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"My brother and I,
both got placements
and now we together
support our family"

 

Imran Khan is 22 years old, the eldest son of the family and one of our success stories.

They are a family of 5 and Imran’s father was the only earning member. In addition, half of the family’s income had to be sent to Imran’s ill and ageing grandparents in their village. Thus, no matter how hard Imran’s father tried, it was never enough to meet even the basic needs of the family. Imran and his brother came to know about the 6 month course of STeP in a centre mobilization drive, where they were explained about the programme and the course module.

Sharing feelings very close to his heart, Imran says, “My father got interested and allowed us to join the course and the next 6 months passed very soon because we got to learn so many things. At the end of the course, my brother and I got placements. I got placed in JKM Motors and my brother in Eureka Forbes. Our condition has not become perfect, but has certainly improved since then. We are working very hard and trying our best to bring to our family a lot of happiness. We got our sister enrolled in a distance learning computer programming course from Delhi University. And very soon we plan to convince our father to quit his job and stay at home. He has dedicated his entire life bringing up his family well; now we want to give him a peaceful, happy and content life. I thank Smile on behalf of my family also for all this.”

 

 

 

"I come across
very rich people,
but they give
equal rrespect to me"

 

Munmum Karmakar says that her life has changed ever since she got a job. “I come across very rich people every day in my office, but they give equal respect to me”, says Munmun, “and all because I am capable and skilled.”

Munmun is 22 years old and lives with her parents in NOIDA. She supports her father in running this family of four. Her father works in a nearby factory and does not earn enough to support his whole family. Munmun’s mother is a housewife and her older brother is studying Company Security and focuses on only that. The whole family was thus living in poor conditions. Munmun decided to help and started teaching in a local school in the primary classes, but that hardly made any difference to the family’s income. She tried looking for better paying jobs but despite her 12th class qualification, she failed to get anything. This was when her colleague told her about STeP.

“I almost ran to my father, out of excitement, to take permission of joining STeP”, remembers Munmun. She finished her course in December 2010 with a placement in Platinum One Company – a leading call centre, and is very happy with her job. Munmun’s parents are very proud of her today and want her to save her earnings. But she not only supports the family with her salary, but is also pursuing a correspondence Bachelors degree in Computer Programming from the Delhi University.

She thanks Smile for all that she has been able to do for her family and for herself.

 


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Employer Engagement
with Westside

An employer engagement session with Westside, one of the major employers of the STeP students, was organized in Bangalore and Chennai.

For the session in Chennai, the Deputy General Manager, Mr. Ramakrishnan interacted with the students. The program started with a mutual introduction, in which the Mr. Ramakrishnan explained about company’s profile, nature of requirement, job nature, salary package, and other benefits and if candidates are selected how their career will be developed and also the placement availability in Westside, Chennai store. After the orientation session, an open house session was conducted where the students asked clarified queries and doubts with Mr. Ramakrishnan.

In Bangalore, this session was conducted by Mr. Meher Madhur, the Store Manager, and his team. The students were oriented about the basic strategies to prepare for successful job interviews and the current and future prospects of the retail job market. The most interesting part of the program was the mock interview session that proved to be an effective tool in orienting children about corporate job requirements. The demonstration gave all the students a fair idea about how to perform in front of an interview panel. The purpose of this session was to give them a scope to improve themselves while there is still time for preparation. Topics such as creating a good first impression, dressing professionally, reviewing appropriate material, handling anxiety and nervousness, etc were also discussed. Mr. Madhur concluded the session by indicating the importance of effective communication and the role of hard work in achieving professional growth.

This engagement activity was attended by most of the STeP students in both the locations.

 

Yuva English for Students

Smile Foundation has adopted Yuva-English in its STeP curriculum. Yuva-English is a unique english tutorial concept initiated by TechMahindra and The Centre For Learning Resources (CLR). It is directed towards improving the quality of spoken English and developing the conversational skills of young adults belonging to the marginalized and underprivileged strata of the society.

For the dissemination and implementation of this concept, a training session was organized between 21st and 25th February 2011, at CLR Pune, for the implementation partners of Smile Twin e-Learning Programme. The instructors persistently focused on the need to brush the spoken English of the learners. The reason being, Yuva English has been designed to assist young individuals deprived of a good schooling, to better their spoken English, ignoring their inability to use grammar correctly.

As part of the training programme, the participants needed to role play. The role plays were done on an individual basis as well as a group activity. In each of the role plays the theme was a virtual classroom situation. The role plays were to be done with the help of the instructions provided in the Instructors Manual and also the improvisation skills of the trainees.

Overall, it was an enriching and a valuable experience that allowed each participant to monitor and analyze himself/herself in a comfortable environment, imbibing what is best and simultaneously working on his/her flaws.

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Over 6000 underprivileged young boys and girls have been trained till date and over 5000 have already been placed. Among these placements, 600 were done across India in the month of January 2011 alone.

Step now has a network of 60 centres across 41 cities in 19 states of India with additional centres in Bengaluru, Ludhiana, Nagpur, Mumbai, Faridabad and Imphal.

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