Rakesh Kumar, Ludhiana, Punjab
When it rains, it pours. And it was pouring trouble. Mukesh Kumar, standing tall and lanky in his clean (albeit a little loose) shirt and pair of trousers talks about trouble without a hint of emotion. Like one would of a constant reality of life. We soon find out why. "My father was admitted in the hospital with a liver problem, his treatment cost Rs.900000." Sitting in his sparse house we wonder how his family could have afforded the treatment. "We had to sell off household items, to make ends meet. Took loans, and now we owe a lot of money." He offers, as if reading our mind.
With his previous employer shutting shop without paying Mukesh his dues, a young sibling studying in school, an ailing father, and mother working as a maid in households, it seemed that the thunderstorm in his life would take everything down. He then found out about Bharti Walmart Training Centre (managed and run by Centum Learning), where Mukesh underwent a short course in retail.
Post his training he was hired at a Best Price Modern Wholesale Store
Now Mukesh and his mother are able to meet the household expenses and re-possess something that is so integral to human survival. Hope.
Wishes do come true
Shabana Khan, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh
Shabana is a bit of a go-getter. A fighter. Maybe it has something to do with coming from a family of thirteen; contending with ten siblings to make space for herself in the family. Most people are content finding a job, earning a regular income and carrying on with what has been handed out to them by lady luck. Shabana does not belong to that group. With a B.A. degree from Bhopal University, Shabana was working with a telecom company. However, she was not satisfied with her role, as she wanted to do something more meaningful.
Something which would help her give back to society, something which would allow her to lead others towards leading a better life. So she quit her job and joined the course in Retail at Centum Skill Development Centre. Clocking 30 Kms everyday in order to attend the classes wasn’t a big deal for Shabana since she loved every aspect of the course and wouldn’t miss even a single session.
The hard work paid off when she was placed as a trainer at Give Education & Management Services.
"The best part of my job here is that I am able to apply whatever I have learnt and also am able to help others craft their own career. This is really exciting."
The Success Manual to an Auto
Sakina Begum, Chakarbhata, Chhattisgarh
The 'career' options for a girl belonging to a BPL family in a small town in India? Not very many. Coupled with the above, Sakina Begum had been able to study only till Class 8. All opportunities to earn coming her way involved cleaning for wealthier households in the vicinity. Not keen on taking up these jobs, Sakina had scant hope of being able to do anything else in life. Being able to do something more meaningful in life was to stay a dream. A dream that Sakina saw no way of turning true. Worrying continuously, she heard of a skill development course being run in the town through a friend. “What can a course do for an 8th class pass?” She was unimpressed.
The friend however was able to convince her to go the center, where Sakina was counseled. Deciding to take up a course in Retail Sales, she still remained scantily convinced of any real outcome. The course at Centum Skill Development Centre took her through the concepts of modern retail.
To her utter surprise, Sakina found employment as a Sales Representative for a well known cosmetics brand in a Mall.
For someone who’d never heard of a mall, being employed in a glitzy shopping center is nothing less than her own Cinderella story. Not content with just that, Sakina has bought an auto-rickshaw for her father and he too now earns a stable living. Enabling positive transformation…can you think of a better example?
"Not only did I find a career I also helped my father find gainful employment."
The Lone Ranger
Rajni Bala, Ludhiana, Punjab
A happy married life, with kids, a husband who carries out his duties as a provider without a sliver of inconsistency and loving in-laws. Sounds like the dream a lot of girls would have had, at some time in their lives. Rajni Bala was no different. However, life, as it so often does, refused to cooperate. Married after her graduation, Rajni was thrown into a life which can very well be described as the exact opposite of her dream. A husband hazed by intoxication, tyrannical in-laws and hardly any means to bring up two children. Finally, getting tired of the situation she left her inlaw’s house with her kids to live with her widowed mother. She was locked in a legal tussle with her husband and his family. But Rajni was no push over. She looked circumstances in the eye and decided to fight back. Upon hearing about Bharti Walmart Training Center (managed and run by Centum Learning), she immediately enrolled herself into a course there. What followed was 12 days of rigorous training relating to retail operations.
