The new academic session of colleges is just around the corner. Along with students who are excited about the college life, there are also those who despite nurturing a dream of studying in a college cannot do so due to financial constraints. City-based Prasad Narayan’s unique initiative – The Power of One (TPO) – a non-profit educational trust aims to reach out to students, who want to pursue a college degree but are unable to do so due to financial problems.
Narayan, president and managing trustee of TPO, said, “TPO was started in October 2016 by requesting people to keep aside one rupee a day, so that at the end of the year we have Rs 365 each to donate to the underprivileged children who have done well in Class XII and need financial assistance for further studies. Initially it was only family members, friends and well-wishers who supported the initiative, but gradually the network grew.”
Altogether 10 students will be financially-supported this academic year. Among them are three students from night colleges Amar Shinde (scored 80 per cent), Vitthal Deshmukh (scored 79 per cent) and Santosh Padnekar (scored 78 per cent), the trio toiled hard working during the day and going to college in the night. The trust has paid their fees for the first year and will sponsor their education for the remaining two years. Currently, TPO funds undergraduate courses like Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science, etc requiring comparatively lesser fees than professional courses like engineering.
“TPO aims at educating more people and helping them gain a degree so that they don’t drop out of school after finishing their twelfth standard,” said Narayan, who used to work in the IT sector for 20 years and is now associated as a visiting faculty with educational institutes like Tata Institute of Social Science, Sri Balaji Society, Maharashtra Institute of Technology and Academy of Engineering.
Narayan said unlike other non-governmental organisations, TPO accepts even small donations of Rs 30, Rs 50 and so on. He added that though initially the plan was to fund only Class XII passouts, but when he read about a child who passed his Class X exam by studying under the street lights and scored well, the trust decided to fund for his education too.