We select Timeless Scholars India with help from teachers, principals, school administrators community. We typically start supporting children from the 6th grade through college. Our support is both financial (toward school fees, tuition, books and supplies) and mentoring (communication, soft skills, career and vocational choices). The schools that we partner with are all Govt. Recognized (ie. Accredited), the medium of education is in English.
Our focus is on low-income, first generation college-bound students who show a passion to learn and a deep desire to rise above their challenges. All the Timeless Scholars India are from low-income families (typically less than USD 5 per day for an average family of 5 members). The parents are usually unemployed, underemployed or employed part-time: as domestic help or work in beedi factories, push telas selling vegetables door to door, pull rickshaws or work as day laborers. In some cases the father is either absent or dead and in some instances, the children come from alcoholic households.
Most mothers of Timeless Scholars India are illiterate and fathers have less than 10th grade education. All families are supportive of the education of the Timeless Scholars India and the mothers, especially, are extremely committed to educate their children, in spite of pressures from society or financial need for the income that the child might provide to the family (often as a child laborer).
A majority of the Timeless Scholars India are girls. Some of the children whose education we support were child laborers, working in bakeries or as domestic help.
Timeless Scholars India in the incoming class of 2016 are:
- Nikhil, 8th grade – his mother works as an ayah (custodian) at a school and his father is a day laborer (painter). His elder sister, Preeti is an alumnus of Timeless Scholars India Program and is currently studying toward her undergraduate degree.
- Karthik, 6th grade – his father is a day laborer with an undependable income. His father supports not only Karthik, his mother and sister but also extended family that lives in their native village.
- Pramod, 6th grade – his father is a day laborer (construction).
- Vardhini, 3rd grade, is the daughter of a driver. She’s very self-motivated, a trait that she probably gets from her mother, who now has a long-term goal to get trained as a computer programmer. Her father is responsible for an extended family.
- Sakina, 6th grade, has 3 siblings. Her father sells seasonal vegetables door-to-door and suffered a debilitating accident that impacts his income. Her mother is illiterate and is a stay-at-home mom.
- Veronica, 7th grade, has a mother that had to stop working due to ll-health as well as to care for her 6-month-old sibling and a father that works only intermittently as a security guard.
- Nosheen, 8th grade, is one of three daughters of a fruit market laborer. Her cousin, Afreen, is an alumnus of Timeless Scholars India that is studying in a Junior College. Her family is committed to providing education for the girls despite societal pressures.
To date, over 80 academic years of education were provided under this Program. Timeless Scholars India are selected without regard to caste, creed or religion. Profiles of representative students:
- Sunil’s mother and grandmother were both employed as cooks and house maids and were each in turn, single parents. We supported Sunil from his 5th grade and recently had a mentoring conversation with him. He has graduated as a Software Engineer and has been employed by Satyam Computers.
- Poornima’s mother works as an ayah (custodian) at a primary school. We supported Poornima’s education from 6th grade. She’s now excitedly pursuing her goal to become a Chartered Accountant (CA or CPA) and is studying toward her undergraduate degree.
- Ibrahim’s father is a Day Laborer. The family migrated from Warangal district. Ibrahim and his elder brother studied at the DHAN school, where we accepted him into the Timeless Scholars India program. For grade 6, Ibrahim needed to go to a private school and his family could not afford it. Ibrahim’s teachers consider him to be a bright and intelligent student. He graduated from VMR Grammar High School and is studying in a Junior College.
- Reshma’s father is a fruit seller. Reshma is the fourth girl child in a poor family. She is very bright at her studies. She is the only girl studying in their family. Her parents could not afford to pay for her education, but she is at the top in her class.
- Sajeeda’s father is a Bangle seller (hawker). Sajeeda comes from a very poor family. Her strong desire to study prompted her parents to send her to the DHAN school, although their other children work (and do not attend school). Sajeeda’s mother makes beedi (a form of rolled cigarette from dried green tobacco leaves), which affected her health. The glass bangles that her father sells are fragile and frequently gets damaged as he moves them around to sell them. As a result, the family income varies considerably and at times, the family starves for food. We visited Sajeeda’s home that her mother keeps in an immaculate condition. Her mother is clearly dedicated to keep Sajeeda’s education going as long as she wants to study. Her father is frequently absent.
- Raheem’s father is a Day Laborer. Raheem was taken out of school after his 1st grade and sent to work in a Tea shop. DHAN Foundation volunteers found and rescued him. Interestingly, Raheem studied by himself at the home of his employer (as a child laborer). Raheem re-joined the school at an age-appropriate 3rd grade and started to learn his alphabet there. He is an above average student and actively participates in academic and cultural activities. Raheem graduated from VMR Grammar School and is working as a security guard.
- Heena is the daughter of the school ayah (custodian) at the DHAN Foundation’s primary school. She graduated primary school and could not afford to go to the private school for her 6th grade. In our meeting, she proved to be a shy but bright individual that showed curiosity and expressed very strongly that she would like to continue her education.
- Hussain is the youngest among seven children. He’s the only one who went to school in his family. It was reported (not confirmed independently) that he comes from a family with a history of alcoholism. There’s no income from his father. His mother sells “mutton boti” as an employee at a local vendor stall. Saddam’s teachers are so very excited to talk about him, as he consistently topped his class. He did not let his hearing impairment keep him from excelling at school. We’d helped fund Saddam’s education since 2007, but when we visited the school in 2010, we found out that his mother had recently decided she needed the income he would generate if he were employed rather than if he went to school. As a result, he was out working at a bakery during our visit to the school. We are working with the local team to get him back in school.