The mission of SOPAN is to help exceptionally talented but poor students in India become doctors, engineers, and computer scientists. Overview SOPAN awards scholarships to recent high school students who have overcome the adversity of their family's circumstances to be among the top rankers in national/state level common entrance tests, based on which they have secured admissions to quality engineering and medical colleges.
SOPAN is unique in terms of its focus. We fund the most talented students and help them pursue the most expensive education in India. The rationale is simple. Given the level of tuition and other fees in professional colleges, the poor have no chance today to pursue their dreams of becoming engineers or doctors. These students cannot get educational loans from banks either given the insistence of banks in India for history of banking relationships and a need for collateral. However, the earning potential of these professions is very high. An engineer, doctor or computer scientist earns enough to help his/her family financially, lifting the whole family out of the poverty trap. Overview The student also becomes a role model in the community inspiring others to pursue this path. In other words, the multiplier effect on the society of enabling a talented child to become an high income earning professional is huge. By a conservative estimate, each rupee invested in a talented child returns 140x to the society.
SOPAN is unique in one other way - it is self sustaining. Each scholarship recipient from SOPAN makes a pledge to support at least two more students once he/she has the capacity to do so. This pledge provides a built in mechanism for the future sustainability of the scholarship program. Unlike most other charities where the flow of money is always one way, SOPAN's model ensures that the current scholars go on to become future donors. In fact, we are blessed to receive a significant amount of funds from our scholars in India and abroad year after year. As we become better at sustaining relationships with our scholars, this amount will only go up in the future. Overview An additional unique aspect of SOPAN is that every cent of every donation goes to the scholar directly.