About Us| Somaiya Help a Child Program

About Us

How it all began

Help A Child was founded in 2001 through Somaiya Grameen Vikas Kendra, as a joint project of Somaiya Vidyavihar Trust  and Godavari Biorefineries Ltd.

A young girl, Sujata Bisnal had passed her 10th grade examination with flying colours but was unable to continue her education. Her father had left her when she was a year old, her uncle who had been supporting her education was injured and could no longer work, leaving her mother and aunt to support the family as daily wage labourers. Given this she had two options, to get married or start working herself.

Moved by her story, Samir Somaiya, Chairman and Managing Director of Godavari Biorefineries Ltd offered to sponsor her further education and that’s how Sujata became the first student of the Help A Child to Study Project. Today, she proudly holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Arts degree. She was working as a teacher with K J Somaiya English Medium School at Sameerwadi, Karnataka till last year before finally deciding to get married.

Since 2001, Help A Child has helped over 5800 deserving students to achieve their dreams.

While we have come a long way, we know that there are many students like Sujata still out there without the means to continue their studies. We continuously find a way to reach out to all of them.

The obstacles we identified…

Financial constraints

  • The lack of sponsorship for secondary/higher secondary education
  • The high interest imposed by the local loan providers
  • Lack of funds for travel expenses, hostel accommodation and other course-related requirements
  • The financial burden on the student and the family after the course completion


  • Lack of proper accommodation, sanitation, and health care.
  • Early marriage of girls preventing them from pursuing higher studies.
  • Inability to afford study materials ranging from expensive books to electronic devices like laptops, etc.


  • Students living in the rural areas have no access to institutions offering various desired courses because of the geographical distance.
  • No access to facilities like high-speed internet, electricity.

Help A Child is empowering students overcome
the obstacles by…

  • Providing scholarships for higher education, enabling students to build a career for themselves
  • Freeing the students and their families form unethical money lending practices
  • Allowing students to concentrate only on their studies

The support we provide…

At Help A Child, scholarships is just one aspect of what we provide. For making the student world-ready, we work on the following:

  • Personality development through spoken English classes, resume writing, interview skills, meditation courses
  • Providing laptops and text books during their course of study minimising the expense layout. These are collected at the end of year and used for the next batch again
  • Helping out their families in times of need, like the flood in 2019, we provided additional support to families of our beneficiaries