Covid-19 and its devastating impact has left millions unemployed, both in India and across the world. At Akanksha, several of our parents and community members belong to the informal sector and are daily wage workers. Multiple lockdowns and never-ending restrictions has rendered them jobless and has adversely affected their livelihoods.
Back in 2020, Akanksha had partnered with Haqdarshak, a technology-based service connecting citizens to government welfare schemes by bridging the information gap. Today, as our partnership continues to grow with over 2000 parents connected to Haqdarshak, we bring to you findings of a key study on how access to social welfare can ensure that more children go to school and pursue higher education.
Entitlements for Education: An Impact Report by Haqdarshak & Akanksha
Quality and affordable education is a critical aspect of social welfare. For marginalised & economically-disadvantaged families, sending their children to school is something that parents work hard for, and most often look to the government for support and help.
“While scholarships are the most tangible welfare support, having social security especially insurance, correct documentation and a savings plan are some of the other important entitlements that impact school continuation and higher education.”
Entitlements for Education, an impact report by HESPL & Akanksha
The impact study surveyed 51 Akanksha parents across Mumbai and Pune to understand the deep connection between social welfare schemes and access to school education and higher studies. The average monthly income of the sample household was Rs 13, 637 where majority of the parents were street vendors, shop-owners & electricians and owners of other such micro-enterprises.
The Need of the Hour: Where Akanksha Parents Need Support
The survey found that four social welfare schemes were in high demand:
- Health & Health Insurance: Nearly 39% of those surveyed said they wanted subsided medicines and state health insurance
- Documentation: Nearly 22% of those surveyed said they needed access to documentation, particularly Aadhar card and Aadhar linkages
- Insurance: Nearly 20% of those surveyed said they needed accident and life insurance
- Savings: Nearly 14% of those surveyed would like support in setting up a savings account, and invest savings in the girl child.
In a Snapshot: Trupti Gaikwad, a 10-year old Akanksha student from Pune is enrolled in the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, a health insurance scheme along with her siblings. Her mother is thankful that her children’s health will be looked after and relieved to get support from Haqdarskhal Nilesh in the enrollment process.
Key Findings of the Study: Social Welfare Access Is Undeniably Linked to Child Education & Family Health
The study found that access to social welfare can can have a far-reaching impact in 2 major fundamental needs of a household:
- Welfare for Education: 23% of surveyed Akanksha parents wish to avail scholarships for their children to ensure the provision of a good-quality education and seeked support for financial aid. 57% of the parents said that the scheme benefits they unlocked will encourage them to continue their children’s education, plan higher studies and curb dropouts.
- Insurance as Assurance: 72% of those who were linked to insurance or savings schemes, believed they received additional support towards planning their children’s education. 57% of of the surveyed parents said because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve become more cautious about their family’s health, and expressed the need to avail health insurance coverage for all family members
The study also found that surveyed Akanksha parents felt that accurate and up-to-date documentation is key for higher-education processes for their children and for accessing state social welfare schemes. Increase in household income is a crucial factor where most parents are looking to increase their monthly income via livelihood opportunities as well as support for their micro enterprises.
In a Snapshot: Father of Aanshika, a Class 2 student and electrician by profession, Vijay and his wife are grateful to have Haqdarshak Abhinav’s support in opening an Sukanya Samridhhi account for their daughter. They wish to secure Aanshika’s future by saving more for her education.
Haqdarshak has been successful in creating awareness and access to critical documentation, key welfare schemes and process support for a large number of Akanksha parents. So far, the program has linked 1535 citizens to their eligible welfare entitlements and unlocked benefits worth Rs.63 lakh.
We hope to build a brighter & better future for our parents & communities with stellar partners like these!