Joda: Every alternate day, Asha Naik from Guali village in Keonjhar district contemplates abandoning her studies to contribute to her family’s financial needs. The family faced heightened challenges when her father’s declining health compelled him to resign from his supervisory job five years ago, leaving her mother, Sulochana, to manage household responsibilities and occasional labor for sustenance. The family’s survival, comprising ten members, relies on sporadic farming and labor opportunities.
Asha’s life, currently a ninth-grade student at MuchuriaMalda School, took a promising turn when she seized the opportunity to participate in the Tata Steel Foundation’s Jyoti Fellowship entrance test. Successfully securing the scholarship for the academic year 2022-2023 brought a glimmer of hope to her family, grappling with the complexities of raising multiple children. Through the scholarship program, Asha has discovered a lifeline amid her ongoing struggles.
Expressing her gratitude, Asha stated, “For an aspiring student like me, continuing education is paramount. I owe a debt of gratitude to Tata Steel Foundation for the unwavering support it has provided.”
Jagu Naik, residing in Panduliposhi village and father of Archita Naik, commended the praiseworthiness of Tata Steel Foundation’s scholarship initiative, emphasizing its role in enabling many to pursue their dream careers.
Between 2020 and 2023, a total of 77 students from scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) communities in the Kalmang and Gandhalpada Project Division have been recipients of the Jyoti Fellowship. The scholarship amount awarded among these students has reached a sum of Rs 3,09,750 to date.