OPEN THE CURTAINS
I am Salma Ansari. I belong to a typical conservative Muslim family. Traditionally, it is not allowed for women to go outside and look for a job in my family. Beside my parents, I have five sisters and one younger brother.
I came to know about RuralShores Skills Academy (RSA) through a friend. Initially my father was opposed to the idea of letting me go outside the home and join RSA. Also, he did not believe that one-month training was going to get me a worthy job. But after visiting the RSA center and meeting the trainers, he was convinced that learning a skill will help his daughter recognize her capabilities and develop her talent. He changed his mind and allowed me to take admission in RSA and get trained in a job-oriented skill.
Earlier I had low confidence and couldn’t speak well. I was shy, scared and used to the family tradition of laying low and staying behind the curtains. But at RSA training center, I practiced and was able to vastly improve my confidence and groom my personality. While giving answers and explanations, I practiced talking in English in front of the entire class. My friends at RSA and the trainers were very encouraging. Slowly, my hesitation at speaking in English and in public vanished. Now, I am proud that I can confidently present myself in front of people and put forth my viewpoints with assertiveness. I don’t get scared very easily now.
The positive learning environment in RSA has given me optimism, energy and encouragement. I got a lot of support and motivation from the trainers. The trainers guided me through the fog of my insecurities and misgivings and helped me find the right direction in my career.
While sitting for placement interviews, I got selected in RuralShores Business Services (RSBS) as a Customer Care Executive in my first attempt. Now I am adept at attending customer calls and get many accolades and appreciation from my customers, subordinates and managers. Recently, I received an award for my good performance. It was a high point of my life. With my aspirations and success, I think I have established myself as a role model for the other female members of my community. I feel I have closed the curtains behind me.
RuralShores Skills Academy – Mermaid in the Sea of Sorrow
My name is Mina Rafique Shaikh. I have completed B.Sc. (Industrial Science). I am from Shingnapur village which is situated approximately 6 Km from Kopargaon. I belong to a middle class family. My family includes my parents and two sisters.
About a year ago, I was facing some personal issues and was depressed and suicidal. My family was going through a financial crisis and I was struggling to find a reason to live. One day, I was sitting at my home feeling dejected and low-spirited. Maybe the God sensed my misery or maybe it was a pleasant coincidence in my life that my neighbor uncle who was aware of my situation came to meet me. He asked me to join RuralShores Skills Academy (RSA) – if only for refreshing my brain and changing my mindset.
The casual first self-introduction just didn’t introduce me in the front of the class but also reminded me of my identity. After a counselling session at RSA, I realized my life need not be ended just yet. I happily realized that I have the caliber to prove myself with my skills and knowledge. I decided to develop my identity. I am going to be someone!
Thereafter, I got trained in basic computer skills and typing. I started regaining my lost confidence. All thanks to RSA team at Kopargaon. They were like “mermaids in the sea of sorrow” and came to save me from drowning myself. I didn’t even have the money to pay the fees for the training. I was lucky to have Chandrao Sir who trusted me and gave me a chance to complete my training by paying my fees from his own pocket. In the class, I found many other students struggling with one or the other reason and I realized I am not alone. Difficulties are present everywhere. We need to deal with them.
Thereafter, I was called for an interview at RSBS. I belonged to the batch of 30 students who sat for the interview and I was selected as a Process Associate. I now set a new aim for myself. I decided I will prove that girls can survive without support if they get proper guidance and skill training. It was RSA who gave me a new birth.
I have previous work-experience. The event of first salary happiness had happened years ago in my life. But this salary at RSBS gave me a heartfelt satisfaction. For some reason, it was beyond the first salary moment.
Today I am SPA for Quality and Training department in Non-telecom process. I am the first SPA in Kopargaon center to be acknowledged. I am grateful to our DGM who recognized my abilities and gave me a chance to progress and bloom in my career.
Not only my family but all my neighbors are proud of me for achieving this great victory.
I have learnt, the most important thing is,
“Do what you love, if not
Love what you do”.
I believe we must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.
Special thanks to RSA and RSBS RuralShores, Kopargaon!
Foundational Training Batch 2016
Inter-Ministerial Dialogue on the ‘Inclusion of Victims of Trafficking and the Vulnerable in Skill Development’
We build too many walls and not enough bridges. – Isaac Newton
I came across a river and realized I don’t know how to swim. What do I do? Should I try learning swimming? But there is still a possibility of drowning in deep bitter waters. And so I sit on the frozen land on my side of the bank of the river and gaze into the alluring bright sunny sky and swaying green fields underneath on the other side of the river? If only someone could build a bridge over the bitter waters flowing beneath.
While reaching out to the unprivileged and disadvantaged youth to help and guide them to skill development training programmes, the social enterprises found that this disadvantaged section of society has varied educational backgrounds – no education to little education to a miniscule proportion of Xth and XIIth pass-outs. You might want to skill them to make them employable and help build their career and lives to a bright future ahead. But how would you teach a skill like Data Entry or Retail sales to someone who doesn’t know how to talk or spell. To someone who hasn’t even seen a computer. Would she be able to survive in a technologically-driven business world?
So there is this river of illiteracy of different levels and these youth need a bridge to gain a certain knowledge level that will open the door of skill training programmes for them. And this is what the Foundation Course is!
At the Inter-ministerial Dialogue on the ‘Inclusion of Victims of Trafficking and the Vulnerable in Skill Development’ hosted by Justice & Care, it was repeatedly emphasized that a bridge course is a necessity to address the gaps that exist within the learning space for the youth disadvantaged in different ways. This Foundation Course program aims to build the aptitude, attitude and abilities of the youth and prepare him/her for skill training programs.
