Mastek talks about how it built Yuva Parivartan a sturdy IT solution in order to help them achieve their goal of empowering as many youth as possible.

Giving the Second Chance!

So you are having a hard day? Another day of teachers and homework or bosses and deadlines? Most of us crib about how bad the day was almost every evening. What we fail to really see is that we are actually fortunate to get the chance to learn or earn something respectfully, every day. For someone like Leena Balu Thakre, who was forced to give up studies after completing her SSC due to harsh financial conditions, a day like yours would have meant happiness!

A house helper since the age of 16, Leena, like many underprivileged youth in India, always dreamt of better days. All she needed was a second chance. And opportunity did knock at her door when a coordinator from the Yuva Parivartan team got in touch with her. After several counselling sessions, Leena signed up for the Tailoring Course at the organisation and learnt the art of stitching. She also got introduced to computers through the enabler Basic Computers course there.

Leena Age 16 Helper for Mastek Article

Today, not only is Leena armed with a skill for life, but also has a respectable desk job in a local company, thanks to her basic computer knowledge. “I am more confident today, and can talk to people easily. I am more aware of what is happening around in society and feel good that I am able to contribute to my family by earning a living,” says Leena when asked about the change.  Better days are indeed ahead!

This is just one inspiring story of the innumerable young lives that Yuva Parivartan has enhanced. As the name suggests, the initiative aims to bring about a positive change for underprivileged youth of the country.  Yuva Parivartan is looking to re-direct the lives of that young India which might not have the ideal life now, but has the dream & will to turnaround their futures.

The Yuva Parivartan Movement was started by Kherwadi Social Welfare Association (KSWA) in 1998. The intention was to provide counselling & vocational training in different skills to unmotivated school dropouts so that they do not go astray and become economically independent.

As the organisation says – ‘it is estimated that by 2020 around 500 million people in India will reach working age, which will be the largest in the world. At the same time, looking at the current scenario where more than 80% of youth in the country have not completed school, it can be inferred that these youth, unless given vocational skills, will neither have enough competency to work as skilled labour to meet the growing needs of various industries, nor will they work for long as casual labour before falling prey to an addiction leading to battered minds & bodies.’ Therefore it is crucial that such an effort reaches maximum young dropouts.

KSWA for Mastek Article

However, lack of an appropriate IT system created many hurdles. “With our growth objective of reaching 100,000 school dropouts across the country in a year, we needed more support. However, the government and donors were becoming cautious about the numbers and needed detailed reports. Therefore we realised we needed IT to sustain and grow,” explains Shivani Mehta, Senior Director, KSWA.  “In 2010, we got a vendor to develop a software for us, but it turned out to be a disaster,” she adds.

The KSWA management team was losing confidence in its ability to implement an MIS system due to the failed initiative. The handling of vast data (Students & parents details, daily attendance, fees payments, exam marks) of around 80,000 students generated on year-to-year basis was getting difficult. Other problems included:

–         Gauging the exact financial position in terms of fees collected

–         Inability to handle new formats and initiative, which was hampering organic growth

–         Difficulty in generating MIS reports

–         Managing students’ information on partners’ behalf with around 400-500 students registered per annum with each of the 200-odd large partners and around 100 students registered per annum with each of the 2000-odd small partners

–         Unavailability of an examination database (Question bank system) resulting in difficulty in launching exams and generating question papers with answer keys

–         Managing recruitments after vocational training

Yuva Parivartan had come into existence to make a significant difference in the young lives of those who needed a second chance. However, going ahead to make a larger impact needed an accurate path and the confidence to walk on it.

The organisation was then directed to Mastek by a board member who had earlier interacted with the IT company. “Anil D’sa was given the responsibility to help us identify the right solution based on our requirements.  He sat down with the senior team of KSWA, came up with a MIS solution and put together a project team for it,” says Mehta.

Anil D'sa for Mastek Article

Through the initiative ‘Transforming NGOs through IT’ Mastek, along with KSWA management, decided that it would evaluate a ready-to-use School Management system and help the organisation to implement it as well. The solution would meet at least 80% of KSWA’s needs.

“Mastek did not develop any software for KSWA. However, KSWA is the first NGO where Mastek has implemented a solution and trained individuals from the NGO itself to manage operations,” says Anil D’sa, Project Manager.

“For an NGO like KSWA, an IT company cannot hire capability. It has to build capability within the system; who understands the business. We had to figure out the key people and groom them for the responsibility. There was a team of 8 people from within the NGO, who were trained to lead four different projects – two each,” D’sa explains about the process. “Initial engagement was school management system that began in 2011 and went live in 2013.”

