Hyderabad, August 11, 2020: SOS Children’s Villages, Hyderabad and Pune have been training 287 and 430 vulnerable youth in these cities from poor socio-economic background since the last one year in various job-oriented courses to enable them to get gainful employment in the formal economy. Many of them who completed their training programme have been successfully placed in regular jobs in the last six months, giving them a steady source of income.
The youths are school and college drop-outs who could not complete their education due to financial constraints. They enrolled in courses that range from six months to one year in duration, including Computer Applications with Financial Accounting, Advanced Diploma in Air Ticketing & Travel Management, Supply Chain Management, Fire Engineering and Safety Management, Medical Lab Technician and Multi-Purpose Healthworker. HSBC Software Development (India) is supporting this youth skilling project in Hyderabad.
Empowering the youth is a key focus area of SOS Children’s Villages. The aim is to lift marginalised families out of poverty so that child abandonment can be reduced. Commenting on youth engagement as a broader agenda, Sudarshan Suchi, Secretary-General of SOS Children’s Villages of India, said, “Skill development is a powerful instrument to reduce poverty and inequality in the society. Our focus is to work with young people and help them channelize their energies in a positive direction. We prepare them for employment and entrepreneurship-linked skill development so that they can earn a living with dignity. We identify and mobilise young people from marginalized families such as migrants who could not continue their formal education due to financial reasons. In this pursuit, we not only empower young people with skills but also invest in creating confidence in them with a structured youth engagement programme. I am happy to note that a large percentage of young people who completed their training courses in Hyderabad has entered the formal job market. It has been particularly helpful for them and their families in the current times of crisis.”
Sudarshan Suchi added: “India is today the world’s youngest country, with an average age of 29 years. In our comprehensive approach, we focus on providing an end-to-end solution for the youth. This includes mapping their aspirations and existing skills with market needs, combined with a suitable training programme and job placement. Thousands of youth all over India have benefited from our programmes and several corporate and institutions are our proud partners in this journey of nation-building.”
20-year-old Neha (name changed to protect privacy) hails from a family of daily wage labourers in Hyderabad. Her father’s income was never sufficient to meet their daily needs. She completed her 10+2 from a local Government school but her father could not afford to educate her anymore and got her married off. Her aspiration to study further thus could not be fulfilled and she became a full-time homemaker. However, her desire to stand on her own feet and be able to support her children’s education in future made her determined to look for job opportunities. Her husband works as a TV mechanic and earns Rs. 400-500 daily.
During the feasibility study for the HSBC Youth Skilling Project, the team came across Neha’s family. After knowing her aspirations, the team convinced her husband to let her enrol in a vocational training course. Finally, she joined a six-month diploma course in “Pattern Master” at the Apparel Training and Design Center. After successful completion of the course, Neha has now got a job at an apparel showroom in the city at a monthly salary of Rs14,500, effectively doubling her family’s income. She is now full of confidence for the future and feels she will be able to give good education to her children in future.
20-year-old Zainab (name changed to protect privacy) has studied till 12th Standard. The youngest of three children, she lost her father in childhood and since then, her mother has been taking care of the family. Zainab’s brother started a fast-food stall to meet the family’s expenses, earning a daily income of Rs 500 and barely able to meet their daily needs. Investing in higher studies or professional courses was never an option for her. But Zainab, like a few of her friends, wished to continue her studies and do a job.
With support from the HSBC Youth Skilling project, she joined a diploma course in “Multi-Purpose Health Worker” from Professional Evaluation and Certification Board in Hyderabad. After its successful completion, she recently managed to secure a job at a city hospital at a monthly salary of Rs 10,000. During the recent lockdown, when her brother lost his livelihood and found it difficult to meet daily expenses, Zainab’s salary helped the family tide through the crisis. Zainab is proud of her job and her family is justifiably proud of her!
Ashok (name changed to protect privacy) is a youth from the slums of Mulla Road in Khadi, Pune. He is enrolled in the SOS Children’s Villages and HSBC Software Development’s Youth Skilling Program. His father is employed as a salesman in an outlet of a telecom company, while his mother works as a house cleaner in nearby apartments. With the family struggling financially through the years, Ashok managed to pass his Class 12thexams. Even though he wanted to pursue further studies, he had to discontinue his dream of going to college and took up odd jobs to support his family. He is now pursuing a Diploma in Computer Hardware from a computer institute in Pune, with support from the SOS-HSBC Youth Skilling Programme. He is very dedicated and sincere with his training program.
Since the lockdown began, Ashok has been studying online with the study material provided by the Institute by borrowing a laptop from his friend for online classes. He has often faced difficulties in attending classes because of poor network connectivity in the slum where he lives, but his teachers at the Institute have been most understanding and are helping him in every possible manner. Ashok is determined to complete the course and find a respectable job in the field of computer maintenance and repair.
Said Ashok: “While going through the training syllabus, I realised that the field of computer hardware can offer good career opportunities. However, I had no previous knowledge about this subject. But I admire the way I am being supported by my trainers and sponsors. I think I have a bright future ahead once I complete this course. With this skill, I can stand on my own feet and support my family with dignity.”