Newsletter

June 2016

Volume 1

 

 

 

 

 

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.

Martin Luther King, Jr..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Vidyadhan Family,

Greetings! Trust you are in good health and spirits.

As you know, we at the SD Foundation have been working hard to scale up our activities in our effort to impact as many lives as possible. The last year has been extremely rewarding for us, with several of our programmes expanding, and some new initiatives being launched as well. We are happy to share some key updates with the SDF family.

Our flagship scholarship program, Vidyadhan, has been growing steadily to our delight. What began with just two students in 1999, has now grown into a thriving community of several thousand scholars across Kerala and Karnataka. It is our dream to grow this to 100,000 scholarships covering all states.

Keeping this expansion in mind, we piloted a unique model of sponsorship in 2015 via our portal www.vidyadhan.org, where individuals who wished to participate, could select and sponsor students. We’re happy to announce that the pilot was extremely successful, with over 80 students currently receiving external sponsorship. Many of our sponsors have been actively involved in mentoring the students as well as helping with the skill-building programs of the Foundation. This pilot has given us the confidence to build on this idea, and offer more like-minded people an opportunity to partner with us and support these students.

As a first step towards this process, we recently launched the 2016 season of Vidyadhan in April this year.

 

 

While Mrs. Kumari and Mr. Shibulal were able to share their vision for the foundation, the highlight of the evening was clearly the interaction with our bright young students, who shared their personal stories of hard work, determination and success. From a physically challenged boy winning a State medal for yoga, to a young Veterinary Science student who has recently launched a mobile app to help farmers; from a young engineering girl who slept in temples in her childhood, to a medical student who has hand-written a book on basic medicine, the scholars created a powerful impact on everybody present.

Across Kerala and Karnataka, our Vidyadhan scholars are consistent achievers academically. In Kerala this year, Akshatha Bhat of Alappuzha scored 1200 /1200 in the Plus II exams. Silvy Mary Sebastian, also from Allapuzha, got the University 1st rank in the B.Pharm course from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. In Karnataka, Likitha D stood 1st in the Mangalore Independent College, Bangalore with a score of 597 / 600 in her PUC exams.

However, our constant effort is to make Vidyadhan more than just a financial or academic scholarship, but rather a program that will result in wholesome, confident, professionals. Towards this we organized three residential workshops at Dharwad and Bangalore where over a hundred students participated. They focused on building soft-skills such as confidence, communication, motivation etc. We also offered an interactive career counselling session with professionals from fields such as Medicine, Engineering, Finance, Law, Veterinary, Agriculture, IAS, etc. The feedback from students has been excellent.

 

 

All these positive signs have strengthened our resolve to go forward at an accelerated pace. It is therefore with immense pride that we announce that Vidyadhan is being extended to three new states – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. The team is currently laying the groundwork in each of these locations, and we hope to start accepting applications from June 2016.

In April this year, the SD Foundation was also honoured to launch Vidya Rakshak, a scholarship program for the children of martyred paramilitary personnel. In the first leg of the program, Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, personally handed out close to 300 scholarships to children between the ages of 6 and 16, at an event in New Delhi.

 

 

We are grateful for the support each of you provides, and continue to commit ourselves to improving the lives of everybody we meet.

We believe there is a great opportunity in linking the Vidyadhan Program with the CSR initiatives of corporates – both in terms of student sponsorship and mentoring by employees. If you, via your organization, would like to explore a CSR partnership with Vidyadhan, please do connect us to the CSR anchors within your organizations. In addition, we ask as always, that you help us spread the message of Vidyadhan among your network.

Please reach out to us with any comments or feedback, and we look forward to continuing this exciting journey with all of you.

Warm regards,

Team SDF.