Padhaai Foundation: A Ray that lights Many…

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Spreading education in society through schools, colleges and institutions is common activity we usually find people doing. But taking a step further and spreading education among underprivileged students who are economically insufficient, is a Nobel cause. In due course of our research, we recently met Ms. Madhavi, the founder of Padhaai Foundation, who is working for this Nobel cause.

Through Padhaai Foundation, she serves the students who have ability to shine bright and have dreams in their eyes but they are unable to work on it due to lack of resources. In the due course of her 10 years career in education, she decided to give wings to those dreams and work for this Nobel cause. Our team LinkFried, salutes her initiative and wishes her a great success in this field.

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Let’s read through our interview with her and know how her initiative faced the ups and downs:

 What is Padhaai Foundation What’s the aim for?

padhaai_logoMadhavi L : Padhaai Trust ® is a Registered Public Charitable Trust whose social activism focus is to provide educational assistance to children who desire to study but lack the economic resources. Padhaai® advocates the concept of inclusive education as propagated by UNESCO.  Inclusive education is based on the right of all learners to a quality education that meets basic learning needs and enriches lives.   The initial geographical focus is Bangalore and surrounding villages and semi-urban areas.

Aim of Padhaai is to touch the lives of as many deserving kids who have a desire to be educated but lack the resources.

What ignited the spark in you to start Padhaai?

Madhavi L : I am in the field of education for the past 10 years and have seen all kinds of students – those who are wealthy or those with a desire a study but have to hold back their wishes and dreams due to lack of money. Having led a comfortable life and having procured the highest qualification of a Ph. D , somewhere the thought of making a difference to children in the field of education slowly started setting in. The girl child in India today seeks identity and attention – more so in certain sections of the Socio Economic Class. Those were the triggers for setting up a trust for Inclusive Education – with special focus on the girl child.

What are the significant changes you are expecting with the initiation?

Madhavi L : I hope to make impact at least few lives. Through Padhaai, if I am able provide opportunities for children to study and make their own careers – then I have made a positive change. Padhaai has not set any targets for itself. In the first year of the formation of the trust we distributed notebooks and stationery, from the second year onwards we also have started giving out scholarships – this year we are sponsoring high school/college education for at least 4 kids.  If we are able to support them through till graduation – that would be a big achievement. To sum up, the significant change I am expecting is to be able to provide opportunity for deserving kids to study.

How do you find the people to support the cause?

Madhavi L : The donors and volunteers are the most important people for this initiative. The donations and funds generated for Padhaai have been due to the social media. Padhaai was initiated on Facebook and we have got tremendous support in the form of likes, compliments that later converted to donations. I am lucky to have a good set of relatives, friends, colleagues, students and well wishers who have contributed to the cause. The trust they showed when I started this initiative gets me going….to strive for more. Padhaai also has a website – www.padhaai.org

 What are the challenges you are facing for padhaai? 

Madhavi L : The challenges are in the form of regulations and norms. I am working towards securing the tax exemption under 80 G. There are also regulations on taking donations from people who live outside India. Being a charitable trust I would like to utilize every rupee towards the cause of education – therefore I could do with some help and volunteerism in the areas of website development, setting up a payment gateway, marketing etc.

How much time you are giving to the cause?

Madhavi L : I give as much time as I can – usually I end up spending few hours per day. However, the time commitment from January to June every year is high as we conduct field visits, identify schools and also scrutinize scholarship applications for the academic season that starts in June – July.

How many people you have already added to Padhaai Foundation?

Madhavi L : The trust has three members as trustees – however, anybody who offers help is a volunteer, As we do a lot of activity at schools that are in the outskirts of Bangalore we have the local people from those places who play a very important role in acting as SPOC for the activity. I have 3 such important SPOCs.

Tell us something about your recent works for Padhaai Foundation?

Madhavi L : Last year we provided scholarships for up to 1 lac rupees. Padhaai moved on from merely providing notebooks and stationery to providing scholarships. Padhaai keeps track of the academic performance of the kids and also hopes to identify other opportunities/skills that these kids will require for them to procure good jobs. To mention specific cases, Padhaai is helping the kids of a rag picker and and cook (both being single mothers). The kids were in a position that they would have to lend a helping hand to their moms by picking up a similar job, Padhaai has taken the onus to get them educated. It will be an achievement for Padhaai if these kids are able to get jobs based on their education.

What motivates you to keep the cause alive? 

Madhavi L : Each time we go to distribute the books and stationery at the municipal schools, the kids see our van coming and start shouting ‘Padhaai, Padhaai….’, that’s a big motivator. We support 20 girls who stay at an orphanage in Tumkur, they have sent in paintings and other art items created by them for the donor – that’s a motivator. ‘Hope’ to make a change is the biggest motivator.

What’s make you happy? 

Madhavi L : The kids call me Padhaai akka, Padhaai aunty and ask me if they will get stuff next year as well. The thought that someone beyond your family and social circle looks upto you for something – gives me happiness. The fact that I have an Individual Social Responsibility for myself gives me happiness.

Future plan of action of Padhaai.

Madhavi L : Padhaai would like to expand operations and reach out to more children. Padhaai would like to have a donor base that runs into thousands of people; Padhaai would like to be the most sought after organization for sponsoring the education of the girl child. Padhaai would also like to set up its own book bank that will be able to supply text books and also other general books for the needy kids.

madhavi lokhandeDr. Madhavi Lokhande has completed her PhD in “Micro Credit for SMEs in India” and her FICWA, CMA (US) and M.Com. She heads the Academic Cell and the Finance vertical at Welingkar Institute of Management, Bangalore campus. She has over 15 years of experience in the industry, academia and research.

Her belief in ‘Education for all’ led her to initiate ‘Padhaai’. She aims to create awareness about education by looking for opportunities to provide scholarships, fellowships, notebooks and other school stationery to children. Granting of financial assistance for educational pursuits might help this section of  people believe that Education is critical to the future of all children, especially to those who are orphaned or vulnerable.

She is NEN faculty leader and also on the business advisory panel of the ISB – Goldman Sachs 10000 Women entrepreneurs program.

We Linkfried Team Pledge to Support Her for this Initiation, What about you ? Not only in monetary way, you can donate your old Books, Unused Note Book and other Education material as a support. For Donation or Support kindly Contact Mrs Madhavi Lokhande or inform us, we will connect to her. 

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Pranab Mishra
Simplifying Education news and Information. Aim to reach each Individual with some Education Information. Let's Spread education together.