Education and Empowerment
Education is the stepping stone to a better future for impoverished Indians, or at least that’s what we are told. The reality of the situation is that when a poor student does manage to receive an education the disparity between their abilities and the requirements of the job market makes all their work null and void.
Mohammad Abdul Khuddus and his social entrepreneurship venture “SDA (Student Development Association)” have been changing this reality by making them industry ready since 2006. With the aim of helping students build a distinguished career in the corporate world while providing microfinance Mr. Mohammad has bridged the gap between education and Corporate Careers.
Yourstory learnt more from Mohammad on SDA and how social entrepreneurship can change the lives of the poor.
What kind of social entrepreneurship is Student Development Association about?
Student Development Association is a registered NGO working on grass roots level to guide and help students of high school, intermediate and professional courses to attain their education and career objectives effectively. Establish a platform for professionals to give back to society and create a network of professionals of Hyderabad.
Who are the people behind SDA and its daily functioning? What benefits do students receive?
Student Development Association is a self funding organization SDA members are all volunteers from different walks of life from entrepreneurs to IT Professionals and from Scientist to government employees. SDA is backed by able leader in the form of its founder Mr. Khuddus GM of Alcatel Lucent and other senior member of industry.
SDA has trained more than 10000 students in the form of providing financial help, career guidance, providing employment, and sponsoring individual students
Is there a business model for the Student Development Association?
Like many NGO SDA doesn’t look at monetarily benefits, all the service rendered to the students is for the sake of humanity. All the help given to the students is from the pockets of members of the SDA.
All the members of SDA are employees of top MNCs or have their own business the work done at SDA is voluntarily.
How will you expand your program so that more poor students may be benefitted?
SDA is looking to enter into partnership with leading MNCs with the help of its elite members and leading universities and colleges of Hyderabad all the money collected from the events will be donated to poor students.
What has been the main barrier to helping the poor students?
Pursuing Children’s parents to send their wards to send them schools as some of them were the bread winners of their family. SDA members usually mails in their circle for the cause of sponsoring of students so that their family income won’t be affected by sending their ward to school. Overcoming local politics to make government schools a better place to learn is also an issue.
What is your current employee or volunteer strength?
SDA now has 15 employees working for it; all the workers or employees are recommended by a previous worker of the organization. SDA member conducted career drives are aimed at leading MNCs for the students of government schools.
What do you think is a limiting factor for an Indian entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is not being promoted in Universities and Colleges unlike in developed countries. Students should be encouraged to help the people
What made you feel that your work has been noticed by others?
SDA has been called for career counseling at two technology universities and many colleges in Hyderabad. We have won laurels from the CM of AP and its founder is constantly approached by Educationalists and former Education Ministers for advice
SDA was featured on tv9, etv and is also regularly featured in print media. Motorola India awarded $5000 for its services to the student community. SDA was also a semi finalist at India NGO Challenge
What inspired you to take up social entrepreneurship?
Seeing the plight of Poor Students dropping out of the schools due to lack of financial means or improper guidance…The President of SDA has been in the field of social service right from his education days.
What are the top priorities for the coming 2 years at SDA?
In the coming years the core team of SDA wants the organization to have a presence in South India and other parts of India. The Core team also wants the organization to enter into pacts with other foreign NGOs
What message would you like to convey to your fellow social entrepreneurs?
Never lose sight out of your mission. NGO or Social Entrepreneurs should focus on helping humanity rather than getting money out of it
Yourstory wishes more power to Mr. Mohammad Abdul Khuddus and SDA in their exemplary work of empowering the impoverished students of India. We wish them success and urge you to check out their work at http://www.sdaindia.org