December 3rd, 2016
Appasab Biradar from Chincholi (B) in Gulbarga used to earn Rs 4,000 at a cash counter before he heard of The/Nudge’s Gurukul. Today a Gurukul graduate, he is earning Rs 20,000 as an employee of Clean Fanatics.
The Gurukul is a 100-day residential program of The/Nudge Foundation for the underprivileged youth to pick up life, literacy and livelihood skills. It provides job opportunities for the students and places them at various companies in Bangalore. At the Gurukul, Appasab learnt valuable digital literacy, English skills, well-being awareness and driving.
Says Appasab, “Before Gurukul, I did not know anything about driving or life. Today I know both.” Appasab comes from an impoverished background; his father is a farmer and his mother a housewife. As there was never enough money at home, Appasab helped his father in the fields since the age of 15. When he was 16, his parents didn’t have enough money for his education. So he paid for his fees by selling books. Though he was keen to study further, Appasab had to discontinue his studies after his second-year pre-university (class 12) due to lack of money.
When asked about his Gurukul experience Appasab says, “I have always wanted to learn computers; I am happy because at the Gurukul I got the chance to do so. My favourite subject is English because I didn’t know how to speak it. Now I can understand and speak. I always liked Aditi Ma’am’s class because it used to be fun and interactive with games and role play lessons. She used to laugh a lot and make the lessons engaging.” Aditi Mandal, the Literacy trainer at the Gurukul, remembers Appasab with fondness, “He was a very gentle and cheerful student; very soft-spoken and a perfect gentleman, it was a pleasure to teach him.”
Asked about his life after now, Appasab says, “I miss the Gurukul. I find whatever I learnt there to be very useful in my job, I speak to customers very well and write bills. My boss appreciates my interaction with clients. I use the job skills I picked up at the school every day. Before Gurukul I used to dream about helping my parents, now I have been able to start saving for my parents and their future. If I had not gone to Gurukul, I wouldn’t have had a better job and a better life.”
Says Atul Satija, CEO and Founder, The/Nudge Foundation, “When our students like Appasab do well in their lives – earn more money and more respect than they would have otherwise – we feel inspired and even more impatient to get to our goal to pull 1 million Indians out of poverty. We focus on building a foundation that carries some depth to build a career and life upon, not just hard skills. You can’t do this in a 9-5 setting; you need an environment where you can transform. We designed this environment and called it Gurukul. I believe we have one of the best youth education products in India. This journey is just a start. By 2017 end, we are aiming to have at least 15 Gurukuls with 5000 student-run rate per year.”
The Gurukul, flagship initiative of The/Nudge, focuses on sustainable poverty alleviation by building a strong 360-degree life, learning and economic foundation for poor in residential “Gurukuls”, along with lifelong support system.
There are hundreds of students like Appasab at The/Nudge Foundation’s Gurukul.
About The/Nudge Foundation:
The/Nudge Foundation, a non-profit startup, is a joint initiative of some of India’s brightest entrepreneurs, leaders and change-makers coming together to tackle the greatest human development challenge of our times – poverty. The goal of the foundation is to bring 1 million people out of poverty.
For further details, please visit: www.thenudge.org
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