Staff Correspondent

Bidar district administration comes up with unique scheme to help poor students

Bidar: The Bidar district administration has come up with a unique scheme to help meritorious students from poor families to gain access to higher education.

The concept behind the Student Welfare Fund scheme is simple. Students borrow money from a revolving fund. Then they get educational loans and pay back the money to the revolving fund. Once they become graduates and get jobs, they start repaying the bank loans. The district administration will not only help students and their parents attend CET counselling, but also facilitate the process of getting bank loans.

Funds donated

The revolving fund was started last year with a donation of Rs. 10 lakh from Nirmiti Kendra, a State-run construction company.

As many as 40 students could get admission into engineering and eight into medical colleges then, scheme coordinator A. Ashok said.

This year, the reach of the scheme has increased tenfold, courtesy the district unit of the State Government Employees Association. The association members have decided to donate their one day's salary, an amount that comes up to around Rs. 70 lakh.

“In these days of costly higher education, we are happy to be involved,'' association president Basavaraj Bharashetty said. “If we could send 48 students to colleges with Rs. 10 lakh, then we can surely sponsor over 500 students with Rs. 70 lakh,'' he added.

The association passed a resolution a month ago, but the Finance Department is yet to clear it. “If we don't receive approval before CET counselling starts, we will provide necessary funds,'' Deputy Commissioner and Nirmiti Kendra chairman Harsha Gupta said.

Idea welcomed

The effort seems to have inspired other districts. “The Bellary district unit of the association wants to start a similar scheme. It has contacted us for details,'' Mr. Bharashetty said.

“The scheme has acted as a support system for aspiring students from poor families. It also builds a sense of responsibility among students, as they know they will have to repay the loan once they get a job,'' Abdul Quadeer, secretary of the Allama Iqbal Education Society and member of the scheme implementation committee, said.

Last year, only BPL students could apply.This year, however, the scheme is open to all students.