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Dalit And Adivasi Students' Portal Launched

Dear Friends,

We are very pleased to announce the launching of our Dalit and Adivasi Students' Portal ( www.scststudents.org ) .

After the successful launch of National Telephone Helpline (helpline number – 0 9999 48 42 49 ) for our students on 27 th May, 2010, this portal is one more effort from Insight Foundation, towards creating a support system for Dalit and Adivasi students in Higher Education and also supporting them to make informed choices while pursuing higher education and in career opportunities.

About the Portal

Dalit and Adivasi Students' Portal (DASP) is an e-resource centre for Dalit and Adivasi students in Higher education. DASP includes online discussion, mentoring for Dalit and Adivasi students, and provides relevant information about admissions, scholarships and career opportunities. It is also a space for advocating intervention at policy levels, towards creating equal opportunities in higher education, by making our educational system more inclusive.

Various Sections in the Portal

1. Information - As a group, we are committed to provide relevant and updated information regarding various courses, admissions, scholarships, coaching and career opportunities available for our students through our portal. The students can also write to us or our telephone helpline for any particular information.

2. Mentorship Programme - We are running a unique mentorship programme for our students to get in touch with young professionals, academicians, faculty members and all those who graduated from premier institutions and pursuing their respective careers successfully.

Our students are advised to go through the portal and choose the mentor from the desired field. We have already uploaded few profiles of our mentors on the portal and by the end of this month we are going to upload profiles of 100 mentors from different fields. All our mentors are committed to support our students to the best of their capacities.

Our target is, within the period of one year, to have almost 500 mentors from different fields to assist our students.

3. Interviews - The portal will carry regular interviews of our young achievers and mentors, their achievements and their struggles to motivate our young students. We are going to upload one interview each, every week, in our sections – Success Stories and Meet our Mentor.

4. Issues at Stake- This section will consist of brief commentaries on important issues, especially, pertaining to policies on higher education and its impact on our communities. We invite young Dalit and Adivasi students, professionals and activists to send their writings to us on important issues that we can upload in this section.

5. Experts Says –Through this section, we will try to provide detailed information to our students on one particular topic like on newly available courses, tips for improving their writing and other skills needed to excel in their studies etc.

6. Campus News - This section will include articles, news, commentaries, brief reports on the activities of various Dalit and Adivasi students groups working in different campuses. This section will also highlight cases of caste-discrimination and prejudices that are prevalent in Indian campuses.

7. Discussion Forum – A platform for our students, mentors and other users to discuss, share, debate on various issues.

Above is the brief overview of the portal which is online now. To begin with, we have tried our level best to make our portal simple and informative. However, we are going to add lots of new features and applications on our portal gradually as per the requirements of our students.

Simultaneously we are also working on creating a database on admissions, scholarships, career opportunities and other important information that will be uploaded on our portal for the benefit of our students.

Requests -

1. Please do visit our portal www.scststudents.org and let us know your feedbacks on mail@insightfoundation.in to improve our efforts.

2. Become a mentor – Please let us know if you are interested in becoming a mentor of our students and mail us.

3. Please forward this information regarding our Telephone Helpline and Dalit and Adivasi Students Portal to all our students, if possible or/and suggest us ways to reach to our students.

4. Education sector being one of the broadest, we need your support to build our database on information regarding higher education and career opportunities.

Media Coverage – We have been very fortunate to get some media coverage on our recent initiatives. Given below are the links. Kindly have a look.

1. http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/newdelhi/Help-for-reserved-categories/Article1-552729.aspx

2. http://www.thehindu.com/2010/05/28/stories/2010052863060300.htm