Karnataka-based NGO Sikshana Foundation in collaboration with Dell has announced scholarships for 400 students. They have been awarding these scholarships since 2011 to batches of 400 girl students from underprivileged backgrounds in rural Karnataka. The scholarship covers tuition fees and vocational course fees for shortlisted girls based on merit and need. The students are from various government schools and colleges. Seven girls from last year’s batch who scored above 90 per cent in SSLC and PUC exams of 2018 were felicitated by Dell volunteers.

Monthly health workshops have been added to the programme with health kits (sanitary napkins, soap, shampoos, etc.) being given to the girls, who are also educated on the importance of health, exercise and sports. Additionally, 80 students will be selected for English and skills training programmes and 60 students will be awarded sports scholarship.

In terms of impact, the company has stated that 158 girls are pursuing bachelor’s degree this year (B.com/B.A/B.Sc), with one student offered a seat at the KLES Institute of Dental Sciences. Last year, one student joined RV College of Engineering. Twelve girls are currently pursuing Diploma Engineering.

Events like interschool sports day and debate competition are organised throughout the year. Volunteers from both organisations organised a mega sports day in Kittur Rani Chinamma Stadium in Jayanagar, Bangalore for 500 plus students from various government schools of Karnataka.

In a press release shared with CB, Rajeev Kapoor, India vice president and CSR champion, Dell, said, ‘At Dell, gender equality, diversity and inclusion have always been an important facet of the company’s philosophy. Through this initiative, we continue to give back to society in a meaningful and effective way.’

Prasanna VR, CEO, Sikshana Foundation, said, ‘The Dell Girl Child Scholarship will eventually change the way parents look at education of girl children in Karnataka and hopefully India. We intend to motivate as many parents and students to send girl children to school and even higher education. Our long association with Dell with this project is validation that organisations are now taking education of girl child seriously. Big change is just round the corner and we are honoured to be a part of this change-making process.’