"Being disabled should not mean being disqualified from having access to every aspect of life.”
Emma Thompson

University Education Fund

Polio cripples the body, not the mind

Anuradha Rathore the day she received her medical diploma.

Soon after Polio Children first became involved in the activities at SKSN in 2002, it became evident that no opportunities existed for the children to pursue education beyond high school. We recognised that provisions would need to be put into place otherwise the pool of talent of these physically handicapped but mentally astute children would go to waste.

We were committed to our mission of ensuring that every one of them would have the same opportunities as any able-bodied child and that the ultimate goal would be full integration into the mainstream of the society. In other words, these children would have to be equipped with tools that would move them from dependence to interdependence, from ostracism to acceptance, and from being viewed as a burden to being a valuable member of society.

 

Jaja (right) at the ceremony where he was awarded his IT diploma.

However, at the same time we were fully aware of our financial limitation. While the cost of education in Rajasthan is way lower than in the West, supporting scores of students adds up to a significant sum. Consequently, we set the qualification mark 10% higher than the community standard of 50% and all applicants would have to undergo a means test. Moreover, failure to pass any course exams at the first attempt would automatically lead to withdrawal of support.

The table below shows the breakdown of the total of 255 post-high school education years that Polio Children has supported since the program’s inception in 2003. (Note: TT = Teacher Training)

Year Boys Girls Total Year
  BA BSc BEd TT Total BA BSc BEd TT Med. Total    
2003 8 3 - - 11 1 - - - - 1 12 2003
2004 8 3 - - 11 1 - - - - 1 12 2004
2005 6 2 2   10 2 - - - 1 3 13 2005
2006 7 2 4 5 18 2 - - - 1 3 21 2006
2007 4 2 4 7 17 2 - - 7 1 10 27 2007
2008 6 1 1 9 17 4 -   6 1 11 28 2008
2009 22 - - - 28 5 - - 5 1 11 39 2009
2010 32 - -   32 9 - 1 - - 10 42 2010
2011 51 1 -   52 15 - - - - 15 67 2011
2012 44 - -   44 11 - 3 - - 14 58 2012
2013 43 - -   43 17 - 2 - - 19 62 2013
2014 42 - - - 42 17 - 2 - - 19 61 2014
2015 40 - - - 40 8 - - - - 8 48 2015

 

In the short time that the University Education Fund has been in existence, more than 100 graduates have obtained competitive employment.

  • Teaching:63
  • Commercial sector:15
  • Govt. of India Postal Service:4
  • Tourist Guide:1
  • Doctor:1
  • Nursing: 4
  • Own business: 4
  • Other: 8

In the coming years, sustaining the University Education Fund will continue to challenge our fundraising efforts as an increasing number of students continue to make the mark. It would not be fair to raise the qualifying standard when the bar has already been set 10% higher than in the community. Please help us sustain this very successful program by clicking on the DONATE button at the top of the page or donating here.

Total cost of 1 year of higher-education: £840 ($1,340)

  • Boarding/lodging £310 ($465)
  • Tuition £100 ($160)
  • Books £70 ($110)
  • Transport £295 ($443)
  • Clothes and Medicine £65 ($97)

You can also sponsor a student and receive his/her personal progress reports.
Number of students awaiting sponsorship: 15
Total number of students currently enrolled in the University Education Fund: 50 (207 since 2004)

Projected number of students in:

  • 2016: 70
  • 2017: 65
  • 2018: 70
  • 2019: 60
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