Rural colleges have more potential to help students that face financial constraints. The funding scheme, Snehanidhi, was initiated with an aim to address the pressing financial concerns of the students and also includes an initiative like Lend a Hand which includes voluntary contributions by students, supported by teachers, during emergencies.
The main objectives of this practice are:-
This institution has for its asset a diverse group of students who hail from a variety of backgrounds from various parts of Kerala. A majority of students come from socially and economically backward situations that compel them to abandon their aspirations of a higher education.
Coming from economically unsound backgrounds, they often give up on their dreams due to the lack of financial support. Students who are academically brilliant, and admitted solely on their merit, are forced to drop out without completing their course as they succumb to the multiple physical and psychosocial factors that affect their financial stability.
Snehanidhi was instituted to lend a helping-hand to all the well-deserving students to achieve academic growth and also overcome their financial constraints. Furthermore, Snehanidhi encourages/promotes an initiative Lend a Hand which is a students’ collective to help their fellow mates during any crisis/emergencies.
The college felt that to ensure a consistent and reliable growth in the students’ educational output, it would be beneficial to institute some measures that will address such grievances of students and even the community in general.
With this in mind, the teaching fraternity reached a consensus to provide financial aid to students, on a regular basis, for their necessities which if not provided, would hamper their education.
This was what led to the initiation of Snehanidhi which comprised of a voluntary contribution of the staff to raise a fund that could cater to the growing needs of the students.
Every year a fixed amount is collected and the financial assistance extended to the students by Snehanidhi includes:
This unique scheme is in addition to the existing scholarships availed by the students.
The beneficiaries include students, their parents and staff.
Any staff member (teaching and non-teaching) of the college who wishes to contribute a sum of Rs. 25 or more for a minimum period of one academic year will be an active member.
A six-member Director Board comprising the Principal (who is the ex-officio President) and five members elected from the General Body executes the functioning of the Snehanidhi. The Director Board members elect a secretary from among themselves.
At least one General Body is convened during the last week of March every academic year, in which the functioning, account and audit report of the current year is presented and the members of the next Director Board are elected.
An internal auditor elected by the general body adjudicates accounts, bank balances, bills, receipts and vouchers and presents a report to the general body.
The amount collected is deposited in a Cooperative bank joint-account operated by the President and the Secretary.
Applications by the students are forwarded to the Secretary by the class teacher and the concerned HOD. The Director Board considers the applications during the first week of every month, and sanction may be given depending on the availability of the fund and applications’ eligibility.
Furthermore, Lend a Hand was initiated as a collective venture by the students to connect them with each other and encourage them to provide services beyond conventional limits. These include offering financial aids to meet academic expenses, medical expenses; to pursue higher studies; support during demise of parents; aid to special schools and charitable institutions; flood relief programmes; among many.
Snehanidhi has enabled the staff to have a better understanding of the financial background of the students and be more personally involved with their needs.
It has also managed to help students who dream big but have been unable to achieve their dreams due to their financial restrictions and other constraints.
Many of our students have benefitted through this scheme and have overcome a whole lot of obstacles in their personal lives and circumstances to reach the stage at which they are and to perform equally well in their academics.
Snehanidi has provided assistance and support to precisely 128 students to facilitate better productivity.
Under the umbrella of Lend a Hand, students have conducted diverse activities that has made them more sensitive to the needs of fellow classmates and society; and promoted a spirit of social commitment.
The table below depicts the overall contributions and benefits availed:
|Year||Total number of members||Total amount(opening balance + contribution)(Rs.)||Total Amount provided for meals(Rs.)||Total amount provided for financial needs(Rs.)||Grand total amount received by the students(Rs.)||Total number of beneficiaries|
*Note: Provided mobile phones during the pandemic.
One of the major issues encountered was that students were reluctant to reveal their financial constraints.
Some of the students were unwilling to receive the money or noon meals, due to a sense of false prestige.
Shortage of funds was another problem that the fraternity had to encounter. At times, the funds that were collected were not sufficient to solve all the financial constraints and essentials of the students.
Another problem posed is that due to limited funds, only the most eligible applications are considered out of the numerous applications received.