By Smita Ram, Rang De Team
He who opens a school door, closes a prison. ~Victor Hugo
We may all complain about the Education system in India and how it needs to improve. Whatever be our criticism, deep inside we all know that we are here because of our education and the sacrifices made by our parents to ensure that we completed our education. We observe a similar pattern among low income households now. They borrow from money lenders every year just to make sure they are able to send their children to school.
While it is a different debate altogether about why the government schools are dysfunctional, the fact remains that there is a need for affordable credit so that children from low income households complete their education.
This is the third consecutive year of our Education Loans. We funded 105 children in Hyderabad in April 2009. In 2010, we funded 5 Education loans. This year we are all set to break the record. We have already funded 30 education loans and have 50 waiting to be funded. We are expecting 100 more applications from across the country.
What we fund: we fund the beginning of the year expenses including the admission fees, expenses on books and uniforms and tuition fees in rare cases. We also fund bicycles to help children attend school when the distance they have to travel is too long.
Who we fund: We fund women from low income households to help them send their children to primary, high school or occasionally diploma courses as well. Borrowers are screened and recommended by our field partners as in the case of our business loans.
Ensuring Transparency: In order to ensure there is transparency in loan utilisation — borrowers are expected to maintain records of their expenses towards school fees, uniform, books and cycles.
Impact: Imagine this, if Parbati’s daughter Ganga gets to complete her nursing course because of an education loan that Parbati availed, her education will open up opportunities for a career and there by increasing her earning potential.
So, now is the time to Invest in Education and support people who are going against all odds to send their children to school. If we do this today, chances are that the ‘generation next’ of our borrowers would not need to depend on microloans!
Rang De Education loans are facilitated at 5% flat p.a. You can invest in them just like you make any other social investment on Rang De. Simply click on the Education tab on the Search page.