Technology helps make this scholarship inclusive

Written by Vahani on Digilah (Tech Thought Leadership).

In 2014, when Reeva Misra, the Founder and Chairperson of Vahani Scholarship Trust, identified a gap between the transition from high school to college and the increasing number of college dropouts due to financial constraints, she recognized the need to establish a platform.

This platform aimed to provide equal opportunities to deserving students nationwide, in India, enabling them to pursue their dreams of studying in India’s top universities.

Vahani was conceived with a vision and mission to nurture future change-makers and create leaders.

The inaugural batch of scholars was selected in 2016, initially with offline applications that required physical submission. However, as the number of applicants steadily grew each year, so did the available seats.

To ensure accessibility to students across the country, an online application portal was introduced in 2019. Leveraging the “Digital India” initiative, this change resulted in a tenfold increase in applications from even the most remote areas.

Implementing the right technology not only expanded outreach but also streamlined the application review process, allowing for individual assessment by team members and efficient shortlisting for interview rounds.

The transition to an online system ensured that no applications were overlooked, and students received proper guidance on completing the forms.

In 2020, amidst the global battle against Covid-19, online platforms like Zoom and Google Meet played a crucial role. These digital connections helped maintain a sense of togetherness during the several months of lockdown.

Weekly group calls were held with mentors and scholars, and this time was utilised to enhance scholars’ skills. Interactive webinars and online skill training programs, covering topics such as CV building, IT tools like MS Office, English communication, and virtual internships, were introduced. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the commitment to scholars’ growth and holistic development remained unwavering.

With scholars studying in prestigious universities across the country, enrolled at Delhi University, IITs, BITs, NID, NIFT, IIST, NLUs to name a few, Vahani ensures that all academic needs are met.

Financial support is managed and approved through the Scholars Online Portal, allowing scholars to request assistance based on their requirements. This portal fosters transparency and maintains comprehensive data for reference.

Notably, Vahani’s network extends beyond scholars to encompass mentors, English tutors, and volunteers from diverse parts of the world.

Technology has played a pivotal role in making the scholarship program accessible to students, creating a robust network of mentors and volunteers, facilitating training and skill development, providing opportunities for interaction with renowned leaders and speakers, managing scholar-related activities.

Most importantly, bringing the organization closer to its vision with transparency and an equal chance to all far and remote in any corner of Digital India.

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