Meet the students of GRAVITY's vocational training program! | Milaap

Meet the students of GRAVITY's vocational training program!

Pink Floyd may have had an epic hit urging people to say no to education, but there are millions of people in India who beg to differ with their idea that education makes one just another brick in the wall.

Milaap had the pleasure of helping our field partner GRAVITY's first batch of vocational training students recently. A joint venture between Grameen Koota and Vidya Poshak, GRAVITY has been steadily making a difference in all parts of the country. The 37 youths whose education was enabled through Milaap’s lenders were trained at the Dharwad Resource Center. You can read more about them in our previous blog post!

Taking a closer look at the youngsters who are benefitting from our lenders, we found that many of their stories are so special that we felt that you guys deserve to know them a little better too. These are girls and boys who have not crumbled against the grim odds that would have caused most of us to give up. Facing severe financial instability, the dreams and aspirations of these youngsters are clipped before they’re allowed to fly.

Four of the boys from the vocational training course, who have all gotten a job at the supermarket 'More'.

Take the example of Mallikarjun Hulamani, an 18-year-old youth from Balihongal. For many years, he has dreamt of cracking the Karnataka Administrative Services to become a respected Tahasildar. However, the dire monetary situation at home has forced him to work menial jobs, and his lack of training has ensured that he doesn’t make much money either.

This story echoes the situation of Ramadevi Shapurkar, a 22-year-old Belgaum girl. Despite passing PUC in the first class division, she has been not been able to properly support her family nor study for KAS. Mallikarjun and Ramadevi hope to utilize GRAVITY’s training to work in a decent job while they prepare for KAS.

We caught up with some of the girls of the batch recently to talk about how the course is going. They all seemed confident that this program was the start of a whole new phase of their lives!

While many of the girls in the program wanted to undergo the training to obtain financially stable jobs to support their families, there were some who dared to dream much bigger. Take the example of 20-year-old Belgaum girl Omkashi, who plans to fulfill her duty towards not just her family but also her nation. Omkashi will be appearing in the Armed Forces Examination soon. She decided to undergo the vocational training program so that she can get a job which will financially support her family while she prepares for her exams.

19-year-old Geeta Hadapad from Ramdurg, Karnataka, has a very unusual dream for an Indian rural girl: she hopes to someday become a first-class electrician. She hopes that GRAVITY’s vocational training will put her closer to her dream.

Geeta Hadapad, who wants to be a top-notch electrician, is third from the left in the above photo. The remaining girls are also a part of this batch of vocational training students!

Narayanan Ramachandra Kalal has, at the age of 23, already achieved what many Indian boys dream of. The Gokak boy has played Ranji as a fast pace bowler, and has also represented India at a tournament in South Africa. He dreams of someday becoming a cricket player, and hopes to finance his dream through a decent job.

But these highly-determined and inspiring youth are not alone. There are millions of youngsters like these, each with their own unique aims and duties, struggling to make a dent in this fast-paced world. The good news is that it really doesn’t take much to help them out. Education for these youngsters comes at a price of about Rs 10000 per person, but the benefits they reap are literally priceless.