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INDIA: Initiative to provide 100 young women laptops

Salesian College Sonada launches initiative to provide 100 young women laptops


(MissionNewswire) Salesian College Sonada launched an initiative to provide 100 young women with laptops at an affordable price. During the first distribution, 55 laptops were given out and the remaining 45 will be distributed in the second phase of the initiative.

The initiative was made possible by the United Board for Christian Higher Education, based in Hong Kong, China, which came forward to help as part of its COVID-19 relief efforts to support online education. Salesian College Sonada students paid 40 percent of the cost while 60 percent was supported by the United Board for Christian Higher Education

Salesian College Sonada is affiliated with the North Bengal University in Siliguri, India, and provides students opportunities for advanced studies and the completion of bachelor’s degrees. The college offers eight general degree courses in English, education, history, political science, sociology, management studies, business administration and computer science.

“It is our continued effort to make higher education affordable for students whose parents can ill afford to send children for higher studies. Over the past 19 years, it has been our endeavor to provide world class facilities at the Salesian College,” said Dr. George Thadathil, principal of the college.

Salesian College Sonada is the only college in northeast India with a radio station and television studio offering students the opportunity for hands-on training. It officially launched its radio station on Dec. 8, 2016, featuring 20 programs produced in the Nepali language.

The radio station (90.8 FM) provides an opportunity for students and listeners to tell their stories and share their experiences, broadcasts information on important topics and news affecting the local area, and allows students to be media contributors. A team of six radio hosts produces the 20 programs a week, which take place seven days a week for 12 hours each day. The programs, which run from 1-3 hours, are scheduled as daily, bi-weekly and weekly shows.

In addition, the college launched an ambitious Tuition Waiver Scholarship program in 2019 offering 166 students financial support through scholarships. Of the scholarships awarded, 40 seats are reserved for meritorious students, and 30 seats are reserved for students with media skills who are required to produce eight hours of radio or four television programs each month. A full tuition fee waiver is also offered to 30 students who secure over 90 percent on their class XII examinations, and a 50 percent fee reduction is given to 30 students who secure over 80 percent.

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.



Photo courtesy of Don Bosco India

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