BeyondHeadlines News Desk
Till last year, it was a dream.
“I always thought of wearing a good uniform and go to school in a school bus. Finally, I got it.” says Fatma who got admission in St. Robert’s school in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.
Fatma was identified by a volunteer for Aligarh Alumni Association based in the United States last year. She was then studying in a local school in the neighbourhood. She was an extremely bright student and scored high marks. But her parents were unable to send her to a good school.
The association gave her scholarship to pay her tuition fees in the session 2017-18.
“We promised to pay her school fee regularly if she did well. We monitored her for a year,” said Shaheer Khan, who handles this scholarship scheme from the US.
Fatma appeared for the entrance test at St. Robert’s school and qualified for admission in Class 5 in the session 2018-19. Her father Mohammad Rafiq said she has always been a bright student despite all odds. Paying her school fees, mainly the transport fee, was difficult to manage. Fatma always wanted to study in St. Robert’s which is one of the good schools in town. Rafiq works as a clerk in a private dental college.
“When the Alumni Association promised us to pay the transport and other fees, I encouraged my daughter to appear for the entrance test and she was successful,” said Rafiq. “She is my only daughter and I have high hopes from her.”
Fatma got the scholarship for the second consecutive year based on her performance.
The Association’s scholarship scheme is aimed at reaching small towns and villages where few opportunity is available to the students. One student Sufia who got the scholarship last year has completed her diploma course in pathology. She is now working in a local lab and supporting her family financially.
Another student Shahroz, who is doing ITI in electrical engineering in West Bengal, got a scholarship this year. His entire fees of Rs.25,000 has been paid by the Association. He is likely to complete the course in 2019.
School students Takallum Naaz and Zakia Sana also got the scholarship this year.
“We do not have a huge scholarship scheme. We are trying to help in small ways. But this help should be continued. Only a sustained and long-term effort will show results,” said Khan.