Vidya Dhan (the name means “gift of education”) is a small charity set up by family and friends, it has been in operation since 2012. We are a registered charity subject to UK tax and company law and can claim the benefit of Gift Aid.
It is generally accepted that lack of education is the key to gender inequality in India. Girls become victims of a vicious circle where their parents, especially their mothers, are not educated. Economic benefits of education and the costs involved in undertaking such educational attainment have been perceived differently for boys and girls. The perception was that parents who bore the private costs of investing in schooling for girls failed to receive the full benefits of their investment. This was largely true because much of the payoff in educating girls was broadly social in nature rather than economic. Such perceptions still endure and we at Vidya Dhan believe that it is our collective duty to break this vicious cycle and free our girls of the shackles of ignorance
Who We Are
Vidya Dhan's main area of operation is in India where it helps girls from poor families. Its main objectives are:-
1) Contribute fully or in part towards the school fees of children
2) Contribute fully or in part towards costs of school uniforms, shoes and stationery
3) Reimburse children's medical costs if parents are unable to afford such costs
4) Counsel parents in order to provide a safe and nurturing home environment
5) Provide after school tuition and help with homework where necessary
At present, the charity operates in and around rural areas of Bangalore. If our income increases we hope to be able to widen our area of operation. As the presence of Vidya Dhan has become known the local villagers approach our outreach workers in order to obtain funding for their children's education. In addition, the outreach workers visit local villages to seek out children from particularly poor families. No preference is given to children on basis of religion or caste. Once children are enrolled in our programme we monitor their progress at school and provide them and their parents with assistance as required.
Children have benefitted greatly from our programme. These children would not have been able to afford even basic state education whereas some of them are now being educated in good English medium schools. For the 2020/21 academic year, at present, there are 40 children in our programme. We plan to increase that number to 45 once schools re-open after the Covid related hiatus and to 50 in the coming months after that
Our primary aim is to sponsor all children in the sponsorship programme to Year 12 which is approximately equivalent to GCE A level. In addition, we have accumulated funds to sponsor exceptionally bright girls’ education through to college and university. One of our girls has just received her M.Com degree and another girl is starting her B. Pharma studies
Girls who stay in school get married at more appropriate ages, have children later and have fewer children. They can take better care of their own and their children's nutrition and health. Education opens up livelihood options and allows girls to contribute to the economic improvement of their families. Educated girls make for informed voters and thereby improve governance around them. Education gives these girls a sense of self; a sense that they can influence their lives. Most importantly, when educated girls become mothers, they impart a better sense of values to their sons.