New possibilities open up for slum youth in Yelahanka, Bengaluru

Bengaluru, famed as the IT hub of India, is home to a large migrant population from the remote villages of Karnataka and other states. Coming to the city in search of better job and growth opportunities, many end up working as daily wage labourers, struggling to fulfil the basic needs of their families.

As such they find it hard to give priority to the education of their children. Unqualified and untrained, the youth take up the same low paying jobs as their parents to add their share to the family income. Generation after generation of migrant families is caught up in this vicious cycle of ignorance, poverty and suffering.

To break this cycle, Smile Foundation initiated a Smile Twin e-Learning Programme (STeP) centre in Yelahanka, a small town on the outskirts of Bengaluru. The project aims to provide a much-needed opportunity to youth from socio-economically marginalised migrant families who could not complete their education due to financial constraints.

The centre identifies and inducts deserving youth, and trains them in employability skills along with rigorous one-on-one counselling sessions to boost their self-confidence. The students are trained in computer education, basic management and retail skills, English communication, and personality development to not only enhance their skill set, but also bring about a change in their attitude.

Industrial visits, interactions with experts from different professional backgrounds, career counselling, and placement and post placement assistance are provided to the students to help them choose the career best suited to their individual interests and aptitude, and give them a hands-on practical learning experience in the chosen field.

With the community’s youth getting all set to become first generation white collar workers, parents and elders have also become expectant of new hope and opportunities entering their lives. The young men and women seem determined to build a better – secure and dignified future for themselves and their families where they do not have to fight an eternal battle to survive every day.

To know more about Smile Foundation’s livelihood programme, please visit our website.

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Author

Prashant Kumar

Manager, Smile Twin e-Learning Programme, Smile Foundation

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