Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dinesh's Story

Dinesh before training (center)
Dinesh Prajapati, from the Madla district (Madhya Pradesh), was a peasant farmer who had passed 8th standard. His cousin brother was enrolled in the 1st batch at Khajuraho’s PACE Hospitality Training Center, and told Dinesh about it. Interested in joining, he met with the mobilizers when they came to his village to gain a better understanding about the course. His parents were not ready to send him away by himself, but he was eventually able to convince them.

Initially he was homesick and had a hard time adjusting to his new life. Gradually, he became more comfortable as he interacted with the other students and befriended them. He was disinterested in his studies when he used to be in school, but found himself engaged and excited to learn at the PACE center. He chose to take the housekeeping course because he loves decorating the room, especially the bed making aspect. He also learned basic English communication, computer knowledge and how to improve his grooming standards.

He was determined to find a good position in the hotel industry, and obtained placement in Park Prime with a stipend of Rs. 6000/- and all his meals covered. Not only does he want to help his parents with his earnings, but also wants to support his siblings so that they can receive a better education. His parents are proud of him. He wants to thank PACE Hospitality Training Center for giving him the opportunity to improve himself and lead a more fulfilling life.
Dinesh after training

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sarojna's Story

Sarojna before training
Sarojna Rajya Durke is from Ambedkar Nagar, Gadhchiroli, Maharastra. She is 20 years old and has passed 12th standard. Her father is a farmer, and she has three sisters and two brothers. She was not able to access higher education due to the lack of financial means, so she left her studies and started labor work in the construction field.

One day, the members of the Gadhchiroli Forest Department came to her village and talked to the people about the PACE center. Sarojna’s younger brother informed her about what he had heard, and she asked her parents if she could join. Her parents were initially reluctant, but became convinced when Sarojna explained the benefits of completing the course.

At Khajuraho, she acquired good habits like punctuality and grooming. After completing her course, she was placed in Leonia Holistic Destination in Hyderabad with food and accommodation covered and a stipend of Rs. 6000/-. She is happy that she can help her family with her earnings and is extremely grateful to the PACE Hospitality Training Center.

Sarojna after training

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Goodbye Idleness

20-year-old Nandaram Kumar is from Khandwa District, Madhya Pradesh. During 10th grade, he fell ill and dropped out of school without taking the board exams. He never returned to studying because he did not want to. He found himself sitting at home doing nothing. When a mobilizer called him to tell him about the training course at Pratham’s Sagar Automotive Center, he decided to enroll. He used to repair bicycles at home and was interested in the mechanism of automotive vehicles. More importantly, he wanted a change in his life; he was tired of being idle and people nagging him about it. He felt that he had wasted his time and wanted to take responsibility for himself and his family.

His parents, however, were not happy to send him away because he was their youngest child and they thought he was too young. It took him awhile to convince and persuade them. He learned a lot at the center, including heavy vehicle driving. He feels that he has a lot of knowledge about cars and likes to learn about them even outside of his course and work. The people at Pratham also became his second family. He calls them any time on any day for help, and he has received help with housing and transportation.

He has been working 7 months – he was first placed with Tata Motors in Indore, and was later transferred to Panvel. He lives in a house 2 km away from his work with a colleague who was also trained in Sagar. With a newfound ambition, he walks to and from work everyday, and even considers taking up contracts. In his free time, he listens to the radio, enjoys Bollywood songs and choreography. He teaches dancing to the children in his neighborhood and puts up stage shows for people. Although he has little free time today, he is happy with the new life that he has chosen.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Haricharan's Story

Haricharan before training, 2nd from the right

My name is Haricharan Prajapati, and I am from Chitrai, Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh). I come from a poor family of seven children; my father cannot afford our studies. After I passed 12th grade, my father scolded me saying that he could not support my further studies so I ran away to Punjab to live with my cousin.

When a mobilizer from the Khajuraho PACE Centre visited my village, my father met with him and learned about the details of the course. My father asked me to return from Punjab and when I came back, he told me about the course. I was interested so my father borrowed money from his friend to pay for the course fees.

Haricharan after training
After learning about the different courses at the PACE Center, I chose the Food & Beverage (F&B) Department based on my interest. In the beginning, I did not understand anything but when we started the F&B and computer practicums I started to catch on and became more interested. I also learned the importance of punctuality and how to groom myself. Now I can even speak some English and follow a conversation after learning basic communication skills in class.

Since completing the course I have been placed at the Lords Inn in Gujarat with a stipend of Rs.4500/- in addition to food and accommodation. I have made my parents proud and I am extremely thankful to the faculty and the PACE hospitality training center.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Manju, A Budding Entrepreneur

- Erin Kim

20-year-old Manju from Varni is currently enrolled in the beauty course at the Pratham center. Even from our brief interaction with Manju, we notice her determination and intelligence. Her father is a farmer while her mother is a housewife. Manju dropped out in 11th grade because she had no interest in further studies. After receiving one year of training in tailoring in Hyderabad, she started her own business at home and currently earns 10,000 rupees a month. Her real interest, however, is in beauty and decided to take the course at Pratham.

For Manju, her parents are the most important people in the world. Whatever she does, she wants to be able to stay at home with her parents. She is even willing to forego marriage for another 2-3 years so that she can take care of them. While her parents want her to study more, they are happy that she is continuing to learn even if she is not in school anymore. Her friends frequently ask her, “why did you stop studying?” but she is able to brush off any criticism or disapproval because she enjoys what she does and sees a future in it. Her future plans include opening her own business in beauty and combining it with her tailoring business.

We see great potential in Manju to become a successful entrepreneur and are excited to see what lies ahead for her.