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Shanthimalai Skill Development Program (SSDP, formerly PTP)

The School Sponsorship Program has enabled children from even the most difficult circumstances to stay in school, get a first-rate education and graduate successfully. As these students completed their high school education, it became clear that they needed additional support to move on either to a college education or to vocational training which would make them eligible for suitable employment.

To meet this need, Shanthimalai Research and Development Trust (SRDT) launched the Shanthimalai Skill Development Program (SSDP), formerly PTP, in 2001. Over the past 2 decades, SSDP has offered vocational training and higher education to hundreds of students.

Currently, 262 students participate in the program which covers:
• College fees • Transportation • Field trips
• Study materials • Employment workshops • Counseling
• Room and board • Vocational Training  

The Need for Higher Education and Skill Development

Due to a growing awareness of rapid global transformation with its corresponding demand for education, students are eager to equip themselves with communication, software, and managerial skills. Most parents in this region, however, are uneducated and live below the poverty line. Even when they are committed to educating their children, the majority are incapable of providing financial support for higher education.

Only 15% of students in the Tiruvannamalai region go on to college. Parents often take their children out of school early, as sons are needed to help support the family, and girls traditionally leave school in order to marry young. Family pressures, as well as the lack of economic, social and cultural opportunities, place a heavy burden on students.

Bridging the Gap

These rural students, although smart and hardworking, are at a disadvantage when applying for jobs. SSDP addresses this in several ways:

  • The SSDP coordinator mentors the students both individually and in groups to prepare them for challenges they will encounter in the workplace.

  • Bridging the Gap connects current students with graduates who are now professionals, including scientists, software engineers, and educators. These graduates meet annually with the students to motivate and encourage them by sharing their experiences. In addition, students receive training from Infosys and Tata Consulting to better equip them for the present job market.

  • We are building relationships with several multinational corporations, in India and elsewhere. Working through their Corporate Responsibility Programs, these companies can offer our students the support and training needed for finding suitable employment in the current job market. Not only will this give students a successful start to their careers, but equally important, it will provide businesses with well trained, hard-working, and loyal staff.

These young people are the first generation in their families to attend college.

The program is funded by sponsorships and private donations. You can sponsor an applicant now by contacting us at:

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