Seeing the world around us, we draw inspiration from people who make a difference – no matter how small or large that difference is. Oftentimes it takes a little more than the drive to excel; one needs to be empowered with the knowledge and education that comes with aspired careers. However, for some of us the dreams are there, the abilities are there… but the finances or not.
Makkala Jagriti is one such NGO in Bangalore that resonates with stories of many such aspirants, who are often forced to view education as a luxury. To support aspirations, Makkala Jagriti has been collaborating with the Naresh Bala Excellence Fellowship (NBEF) since 2019 to aid students with the interest to study, but limited means to do so. NBEF’s scholarships for students give them the platform to access higher level of education and a level-playing field for suitable and sustainable job opportunities after the completion of their higher studies. We are right now working with over 29 scholars across three batches.
Makkala Jagriti, an educational NGO in Bangalore, in its own way currently plays the role of friend and guide to all the scholars and their respective families. We are a small part of their academic journey. It all begins with an invitation of applications to the scholarships from aspirants, hundreds of deserving candidates. Over several weeks of thorough scrutiny – which includes home visits and interviews – culminates in the selection of the scholars who will benefit from this endowment. While academic performance is a key factor in this decision, it is not the be all, end all. To qualify for such a scholarship, a desire for excellence in the field of study and a commitment to one’s aspirations is essential. And it is this commitment that has consistently been seen among our scholars.
Makkala Jagriti works with scholars to discover within them a sense of ownership and responsibility. In a time when aspirants are many but opportunities are few, it is important to grab the right opportunities and work towards a larger goal. Makkala Jagriti organises life skill training sessions, career counselling, job interview training, experiential learning, and so much more, for the selected scholars.
Our scholars have some stories to tell:
Monika, from Vellore, Tamil Nadu, belongs to family of six. She was part of the first batch of the NBEF scholarships for students. With the help of mentorship of Makkala Jagriti and support from NBEF, she successfully completed a degree in Commerce. Today she has a job that supports her family. Monika says this is only the beginning for her. She wants to pursue a Masters degree Business Administration from a reputed university and cement her position in the corporate world. She says she is ‘forever grateful to NBEF and Makkala Jagriti’ for providing her with unimaginable opportunities. Monika further states that on receiving these opportunities she feels more responsible and works hard towards her goals. She strongly believes that learning never stops and education is a basic necessity. She believes many students like her should be able access such opportunities and have a fair playing field in today’s world.
Shashank is young student who has an inspiring story. He belongs to Devanahalli, along the outskirts of Bangalore. He lives with his younger sister and mother at his uncle’s house. Losing his father at the young age of six was not something that was easy to overcome. The options available were meagre. But, Shashank dreamed big. He aspired for careers that would have large impacts – from a career in government to one in medicine. He never stopped dreaming. As he grew older, he was curious of the role of an engineer and decided to pursue that dream. Today, he is close to completing his engineering degree at a reputed college and continues to do exceptionally well throughout his journey. He shared with us that Makkala Jagriti and NBEF have played a crucial role in his success up until and now. The scholarship for Shashank lifted the financial burden off of his shoulders and helps him live a comfortable and healthy life with his small family. He believes that scholarships are not the only things required to succeed. Makkala Jagriti’s mentorship truly helps make most of the opportunities that come one’s way. “Without this mentorship, one could be lost,” says Shashank.
Scholarships often times not only provide financial assistance but also help build healthier communities. Like Monika, Shashank and their families, many children and their parents take on more than they can handle to make ends meet. Makkala Jagriti, with the support of NBEF, helps overcome such obstacles, bringing youngsters closer to their goals.
After all, where you are from should not limit how far you go.
- Shravya Muralidhar