Please help my former student, Prakash Rai, complete his degree in nursing from Gangothri College of Nursing in Bangalore, India. Prakash was my student in 2009, when I was teaching English and Digital Photography at the Rainbow Academy in West Bengal. Prakash, like many of his fellow students at Rainbow Academy, grew up on a tea plantation and had extremely limited options to escape the tea plantation system. Most children who are born and raised on tea plantations have limited access to quality education, and are funneled into the work force on the plantation as soon as they are old enough to work. My memories of Prakash are that he was incredibly earnest, hardworking, and caring towards his peers. He was a natural leader within the school, and readily embraced his identity as a role model for the younger children.
Prakash graduated from Rainbow Academy at the top of his class, and was one of the most promising students the school had ever seen. He is a model of success for his family and community, and is now facing an incredibly hard decision. After a loan for his tuition and living expenses fell through, Prakash does not have the money to complete his degree. While he has been able to receive small donations from the director of the Rainbow Academy, my friend Puran Rai, Puran has his own children to care for and cannot continue to support Prakash.
Prakash needs 10,000 Indian Rupees a month (about $150) for tuition and living expenses for the next three years in order to complete his nursing degree. Prakash lives in a college hostel on this very small budget, and has no family living nearby who can support him. Puran is Prakash's sole advocate right now, and can only offer him emotional support at this point.
Please consider donating what you can.
All funds will be managed by Puran, who will send Prakash monthly stipends to pay for his tuition and living expenses. Puran not only is director of the Rainbow Academy, but also the director of HIMserve, a prominent NGO in the area. He and I are in contact regularly, and he will provide me with monthly receipts for Prakash's expenses.
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