Big bucks for brainy tribal girls
|By The Telegraph, CORRESPONDENT|
If cash crunch is keeping books out of reach for tribal girls, here’s aid in hand that will help them chase their dreams.
Tata Steel Processing and Distribution Limited and city-based NGO Kalamandir have jointly started a scholarship — Medhavini — for poor tribal girls of East Singhbhum who are forced to discontinue their studies because of monetary problems.
Cheques worth Rs 45,000 were distributed among 18 beneficiaries during a function in Bistupur on Wednesday. Each tribal girl received Rs 2,500 for one year.
The scholarship is meant for only those who intend to complete their intermediate and graduation. Only matriculates are eligible.
The beneficiaries were selected through a written test, marks scored in the last examination and an interview where parents of aspirants were also invited.
The scholarship, however, has a rider. The beneficiary cannot get married while she is still studying.
“Social progress is impossible without educating women. Tribal girls are married off early. That’s why we introduced a criterion that bars marriage during the tenure of the scholarship,” said Kalamandir secretary Amitava Ghosh.
“I thought of discontinuing my education because my family could not afford it. My father is a farmer with a small patch of land. I also have four siblings. So, studies took a back seat. I am thankful to the scholarship. I have now taken admission in BA at Baharagora College,” said 19-year-old Rani Soren.
A brainchild of NGO Kalamandir, plans for introducing this scholarship were afoot since last year.
The outfit then got Tata Steel Processing and Distribution Limited on board and things fell into place.