I am a native of Koratagere, a village in Tumkur district of Karnataka. I completed my graduation and the city life lured me into migrating to Bangalore instead of doing farming, which is my family's main occupation. I thought it would be easy to get a job with a degree, but one had to have technical skill sets along with a degree. So I enrolled for another course and then I was able to procure a job in a multinational bank. I enjoyed the pleasures of the city life and forgot about farming. After 10 years of monotonous work, and after experiencing a few life changing incidents, I realized that I need to do much more than holding on to a mundane corporate job.
I would visit my village regularly and I noticed the conditions of my community members, especially the women and youngsters. Women depended on their husband's meagre income and struggled to manage the household expenses. They wished to earn a little extra money but did not know how to do so. As for the youth, they had graduated from college or had completed their 12th std. Youth with a degree were unable to get employed due to lack of technical skills, while the youth who had completed 12th std could not pursue further education due to financial constraints.
Having experienced a similar difficulty, I decided to return to my village and help the youth and women. After quitting my job in 2009, I started a training centre in a 10x10 sq.ft room within the village so that it was convenient for people to come over and get trained, without having to travel long distances or having to pay a huge fee.
The training program was a success as the youngsters were happy to enrol and learn a new skill. This was encouraging and I introduced tailoring and embroidery courses for women, which was a great success. Women after completing their daily chores at home, come over to the training centre, learn the skill for a few hours and go back home to resume their duties. The proximity of the training centre, flexible timings, and being able to socialize with other women, encouraged many of them to take up this training course.
Today, we serve community members in and around Koratagere taluk in Tumkur. More than 7000 beneficiaries from 250 villages have been trained so far.
The last 10 years have been enriching and gratifying, as we see positive changes in the lives of our fellow community members. Children, youth and women are being empowered with education and livelihood skills.