Scholarships Worth Over 2 Crores Distributed Through Akshaya Patra’s AVSAR Scholarship Programme in 2019-20
Mumbai : The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s AVSAR Scholarship Programme serves to address the concern of school dropouts due to financial constraints by bridging the gap between the students and scholarships. Akshaya Patra essentially plays the role of the facilitator and sources scholarship opportunities for deserving students from the wide array of scholarships offered by the Government and corporates. In 2019-20, scholarships worth ₹2,33,02,871 were provided to over 1,547 students across the country. All the students were chosen based on merit and need after profiling over 14 thousand students and reviewed 5,831 applications.
AVSAR is a part of Akshaya Patra’s flagship initiative, National Endeavour for Student Transformation (NEST) through which the Foundation seeks to go beyond mid-day meals to facilitate the holistic development of children. The initiative aims to “identify deserving students from underserved sections of society and nurture their aspiration by providing financial aid.” It empowers students in Government and Government-aided schools, motivates them to make the best use of Government and private scholarships and helps address the issue of school dropouts due to financial constraints.
For students, scholarships assure financial freedom that, in turn, leads to a more encouraging and holistic environment to continue their education. However, over 60% of students are not matched to any funds due to limited reach, online process and tedious documentation. Nearly 40% of funds are not matched to any students due to lack of awareness and support, mistakes in the application or their lack of proficiency in English. In such cases, the team at AVSAR revisits these applications after consulting the donors to check if the cut-off percentage can be relaxed. In some cases, the applications are re-submitted with more details or converted into digital forms to reduce errors and provide assistance to the students and their families in the application process.
In 2014, the year of inception of this scholarship programme, Akshaya Patra sourced annual scholarships worth ₹3,51,129 for 20 students from corporates. Since then, the programme has seen significant growth, covering over 300 educational institutions and impacting the lives and aspirations of over 4,000 students.
Through the AVSAR Scholarship Programme, Akshaya Patra intends to fuel the aspirations of deserving students, one scholarship at a time, one ‘avsar’ at a time.