Creating Women Leaders for Tomorrow
New Delhi, As many as 100 girls were inducted into Udayan Care’s Shalini Fellowship Programme (USF) today at an induction ceremony at Mahavir Senior Model School, New Delhi. Over the last 12 years, Udayan Care has raised 1012 young girls as Shalini – Dignified Women.
In addition to Delhi, this year Udayan Care will select over 495 young girls in 9 cities of India – Gurgaon, Phagwara, Haridwar, Jaipur, Dehradun, Kurukshetra, Aurangabad and Kolkata. This entails a total commitment of Rs.4.95 crores for the next 5 – 6 years, for their senior secondary and under graduate studies.
According to the Census figures, 16% women in India study up to Class X and only 4.5% women in India are graduates. While 23% girls in urban India clear Class X, only 8.7% girls in urban India are able to successfully complete graduation. While initiatives are being taken towards improving primary and secondary education, very little is being done to enable girls achieve higher education in India.
“Udayan Shalini Fellowships (USF) is an academic excellence and personality development programme for deserving and talented girls from weak socio-economic background aiming to turn them into empowered and dignified women or Shalinis. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it goes beyond being a usual scholarship programme by not only supporting higher education but also providing regular mentoring and leadership development and inculcating a sense of social responsibility among the young girls,” says Dr. Kiran Modi, Founder and Managing Trustee, Udayan Care.
Girls who have completed Class X are selected from government schools, through an indigenously developed selection criteria, called NAT: Needs, Ambition, Talent. The 3 month long process includes visiting the government schools, getting application forms, conducting a written test, interviews and finally visiting the girls at their home to gauge the family situation.
Some of the unique features of the programme include Mentoring (Senior educationists are voluntarily attached to these girls, who counsel them and enlarge their world vision) and regular Motivational Workshops to create a force of sensitive, trained and enlightened citizens out of these girls. In addition to this, these girls are made socially aware as well as socially responsible as they have to fulfill 50 hours of mandatory social work.
From supporting just 72 girls in 2002 in Delhi, the USF programme in the last 12 years of its running has impacted over 3500 girls. There are more than 130 mentors including alumnae fellows. Many of the Fellows have pursued careers in Engineers, Doctors, CAs, Scientists, teachers besides other professional courses and have joined companies like RBS, Genpact, Hewitt, LG etc, while others are in different sectors. Some of them have become home makers. Existing ones are pursuing degrees in the field of commerce, medical, engineering, teaching etc. from prestigious institutes.
Based on the success and tremendous response to the programme and with systems and processes clearly outlined, Udayan Care now plans to reach out to at least 2 new cities with Fellowships reaching out to a total of 5600 Fellows or Shalinis by 2017.