Empower Pragati was founded in order to provide vocational training to those who wish to find more gainful employment. It partners with NSDC to train unemployed in several sectors and one such training program that made a significant impact on several lives is Saksham.
Saksham provides training and livelihood opportunities to disadvantaged youth residing in BPL rural areas. Many rural youth migrate to urban areas to see new positions. Unfortunately, they do not have access to information, knowhow or training to appropriately operate in urban life and pursue these employment opportunities. Saksham prepares rural youth with vocational and life skill sets and will identify and secure urban-based employment positions. Read on to find inspiring stories about women who transcended their limitations and underwent training at Saksham training center to carve a niche for themselves and make their own destiny.
Saleha Kaushar, Au Bon Pain
Saleha lives at Chandan Haula village in Delhi with her parents and two siblings (one brother and one younger sister). Her father used to work as a tailor but due to ill health he was unable to continue working. It had been three years since he was unemployed and the financial conditions of the family were fast deteriorating. Her mother had earlier worked at a Gender Resource Centre (GRC) and now takes home tuitions. Her income is irregular and so this creates further financial troubles for the family. To add to this, Saleha was brought up in an environment where her parents were constantly fighting with each other. This created a lot of tension in the household and created an extremely unhealthy environment for Saleha and her siblings to grow up in.
When Saleha had completed her Class 12 in 2014 her parents were not willing for her to continue with her studies. They were also not keen on her taking up a job and so Saleha’s future prospects looked bleak.
It is somewhere around this time that she found out about Empower Pragati’s placement linked vocational training programme ‘Saksham’ through one of her friends. The idea of a free training programme which also guarantees placement opportunities seemed quite appealing to Saleha and so she visited the centre at Mehrauli to make some inquiries with her mother. There they met the trainers at the centre who explained what the course had to offer in more detail to the mother-daughter duo. Although their doubts were cleared, her mother did not agree to send her for the training programme. Another round counseling was required for the parent to finally agree to send her. This, says Saleha, was a saving grace to her life.
After completing the course she was successful in getting a job at Au Bon Pain. Today, she is the highest earning member of her family and is extremely proud of this. She is working successfully at the café where she has experience working in all the stations and can masterfully handle sandwich, salad and beverages stations. She is also greatly appreciated by her manager for her work at store.