Upon graduation, she was hired in the capacity of a cashier at a Best Price Modern Wholesale Store.
Now she hopes to do really well in life & support her family. Doing well, is something that looks highly probable. "I won this badge and was rewarded for my performance", she says while pointing to a shiny piece of metal attached to her ID tag. And then smiles. The smile of a winner.
"I now earn enough to support myself and my two children. I have been able to establish myself because of this opportunity. I now want to do really well and support the rest of my family."
Love the job
Ajmal Hussain, Mangaldai, Assam
Cuz I don’t care too much for money… money can’t buy me love – The Beatles Maybe Sir Paul Mc Cartney feels a little differently about jobs being able to get one love. If he doesn’t, he should meet Ajmal Hussain. Ajmal is a 22 year old from Mangaldai in Assam. Coming from a family of six, Ajmal was unemployed till about six months ago. His father, a farmer, had a host of expectations from him. Stable employment being one of them. Also, Ajmal was in love with Maoni, and wanted to get married to her. However, which parent would like to marry their daughter off to a man who does nothing? All in all it wasn’t a great life to live. Then Ajmal heard about Centum Learning. Not wasting any time, Ajmal and six of his friends joined the retail course on offer. All seven found themselves their first jobs at Reliance Retail.
Six months of working at Reliance Trends, and Ajmal has already secured his first promotion and now earns Rs. 6000 per month as an Assistant Team Leader.
Maoni? Ajmal’s shy new bride? Yes. They got married in June 2012. Life for Ajmal might have just started looking up! Sustainable transformation just took on a whole new meaning… we think Sir Cartney would agree.
"At last I feel my life is moving in the right direction and I am very happy."
Trainee to Trainer
Amar Jyoti Das, Morigaon, Assam
Amar Jyoti’s journey with Centum Learning began in 2010 when the organisation began its first project in Assam. Coming from a small village of Morigaon in Assam, Amar Jyoti joined the center to undergo a 45 day training in order to find gainful employment at the end of the period.
The trainers at the center were so impressed with Amar Jyoti’s performance during the course, that they offered him the profile of a trainer upon graduating. He gladly accepted and there on began a two year long journey where Amar Jyoti has travelled from being a trainee to a senior trainer in charge of two Centum Skill Development Centers!
"I am proud of being able to affect the same change to other people’s lives as those affected in my life by Centum Learning. I am proud of being able to lift BPL families out of their poverty through imparting skills" says AmarJyoti. And Centum Learning is proud of its Amar Jyotis, for they make what’s most important possible. Sustainable Transformation.
"I am committed to building thousands of happy families through empowering youth in Assam."
Giving it back
Jagir Kaur, Ludhiana, Punjab
Jagir Kaur smiles a lot. People must wonder why… Sitting at home for six months post clearing her 12th Board exams, guilt had been gnawing at Jagir’s conscience. The thought of her father’s hard earned money being spent on her education in vain had been making her extremely uncomfortable. The fact of an unemployed elder brother not helping with supporting her family of six didn’t help ease her anxiety either. Here is where she decided to move out of her village and undergo a short course at Bharti Walmart Training Center.
Employed at a Best Price Modern Wholesale Store after completion of the course, Jagir is on top of the world.
For people who wonder why Jagir smiles so much… It’s a smile of pride… a smile that people trained by Centum Learning sport so often.
"I support my family and manage my own expenses. In fact I am the first girl in the family who has moved out for being self dependent."
Securing a Future
Shivnath Kumar Kausariya, Chhattisgarh
"My name is Shivnath Kumar Kausariya and I am from a small village in Chhattisgarh". No name of the village. The word "small" almost sounding like a limiting factor, a bit of a disability. As if almost insisting on the contrast in his story. And a contrast it is. Shivnath would frequently travel to Raipur to look for work. Being the only earning member in his family, he would take up small jobs. No permanent income, no permanent status, nothing secure. "I ridiculed the news of a new training center opening at Anantpur. Who really gives jobs? They all come, promise and leave." However, as luck would have it, Shivnath decided to visit the Centum Skill Development Centre and give the course a go.
