Dialogue this week- How one meal changed a young man’s life!

Satyam Vyas, Founder, Arthan

 

Let’s start with from where it all began, your motivation to work for rural India?

I am from Allahabad and moved to Delhi in 2003 to pursue Mathematics (H) from University of Delhi. In college, I used to participate in National Social Service volunteer programs which gave me an opportunity to work as volunteer for Kashmir Earthquake relief work.

The life-changing moment was when during my stay, one of the families in the village offered me food. I graciously accepted their invitation and went for dinner. During my meal, I noticed that I was the only one eating. When asked, they said they only have one utensil in the entire house to serve food.

It has been 11 years since the incident and the memory doesn’t fade away.

 

What were your next steps after this incident?

I was confident that I wanted to work for rural India but didn’t know where to start from. I started traveling in different districts of Jharkhand, conducted a social audit for NREGA in 2005-06. The picture was getting more clear in my mind about working in the education sector and as they say, “when there is a will, there is a way”. During my visit, I started meeting thought leaders from NGOs to give a new direction to my journey.

 

Satyam, you have worked in Primary schools and Secondary schools, what have you learnt about the status of education in our country?

Well, apart from other problems like socio economic backgrounds, language barrier and poverty we are failing in becoming good mentors for our children. We are jumping on to the end result before asking the first question. Our approach should be Sustainable, employable and Integrated.

Children in secondary schools are young, they aspire, but have no pathways to achieve those aspirations. They require hand-holding to understand what all options do they have after they finish school.

 

What do you suggest should be done to overcome these barriers for young minds of our country?

We shouldn’t decide what a child should become when he or she grows up. What we can do is to make them aware of the options and the fall back options in their life. Introduce them to the world of skill development, professionalism and opportunities at young age.

A teenage mind is flexible, it starts thinking and asking questions. Our job as adults should be to answer those questions.

Education system should be designed in a way where by the end schooling, a teenager is 100% aware of the pathway he or she wants to take.

 

Is Arthan, your new venture plans to address these issues?

Arthan's mission is to provide unlimited economic opportunities to the rural youth. Arthan addresses the youth unemployment challenge by providing career opportunities to young people from low income backgrounds in rural India.

·         Arthan takes a multi-dimensional approach by creating a partnership between business, government and civil society to find necessary solutions. 

·         Arthan works with employers to develop ‘hiring strategies’-that enable employers to find matches for entry-level positions from the youth talent pool

Arthan works with the government and civil society to place the youth trained through the various government and non-government initiatives

 

Satyam has spent a decade working in rural India in the fields of education, skilling and social entrepreneurship. In the past he worked with Going to School, as COO, overseeing GTS’ operations across 7states in India

 

(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Sampark Foundation)

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