If you win over fear, the world is yours
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Sarah B

“Can you change your destiny?” This question is much debated. “Can you create your destiny?” The answer to this one would find more takers accepting probability that one could, if one would be more mindful of what one sowed. Some of us have gone ahead and proven this. Let us explore the stories of those, who just might have, mindfully, and diligently carved their own paths, unexpected of them initially. 

I can, and I will…

Ranju Bhadra hails from a village called Tipam Fakial near Naharani, Dibrugarh district, Assam. She is the eldest in her family, which, understandably, brings along with it a number of responsibilities. Her father is a farmer and her mother a housewife. After completing her schooling, she thought of finding a job for herself, so that an additional inflow of money could start. It was around that time, as luck would have it, that she got to know about the Swablamban project commenced by Oil India Limited, under which skills impartment was being conducted. As the name of the project suggests, the objective is to enhance the employability of youth through skills training, thereby increasing the scope of their productive employment. Says Ranju: “I was looking for a job so that I could support my family; when I heard about the course in the food and beverages sector, I rushed to Guwahati, where the course was being conducted. I felt this would be a good chance that would help change my life.” Her active interest in the nuances of the sector, coupled with her hard work and strong focus on her goal, helped her secure a job with Club Mahindra Resort, Udaipur, in June 2016. Her current assignment there helps her draw a salary of INR 17,000 per month, along with benefits such as food and accommodation. Besides the materialistic aspects, the possibility of now supporting her family must be an indispensable feeling. Ranju’s journey is not just about a chance encounter with opportunity, but also the courage to take up a challenge, away from home, as a fresher in a sector one has no clue about, adapt, learn and re-learn, fight the odds, and emerge a winner, with the goal always in focus: the family, and its well-being. 

In adversities lie opportunities…

We might fret over adversities in our lives, especially when the load of it all seems overwhelming. However, as Albert Einstein said that adversity introduces a man to himself, these moments of difficulties allow us ample opportunity to enhance our strengths and combat our weaknesses. This may well be the case with Pooja Sharma, who has four siblings: 3 sisters and 1 brother. In her family of two earning members, the need to secure and enhance livelihoods must have been strong. As a class 10 pass out, the opportunities of being productively employed are minimal, especially in today’s time and age. But the hands that create, can change fate. Enrolment for the skill of a Sewing Machine Operator did just that. The entrance exam comprises of a number of tests that not only check physical ability, but also coordination of the body with the mind, as the concerned industry demands the same. Passing the tests, she gave her best for the 45 days of the course, where she did not only learn sewing, but also soft skills, IT, and the English language at the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra, South Delhi. “I am now gainfully employed, and am proud of that. My training emphasized on making me industry ready, which is why I got a job, immediately after completion of the course. I work with Orient Fashion, and earn a respectable amount every month, but more than that the prospects of growing in my job, post learning a skills, and effectively applying it, gives me confidence, “ says Pooja with a smile. 

Conquering my fears…conquering me…

“I learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” ~ Nelson Mandela. 

“I remember how I was an introvert and a shy individual, prior to my training,” says Rekha Chetry, a resident of Duwarmara, PO Pengree, district Tinsukia, Assam. Work on the self, though may well be the hardest, it is the most vital. Rekha recalls her journey: “I underwent training as a steward, despite my personality attributes. In order to ‘come out of my shell’, I took part in a number of competitions during my training period: debates, dance competitions, and so on. The idea was to get on stage, in front of an audience, and express. I was just focussed on my goal, and I knew I had to work on certain aspects of my personality in order to achieve that.” Working on the self brings many challenges; first and foremost, the fear of failure, and second the grit needed to bring about change in one’s self despite the inherent inertia. Her trainers associate hard work and punctuality with her, in addition to her determination to succeed, and ‘be someone’ in life. This very attitude got her a job at in June, 2016, post her training. The appreciation for her hard work has been reciprocated with a promotion to senior steward, which helps her draw a monthly remuneration of INR 19,000 plus benefits. The journey is not all about acquiring a skill, but the various aspects that accompany it. The introspection it leads to, the exposure it brings along with it, the broadening of horizons and enrichment of thought processes – it is all there, a part and parcel of the journey, from one chapter of life to the next. 

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