The program was divided into four projects – Customisation, Testing, Training & IT setup. A major part of the program was training individuals from even the most remote parts of India. Interns from IT colleges were hired to train to the end users, ensuring complete coverage of training before the system could go live. Three days of training were carried out to ensure proper understanding of the system by the end users. “Mastek has trained, guided and moulded the end-users into software developers,” says D’sa.

This way the IT company not only offered support to the NGO in its proven capability area, but also provided guidance in managing the complete program to ensure smooth implementation.

The training not only taught a new skill & developed confidence in the individuals handling the system, but also in the NGO. “When started, we had no IT capabilities and were unsure about how we would be able to make this work, especially after the failure we experienced last time. But now, we are comfortable with managing the system with Anil’s guidance,” says Mehta.

D’sa too points out the significant change he saw– “Initially, due to the demons of failed implementation earlier, the NGO had a little lethargic and uninterested attitude. However, by the end of the project, they were excited and energetic. Their confidence has increased, as has their exposure and technical skills.” Mastek is now handholding Yuva Parivartan, by monitoring and reviewing operations on a bi-monthly basis and looking at enhancement of the process implemented.

As an IT professional with an experience of 15 years, D’sa found working on the project extremely satisfying. “We created a large impact. We helped KSWA in their goal to reach 1 million dropouts a year across India. These dropouts could have turned into criminals or lived a meagre life if KSWA was not able to reach them and we can proudly say Mastek contributed in an indirect, but big way,” says the Project Manager.

Mastek’s suggested IT solution not only put Yuva Parivartan back on track to achieve more, but gave them the pace to do so. It brought total transperancy in the system, got the organisation to a better financial position, built confidence for NGO to manage the IT operations among other positive changes and the ease of working.

“The IT solutions have made it easier to pull out detailed reports and track historical data and students’ progress. Besides this, we not also have a social impact mechanism, where we can track what the students are doing after a few months after completing the course. It has certainly added value,” explains KSWA’s Mehta.

However, there were a few challenges as well that Mastek’ s Anil D’sa faced while implementing the system. “Initially, there was not much clarity on key stakeholders; there were many operation heads and everyone had their own issues with the implementation until top management stepped in.”

Nevertheless, Yuva Parivartan and Mastek worked together to give hope and better days to many. When one young life changes for the good, it makes a difference to the individual’s family and surroundings as well.

Yuva Parivartan does not give up on the young school dropouts and gives them a second chance; and Mastek ensured that the NGO does not give up on its goals either. If there’s a will to make a difference, there’s always a way.

Yuva Team for Mastek Article

With pride and confidence, Shivani Mehta says the organisation is now aiming at reaching 1 million students a year. It is also looking to partner with other NGOs for further reach and improvement and make virtual learning websites. Here’s wishing them all the best!

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Yuva Parivartan,Jaipur and their partner ABC consultants came together to implement something extraordinary and out-of-the box in order to support the SHGs.

Yuva Parivartan held an exhibition at Fairmont Hotel, Rajasthan in collaboration with their corporate partner – ABC Consultants. The Yuva Parivartan Livelihood Exchange (YPLE) team including the guide Mr. Saurabh participated in the event. It was an extremely fruitful experience for Yuva Parivartan Rajasthan staff.

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Akbar, Haris and Kishor of Yuva Parivartan staff worked seamlessly to make this event a success and their efforts paid off. Consequently, they collected different items from SHGs of many villages of Jaipur district and different Remote Work Force (RWF) groups in order to display them. The response to the exhibition was overwhelming.

The exhibition left all the visitors appalled since the products were reasonably priced in spite of them being of a premiere store’s quality. The category of products was wide with items like bangles, dress and apparels (for adult and kids both), bags, jute work, handicraft items, materials made with rag, kitchen items (apron, Kitchen poster and many others)

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Head of ABC Consultants, Mr Shiv Agrawal and CSR head Ms Jhanavi Trivedi offered their support throughout. Now, they are motivated enough to do this on a regular basis and are making a strong plan to increase the earning opportunity for RWF.

Mr Ankush Bhardwaj, Shiksha Khemani with the Delhi team, West Bengal team with their leader Tapas made it possible with their guidance and support!

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Yuva Parivartan’s Dedicated Grass Root-Hero – Dheeraj Sharma

Dheeraj has been with Yp for over 16 years and in fact was the first one to come on board. He joined as the timekeeper for the Balwadi and dental clinic.

Additionally, he was given charge of the equipments and rooms for various classes such as welding / tailoring / wiring / nursing etc.

