Tumkur: Narayana Health’s social initiative with a focus on educating and mentoring selected students from economically challenged family backgrounds to become doctors is the brainchild of Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman – Narayana Health. Narayana Hrudayalaya Foundation has joined hands with Sree Siddaganga Mutt and CISCO to implement the next chapter of Udaan program in Tumkur district. InnoTeach Learning Solutions are the education partners in this initiative.
Project Udaan was launched in Karnataka two years back in December 2014. After launching a successful program in Kanakpura with support from MindTree and Jain University, the Tumkur chapter was launched today at Siddaganga Mutt with support from CISCO. The program was launched by His Holiness Dr. Shree Shree Sivakumara Swamigalu of Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur amidst a large gathering of teachers, including teachers from Innoteach learning agency, students and project Udaan teams from Narayana Health’s CSR wing and CISCO.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Anupama Shetty, Sr. Program Manager – CSR, Narayana Health said, “Since Udaan program seeks to reach out to rural deserving students, it was felt that students from Siddanganga Mutt are eminently suited to be a part of this program. The Mutt’s objective of inclusiveness and empowerment of rural students is in alignment with the spirit of Udaan program”.
Project Udaan is modeled on the lines of ‘Udayer Pathey’ (meaning towards the path of dawn, in Bengali) – a social initiative of Narayana Health that was started in the year 2007 in West Bengal. It offers scholarships to bright students from disadvantaged rural backgrounds to become doctors. It follows a streamlined selection process to ensure that deserving and bright students who aspire to make a career in medicine are given the required support and resources to achieve their dreams.
Speaking about the difference it makes in the quality of life for children from rural background, Mr. Shyam Kaluve, Director Engineering CISCO said, “This program aims to fill the large gap in skilled doctors and medical professionals especially in the rural areas. Rural children selected for this program shall receive constant guidance and coaching from the early age to propel them higher academically. With their strong bond to their home, village, and community we hope they shall support the rural areas in future.”
The objective is to ensure online as well as direct mentoring and coaching of students. For ease of implementation and monitoring, six schools in the vicinity of Siddaganga Mutt were chosen. The schools are Sree Siddalingeshwara Residential High School, S. R. Secondary School, Siddhaganga P.U. School, Silver Jubilee M.D. High School, Sree Basaveshwara English Medium High School and Nivedita High School. The selection process is divided in five stages namely, written exam, interaction with doctors, interest and awareness towards life science, counseling of parents and family background verification. Post verification of family background, 50 deserving students are selected for further educational support. House-hold visits are carried out to ensure that socio-economic criteria are met and parents are supportive of the program.
“The program follows a selection methodology to ensure we are reaching out to the brightest and most deserving students who have an aptitude towards taking up science as a subject after class 10, and are committed towards choosing the medical profession as their career”, said Dr. Anupama.
Children from Udaan program can be motivated to use their medical education in improving health care systems in their villages and small towns. The student also becomes a role model in the community inspiring others to pursue this path. In other words, the multiplier effect on the society of enabling a talented child to become a doctor is huge. Every single doctor created of the Udaan program has a ripple effect throughout the community.