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Mentorship and Government Scheme Put This Hyderabad Teengaer on the Course of Realising Her Dream

Pooja’s childhood has been quite a balancing act. Throughout her childhood, this 16-year-old teenager from Hyderabad has been balancing her life between chasing her dreams and tending to her familial responsibilities. She stays in a makeshift hut in Gudimalkapur with her parents and younger sister. Her family had migrated from Odisha in search of livelihood.

Her parents work as daily wage labourers and collect rags to supplement their household income. But this does not suffice in enabling them to meet their daily expenses. The parents work in shifts so that one of them is at home with the children as they are worried about their (children’s) safety and security in the settlement. Pooja’s younger sister studies in Class 7 in a nearby government school, and that’s her only source of getting one full meal served under the mid-day meal programme.

Pooja completed her high school while helping her parents collect and segregate rags. When her parents were not around, she shouldered the “responsibility” of taking care of her younger sister. While she wanted to study further, she’s also aware of her family’s financial limitations. She wanted to start earning money to ease the burden on her parents. What she desperately needed was guidance to make these life-altering decisions.

When Bal Raksha Bharat team came across Pooja, she was connected to a psycho-social counsellor who gave her guidance on her personal and professional life. She was also enrolled in a vocational training course. She decided to go for the Fashion Designing course under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). The PMKVY is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation. The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable the Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.

Children in Street Situations deserve the agency and opportunities to realise their dreams. Vocational training is one such chance to move forward in life. Pooja has completed the course and received her certificate. This course helped her chart a career path and gain confidence to follow her goals and dreams.

“My dream has come true! I wish my friends too get such opportunities to hone their skills,” said Pooja.
“My daughter has become an inspiration to other girls in the settlement,” said her proud mother, Laxmi.

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