Posts which have been tagged with: vocational training.

Selvi and Sarala

This is Sarala.

Sarala is a school drop-out identified by social workers in the Outreach Program. Her family lives on Rangapillai street, near the head post office. Sarala has four siblings.

This is Selvi. Selvi’s father passed away; her brother suffers from mental illness and has run away; her mother is an asthma patient. Selvi’s family lives on the platform of Nehru street’s old petrol bunk.

Both Sarala and Selvi were enrolled in the Night Shelter program as it was unsafe for them to stay with their families, where they risked their physical safety and were always targets of abuse. After enrolling in the Shelter program, both girls completed 8th standard, but were never really interested in studies. Social workers then referred them to a vocational training program in tailoring–but this did not work out either. The girls were uninterested and found it challenging to master the art in a short time.

It was after that that social workers enrolled the girls in a 6-month Living Arts training program, where they were taught to make new patterns and fabric accessories, earrings and so on. Finally, a solution that worked! Both girls are still with the Night Shelter program, but now they are sharing their newly acquired skills with the younger children and learning how to become role-models themselves!


Carpentry Training at Sharana

We at Sharana are happy to announce the admission of our first batch of 8 students to the Vocational Training Program in Carpentry, at the Aranganur Community Center.

Since this past April, Sharana social workers have been canvassing the villages surrounding Pondicherry in an awareness-building campaign. Students and volunteers participating in Sharana’s summer camp 2012 also took time to redouble our efforts to publicize the availability of the training program, and increase awareness of the benefits to school drop-outs in the region.
Twenty-two students applied for admission to the training program, which is housed in a building adjoining the Aranganur Community Center, and fully equipped with the best machinery. All applicants were from the surrounding villages, and all were school drop-outs who were compelled by family and circumstances into agricultural coolie labor. Eight were finally selected based on family background and need. All are between the ages of 16-19. One boy, for example, had been abandoned by both parents, and was living entirely on his own. It is cases like his that remind us of the worthiness of vocational training projects that empower and enfranchise rural youth by giving them marketable skills to which they would otherwise never had access.

Vocational Training

Sharana’s Carpentry Vocational Training program targets Aranganur, where the number of young people who are reaching adulthood without completing school or attending any formal education is increasing. Even as Sharana aims to return as many of these individuals to school, the vocational training project additionally aims to provide marketable training that will enhance their chances of finding gainful employment.

The Vocational Training Project aims to:
• Provide young people with incomplete formal educations with the training to obtain skilled employment and open future career opportunities for them;
• Provide advice and assistance with obtaining paid work placements.

A carpentry training facility complete with machinery and equipment was built in 2011-2012 in Aranganur. The first batch of 10 students (selected from an applicant pool of 22, all drawn from nearby villages) began their course in July 2012. Now, each year 10 students are selected by our Master Carpenter Mani, (the teacher in charge of the Program), and our community development social worker Anbu.
The training takes 12 months (full-time) and is conducted by Mani. A complete syllabus has been designed for this course, in accordance with national training guidelines. During the course each trainee is provided with; an Rs 2000 per month stipend, a bicycle loan (for transport to the workshop), a meal at lunch time, medical provision, accident insurance and help finding permanent employment on completion. In addition, trainees are provided with care and guidance from a dedicated Sharana social worker.

At the end of 12 months each trainee is required to take an exam. Upon passing this exam trainees are formally provided with a certificate of completion (recognized by the state) and commence a one month practical placement in one of the carpentry workshops in and around Pondicherry.

Since the first session 2012/2013, 18 young men have thus far successfully passed out of Sharana’s VTC program. All have been placed in jobs that provide them with salaries 2-3 times above what they would have earned as unskilled labor. This project is a real success.

To order furniture made by our students from the VTC program, (including custom-made furniture), please write to us at to get a tour of our present Carpentry pieces.

By purchasing a product you are directly participating in a social cause, and giving these young men an occasion to put their newly acquired skills to good use.

To find out how you can donate towards Sharana Programs, please click here.