"I really liked going through the course. 12 years of school education had not provided the kind of knowledge that the trainers provided." Then pauses and adds with a shy smile, "It was amazing that we were provided with a travel allowance, and even food. The kind of food that I hadn’t even dreamt of eating at my own house".
Having finished the course, he was hired as a security guard with a monthly pay of Rs. 5000 .
"I was useless and helpless" he says, "now I feel confident of providing a bright future to my son. I always dreamt of enrolling him in a private school, and now thanks to Centum Learning, the dream has come true." From being a man without a job, to a supervisory guard, (yes, he got promoted too) he can't stop flaunting the fact that he has a bank account and an ATM card. The contrast in Shivnath's story is truly, remarkable.
"I was useless and helpless. Now I feel confident of providing a bright future for my son. I always dreamt of enrolling him in a private school, and now thanks to Centum Learning, the dream has come true."
Brothers in Arms
Durga Prasad Anand, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh
Exactly how many times will thanking the organization, that gave you a rewarding career, be enough to express your gratitude? ‘Never enough’ seems to be Durga Prasad’s answer. Earning Rs. 1500 a month as a computer operator, Durga Prasad was barely able to manage his own expenses, leave alone pitch in towards the financial commitments of his family. Then, team Centum Learning on a mobilization drive happened to visit his house. A reluctant Durga Prasad was enrolled into a course on Retail.
He was placed at N-Mart (the very first interview he sat for) as a Customer Support Executive. Buoyed by his success Durga Prasad worked even harder and has now secured the position of a Cashier at the organization.
Earning Rs 6000 per month, he has an air of confidence about him. "My financial condition has vastly improved. Also, while I used to report into people earlier, I have people reporting into me now", he says and then continues to credit Centum Learning for the transformation yet again. "My elder brother also trained with Centum Learning and has been placed in a great job." It’s a little easier to understand the magnitude of gratitude expressed by Durga Prasad now. And we in turn are proud to have catalyzed the transformation in his life.
"Never ever thought I would reach where I have, in life."
Sandeep Kaur, Amritsar, Punjab
It’s a rare tribe of people who chase their dreams in life. It’s an even rarer tribe who manage to catch the dreams and live them. And then there are those who do so through adversity. Meet Sandeep Kaur. She works as a counselor at Amritsar’s Bharti Academy of Retail, which is managed and run by Centum Learning. Sandeep belongs to a family of five. "My father’s income was not enough to meet the expenses of the family. I joined a call center, even though I did not like working there one bit." Sandeep wanted to do something more meaningful in life than reading out answers from a script day in and day out. However, she worked in a call center for four years before being told about the Bharti Academy of Retail. It didn’t take her long to enroll herself in a course.
She was finally placed as a counselor at Bharti Academy of Retail itself.
"I love my new job. There are new experiences to learn from everyday. I am the first girl… no… the first person in my family to be working with a well known brand and in a good position." What’s truly heartwarming, however, is that she wants to spend most of what she earns towards her younger brother, and put him through college. “It will be a dream come true". No Sandeep, make that two.
Junumoni Deka – Mangaldai, Assam
"My father works as a security guard in a private college …. Oh, and he sells seasonal fruits sometimes."
"How much does he make?" We ask.
"Rs.1000 a month" says Junumoni.
"How much do you make?"
"I make Rs.4600 a month at KFC."
"How old are you?"
Earning almost five times than the man who brought you in this world.. Making that amount when you are a 19 year old girl coming from a small town in India. Would you not consider it as somewhat an achievement? We do. Junumoni’s story is one of the thousands that are being told across parts of India. Stories of youngsters coming from less affluent sections of society, walking into a skilling project being run by Centum Learning. Getting trained, placed and thereby assuming the role of primary breadwinner. They are proud of themselves, their parents and families doubly so. That pride leaves us elated, to be able to affect such sustainable transformation in the lives of those who need it the most.
"I am proud to take on the role of a primary bread winner in the family at the age of 19."