Restoring Equality through Education and Advancement of Children

In 2007, the first area we chose to select students from was the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The immense geographical divide between the mainland and the archipelago has left the islanders with an ingrained sense of separateness at best, a sense of inferiority at worst. Executing a simple plan - selecting five children from the pool eligible for admission into Std 6, proved fiendishly difficult in the 38 inhabited islands of the region.

Working with the Directorate of Education, the logistical challenge, from reaching application forms to every island to conducting group sessions, was daunting with 20-hour boat trips, an 8-month monsoon and primitive communications proving imposing hurdles. We even created a radio ad in Hindi explaining the scholarship and played it across the islands! Today, five children from the region - Matrena, Bindu, Rukhsar, Pratima and Jinu, have completed their graduation or are in their final year in various colleges across the country including St Xavier’s College, Mumbai; Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore; and Symbiosis College, Pune. Bindu, on her way to becoming a hotelier in the Andaman Islands is now pursuing a specialized management training course with the Taj Group.




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