Dheeraj

Over the years, he has became the go-to person for the most and is a senior social worker. He is responsible for networking with the community and engaging with them on a regular basis. He started the Yuva Parivartan club to connect with youth. He also interacts with the Mohalla Committee for community affairs. In addition, he is also responsible for surveying and mapping specific localities for training and coordinate the special projects for prison inmates at Arthur Road Prison-Mumbai. Dheeraj loves all that he does at YP and is proud to be a part of this vibrant and rapidly growing organization.

“From an austere orphanage to the luxurious ‘Holiday Inn‘, Rosy Michael Dsouza – Destiny’s child!”

Rosy became a student of YP’s Youth Career initiative (YCI) by chance when one of her friends at YCI coaxed her into enrolling and she agreed, albeit non-chalantly. Though initially disinterested little did she know that the nitty-gritty of hotel maintenance was soon going to captivate her. She began her training at ‘The Trident – Mumbai ‘ where her mentors taught her the art of delighting guests. Her training shaped her into an extremely confident young lady because of which she landed a permanent position at the Holiday Inn Hotel near the Mumbai International Airport. Today, she is known for her hospitality, naturally charming personality and courteous mannerisms which earns her appreciation from customers.

Rosie

Her advice to fellow YCI students is,
Pay attention to the training. Never skip a class as a lot is missed if you do! Take the course seriously and work hard, as this is a wonderful opportunity to make a succesful career in the hospitality industry
YP wishes her all the best for her endeavors. We won’t be surprised if she becomes a manager at 30!

Yuva Parivartan trains inmates at Alipore Women’s Correctional home

Keeping alive its tradition of working with the neglected sections of society, Yuva Parivartan recently started a training program with the prisoners at the Alipore Women’s Correctional home.

35 women aged between 16-40 years are part of this program. Most of them come from harsh backgrounds charged with crimes like physical violence and theft. Although these women are being rehabilitated and will be released in the next few years, they will always face a social stigma and difficulties in getting accepted into society. Yuva Parivartan wishes to give these women an opportunity to earn a living and sustain themselves with dignity after they are back in the mainstream.

Aliporeprioson

With the help of Ms. Gargi Sinha Roy, a local entrepreneur who runs a boutique, Yuva Parivartan’s Tapas Chakraborti has organized the training of these women. They are being trained to make handicrafts like artificial jewellery, jewellery boxes and cloth diaries. The products made by these women will be sold at Gargi’s boutique and at local exhibitions. Yuva Parivartan wishes to help these women get a regular income through the manufacture and sale of these products.

Yuva Parivartan’s Beautician and Tailoring Courses Bag gold and silver status in L & T Public Charitable Trust Audit

Yp bags silver and gold

Our sponsor L&T Public charitable Trust conducted an audit on the Beautician and Tailoring courses at the Yuva Parivartan Bandra centre, in association with IFA (Indian Fashion Academy).

The audit was conducted on the basis of the syllabus, the faculty’s qualifications and method of teaching, as also the infrastructure and learning resources. They looked into the support provided and the progress of the students, and their employability after the course. Another aspect taken into account was lectures conducted by experts and the best practices followed. The other aspects they looked into were the promotion and publicity, the mobilization in the community, and events for local communities.

On the basis of the above findings, Yuva Parivartan was given a Gold status for the Beautician course and Silver status for the Tailoring course.

Conversation with Dr. Hasit Joshipura, Senior V.P. South Asia & Managing Director India for GSK

YP: Please share with us how you have been able to give of your time to this NGO considering your very hectic work schedule?

HJ: You can always give the time if you really want to, and my association with volunteer work actually dates back to my earlier work life. I used to work with Johnson and Johnson for 5 years in charge of their pharmaceutical business. I also used to lead their philanthropy programme. They had a very structured philanthropy programme, and I was the lead of the programme for 5 years, so you know my intent has always been there and YP is just one of the organisations with whom I am associated.

Hasit Joshipura

YP: How does GSK view the PULSE Volunteer partnership with Kherwadi Social Welfare Association?

HJ: It is viewed as a win-win for both GSK and KSWA. I think the kind of area in which they work is really livelihoods and skill development which is a very important need in India. Our PULSE volunteers give of their time to solving challenges at the NGO, and it is important for our employees at GSK to realise how privileged they are to be working with a company like GSK when the mass of people around do not have that same kind of opportunity. Therefore, when they get a chance to work with an NGO like KSWA I am sure that is an awareness that comes home blindingly, and they are changed by the experience.