How vocational skills helped these youngsters better their lives?

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Acquiring a skill is not only about gaining financial independence, but also about expanding one’s horizons and enhancing one’s personality. Sarah Berry explores the journeys of some students, who have undergone skilling and have not only impacted their own lives, but also the lives of their families, and communities.

Sandeep Singh is a well-groomed young boy, whose home town is in Garwal, Uttarakhand. He reminisces about how his village has become ‘empty’ due to migration of villagers to bigger towns and cities for better opportunities of earning a living. As he talks about his family, one can catch the emotion in his voice: “The infrastructure back home is basic. I studied in a government school, and had to walk 5-6 km to reach it. Though now the village has electricity supply, water is still a challenge. We are three brothers. My father works in Rajasthan, and I work in Faridabad, where I stay too. The rest of us are in the village, and we meet only during major festivals like Diwali. I miss my family so much, but what can I do?” Singh was told about the IIS, Okhla center in Delhi, by a friend; it was here that he completed his course for a CNC operator. He now works with Pet Plast. His dream: to learn programming, and get his family together under one roof. “I am already learning programming from my seniors. Once I learn it, I will try and climb the career ladder; money matters, but family matters more,” adds Singh.

“I completed my class XII, and then enrolled for my graduation, but I soon realised that in today’s highly competitive times, a sole graduation degree may not get you the best job. Hence, I decided to explore opportunities."   

“I completed my class XII, and then enrolled for my graduation, but I soon realised that in today’s highly competitive times, a sole graduation degree may not get you the best job. Hence, I decided to explore opportunities. It was, by chance, that my cousin informed about the IL&FS Skills Center in Okhla, Delhi, which was then my next stop. I was intrigued by the wide variety of courses, and the practical training imparted, alongside. Post training, I secured my first job with Havells, where I started with a good monthly remuneration. What more could I ask for?” says Pankaj Kumar. He recalls how values such as grooming, discipline, punctuality and communication skills were imparted with utmost care during the training. “My family and I stay in Badarpur, though we come from Haryana. I have an elder sister, who is married, and two younger ones. My father was the only earning member until now; I feel proud of being able to support my dad. In fact, I remember handing over my first salary to my dad for my cousin’s wedding. It was, indeed, a big moment,” says Kumar. He loves the retail sector and the challenges that come with it: different kind of customers, different kind of problems, and finding solutions for these. “I feel good when I enter the building of my company, am really proud. I spread the word about acquiring a skill, whenever and wherever I can, as it has served as a springboard to a brighter future for me.”

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