Following on from my last blog about the Cadence Scholarship Program, here is the second inspiring story featuring one of our students - Mousumi Ghorai.
A few words about the Cadence Scholarship Program, in case you missed reading about it in my earlier blog. Introduced in India three years ago, the goal of the program is to address the issue of retaining students from under-privileged backgrounds in the academic cycle through funding and support. Many meritorious children drop out of the education system after school because of the lack of finances, and the extra burden on them to augment family income from a very young age.
The Cadence Higher Education Scholarship Program has helped under-privileged young adults undertake graduation and professional courses for livelihood. These courses are beyond the conventional vocational programs and not limited to engineering and medicine. This program was initiated in National Capital Region (NCR), and over the last three years, it has benefited 75 students. After a successful pilot it was expanded to Bangalore two years ago, and has benefited 35 students. In its third year, the Pune chapter was added, helping 11 students.
The execution and administration of the program is managed by our NGO partners Concern India Foundation (CIF) and Joining Hands. The students are selected through a rigorous process of due diligence carried out by Joining Hands. Concern India Foundation oversees the student’s performance throughout their coursework. Cadence employees in each of these locations volunteer as mentors to help them with their studies, develop their personality, improve their communication and employability skills.
Mousumi’s success today is all the more sweet considering the adversity that she worked through to come this far. A financially independent woman now, courage and confidence have been the remarkable features of her journey. Finding support from Cadence and our partner, Joining Hands, a non-governmental organization (NGO), marked a turning point in her life.
Growing up in a disadvantageous environment, Mousumi was never bogged down by the problems she had to face; instead, they inspired her to aspire for a better future. And that aspiration instilled in her tenacity and grit to fight against the odds and a zeal to do something for herself and her family. Along with her own determination, Mousumi’s mother also showed tremendous strength of character by not only taking charge of the family but also instilling resilience in Mousumi to confront challenges with a positive mindset.
Impressed by Mousumi’s resolve to secure a white-collar job, Cadence employee Siddharth Gulati suggested to her that she should apply for the Cadence Scholarship Program to sponsor her vocational study. On applying, she was accepted into the Program and opted to study Office Management. Her course fees for the diploma were sponsored in full by Cadence.
Mousumi’s mentor at Cadence, Vidhi Bansal, was actively involved with Mousumi’s growth from a shy and introverted girl into a confident young woman. As her mentor, Vidhi maintained regular contact with Mousumi, providing her with guidance and encouragement that helped her excel. Vidhi’s help and the support of our NGO partner, Joining Hands were especially critical during the second year that Mousumi was with the program when she became distracted and lost focus due to personal problems. Thanks to the advice and guidance provided by both Vidhi and Joining Hands, Mousumi was able to get back on track; and from then on, she never looked back. Mousumi has been working with a travel and manpower consultancy firm as an office assistant since June 2019. She is now supporting her younger brother’s education.
Life has new meaning for Mousumi; she wants to give back to her society. She aims to help children from troubled backgrounds to study and achieve success. Her dream project is to make every girl in the village from which she hails, tech-savvy. Mousumi says, “I am extremely grateful that Cadence and Joining hands have given me this opportunity to grow and achieve my goals. Thanks to the help of the Cadence Scholarship Program, today I am an independent woman who can support my family financially.”
Mousumi expressed her gratitude to the Scholarship Program and Joining Hands by donating 20% of her first salary to Joining Hands.