In India, when it comes to choosing a career or a subject to study, parents have the final say. The parental and peer pressure on children to get them to pursue a or degree of their choice takes a huge toll on them, causing great confusion regarding this crucial aspect. And when it comes to kids coming from poor backgrounds, the situation is even worse.
However, a Chennai-based NGO 'Atmanam Viddhi' has come to the rescue of such children. Started by 17-year-old Shweta Dalia, the NGO works to help underprivileged children understand their passion so they succumb to societal norms or peer pressure.
"We believe when people do things they are passionate about, they tend to contribute positively to whatever field they are in," Shweta Dalia, founder of the organisation told The Logical Indian.
Atmanam Viddhi has partnered with various orphanages and NGOs in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, has organised camps, arranged career tests that helped the kids develop a keen interest and passion for their subject choices.
"I have also authored a children's book. It talks about a scientific process but in the form of a story. This is how we work, we keep the students' interests alive," Dalia said.
As per the studies, more than 95.6 per cent of people are in careers that were influenced by "social norms" and had a dream career that they had to let go of, whereas 93 per cent of Indian students were aware of just seven career options, Dalia explained.
So far, more than 1200 students have been benefitted from the organisation and are trying to reach out to as many kids as possible.
Dalia's team calls up different NGOs, sends them the subject links for the test based on the number of students present.
After getting feedback, the team members sit and analyse the results for each child-where they shine and can improve on. Based on these factors, the team gives the top three careers to students where they will most likely succeed or are passionate about. The organisation also runs camps where activities related to career help are conducted.
"It's great that most of the NGOs we called responded, they are very happy to see someone so young putting in the effort, I didn't accept people to be so understanding," Dalia said.
Because I am a teen, it is hard to be taken seriously sometimes but when they hear me out, they understand," she added.