Banking on its earlier experience in running a vocational centre for the last 19 years, RC Madras East, D 3232, has now inaugurated a second centre for skill development at Thoraipakkam, on the outskirts of Chennai, with an aim to equip underprivileged youth to lead a decent life.
The former centre in Bhemmannapet Community College delivers hands-on courses on bakery and confectionery; para medical; lab assistant; computer hardware-cum-tally; and spoken English. Over 1,100 students have passed out of the centre with about 90 per cent of them employed in various offices.
The Club President B S Purushottam highlights the success story of Kavitha, a school drop-out. Her father was working as a scavenger with the Chennai Corporation earning ₹2,000 a month. “Kavitha spent six months learning the software course offered at the centre, and topped it. Our industry partner for the course provided her with a placement and today, after 10 years, she is earning more than ₹90,000 a month. She has provided education for her siblings and her family members are self-sufficient and pursuing their dreams. This cascading effect of skilling underprivileged sections and providing them employment has been our focus area. She has today become an evangelist of our programme and it’s our aim to create more Kavithas for our communities.”
The new centre at Thoraipakkam is founded on the principles of “placing scarce resources within the reach of the needy. After analysing the demand data, we found that there was a great need for trained personnel in the areas of plumbing, tailoring and software development,” he says.
These courses will be taught with the help of industry partners such as Kohler, Grundfos, Indian Terrain and FreshWorks. Each discipline will train 150 students over a one-year period and supplementary courses like spoken English, Etiquette and Ethics at Work Place will be taught to shape a well-rounded individual.
Lauding the club for its initiatives, the State Minister for Tamil Language and Culture K Pandiarajan assured the State government’s support in the club’s activities in reaching out to the underprivileged sections of society.
RC Madras East has spent ₹35 lakh for the infrastructure at the new centre, but the total investment would be around ₹1 crore, says Purushotham.
A special focus towards value-based education is provided by Mahindra Pride for the candidates to develop “loyalty towards employers with a customer-focused work ethic that seems to be a rarity in today’s youth.” This attempt will ensure that employers return to the centre to recruit skilled youth in their enterprises.
Four Rotarians from Canada and Italy, including PDG Bill Gray from Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston, visited the new training centre and were impressed by the facilities created to equip the students with need-based skills.