Closed doors for differently-abled students
The 2011 census on the prevalence of disability in Tamil Nadu, states that less than 20% of disabled children successfully manage to complete and advance into high school (Class 7 – Class 10). The census further affirms that at least 1 in 3 children between the age groups of 5 – 19 drop out or have never attended a formal educational institution.
Needless to say, the severity of the situation heightens in multiple folds for children with multiple disabilities, both mental and physical. The lingering and stagnant stigma around disability from birth, has caused a ripple effect of suppression in differently-abled students. United Way Chennai is keen on breaking the chain to build a bridge between students and financially stable career gateways.
Keeping this in mind, UWC has formed a fund project with a focus on student capabilities and their vision. The fund aims to make way for more inclusive professional options for differently-abled students in the future.
A fund that ignites an inclusive workforce
Through years of constructive interactions with the differently-abled community, United Way Chennai has successfully created a platform that joins forces with a diverse set of stakeholders. Corporate companies, government officials & social enterprises, to mention a few. This gives UWC the opportunity to knit together a fund that consists of elements from various diasporas.
The beneficiary should have passed their 12th grade examinations with a choice of degree to pursue, at the time of applying for the Scholarship fund. The Scholarship provides a blanket cover on all essential elements, ranging from college course fees to lodge or hostel charges.
The fund plays a pivotal role in the lives of promising differently-abled students who aim to digress from the cycle of poverty they are subjected to.
The student has full freedom to choose a course that aligns with their skill sets and career goals. While this bridges an important aspect in a students life, the presence of a concrete financial aid also provides the student with direct control over their future.
The bridge of Intervention
United Way Chennai founded this Scholarship fund to instill awareness among the differently-abled community to help them identify the abilities they possess and can finesse with appropriate guidance. In 2019-2020, the ratio of female students to male students has been 70:30, indicating that a high percentage of differently-abled women continue to flourish with the help of this fund.
UWC data from the year 2019-2020, reflects that a majority of students apply for courses such as MA English/Tamil (Master of Arts), BCom (Bachelor of Commerce), BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) and B.Ed (Bachelor of Education)
The UWC fund factors itself into various life-altering aspects such as independence, stability, decision making and vision for the beneficiary. This in turn, results in an increased turn-out of differently abled students in educational institutions. It further widens the representation of differently-abled people in community and societal atmospheres.
UWC aims towards a future that is widely accessible and wiped of biases towards differently-abled individuals. The conception of this scholarship is intended to be a step in that very direction, with the community steering the way towards a future they belong in.