“That’s the reason why I took History group. I want to become an IAS Officer!”
Thus said Meena (15 years), one of the 42 Nivethan students who got awarded the Nurture Merit Scholarship recently at Sempatti, Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu.
She was the only one among her peers in Sempatti to have taken History group. She learnt that this will help her prepare for the Indian Civil Services examination.
“I wanted to serve the society. I want to help children like me and families like ours.”
As she said she started crying, so did her father who was present there.
A migrant from the remote corners of Tirunelveli district, Mr.Palpandi, Meena’s father came to Dindigul to work as coolie when he was young. Some 10 years ago, he was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Learning that her husband is HIV positive, Meena’s mother abandoned her and her younger sister and brother, never to return again. Despite his conditions, Palpandi is single-handedly raising his three children.
We, at Nivethan Trust, are honoured to support such children and their families. We are, indeed, blessed to have given an opportunity to serve them in whatever small way we can.
We distributed scholarship in Madurai on 4th August, Saturday and in Sempatti on 5th August, Sunday – kickstarting our Nurture Merit Program 2018.
We are happy that children came with their parents and received the cheques, besides participating in the activities that we conducted during the event.
Profile of the students
Nurture Merit program is designed to be both a merit-based and need-based scholarship and mentoring program. While we invite applications from students in government schools who have secured good marks, we also do a strict screening and selection process by discussing with their teachers/ HM and visiting their houses in person to understand their socio-economic condition. Only the most deserving students are selected given the design of the program and the limit in the number of scholarship we can award each year.
The current batch of students in Madurai and Sempatti mostly come from single parent households; they lost one of their parents to death (due to disease, HIV/AIDS, others), deserted or divorced. A couple of them had lost both their parents and are currently living with their grandparents.
All of them have scored first class marks in their X standard and are continuing their education in Class XI, hopefully pursuing college degrees.
Our support to them
Through Nivethan, the children are selected for 3 years Nurture Merit Program, where they will be provided with 2 types of support:
- Financial assistance: An amount of INR 3000 is given as direct financial scholarship support to the students. This we hope will be used mostly to meet out the education expenses of the students.
- Mentoring program: We run a year-long mentorship program, bringing together the Nivethan students at least once per month and providing them with mentoring support, not just on academics, but also on extracurricular activities, counselling and other support.
In return for this support, we ask the commitment from the students to strive to study well, attend school without fail, get good marks, aim to get a degree and eventually a decent job to support themselves and their families. We suggested to parents to support their children for the same and ensure they attend mentoring program; failure to attend minimum 80% of classes will mean they will not be renewed for next year.
Future events in Hospet and Dhamnagar
With lot of support and confidence given to us by our donors, friends, well-wishers, we also expanded the Nurture Merit Program to Hospet (Karnataka) and Dhamnagar (Odisha), besides starting it in Sempatti (Dindigul, Tamil Nadu).
With scholarship distribution in Madurai and Dindigul completed, we are planning to conduct the event in Hospet and Dhamnagar soon. We seek your generous support and presence to grace the event.