RuralShores Skills Academy, a skill development training agency and Justice & Care, an NGO involved in rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of human trafficking worked together to design this Foundation Course program to train the survivors of trafficking. The Foundation Course is a three month, 360-hour program. It is a bridge course that will prepare the students to take training in technical domain training.
The Course Structure
The Course Structure addresses Life Skills – for example Time Management, Forgiveness, Personal Grooming, Self-Esteem, Hard Work and Persistence, Managing Finance and so on. It also covers Functional Literacy – like English writing and Mathematics. We added Basic IT and Digital Literacy to make it holistic and complete. The Sectoral Orientation is also provided as an over view of different Industries with support on career planning.
The modules catering to different objectives are designed to develop the knowledge as well as the personality of the student. The Foundation Course enables the students to talk, read and write English, work on computers besides giving them some insight and direction on how to deal with various components that makes a person and his/her life.
While we cannot cover the proper course curriculum of regular schooling in 3 months, the Foundation Course ensures the students at least find their feet to stand and become ready to move forward. Skill development training and quality education leads to economic and social reintegration. The Foundation Course is a means to reach there.
– Shruti Patwal
Outdoor Media Auditing
When you walk out of your house into the public arena, you are hit with the plethora of outdoor advertising media – billboards, banners, signage, kiosks, point of sale displays, interiors and exteriors of buses and what not. You find yourself staring into the eyes of the product enticing you to try it!
Outdoor advertising is one of the most popular ways to grab the attention of thousands of consumers. But reaching hundreds of thousands of consumers is not cheap. Neither is it easy to ensure the required quality and objective of the outdoor advertising. It starts with planning and implementation but it doesn’t stop at execution.
Are you getting value for your money?
Field Audits by RSA
RuralShores Skills Academy has nurtured a well-developed audit team to ensure that corporate organisations achieve a good return on investment on money spent in managing proper display of outdoor media through structural field audits.
We have a team of 100+ trained field auditors across India which helps the corporate organisations to check the installation and health status of outdoor media assets like digital wall painting, dealer boards, hoardings etc.
Outdoor advertisement is one of the preferred ways to introduce and advertise new products in the market. This is an area where organisations spend a large amount of its resources for reaching the targeted customers in rural/urban areas.
The organisation spends upto Rs. 150/sq. feet for outdoor media in rural and urban areas. An area of 100,000 sq. feet costs organisation around Rs. 1.5 Cr for displaying the outdoor media for 30 days. Here, vendors generally cut down the display time to 15-20 days and save around 50% of the total cost. The execution teams/vendors generally make money through following ways:
- Installation of media at different location than specified (low cost sites)
- Removing assets before stipulated duration (to place other brands at same sites)
- Using low cost material (to save money)
- Incorrect or bad installation (skills of installer)
RSA audit team visits the specified locations and checks all the parameters for displaying the media and share a detailed report along with photographs, geographic location etc. We also ensure that the audit is done twice during the campaign – at the start and at the end of the campaign, to ensure that the media remains displayed at the site for the specified duration.
Based on inputs given by RSA audit team, organisations can hold execution agencies responsible for any aberrations or mismanagement in the given work assignments. The cost of audit is quite minimal against the cost of advertisement. However, it greatly helps the organisations to save their efforts in managing the quality of outdoor advertisements and get value for their money.
So while the organizations can focus their time and energy on planning and executing their outdoor media advertisements, RuralShores Skills Academy will assess and ensure the truth and fairness of adopted processes and procedures.
– Sachin Tyagi
Launch of the Foundation Course for survivors of human trafficking by the President of India
They say recognition is the greatest motivator. And when it comes from the head of state of India, you hear it – amidst the loud applause – the sound of the stone that you dropped onto the ocean and see the waves it made far and wide.
We did it – its official! More than it ever could be. Not that this is the first time a training course we built is now officially a part of government sponsored skill training programme. We are NSDC authorised funded training partners from last 4 years. And our courses are certified by NSDC. But this one was rewarded by the recognition from the highest echelon of national leaders representing the whole country and that is what you see – not just the President but what he represents – the people of the country recognizing your efforts, innovation and hard-work. And that’s the magnitude to behold!
Launch of Foundation Course
This is how it was on the launch of the NSDC sponsored Foundation Course – a bridge program that provides for the inclusion of survivors of human trafficking to skill development programs by Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India.
This Foundation Course is the baby we created, nourished and nurtured and gave it the wings to fly and play its role in building lives across the country and the world.
How it All Started
Skilling the survivors of human trafficking is an initiative where RuralShores Skills Academy is a training partner. We created this Foundation Course along with Justice & Care, an NGO working with victims of human trafficking, worked and re-worked on it, moulding it to the requirements of the survivors. Training the survivor girls of human trafficking isn’t an easy task – they are poor, broken, physically and mentally exploited with little to no educational background. Justice & Care has been seeing the harassed mental state of the survivors, and approached us to build a course in Life Skills to help the survivors cope up with the adversities they faced and move on in life. We came up with a set of life skills and professional skills these girls would be tutored on to survive in a business environment. We also train these girls in communication and computer skills, so that they can communicate in the technologically-enabled corporate world. Then we train them in domain skills through courses like retail and domestic BPO, so that they can become adept in a job-oriented skill. Our trainers visit the shelter homes daily for training these girls. We equip the survivors with necessary skills, make them employable and provide placements through our tie-ups with various organizations.
To make a difference in someone’s life is a clichéd sentence you keep hearing now and then. But when you make it into a mission and see its outcome – sharing the platform with the President of the country, speaking about her journey to finding a purpose in life and addressing some of the eminent personalities in the country without any stage fear, reflecting a confidence in herself to move forward and change her world – you will see your reward in her groomed persona. We played a part in making her whole again. We helped build a life. The reward for our labour is a life. Is that not enough?