upGrad Foundation celebrates 75th Independence Day through the launch of ‘Vidya Shakti Champions’ initiative

Mumbai : upGrad Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Asia’s higher EdTech major launched ‘Vidya Shakti Champions’ (VSC) under the umbrella of its Vidya Shakti Scholarship (VSS) initiative to further its commitment of upskilling 1 lakh first-generation women learners in the coming five (5) years.

It is a one-of-a-kind youth-to-youth empowerment program that aims to onboard 20,000 young female college students as champions who would identify first-generation female learners from their vicinity or regional pockets and help them enrol as Vidya Shakti Scholars.

The Champions would be instrumental in the identification, onboarding, and successful completion of the learning program of the Vidya Shakti scholars. In line with University Grants Commission’s recent advisory on social internships, this initiative would further support female students to learn and manage small-scale social impact programs which in turn, shall prepare them to participate in larger social change processes. Champions will get the certificate of completion after successfully finishing the program.

The Vidya Shakti Championship is a PAN India initiative.

Designed for 6-8 months, these champions would undergo extensive training and capsuled L&D sessions so that they can utilize this opportunity very well and ultimately help first-generation learners to successfully complete their learning process with upGrad Foundation. “We are starting a unique youth-to-youth empowerment program to offer middle-class college-going students aka our champions to work closely with female learners who are first in their family to pursue higher education,” said Dr Sanjay Kumar, President, Corporate Affairs & Public Policy, upGrad.

In this collaborative initiative, while upGrad Foundation would provide learning and development resources, the young champions would play the role of the catalyst in connecting the first-gen women learners to this program and would make sure that these learners finish their program successfully.

Started during the first half of 2022, the Vidya Shakti Scholarship program has over 200 VSS learners from 70+ districts of India who have availed scholarships of about INR 50 lakhs and are currently pursuing Certification and Post-Graduation programs with upGrad and its university partners. While the Foundation also has an active association with 15+ partners including a few state governments and Civil Society organisations, it is actively exploring opportunities to collaborate with more states and central government departments, grass root organisations and CSR to scale its operations.

“If we want to turn the dream of making India a USD 5 trillion economy and a global powerhouse into reality, we must have more women participate in the workforce. However, the conventional education system still doesn’t offer millions of such female learners across regions with the requisite higher education or opportunities that can train them with hands-on job skills. Therefore, as we celebrate 75 years of India’s independence this year, upGrad Foundation, through this initiative, aims to close its first batch of 75 female champions,” Dr Kumar added.

Vidya Shakti Champions offers an opportunity for thousands of young female university students to be a part of this remarkable initiative where they will handhold first-gen female learners from the time of on-boarding to learning and end-to-end placement support.

upGrad Foundation has opened registrations recently; the first batch is scheduled to commence in the first half of September 2022.

Comments are closed.