At a time when hundreds of children have lost their parents to COVID and are being compelled to confront an uncertain future, a Bengaluru-based philanthropic organisation has come forward to provide them free education.
The Sindhi Seva Samiti — which runs Sindhi High School, Hebbal and Sindhi High School, KK Road — has announced 100% free education during the academic session 2021-22 for children orphaned due to the pandemic. The free education option will be available specifically for its students who have lost either parent to Covid-19.
In the following academic session, the Samiti will provide a 75% fee waiver to these students. This fee waiver will continue until these students are associated with the Sindhi Group of Educational Institutions. Currently, the group runs one more school, two colleges, and one management institution.
The pandemic has also resulted in umpteen layoffs and business failures– imposing all kinds of financial burdens on parents. To ease their situation, the Samiti has decided to provide a Covid-19 relief of ₹ 18,000 to all the students of these two schools.
The amount will be directly transferred to their bank accounts or adjusted against the payment of their fees. Along with that, the schools will provide a new set of textbooks, notebooks, and accessories to each student without charging them for it.
Purpose Of This Noble Initiative
But what did the Samiti want to achieve with this move? SHS Hebbal Vice-Principal Rachna Sharma said that since children represent the country's future, the Samiti commenced this initiative to sincerely contribute to ensuring that the education of these children is not affected by a lack of financial support.
She further elaborated on the motive behind providing scholarships to Covid-orphaned students. "These children are not only going through an emotional tragedy but are at high risk of neglect and losing out on school education. It is a humanitarian crisis, and I think it is being dealt with a lot of empathy by the management," she told The Logical Indian.
Reception By Parents
"The step has been appreciated by the parents and students, for it has come at such a time when everyone is going through some form of struggle and toil in their lives. A single positive step can give hope and strength to many," Rachna told The Logical Indian while talking about the initiative.
However, this is not the first time the Samiti has attempted to relieve Bengalureans from the distress of the pandemic.
Oxygen Care Centre
During the peak of the pandemic, many patients could not find access to hospital beds on time. To tackle this, the Samiti had set up Oxygen Care Centre at the Hebbal premises. It was made as an interim arrangement to provide oxygen beds to patients till they or their attendants could find a bed in a hospital.
The organisation also helped these patients to locate oxygenated beds in hospitals. The service was provided for patients aged between 18-70 years, with oxygen levels between 88-92 SR. For this project, the Samiti collaborated with CV7 (Civil Volunteer 7). CV7 are a group of techies with a similar purpose of helping society.
Additionally, the Samiti provided oxygen concentrators to patients for post-hospitalisation recovery. To date, these services have benefitted nearly 150 people.
The Samiti has also organised continuous vaccination drives in Hebbal (at Sindhi College and Sindhi High School) and KK Road (at Sindhi High School). For this, it had tied up with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and several hospitals. So far, the organisation has been able to inoculate as many as 3,500 people.
Sri Madan Doulatram, President, Sindhi Seva Samiti and Sindhi Group of Educational Institutions, said, "The Pandemic was a grim reminder of the fact that there can come a time when your loved one and the next of your kit and kin will also stay at a distance; then there is a need for NGOs like us to contribute. (We) have helped several thousands of people during their times of crisis. That feeling itself is soul-satisfying."
Implementation With The Help Of Small Team
However, it was a tough ask for the organisation to transform all its plans into actions. It has around 450 members, several of whom were willing to work for the implementations. But the lockdown restrictions prevented the Samiti from involving a large number of volunteers in its work.
Then how were the plans implemented at such a massive scale? According to the organisation, all these were executed by a team of just 25 office bearers and a few volunteers. When asked how the Samiti managed to do so much with a limited workforce, the president replied, "Where there is a will, there is always a way."
Speaking about the plans ahead, the president said that the organisation aims to inoculate up to 25,000 people through its vaccination drives very soon. He also noted that although he wishes that the pandemic does not give everyone a tough time in the coming days but, if need be, the Samiti will come forward to help again.
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