Nominated Literacy Heroes

Organisational Nominations


Sarojini Damodaran Foundation (SDF) and Advaith Foundation (AF)


Recommended By : Rtn. D. Vijayalekshmi Nair, Past Assistant Governor, ID No: 5766023 ,Rotary Club of Alleppey Rotary District 3211


Name : Sarojini Damodaran Foundation (SDF) and Advaith Foundation (AF)

Address : Sarojini Damodaran Foundation, # 229,39th C cross road,Jayanagara 5th block, Bangalore 560041

State : KARNATAKA

Place : Bangalore

Mobile : 974227015

Email : meera.rajeevan@sdfoundationindia.com

Work in field of literacy : The conviction that quality education is the cornerstone of development in society, motivated Kumari Shibulal and Mr.S D Shibulal (Co-founder, Infosys) to set up SDF in 1999 and AF in 2004.Their vision is to transform lives and break poverty through focused interventions. SDF Vidyadhan addresses the high dropout rates after high school of meritorious, poor students by providing scholarships for graduation. The rigorous selection process includes test, interview & home visits. This prestigious scholarship with presence in 5 South Indian states, attracted 15000+ online applications this year.SDF Vidyarakshak is a pan India scholarship for the children of martyrs of paramilitary forces.AF established The Samhita Academy(TSA), a quality inclusive school with 3 campuses in Bangalore and Coimbatore. Ankur is a comprehensive residential program that takes poor children from 3.5 yrs who stays and attend school at TSA with children from upper middle class families till class 12.

No of Beneficiaries : 10000+ underprivileged students

Social Impact : The biggest impact is in ensuring children from poor families receive a chance to pursue quality education at school & college levels. The GER of India falls from 92% at the primary level, to 20% for higher education due to poverty & inaccessibility to funds. Vidyadhan beneficiaries are meritorious students from such backgrounds. The Vidyadhan training also helps in their personality development & career planning.The 757 alumni are gainfully employed and supporting their families to build houses, educate siblings sponsor other students etc. thus causing a multiplier impact on the eradication of poverty and transforming the lives of families for generations. TSA has inculcated an inclusive spirit in its 1000+ students by developing a tolerance towards the underprivileged & helping them appreciate the differences prevalent in our society.50% faster development is reported in TSA students. Ankur has completely transformed the lives of its 200 students who are growing up with confidence.

Fund Outlay : 83000000

The challenge of arranging funds is being met : Fund requirements: Vidyadhan Scholarships: The students join the program in Class 11 and are paid Rs 6000 – Rs 54000/year for 5-7 years depending on the course and location. Currently there are 1900+ students that include 130 medical, 267 engineering, 31 nursing, 21 Agriculture/ Veterinary etc.Vidyarakshak Scholarships: There are 300 students ranging from Class 1 to Class 12 who are children of martyrs of paramilitary forces, who receive an amount of Rs 6000 to Rs 12000 annually, till they complete class 12. SDF started the Harisree project in 2010. Under this scheme, school bags, notebooks, uniforms, study materials and recreational playthings are given free to the students of 10 lower primary Government schools in Alappuzha. The current annual outlay for SDF literacy related activities is between Rs. 4- 4.5 crores. In addition to that, the Ankur Program is around Rs 3.8 crores. Total annual outlay: Rs.8.3 crores. The Founders have committed to an endowment of Rs 36 crores for the operation of the various programs in the foundations. In addition, they have made investment worth Rs 100 crores in building the infrastructure of the three school campuses under the Advaith Foundation. Till recently, the Vidyadhan Program was entirely dependent on the endowments made by the Founders. In order to scale to 100,000 scholarships across all states in India, Vidyadhan portal was launched in 2014. Individual and corporate sponsors can now directly sponsor the children by depositing money into the bank account of the student No money from external sponsors comes to the foundation, thereby ensuring complete transparency. All administrative fees are borne by the foundation. Currently around 100 students are being sponsored by external sponsors. Some of the sponsors are also previous Vidyadhan students and the effort is on to build a strong alumni network. The Pay Forward commitment by the current set of Vidyadhan students will also contribute to future sponsorships. The Ankur program was designed as a self sustainable program. Initial investment was done completely by Advaith Foundation. With 75% of the students of The Samhita Acdemy being fees paying, the academic expenses of the Ankur students (25%) are today met by the school. The operational expenses of the Ankur program continues to be supported mainly by the AdvaithFoundation. All other programs are funded by the endowment set up by the Founders.

This Award is going to impact the work in future : This award will play a crucial role in spreading the awareness about the stellar work done by the foundations & attract external sponsorships for the students. The SDF objective is to provide 1 lakh scholarships across all states in India within next 7 years.To reach this SDF needs the support of organizations like Rotary that is committed to the cause of literacy and education. An award from Rotary that has pan India base, will accelerate the process of entering new states where SDF has no presence today. SDF is also looking at partnering with likeminded local organizations in the individual states. AF has has plans to expand into many other cities. While the foundation is investing heavily in the infrastructure, contribution from external donors can accelerate the pace at which Ankur students can be inducted into the schools.In the event of The Foundation winning the award, they have requested that the cash component be directly transferred to Vidyadhan students on behalf of Rotary.

Blood relative a member of 'Rotary Club': No

Whether received any major State/National/International recognitions or award/s earlier : No



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