By: V R C Phaniharan
Hyderabad: A unique scholarship scheme initiated by the Indian Postal Department (IPD) for schoolchildren studying between class VI and IX has not yet reached a vast majority of students in rural areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. According to sources in the TS and AP Circles, the IPD has launched the Deen Dayal Sparsh Yojana or SPARSH scholarship for the promotion of aptitude and research in stamps as hobby (SPARSH).
Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official said the objective of the scholarship was to promote the hobby of the collection of stamps as a relaxing activity. It would also lead to social connections between like-minded schoolchildren from different parts of the States, with similar interests and to forge new friendships. Besides, the key element of the scheme was that “it will benefit the individual students, as it would help hone the memory skills by working to catalogue and organise information and give meaning to one’s actions,” the official added.
However, the scheme has not reached tens and thousands of students studying in the social welfare residential and other government and private schools in the rural areas of both the Telugu States. Because, to award, the scholarships, either the schools should participate in the competition, or the student should have a philately deposit account. But, the majority of schools are not aware of the scheme and do not open the philately clubs and the students have no chance to open a philately deposit account in the rural post offices.
“When a school wants to participate in the competition, it will be assigned with a philately mentor from among the renowned philatelists. In turn, the mentor will help the formation of the club and how to pursue the philately projects” said the official. And, once in a year, each circle notifies the topics on which the students should conduct their project. Besides, a circle level philately quiz would be organised. Those qualified in these two, with a score of a minimum of 60 percent marks in their examination would get the awards.As per the scheme guidelines, each circle can offer up to 40 scholarships of an annual scholarship amount of Rs 6,000. However, most of these scholarships are going to those studying in the urban centres.
Because, either the school forms a philately club, or the students opens a philately deposit account in the post offices located in the cities like Hyderabad, Warangal, Visakhapatnam, and Vijayawada, the sources pointed out.(Source http://www.thehansindia.com)