Meet Santosh Raigar, an ordinary twenty-year-old girl with an extraordinary story of determination and hard work.
Born in an underprivileged family in Sanganer town near Jaipur, Santosh lost her father in an accident in 1999, when she was just 3 years old. Consequently, her mother had to take up the responsibility of earning a livelihood for the family, and with four little children and a disabled grandfather to take care of, each day brought a new challenge for the impoverished family.
Santosh's mother worked as a daily-wager at a paper factory, earning a measly four thousand rupees a month. Despite all the adversities, she ensured that none of the children had to drop out of school. She toiled for fifteen long years with no support from anyone. She had a lot of expectations from her elder son but he fell in bad company, became an alcoholic and spent all his money on liquor. Instead of lending a helping hand, he ended up worsening the family's situation. Luckily, Santosh's elder sister started working and helped the family's financial needs. But soon, she got married and her contribution to the family's income stopped.
This proved to be the turning point for Santosh. Faced with the bitter reality that her mother was getting older and her brother was not going to fulfil his responsibilities, she decided to take matters in her own hands. Soon after completing her schooling, she did two things - joined a B.Com course through distance learning mode and started looking for a way to help her family by earning some money herself.
It was then that she got to know about the courses offered by ICICI Academy for Skills through one of her friends who had heard about the academy's free skills-based training. Having realized that this could be a tremendous opportunity for her to acquire the right skills to get the right job, Santosh wasted no time and immediately applied to the academy, and managed to secure a seat at the academy's Jaipur branch for a course in Selling Skills.
At the academy, Santosh was taught all about sales and customer service. The training went beyond regular classroom teaching. The academy's practical approach to training made learning easy for Santosh. The focus on developing soft skills helped her improve her communication skills and develop confidence while interacting with others.
For three months from October to December 2014, Santosh juggled expertly between her college studies and the academy and managed to complete her course successfully.
She managed to secure a job as a Sales Executive at a retail outlet at a salary of Rs 8000 per month.
Today, Santosh has been able to shoulder the responsibility of her family and has debunked the myth that defines girls as less capable than boys. Not only does she manage a full-time job that keeps her occupied for most of the day, but she also attends a coaching class and ensures that her college studies are not affected. She has also referred five of her friends to the academy, thus making sure that more and more people are able to gain from the free-skill training and become employable.
Santosh 's story of grit and perseverance is inspiring and heartening, but there are many more such underprivileged youth who are still unable to find the right direction in life.
If you know any underprivileged youth like Santosh who have the potential and desire but do not have the right skills or support to get a better livelihood, simply log in to giftalivelihood.com and refer them to the ICICI Academy for Skills for free skills-based training. The Academy offers exclusive centers for women which are managed and run by dedicated faculty comprising only women. With 22 centers and 13 courses, the candidates have a lot to choose from. This free training, an initiative by ICICI Foundation, is imparted to youth below the age of 30 with a household income of around 1.5 Lakh per annum. 25000+ lives have been changed till date.
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