Vodafone Idea Foundation Gives Scholarships to Students Across the Country to Support Online Education Drive in India

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Mumbai: Vodafone Idea Foundation, the CSR arm of Vi, announced the results of its Students Scholarship Programme 2021. The Foundation distributed scholarships of Rs 20,000 each to 1000 students across the country. The results for the teacher’s scholarships have already been announced.

The Vi CSR Scholarship initiative aims to bridge the social and fiscal divide that teachers and students face in terms of availability and accessibility to the necessary resources that help them to excel. Last year, 200 teachers and 2500 students were rewarded with scholarships which they used for necessary resources for teaching and learning.

The current edition of Students’ Scholarship has been won by 1000 students from the 19 States namely Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and West Bengal.

Speaking on the initiative, P. Balaji, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited said, “Vi is committed to leveraging its technology expertise and network to create social impact at scale. We are focused in taking learning and education to financially constrained communities and rural populations, we developed digital tools to enable accessibility education for both teachers and students. In times of the pandemic, our scholarship programme is helping students and teachers get resources to invest in technology tools and their education. Some of the teachers have pooled the funds to digitalise an entire classroom to engage their students, further widening the reach of the programme. We believe this will go a long way in spreading the light of education and further enhance employability of people, thereby also reducing poverty in the country.”

Launched last year, these scholarships entitle teachers as well as students to access Direct Beneficiary Transfer (DBT) covering a list of permissible expenses. The selection process which is based on merit is entirely online, overseen by an independent jury, including eminent educators, representatives of civil society organisations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about massive changes to the education system. Teachers and students were used to the traditional teaching methods using notebooks, blackboard, chalk, etc. However, they had to overnight rapidly adapt to the new age digital teaching methods. Vi CSR scholarship programme provides aid to teachers and students who can use the resources to facilitate e-learning and enable them to build an environment of digital learning.  The programme commends the grit and determination that they have shown in these unprecedented times.

One of the student recipients of the Scholarship, Gautam Kumwat, said “Thanks to Vodafone Idea Scholarships, I am getting 20,000 rupees. I was informed of this by our Principal, who also filled out our form. I’ll spend the amount on my studies. Due to COVID-19, there was a lot of negative impact, I could not even attend my online classes, I could not even study. I want to thank Vodafone Idea, it’s because of them I was able to receive this amount.”

Vaishnavi S Bhavsar from Nashik, Maharashtra, said “I am Vaishnavi S. Bhavsar and I am studying in the 9th Standard. I received the scholarship from Vodafone Idea Limited for the year 2020. The selection criteria for the scholarship was a great experience, they asked me about my past performance in academics and extra-curricular activities. There was also a video interview where I had to face few questions regarding my studies. Due to the pandemic that we all are going through, it is usually difficult to manage finances. Since the past year my classes have been virtual, I had a phone but it had many issues and the connectivity was unstable. Getting an android phone is quite difficult in such times. I really owe my sincere gratitude to Vodafone Idea Limited for giving me an opportunity to be a part of the process and selecting me, as this will help me get a new phone which will allow me to give my 100 per cent in my Boards.”

Vodafone Idea’s CSR conducts transformative programmes in the domain of Education, Agriculture, Women Empowerment and Technology across different pockets of India.