The need to enter the field of vocational training happened by chance. During the course of a community centre initiative, I came across a number of youth hanging about our centre for sheer lack of anything else to do. A chat with them highlighted a deep-rooted problem that has been largely ignored by society.
Countless children have been uprooted from their homes in the villages and towns that dot India in favour of a better life in the ‘City of Dreams’. Once here, though, they are often left to their own devices as parents and guardians attempt to make a living. Few receive formal education, with even fewer successfully completing their education. These nameless, faceless children are ignored by their families and ultimately by society.
After talking to a number of NGOs I found most focussed solely on educating these children. However this appeared to be going nowhere. Without a social support system many students dropped out of school, and their lack of skills made them unemployable.
After meeting with these youth and gaining an insight into their aims and aspirations we formulated the YP model. We strove to address the problem of school dropouts not having marketable skills by introducing Livelihood Training in the form of courses like nursing, motor mechanics among others.
We began community engagement initiatives like setting up a YP Club to encourage participation in the community through sports and cultural activities. We also attempt to change the mindset the youth veer towards, of casual labour and the instant gratification it brings.
We have had our share of successes. Leena Thakre, unable to continue her education, worked as a domestic before enrolling in a tailoring course. She now earns a respectable salary and is proud that she can contribute to her family’s income.
Our business course gave wings to Bhupinder’s entrepreneurial dreams. On completing the course he worked in sales for an industry giant. His success there spurred him on to start his own event management business through which he earns over Rs.15,000 a month today.
Do you have a story of your own to share? We’d love to hear from you. If you know of someone who would benefit from one of our courses (a complete list of courses offered can be found at www.yuvaparivartan.org) do post a reply.