“I strongly endorse this trust, small, well informed and bespoke. It directs funds and support to those who could never afford to study sciences and are therefore excluded from a life in medicine.”
Inspiration for this charity comes from the success of two young girls from Tamil Nadu, South India who have recently qualified as midwives. Sisters Annaparvathi and Vijaya have overcome extreme childhood difficulties (their father was killed in a building site accident over 20 years ago) and their mother struggled to feed her 3 daughters. Throughout her secondary education Annaparvathi expressed a desire to study nursing. Government support for training is only given to a few students with tip-top marks in the three sciences with Maths.
Fortunately UK supporters managed to step in and finance her training costs. Owing to their diligence and hard work both these proud sisters have achieved a place in society where they can support themselves and their ageing mother and give back to the community.
This charity is small and bespoke. The trustees, with their years of teaching experience in India, recognised that many schools cannot afford to offer science courses necessary for students to qualify for undergraduate study for a medical career. Girls, especially, find it impossible to fund themselves through A level tutorials so they can apply for tertiary education.
The SSF scholarships are awarded only to students who lack these means Our applicants must have proven record of appropriate academic ability and want to be, for example; engineers, doctors or midwives. Our awards vary according to the needs of the individual and in addition to covering education fees, we also cover the costs of learning materials, accommodation and travel .
Our current Kolkata recipients would not have been able to study without the fund’s support, as one lost her mother in a domestic fire and the other lives in a cramped city slum dwelling where ten families share one toilet.
Needs vary but in Kolkata a year’s tuition in the three sciences cost approx £500. A 3 year MBBS course in nursing and midwifery costs £7,500. A 5 year MBBS course in medicine costs between £10,000 and £19,000.
“The trustees of the Saraswati Scholarship fund have recently earmarked Chanchali as a potential candidate to receive support to study nursing in southern Nepal. Kidnapped from a remote village in the Himalayas at five years old to work in a circus, Chanchali escaped her captors and is now living in a girls hostel studying science a level. Under the umbrella of Child Rescue Nepal her chances of success are excellent.”