New Delhi: In an era where education has become a lucrative industry, there are still a handful of schools that use their influence to improve the lives of their students and pave the way for a better future. While the rich have an abundance of educational choices, the situation is starkly different for the middle-class and lower-income groups. For children from these groups of population, education is the sole gateway to a better future.
Students hailing from a financially stable environment enjoy the choice of a wide array of schooling options, including international institutions. However, this landscape does not mirror the entirety of society in India. There are a large number of poor and middle-class people in India who rely entirely on government schools and affordable private schools. Though these schools have been established with the aim of bringing seminal changes in the lives of students from middle- and lower-income groups, these schools face numerous challenges. Owners face financial constraints, staffing shortages, gender-based reluctance towards education, teaching quality concerns, student dropouts to enter the labour market, technological limitations, and inadequate infrastructure. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic only added to these struggles.
While the government has initiated various programmes to aid such schools, the rollout has often proved sluggish, leaving school owners seeking alternative solutions.
Enter Varthana, a non-banking financial company (NBFC), which specialises in extending loans to private affordable schools for the development of infrastructure and other amenities. Its client base resides across all regions of India. Interestingly, they all have a story to tell of the way Varthana helped them in their growth journey.
Says Mr. Sharad Kumar Gupta, MD of Hari Maya International School in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, attesting to Varthana’s impact: ” COVID-19 was a time of great stress for us. We were faced with a staggering loss of Rs 2 Crores in fee collection and the looming threat of a second wave of COVID-19. However, funds from Varthana Finance saved us from closure and helped us grow. On the strength of the infrastructure we set up with these funds, our student strength climbed steeply – from 215 to 700.”
Mr. Sonu Singh Chauhan, Manager of KT Public School in Loomb (Baghpat), Meerut, UP, attesting to Varthana’s impact: “With the loan funds provided by Varthana, we were able to construct new classrooms besides three smart classrooms for our students. The school had 260 students before COVID-19; this has now increased to 487. This substantial increase in student enrollment is proof of the positive impact of our efforts and the growing recognition of the quality education we provide.”
Mr. Narayan Dutt Sharma, Manager of Indian Public Inter College in Agra, UP, attesting to Varthana’s impact: “In December, we secured a loan of about Rs 80 Lakhs from Varthana, which we used for the construction of additional classrooms. We are grateful to Varthana for providing us with such a large amount of funds in a timely manner and for simplifying the loan process. Currently, there are about 1,200 students in our school, and more are being added. We are putting in place more infrastructure to provide the students with enhanced facilities.”
Varthana’s influence has expanded across 15 states, benefiting over 9,000 affordable private schools and impacting four million students nationwide. In Uttar Pradesh alone, Varthana has aided more than 790 schools, channelling a remarkable ₹102 Crores into the state. Varthana’s commitment to schools and students sets it apart from other players in the space. It collaborates with schools at every juncture, providing teacher upskilling, owner management training, and technological support, and also provides educational loans to students to pursue courses of various tenures and skill-development courses.
Here’s the personal account of another beneficiary of Varthana’s lending activity. Mr. Rojo Thomas, School Owner of St Xavier School, Kadipur, shares, “I am extremely satisfied with the services provided by Varthana Finance. The loan process went through smoothly and the relationship manager assigned to us was knowledgeable and supportive. Constructing a new wing of a school building and upgrading the infrastructure requires a substantial amount of funds. Varthana Finance helped us meet these fund requirements in a timely manner. Thanks to all this, our student strength expanded from 1,050 to 1,260. “
India’s economy is growing rapidly, both domestically and internationally. This growth is creating demand for skilled workers. And schools, colleges, and other educational institutions will be essential in providing this workforce.
A well-developed education system that is accessible to people from all strata of society is essential for the overall development of the nation. This is because education and the necessary skills help people enter and succeed in the job market. It also helps to promote social mobility and create a more equitable society.
Founded in 2013, Varthana works towards bridging the gap in education financing and reducing the employability gap in India by supporting affordable private schools and students with affordable financing options. To date, the organization has financed over 9,000 affordable private schools which educate more than four million students and employ more than 100,000 teachers. Its Student Loan business has also grown significantly since its inception in 2018, financing over 12,000 students seeking domestic vocational or undergrad education. Varthana aims to make education accessible to over 10 million students by 2025. For more information, please visit: https://varthana.com/