Santoor Scholarship Programme: Empowering Young Women to Pursue Higher Education

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Bangalore: Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting announces the seventh edition of the Santoor Scholarship Programme, in association with Wipro Cares. This programme provides financial support to young women from disadvantaged backgrounds who aspire to pursue higher education after Grade 12.  The programme is open to women across the four states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh.

As per the latest reports, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for women in the country (for 18-21 years) stands at 27.3 per cent, a figure that highlights the urgent need for initiatives like the Santoor Scholarship Programme. Particularly alarming is the extremely low GER of 8 per cent among young women from disadvantaged communities and underserved minority groups. Financial constraints have long been identified as a primary obstacle, leading to low enrolment rates, high dropout rates, premature marriages, and untimely entry into the labour market.

Recognizing that education is a collective responsibility that goes beyond individuals or families, the Santoor Scholarship Programme was established in 2016-17, with the objective of contributing to a more just and equitable world by enabling access to higher education. The programme provides financial support of INR 24,000 per annum, covering tuition, living, and other related expenses, for young women who wish to pursue higher education after completing Grade 12. So far, the Santoor Women’s Scholarship Programme has provided 6000+ scholarships. This year we are offering 1900 scholarships across the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh.

“We believe that education is a key enabler of social change. Empowering women with better education help in contributing to a more just, equitable, and humane society. The Santoor Scholarship Programme for women is designed to work towards this fundamental change across diverse communities and regions and specifically targeted at underserved backgrounds. At its core, this programme embodies our commitment to fostering social change at the grassroots through education serving as a key enabler of multi-generational change at the individual, family and community levels, remarked P.S Narayan, Global Head – Sustainability and Social Initiatives, Wipro Limited.

Sharing his thoughts on the programme Neeraj Khatri, Chief Executive – Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, remarked, “Many young women face formidable challenges due to societal and cultural factors, especially in marginalized and underserved societies. For some, the lack of financial resources shatters their aspirations of attaining higher education, leaving them vulnerable to issues like early marriages, heightened poverty, and further disempowerment. The Santoor Scholarship Programme is a platform to empower these young women equipping them with the resources needed to overcome financial obstacles and pursue higher education. Over the years we have seen that for many of these first generational learners, this initiative not only advances individual aspirations but sparks positive changes in their families and the community at large. Thus, by investing in their education, we not only provide them with opportunities for personal growth but also contribute to the wider societal goals of inclusivity and economic equity.”

Commenting on the initiative, S Prasanna Rai, Sr. Vice President – Marketing, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, said, “This year, we are thrilled to announce the expansion of our scholarship programme, reaching a total of 1900 scholars.  In the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana we are providing 500 scholarships each. Furthermore, we inaugurated our scholarship initiative in Chhattisgarh last year, where we are providing 400 scholarships this year. Over the past seven years, our scholarship programme has made a profound impact, enabling over 6000 deserving young women from underserved backgrounds to pursue higher education. This achievement reinforces our unwavering belief that education should not be a solitary burden borne by individual families, but a collective responsibility. It is a testament to our organisational commitment to fostering accessible education, to create a more equitable and enlightened society.”

“It has been my aspiration to become an IAS officer in the future. However, financing my studies was my biggest challenge. Being part of the Santoor Scholarship Programme has not only relieved my financial burden but has been a life-changing experience for me and my entire family by empowering me to aspire for a brighter future. This programme is more than just financial aid; it’s a symbol of belief and support for women like me,” stated Prasanna Kumari, 2nd year B. Com student and beneficiary of the Santoor Scholarship Programme.

The Santoor Scholarship Programme’s impact goes beyond numbers. The majority of beneficiaries are first-generation learners, and these young women have been able to pursue higher education, transcending social and financial constraints, thanks to the scholarship support. The programme has not only granted access to education, but also equipped these young women with knowledge, confidence, and resources, transforming them into empowered adults and informed citizens. One of the most significant outcomes has been the increased equity in accessing life opportunities, leading to enhanced capabilities for leading safe and secure lives.

The Santoor Scholarship Programme’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of education and the positive ripple effects it can have on individuals, families, and communities. As it continues to expand its reach and impact, it strengthens the path towards a more inclusive and equitable society. For more information, you can log onto: https://www.santoorscholarships.com, or call 011-43092248 (Ext 121) or 91.7337835166 or email at santoor.scholarship@buddy4study.com