Shillong: Skill development enhances employability, further, enhancing empowerment. To create a better and efficient society, education alone can’t battle the hurdles, skill development needs to happen hand in hand. This is what Shishu Sarothi has been able to achieve. Recently, Shishu Sarothi, under the initiative of Bharti Infratel Scholarship Program that has been providing scholarship to around 185 students with disability (in North-East India) to pursue higher education, organized a career counseling and awareness session in Meghalaya in collaboration with Directorate of Employment and Craftsmen Training, Meghalaya (DECT) and a few other vocational training and skill development centres. The program was organized in Tura at Montfort Centre for Education on 28th July, 2018 and in Shillong at the Bethany Society on 10th August, 2018, as a part of career guidance activity for students with disability.
The session was organized to create awareness on employment avenues, vocational training and opportunities that can be taken up after completing education. More than 80 students with disability participated in the events where valuable career guidance was provided to help them choose the right career. Various courses available under the scheme of Craftsman Training Scheme (CTS) formerly known as Basic courses, and Craftsmen Instructor Training Scheme (C.I.T.S.) known as Advance courses in the areas of Office Management, Cosmetology, Dress Making, Fashion Technology, Tour and Travel Assistant, etc. along with the Rights of People with Disability were discussed.
In Shillong, the sign language interpreter from Bethany Society, Ms. Ridahun Khriam helped in running the session smoothly for deaf students. Around 35 participants were present among which 25 were the students from major colleges in Shillong, like St. Edmund’s College, St Anthony’s College, Martin Luther Christian University, North East Hills University (NEHU) etc.
Ms. Lily representing “Mainstreaming Disability Unit” from Bethany Society, conducted an awareness session on the Rights of Persons With Disability Act 2016 (Special Reference with Employment). She led through all the 21 chapters of the act briefly, and led an interactive session on employment and livelihood rights of PwD. This session gave a lot of clarity on laws for protection of rights of PwDs.
The career counseling session conducted by the Smt. Mona Lisa K. Phanbuh, Assistant Director at the District Employment Exchange, Shillong (Meghalaya) began with an introduction of Department of Employment and Craftsmen Training (Meghalaya) and Employment Exchange across Meghalaya continuing with the sharing of significant information about reservation, training and employment support to PwDs. She also conveyed how important it was to register with employment exchange to allow them to extend information and application, to job vacancies that come to them and the procedure.
3 students: Banshanlang War from St Edmunds; Uniky Malai from St Anthony’s and Lucky Star Pamtheid from Martin Luther Christian University, the beneficiaries of the Bharti Infratel Scholarship Program were also present. They shared their views and feedbacks about the scholarship program and how it has helped them to pursue their studies because of the support they have received from Bharti Infratel Scholarship Program.
The session in Tura was held in collaboration with the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Tura, Mr. Ram Singh (IAS), who shared that this is the first time ever that an interactive session with special consideration to people with disabilities was organized in the district. He also motivated the students saying that they should never compromise on their dreams because they are disabled. He said, “Nothing is impossible if determination is right”.
More than 40 students from major colleges in Tura, including the Montfort Centre for Education, Tura Government College, Don Bosco College, & Mason Philip Academy participated in the counseling event. The event began with a brief introduction of Shishu Sarothi and Bharti Infratel Scholarship Program with a short movie, post which the dignitaries shared a few words. Father Bevan, Principal of Don Bosco College, Tura, said we need to create, guide and empower them if want overall development of the nation and a mere reservation in the government employment was not a solution unless we have strong laws to implement. A student of Don Bosco College is being supported through scholarship program, who has graduated also. Brother K. Jose, Director of the Montfort Centre of Education, emphasized on the issue that proper guidance and counselling is important when making a career choice.
Ms. Lakshmi Singha representing Regional Vocational Training Institute (Women), Tura said that they are a part of the National Skill Trainers’ Institute for Women with 10 centers across India, and the one in Tura is for the entire North-East India. She shared about the courses available under the scheme of Craftsman Training Scheme (CTS) -basic courses and Craftsmen Instructor Training Scheme (C.I.T.S.)- advance courses in the areas of Office Management, Cosmetology, Fashion Technology, Tour and Travel Assistant, etc. that would help people to become self employed after completing training and practice.
The program in Shillong and Tura concluded with the beneficiaries of the Bharti Infratel Scholarship Program sharing their views and feedbacks about Bharti Infratel Scholarship Program and how it has helped them to pursue their studies.