Opportunity makes the real difference in today’s world. The education system of our country does not promise equal opportunity to millions of people who are born and brought up in small villages. Rote learning in schools for long years does not justify when it comes to choosing a livelihood option for most individuals.
Kalu Ram from the village Gataralli in the Southern Rajasthan is one such boy who took the opportunity given to him by Aajeevika Bureau’s Skill training and Placement Academy (STEP). He enrolled for the one-month skill-training program offered by the Academy. He was a part of the training batch, which was conducted in June 2011.
Kalu like all his friends in the village followed the norm and completed his schooling until Secondary Education. He then left his village in search of employment. He was involved in unskilled work in the neighbouring state – Gujarat. Many young boys like him are involved in unskilled and semi skilled labour work from many years now in Gujarat. He heard about the various trainings conducted by Aajeevika Bureau when he had come to visit his family in his village from work. Out of all the available options, he was inclined towards learning and becoming a well-trained electrician. When asked to reason this particular choice, he quickly replied, “There is no electrician in his entire village and thus I want to fill in the gap”. He also added by saying, “There is not much of manual labour involved in this vocation. All you need to know is the right techniques and methods and then I can find work either in the village or in Gujarat”.
“Lifting the drilling machine and drilling holes at a height was very challenging for me!” explained Kalu Ram. He further adds, “At first, I did not seem to understand the technique behind the whole process. I persisted and repeatedly asked questions during the training and then with time I found clarity on the subject. Before, I even realised, I was learning thoroughly and enjoying the work on real work sites. The most helpful part of the training, that now I understand, was the constant interactions with different people on timely basis. The stories they told us then make complete sense to me now, after seeing a bit of reality.”
Kalu Ram is now a proud electrician of his village. After the completion of the course, he immediately took a contract of lighting up his very own school in his village. To complete this assignment he further employed two young people as helpers in his village. This assignment not only brought him recognition in his village but also deep satisfaction of earning his own money. The successful completion of the school assignment gave him immense confidence and he thus decided to try the options available in the neighbouring state – Gujarat.
He immediately found satisfactory work in Gujarat with a local contractor. Kalu Ram proudly says, “After working for six months with the contractor, I asked him to increase my pay and the contractor happily agreed without any kind of negotiation.”