Soham Academy of Human Excellence – Frequently Asked Questions

Soham Academy of Human Excellence was created on May 9, 2017 in Hyderabad, India. The following is a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.

About the Trust
1. What is the mission statement of the trust?
To prepare children for a purposeful life through sustained efforts on developing their talents in the areas of spirituality, physical fitness, intellectual acumen, ethical behaviour and the power of social networking.

2. When, where and in what form was the trust registered?
The trust was registered as a non profit organization on May 9, 2017 with the State Government of Telangana, Hyderabad, India.

3. Where can I find the detailed bylaws/constitution/registration document of the trust?
The registration document registered with the government also serves as the bylaws/constitution document of the trust. It can be found here.

4. Who are the current trustees?
The current trustees are Komaragiri Sahadev (s/o Late Sri KYL Narasimha Rao) and Gottipati Sobha Rani (w/o Komaragiri Sahadev).

4. What is the succession planning for the academy?
As of now, there is none.

We are in the process of identifying some of our current and future staff members to fill in the office bearer roles. That will complete our formal structure for the entire trust. In addition as and when we find a suitable person who is both experienced and is in alignment with the purpose of our organization, we will invite that person to join as a third trustee.

In general our assessment is that in about 5 years time, graduates of our programme will take up leadership roles. In addition they will be groomed to take over the trustee roles too. The number of trustees and office bearer roles will be expanded accordingly.

About the Children
1. Who are the children?
The beneficiaries, as of now, are the children of a Government High School, CPL, Amberpet, in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. This school has about 150 students in each of the 8th, 9th and 10th classes. There is a plan to include one or two additional schools in the nearby areas. Majority of the students come from socially and financially challenged families.

2. How are the students chosen?
A student is nominated by a group of teachers and students who are already part of the academy from previous batches.

3. What is the selection policy?
– A child must have completed 8th standard to participate in the programme.
– We do not say that a child’s parent must be earning a certain amount or less.
– We do not discriminate based on gender, caste or religion.

4. How many students got into the programme so far?
In the first year(2016-17) 40 children were selected. In the second year(2017-18) 48 students were selected. In the current year i.e. the third year (2018-19), we selected another 50 students.

5. What are the benefits offered to the children?
The goal of the programme is to support children for about 5 years from the time of their joining.

The structure is as follows:
Year 1 (9th Class):
Training Modules: English Proficiency, Learning to Learn, Bridging the Math Gap, Yoga Level 1, Athletics Level 1, and Fine Arts & Literature programmes.
Tours: A trip to a place of significance within the city.

Year 2 (10th Class):
Training Modules: 10th standard Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry bridge classes, and Fine Arts & Literature programmes.
Tours: A trip to a corporate office
Club Activities: Participate in literary activities through a club formed for the entire batch.

Year 3 (Grade 10+1):
Training Modules: Typing, MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint. Google Drive – Docs, Worksheets and Utilities, and Fine Arts & Literature programmes.
Tours: A trip to a regional place of importance
Club Activities: Continue participation in club activities.
Career Building: Help children identify their passion and purpose and align their activities with the same.

Years 4 & 5: In the process of being worked out.

6. Are there any dropouts? What are the reasons? What steps are being taken to prevent dropouts?
From the first batch of 40 students, about 20 students are continuing in the programme. 20 other students from this batch are inactive. From the second batch of 48 students, 38 students are continuing in the programme. About 10 students are inactive. Varied reasons for attrition include relocation and inability to travel to the new office location.

Some of the steps being taken to reduce dropouts incldue – a more rigorous selection process, effective communication with both the students and their parents, and making the programme components more interesting and appealing.

7. Are there any publications?
“English Proficiency” and “36 Samskrit Slokas That Everyone Must Learn” are two titles that were published in 2017. These books are exclusively for the students of the academy. They are given to them free of cost.

 

Funding
1. How does the trust sustain itself financially?
For all the expenses, the trust depends on contributions from like minded individuals.

2. Is there support from any external agencies or organizations?
As of now, there is no support from any external agencies or organizations.

3. Is there a bank account?
Yes. The trust has a fully operational bank account at State Bank of India, Adikmet Branch, Hyderabad.

4. Is the trust registered as 12A or 80(G) organization?
12(A) registration allows the trust to use funds raised for up to 5 years. If the organization is not registered as a 12(A) organization, it has to use all the funds within 12 months of receiving them. Soham Academy filed the relevant application with the Income Tax department.

80(G) registration gives the benefit of claiming 50% of the contributions as tax deductible contributions for all the donors who donate to the organization. Soham Academy will initiate this process in due course.

5. Are there any sources of income?
No.

Finances & Budgeting
1. What are the expenses incurred so far?
In the year 2017 the academy spent Rs 67,062 on various activities including book publications. In the year 2018 the academy established its own office premises that give many additional benefits to the programme participants. Because of the costs went up significantly. So far in 2018 the academy spent Rs 3,86,214 on various things. These include purchase of 10 computers, monitors and all the relevant electrical works, software and hardware. In addition the academy gave an advance of 3 months rent in addition to the first month’s rent. The projected expenses per year will therefore grow over a period of time.

2. What are the typical expense items that form the annual budget?
We are continuously monitoring the needs of the children and adjusting ourselves as we evolve and grow. The new office premises is a game changer for the academy as it gives us numerous opportunities to extend several benefits to our students.

3. What is the suggested funding approach for donors?
The donors can work with the academy to directly fund a certain part of the cause.