The COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020 has unleashed misery across the country, leaving behind lakhs of distraught families. According to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights June 5, 2021 affidavit in the Supreme Court, over 3,500 children across the country have lost both their parents due to the deadly disease. In addition, nearly 26,000 kids have had to deal with the loss of at least one parent. These children now find themselves in vulnerable positions with respect to continuing with their education.
HDFC Bank has announced a COVID Crisis Support Scholarship for students who were affected by the pandemic. The scholarship is a part of Parivartan, HDFC Bank’s social responsibility program. Here are the details of the scholarship program for students and families in need.
What’s this scholarship program about?
The scholarship is offered to school (from classes 1 to 12) and college students (pursuing undergraduate, post-graduate and diploma courses). Under this scholarship scheme, eligible students will be provided with a one-time financial assistance ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 75,000. The scholarship fund can be utilised for academic expenses, which include tuition fees, hostel fees, online learning devices, books, etc.
Ashima Bhat, Group Head-Business Finance and Strategy, Administration and Infrastructure of HDFC Bank says, “During this time of crisis, we are supporting talented young individuals who are going through hardships due to the pandemic and are at risk of dropping out from schools or colleges.”
What is the eligibility to apply for the scholarship?
The scholarship is offered to students who have lost either or both of their parents to the pandemic since January 2020, or students whose earning family members have lost their employment. The student should be pursuing courses at Indian boards and universities to apply for the scholarship.
The annual family income must be less than or equal to Rs 6 lakh per annum from all sources. This scholarship is especially for those students who are on the verge of dropping out due to financial constraints caused by the pandemic. The last date to apply for this scholarship is October 31, 2021.
Also read: Covid has orphaned many children. Here's how to protect their future
What is the procedure to apply for the scholarship?
The scholarship program for HDFC Bank is managed by Buddy4Study India Foundation. You will need to register with your email and mobile number on its website. After logging in, you will have to fill the online application form and submit the required documents.
These documents are students' mark sheet of the previous educational degree (2019-20), a government-issued identity card of the parent (Aadhaar, PAN card, etc.), admission proof in the current year 2020-21 (admission letter, fee receipt or institution identity card, etc.), a guardian of the child will need to submit the death certificate of the parent; in case of a job loss, parents need to submit proof of previous employment, their bank account details, two refrences who know the family’s financial crisis (can be a school teacher, head of school or college, family doctor, etc.) and applicant’s photograph.
What is the selection process for this scholarship?
The selection process of HDFC Bank Parivartan's COVID Crisis Support Scholarship Program is a multi-stage one. Students are shortlisted based on merit (i.e., past academic performance), proof of financial crisis and other eligibility criteria as discussed. Verification of the documents submitted, telephonic interaction with the parents/guardians and references given in the application form are also carried out.
Also read: Guardian for a COVID-orphaned child? Learn about late parents’ bank accounts and insurance policies
Will the scholarship support be given for subsequent years of studies?
No, this is a one-time scholarship support for COVID-affected students to continue their education without any hindrance.
If the student is selected for the scholarship in this academic year, the amount will be transferred directly to the parent's or guardian's bank account after the selection process is completed.
Being a professional/self-employed I don’t have any job loss certificate to submit. What should I submit then while applying for the scholarship?
In such a situation, you need to get an affidavit from a competent court on notary paper, or a letter from your panchayat as proof of financial crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic, and then upload it with the application of your child, along with the bank statement, pan card, etc.