Higher Education triumph for marginalized students from Bihar

Higher Education triumph for marginalized students from Bihar

SRUTI Fellow Group Bahiskrit Hitkari Sangathan (BHS) succeeds in mobilizing the State Government to utilize funds for children of vulnerable communities

1,561 children from 20 districts in Bihar were enrolled in higher education and vocational education (engineering, computer applications, pharma & management diploma and degree courses) in institutions across the country. 680 of these students who passed Class 10 were enrolled in diploma courses and the rest in degree courses. Among the youth who were given admission there were 210 students from the chamar community, 360 musahars, 40 girl students, 55 muslim students and 2 doms; providing a crucial and unprecedented opportunity to young people from some of the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in the state.
 
An average of Rs.80,000/- per student per annum (under various categories) has been approved by the Central and State Government. This adds up to an amount of Rs.11,60,00,000/- (Rs. Eleven crore sixty lakh ) being directed towards the higher education of poor and marginalized students in Bihar through the initiative and campaigning of BHS.
 
Bahishkrit Hitkari Sangathan and SRUTI Fellow, Sanjeev Kumar, launched this campaign to provide higher educational oppurtunities to children of dalit and minority communities on 16th April 2012 from Bihar Sharif (Nalanda). Despite several avenues provided by the Central Government to facilitate higher education and vocational training for students of these communities, the Bihar Government is still to utilize an amount of nearly Rs.50 crore. It is the State Government’s responsibility to select and ensure admission of such students into higher education institutions.
 
Most children from these communities just about manage to finish their 10th and 12th standard school education, but are unaware of how to approach and access higher education. Due to insufficient funds they usually cannot prepare for All-India entrance examinations. For most children the door to the future closes at this stage, and they are often forced into taking on brick kiln, construction or other daily wage labour.
 
Through this campaign , the sangathan initiated a planned effort to connect deserving students to the higher education support and opportunities that they are entitled to. Firstly, information of universities, colleges and institutes that allow for exemption of the entrance exam and facilitate admission of marginalized students was collected. After this, data of various schemes from the Central and State Governments was gathered. The sangathan then took this information from village to village, informing students with the support of village heads (elected as well as traditional). The campaign was initially started in two districts. With encouraging results, it was expanded to 20 districts. The relevant documents of the children were collected at the village level; about 3000 certificates were collected. The children then underwent counseling where they were informed of the Government’s incentive schemes. The areas of interest of the applicants were also noted. The application forms were then submitted in relevant  institutes across the country. Finally, over 1500 students from Bihar were placed in different higher education institutions. During this period, the sangathan was also in touch with the Bihar government's SC, ST and minority welfare departments.
 
Some districts covered by the campaign and the number of students:
Bihar Sarif - 250, Jahanabad - 35,  Arval – 40,  Gaya – 735 , Aurangabad – 20, Jamui - 5, Lakhisarai - 6, Khagariya - 60, Samastipur - 65, Begusarai - 56, Darbhanga - 68, Supoul - 60, Nirmali - 70, Madhuvani -30, Sasaram - 23, Bhagalpur -38
 
The institutions are spread across different parts of India in Rajasthan, UP, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, to name a few states.
 

 

Last Updated: 15/02/2013 04:18 AM