Anwari Begum, 27-year-old, lives with her mother and sister in Metiaburz area in Kolkata. As a child, she was timid and shy. Being from a conservative family, she was not allowed to go out on her own and was mostly confined to home, helping her mother with the household chores and managing her studies.
At 13, she lost her father, the only earning member of the family. Her mother was not educated enough to get a well-paying job. She started working in a local embroidery shop. Anwari dropped out of school and began stitching work from home, which used to get her Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per month. Amid the insurmountable financial crisis, their neighbours and relatives started pressuring Anwari’s mother to get her elder daughter married.
A chance announcement in her neighbourhood, brought her to Bal Raksha Bharat (also known as Save the Children) and she signed up for the skills and technical training that the organisation was organising. After training, she started working at a Cafe Coffee Day (one of the leading coffee chains in the country) outlet with an initial salary of Rs 10,767.
“I took up the first opportunity that came my way because I was scared of being left out. My training and acquired skills help me regularly to deal with difficult customers. Through this training, I got career counselling, learnt life and communication skills, financial literacy, team management and goal setting for life,” said Anwari.
She was the first member of her family to hold a steady job in an organised sector. She was promoted to a managerial position within three years. Now, not only is she supporting her family and her sister’s education, but she has also resumed her studies.
“My family calls me a hero. In the past 10 years, I have lived through situations during which I was encouraged, challenged, criticised and supported, all with the single motive of being independent. That has enabled me to grow this far.” mentioned the young lady
About the project
Aspiring to empower country’s youth and to build India as the skill capital of the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 15, 2015 launched the National Skills Development (NSD) Mission of India. Seen as the world’s largest initiative to train manpower in a single country, the campaign, managed by the National Skills Development Corporation of India under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India envisions to train over 30 crore people in different skills by 2022.
Progressively, the third phase of its flagship scheme – Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY 3.0) was launched in January 2021 to benefit over eight lakh candidates, while targeting the youth in the age group of 15-45 years. Implemented through a well streamlined institutional mechanism, the NSD Mission not only consolidated and coordinate skilling efforts but also created convergence across sectors and expedited decisions to achieve skilling at scale.
This convergence with the government gave wings to Bal Raksha Bharat’s, New Horizons Plus initiative. A project that aims to contribute towards building skills of youth and to enable them towards financial empowerment. Over the period, the programme has contributed in transforming the lives of more than 4,000 marginalized adolescents & youths by ensuring employment, facilitating the access to social safety net and in increasing standards of living. The youth who were a part of the program have witnessed a gradual transformation in their social identities; have demonstrated increased confidence, leadership and social commitments.