V- Charcha (A Greet & Meet Platform for Vidyadhan Sponsors and Scholars)


Another online initiative that was started last year and has opened new possibilities for the Vidyadhan program has been – “V-Charcha”, where V stands for ‘Virtual’, ‘Vidyadhan’ and ‘We’. It is a platform to bring together Vidyadhan sponsors and students in an informal setting so that they get to know each other more closely. It has enabled the sponsors and the Founders of Vidyadhan – Shibulal and Kumari Shibulal – to share their knowledge, experience and life-journeys with the students, which has been inspiring as well as a useful learning for the students. The space has also enabled students, some confident, some hesitant, to express their doubts and pose questions to the sponsors with a wealth of experience and insight. It has also facilitated learning from each other among the students from different states and diverse educational backgrounds as they shared their dreams, achievements and doubts.

Covid, in a way, has acted as a catalyst creating circumstances that pushed Vidyadhan, like many other institutions and people across the world, to experiment and turn an ‘Adversity into an Opportunity’. Earlier, it had been a time taking and cumbersome exercise for Vidyadhan to make logisṭical arrangements to get together the students and the sponsors on one platform, physically. The shift to a virtual platform has been both enabling and an eye-opener as it has opened a window to new possibilities for cooperation. For instance, the initiative has opened up sustained mentorship opportunities for students as the sponsors got to know more about their students, the courses they were pursuing and their areas of interest. One of the Vidyadhan sponsors Dr Parasuram Balasubramanian has taken a special interest in interacting with the students on a one- on-one basis and guiding them through their careers.

Since October 2020, Vidyadhan has conducted 16 V-Charcha’s with more than 200 students participating, inculcating a sense of confidence among the students not to fear failure and dream big given a rapidly changing economy and external environment. The interactions have been held in two broad formats: Single Sponsor and Multiple Sponsor. V-Charcha’s in the multiple sponsor format paved the way for students to interact with other sponsors partnering Vidyadhan and understand their perspectives. At one of the events, the sponsors held a panel discussion on: “How Adversity can be turned into an opportunity. Feedback from the students indicates that exposure to different paths, views on future specialization choices shared by Shibulal and the sponsors, and career guidance provided since the inception of V-Charcha was found to be very useful.

The initiative has also led to a deepening of the sponsor-student relationship opening new internship and even employment opportunities for final year students. Further, the keen interest shown by the students has, in turn, motivated sponsors to enhance their support and also help Vidyadhan by spreading the word about the program.


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