as well. Thus, they will be able to contribute more in educating the next generation and eventually a sustainable community will take shape.
  4. The Waymark Scholarship will not pay for all the educational costs of a child. Therefore, the parents will not feel redundant and will have the respect and dignity they deserve.

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