Padakshep - making higher education a reality for poor meritorious students in India

Padakshep is a registered non-profit organization under IRC 501 (C) (3) in
wish to support meritorious highschool and undergraduate students in West
Bengal, India for whom pursuing higher education is a dream barred by their
extreme economic hardship.

In reality, however, the folks there strongly believe that Padakshep is a
for-profit organization - its profit lies in the successes of these students
pursuing the career of their dreams.

Eventually this will lead to a better society that we all hope for.

Access to high quality education for everybody is extremely important for
equity since it provides opportunities for the poor and socially
disadvantaged to advance themselves. However, by Govt. of India's own
admission, only 8% of the relevant age group in the country go on to receive
undergraduate education and above. (Ref: Planning Commission). Clearly, a
country that aspires to give its citizens a decent standard of living as
well as wants to be globally competitive cannot afford to have such low
percentage of educated population.

The benefit of higher education is effectively gated at the high school
level. Unless all strata of the society have equal access to high-quality
education, higher studies will continue to be just a distant dream for the
financially challenged. While there have been numerous attempts at national,
state and social levels to encourage education in all strata of society
equally, the fact remains that the dropout rates at secondary level
education is still as high as 62%. (Ref: Department of Education report).
This is not surprising, considering the cost of higher-secondary and
undergraduate education ranges between $ 700-1500 annually, which is almost
as much as India's per capita income of $ 1043.

Padakshep is a dream shared by a group of like-minded people, that rests its
faith in the notion that education can make a huge difference in shaping a
society. They further believe that the responsibility to realize this dream
lies with each and everyone of us who has had the good fortune to avail
higher education, and thus the various good opportunities in life. With this
vision, plenty of hope, and your generous help they have taken a small step
- a Padakshep.

Today Padakshep is in its third year of operation. It has undertaken the
project to provide complete financial support and educational guidance to
two very bright but needy higher-secondary students (Please visit our
"projects" page). Padakshep periodically monitors their performance by
staying in a regular contact with the students and contacting their mentors.