(20) cannot walk properly because of a problem in the knee. His
father M. Naidu and elder brother Afru Naidu together barely earn
Rs. 5000 a month, which is not sufficient to run a family of five.
So after completing his school, Srinivas decided to take up a job
to support his family. But he could neither speak English nor operate
a computer. It was getting tough for him to get a job.
Depressed Srinivas then learnt about the Smile
Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) from an acquaintance and enrolled
in the course. A diligent student, as his teachers describe, in
just six months time, a radical change could be seen in Srinivas’s
personality. Even disability did not come his way. Today Srinivas
is employed in a Coffee Day Xpress outlet in NCR.
Vijay Gupta (19) from the clusters of Dharavi is
a sales associate at the gleaming Westside shopping mall at Victoria
Terminus (CST), Mumbai. An HSC passout, Vijay looked for a job,
but he was turned down because of his broken English. He started
feeling inferior, until one day he hesitantly dropped into one of
the STeP centres and his life changed.
Uppu Jagadish also went through a similar experience.
The six month STeP course transformed his life. Today, Uppu, who
is working in Coffee Day Xpress is envied by his friends and neighbours
for his flawless English.
Thanks to the support from corporates, institutions,
schools, colleges and individuals, Smile Foundation has been successful
in transforming the lives of many less fortunate children, youth
and women. The Foundation has been able to send more than 35,000
children to school, have provided livelihood training to 3084 adolescents,
of which 1502 have already been placed, provided healthcare service
to more than 2.75 lakh people and created awareness among millions
of people sensitising them to be a part of the development process.