Skill Power: Spent childhood in labour, His youth in front of computer

Sathish has an elbow permanent injury from a truck offloading incident. “The family conditions were pathetic. The situation was like: If we don’t work for the day, we won’t get that particular day’s food. I sometimes went to work without eating anything. I used to do for labour works like mason, canal building, off-loading from trucks form where I got this injury.”

With internet and mobile phones marking a new beginning in almost every aspect of life, most companies expect their employees to possess at least basic computer skills. The Government of India also launched a campaign Digital India to ensure that the government services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.

There is a huge need for computer literates in the growing digital-based businesses all around the world.

CASA introduced Computer Training for the youths and school drop-outs, who have no or little access to computer and internet, so that they can also participate in the global digital learning. The youths experienced a change. The harsh hours of low-wage physical exhaustion was now transiting into a more comfortable education.

Basic computer applications like MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint are being taught to separate batches of girls and boys who have lost their childhood to child labour and want a new beginning with a new skill altogether.

One such beneficiary is 21-year-old Sathish who dropped out of school at 10th class and was unable to study further due to financial constraints.

Sathish has an elbow permanent injury from a truck offloading incident. “The family conditions were pathetic. The situation was like: If we don’t work for the day, we won’t get that particular day’s food. I sometimes went to work without eating anything. I used to do for labour works like mason, canal building, off-loading from trucks form where I got this injury.”

“When I was in class 8, I started working to share my parents’ work load. I used to come home from school at 4 PM and immediately rushed for the poultry farm where I worked till 10.30 PM. The next day the routine would continue to be the same. I could not manage the stress, so I decided to quit my school,” he said.

 

It has been exactly 2 months when he joined the CASA training centre in Chindapeta village in Andhra.

 

“Now, at least after learning computer I can get a dignified job in some small shop where I can earn upto 1,000 per day. I can come home at night and look after my ailing mother who cannot work anymore. I will not have to carry the 60-70 kg fodder bags on my back again, no would not have cuts on my palm, I would not injure my body parts again, I would not be slapped or abused again,” he said.

Sathish along with 10 other classmates are being taught the basic computer hardware and software handling. These critical computer and Internet skills are valued in today’s academic and professional environments. Educators are pushing greater computer literacy requirements since student exposure does not necessarily translate to understanding.