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“Mere pita bahut kamzor hain. Daru peete hain aur bimaar rahte hain. Jab goan me kamm nahi milta toh Nepal jakar kaam karti hoon. Peeta ji ka ilaaj karati hoon”. (My father is physically weak and is alcoholic. He remains ill most of the time. I went to Nepal (neighbouring country where Visa is not required) when I could not find any job in local villages. The money I earned there, used to cover expense of my father’s illness.)

Nisha Kumari is a 20-year-old simple & shy girl. She is a resident of Bulakipur Panchayat of Riga block of Sitamarhi district, Bihar. Nisha’s father – Lalbabu Manjhi is a labourer who is a seasonal migrant labour and runs his house by doing daily wages. Nisha’s mother, Prema Devi is a homemaker who stays in the village and takes care of her family and children.

Nisha is the eldest among her siblings. Her sister Manisha stays at her aunt’s house and two brothers who are each of 10 and two years stay with Nisha and her mother. This young girl comes from a marginalised community that survives through acute financial crisis. Being the eldest among her siblings, Nisha had to help her mother in household chores. She also used to support her family by working as a labourer in the neighbour’s farm or doing any petty work. Whenever Nisha’s father used to get back to village from work, he spent most of his money on drinking (Alcohol). This was another reason that Nisha had to work as a labourer in the village to run the day-to-day family expenses. During monsoon, she used to plant paddy to earn money for het family. Nisha and her family reside near the Indo-Nepal border area. Hence, she often used to work in Nepal as a labourer, as mobility to that country does not require a Visa.

This young girl had joined the Yuva Sashaktikaran Project, as a youth member in her village Youth Group. She gradually started attending project activities. Members of youth collectives knew her status and referred her case to the Youth Mobilizer. When counselled, she also showed her interest in taking vocational trainings and job placement. Acute financial crisis at family level had stalled her studies. She could not complete her education after passing eighth standard from the village school. Initially, her father did not want to let her go for training in places far away from their village. The Yuva Sashaktikaran, team had counselled her parents to convince them, so that Nisha could join vocational training course. In addition, YS team supported her to take out the required No Objection Certificate (NoC) from her village school with the help of a school teacher, so that she can join and receive adequate skills training.

She was enrolled to the Vocational Training Centre through the Project in February 2023. She did 25 days’ online course and after completing it, she travelled (supported by YS project) to Bodhgaya PACE Centre and received in campus training for 30 days on hospitality management. She worked very hard to learn every part of the course and at the same time she had decided that she would continue her education as it would enable her future progress.

She completed the course successfully. After training, she returned back to her native village to meet her family before joining the job. Her parents were very happy. Nisha was confident and enthusiastic for starting her new journey. She got the job in her home state, in Rajgir city (Hotel Anand Lok); which is a famous international tourist destination and a Buddhist pilgrimage. Her salary is INR 8000 per month and her package also includes free food & accommodation.

Nisha is happy now and is thankful to YS project team and Bal Raksha Bharat who has supported her to achieve her dream and made her financially independent. Bal Raksha Bharat helped her in getting out of her impoverished situation, when she only could engage as a daily labour. She could link to one of the youth groups in her village and her situation and interest was identified and shared with the larger team. Thus, she could receive skilled training, a certification and a dignified job and enabled her to break through the vicious cycle of poverty.

She is also been motivated to complete her studies which would further help in her career progression. Nisha used to be very weak and fragile and very often she used to have giddiness. Her family has treated her with some exorcism. But she never got well. It was during her off-site training that she got proper treatment. Presently she has recovered and is pursuing her job very well.

The Skill India Mission is a flagship program implemented by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India with the aim of empowering the country’s youth by providing them with skills and training to enhance their employability. To achieve this fit Bal Raksha Bharat Bal Raksha Bharat is engaged in mapping of potential youths in the geographies of implementation for financial empowerment youth, especially young girls, through Yuva Sashaktikaran project, by breaking patriarchal norms.

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