From a small beginning in the year 2020-2021, Pratibodh Foundation is expanding its reach in the year 2021-2022.
Further support to the M. Sc. Chemistry student who is aspiring to pursue a research career is being provided by sponsoring a mentor and coach to prepare for GATE and CSIR-NET all-India competitive examinations. The student successfully completed an online summer research program in 2021 under the guidance of a professor from one of India’s leading teaching and research institution. Sponsorship of examination fee for NPTEL Online Course Certification was provided.
As a new initiative, Pratibodh Foundation through an endowment to Indian Institute of Science , Bangalore, has instituted an annual award with a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000 for excellence in academic research for the students of the department of Biochemistry. Ms. Latha Mani, has instituted this award in remembrance of her father, Dr. T. R. Bhaskaran, a distinguished alum of the department of Biochemistry.
A scholarship program for women undergraduate students in science has been instituted in India’s premier and internationally recogonised teaching and research institution, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. This four year scholarship is awarded to Ms. Zalone Aastha Prashant pursuing the four-year (2021-2025) Bachelor of Science (Research) program at the institute.
Continuing it support to students from resource poor and marginalised communities dreaming to pursue a college and professional education, Pratibodh Foundation has taken the responsibility of complete sponsorship of education for two girl students joining the three-year Bachelor of Commerce course in the Government Arts and Science College for Women in Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu starting from September 2021. The foundation is also supporting a second year BSc (Zoology) Student at Fatima college, Madurai by funding the college fees and hostel expenses.
Pratibodh Foundation is providing complete sponsorship for a girl student to pursue her dream of becoming a theatre artist. Against all odds, the student through her sheer grit and determination is pursuing a career in Theatre and seeking admission to the National School of Drama (NSD) for a one-year training program. The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. She is also simultaneously getting trained at two leading theatre groups – with Mangai, a veteran theatre person and founding member of Marapacchi theatre group based in Chennai committed to increasing the participation of women in theatre and working with Muruga Boopathy of the Manal Magudi theatre troupe based in Thoothukudi which continuously experiments with the new genre of theatrical content and form in terms of visuals, text, movements, music, properties and space.
Pratibodh Foundation in collaboration with Trans Mom Foundation has set-up a four-seat computer training centre in Coimbatore. This centre will be providing free basic computer skill training, computer-based accounting applications, and other job-oriented computer courses to trans-women which would hopefully open up job opportunities for India’s most marginalized and discriminated section of the society. Pratibodh Foundation is sponsoring the cost, including donation of computers, setting up of infrastructure, and the training.
A considerable number of students from Kodaikanal hills who have completed their college studies are jobless due to lack of English language skill. To address the needs of such students, PEAK (People’s Education and Action in Kodaikanal) is organizing The Global English Language (GEL) program offered by Jesuits Worldwide Learning (JWL). This program strives to deliver consistent, high quality English courses to students anywhere in the world. The GEL Program brings a comprehensive high quality, internationally known approach to learning Global English using the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR). Students are offered the online Cambridge English Placement Test when they join, to test their level and the online Cambridge Lingua skill Test when they exit the program. They leave with a Cambridge test report and JWL GEL certificate.
The aim of the program is to provide enough infrastructural facilities (Language Lab) to cater for the Dalit, Tribal and other economically poor students in the neighbouring places closer to PEAK, Shenbaganur, to obtain the English Language Proficiency with the International quality. Many of them have completed their Higher secondary schools and college studies and yet they are not able get a proper job as they lack English language skill. This course would enable and help those students to qualify for a better job opportunity.
This program was started in May 2021 with twenty-seven students. Each term goes for 3 to 4 months, and the program is conducted three terms in a year. Classes are being conducted in two sessions – morning and evening. Most students prefer the evening classes since they are attending their regular college classes during the day.
Public transport facility to PEAK centre in Sacred Heart College, Shenbaganur from Kodaikanal is limited. There are no share-auto facilities in Kodaikanal. The students are able to manage the travel during the day; but they find difficult to travel in the evening especially as it gets dark early. It is still difficult during the rainy season. Many of them are female students, especially from Mother Theresa University and the family members hesitate to send them for the evening classes due to lack of safe and reliable transport facility.
After discussing with PEAK, the foundation decided to fund the transport for evening class students on a monthly basis starting from February 2022. With this transportation support, eight students will be able to safely travel to and from Sacred Heart college to attend the evening classes.