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Job training changes lives

Md. Shadab Khan is among the 278 young adults aged 19 to 24 who shared their stories at Melan

By Chandreyee Ghose in Calcutta

  • Published 21.02.19, 5:33 PM
  • Updated 21.02.19, 5:33 PM
Md. Shadab Khan at Melan on Wednesday.
Md. Shadab Khan at Melan on Wednesday. Shuvo Roychaudhury

Md. Shadab Khan worked in a chappal factory with his father till he trained in AC repair three years ago and started earning four times the family’s total income.

The 23-year-old entrepreneur from Park Circus now dreams of generating jobs.

“I have six people working under me now. I earn around Rs 35,000 a month,” said Shadab, who is pursuing a BCom degree. “Our monthly family income used to be less than Rs 8,000. The three-month training meant forgoing part of that. Yet, I took the risk and my life changed.”

Shadab is among the 278 young adults aged 19 to 24 who shared their stories at Melan, an annual alumni meet of the New Horizons programme run by NGO Save the Children and partners, at City Centre Salt Lake on Wednesday.

“New Horizons was launched in 2008 as part of our child poverty eradication plan. We offer vocational training to young adults who have either dropped out of school or have no skill for better jobs. Bereft of opportunity, they either join a hazardous trade or are forced into early marriage or migrate elsewhere,” said Chittopriyo Sadhu, the NGO’s general manager of state programme (Bengal and Assam). Around 90 per cent of the youths get placements right after training.

The beneficiaries of the project are training in coffee- making, AC repairing, beauty and wellness, facility management, making puffed rice and more.

“There are compulsory sessions on life skill, communication and risk behaviour. It’s important for them to fit into the jobs,” said Susmita Guha, the programme coordinator of Save the Children.

Like Shadab, Abdus Salam Molla, 23, of Sandeshkhali in the Sunderbans has a venture of his own.

He has been running a puffed-rice unit in his village along with six others for the past two months.

Guria Khatoon, 18, on the other hand, works at a café run by Save the Children and Seva Kendra.