Prayas’s Students Support Program provides financial support and guidance to needy students to start or continue basic, higher or vocational education. A well-defined operational process and a network of committed volunteers ensures effective implementation of this program.
An individual student seeking financial assistance from Prayas must be in a situation where he/she cannot start or continue his/her education for lack of funds. Such determination is made by Prayas’s volunteers based on a set of defined criteria and guidelines.
Support covers expenses like school/college fees, tuitions, books, study materials, uniforms, commute, etc. Support is provided for one year at a time. Continuation of support is decided every year based on any changes in student’s financial situation. A Prayas volunteer is attached to each supported student as a mentor, who guides the student as needed, periodically monitors his/her progress, and coordinates payments for expenses.
Appropriate review and monitoring mechanisms are implemented to ensure effective and transparent operation of the program.
Before Prayas begins supporting them, most supported students are on the verge of abandoning their education due to lack of finances or adverse family circumstances. Supported students typically come from economically disadvantaged families, who are likely to pull them off school or college. Often the parents are advised and persuaded by Prayas volunteers to let their children continue their studies, with a commitment that Prayas will bear all costs towards that. Support for several students starts in middle or high school and continues until they complete college or professional courses and start their careers.
It is a satisfying feeling for Prayas team when the son of a street hawker becomes an engineer, or daughter of a household maid becomes a chartered accountant. It changes the conditions and direction of life not only for that student but also his or her entire family.
Prayas considers supporting the education/training of the students who wish to but cannot start or continue one of the following due to lack of funds.
- Basic or primary education (upto grade V)
- Secondary/higher secondary education (from grade VI to grade XII)
- Graduate degree
- Post graduate degree
- Professional qualification/diploma
- Vocational training
When determining whether or not a student has funds available to support his/her education/training, the following is considered as available sources of funds for the student.
- Total income of the student’s family
- Student’s own earnings, if any
- Any scholarships or grants the student already receives